My DNA is called ARSENAL

Written by gunnern5

We all have blood running through our veins; I’m just the same with the exception that my red and white cells equal Arsenal. You see Arsenal is as much a part of me as my blood – we are totally inseparable, one without the other is simply impossible.

My family ties with Arsenal go back to 1913 (almost a century) when my maternal Grandfather witnessed the first game at Highbury. I have no idea if he was already an Arsenal fan but there was never any doubt in his later years – he was close to FANatical.

He lived on Stavordale Road and was a local coalman, a big strong man standing six feet five inches tall, arms like tree trunks, with coal dust permanently embedded in his face, an imposing man and someone to be feared.

On match days Stavordale Road became a parking lot and Grandpa saw this as a source of revenue. When a car parked he would be there to open the car door, he would place his hand, heavily, on the drivers shoulder and say – “hey mate, if you give me a bob (shilling) I’ll make sure that nothing bad happens to your car” the driver would look into his coal grained face and then down at his hob nailed boots and quickly cough up a bob. The fear factor (what Grandpa might do to his car if he said no) rarely failed. When the street was full he’d zip up to the Drayton Arms and down a few pints of brown and mild then trot up the hill to Highbury to watch his beloved Gunners – he was very wise in the use of his” bob’s”.

As a kid I would stand on Avenell Road and hear the ooh’s and aah’s and roars coming out of Highbury and I just yearned to get in to see a game, well, Grandpa  indoctrinated me at the age of ten, November 22nd 1947, Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town and I found my form of heaven

My paternal Grandfather, who lived on Caledonian Road, was equally FANatical our combined family was huge I had eighteen uncles and forty six male cousins, all Arsenal fans, well almost all as four sad souls were Spurs supporters.

To say that we lived and breathed Arsenal is a monumental understatement, family occasions were dominated by Arsenal dialogue, before dinner, the men would all go up the pub and we kids would stand outside listening to all of the Arsenal banter and waiting for our bags of Smith’s crisps, with the blue twist of salt.

You know I really had no other choice than to become an Arsenal supporter and it has remained such a dominant part of my life that all family and social functions are scheduled around Arsenal games – so you see my DNA is also known as a….

Dysfunction Named Arsenal.

Not that I’m complaining.


32 Responses to My DNA is called ARSENAL

  1. Bob says:

    Nice post. I hope all the impatient fans read this and realise that it’s not about spending the most money. You obviously seen some barren times at Highbury, me too. Growing up, the best I had was Chris Whyte & Raphael Meade! Happy Xmas.

  2. Red Arse says:


    What a truly fascinating insight into the history of an Arsenal loving family. Unique but ringing a bell with many others, I am sure. Excellent! 🙂

  3. citrapuspita says:

    Heeeeiii I love this post!!!!! Nice! 🙂
    True Gooner 😀
    Always give our spirit to Arsene Wenger and the young guns! 🙂

  4. citrapuspita says:

    I agree with you Bob and Red Arse 🙂

  5. Rasp says:

    Great read GN5,

    History only works retrospectievly 😆 I am sure Arsenal fans in a few generations time will be saying, “my grandad remembers the old Highbury and was there when Arsene Wenger revolutionised the club and was the force behind The Emirates”

  6. dandan says:

    Great post G5 super stuff. and the interesting thing with most of us sad old gits is that should we have the chance, we would do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing.

    Apart from my family the Arsenal have been the most constant thing in my life.

    So a gooner for life, as the young ones say “no danger”.

  7. What I enjoy most from the posts that are heartedly wrote by our senior contributors, are the amount of times I read about how their families have a handful of stray Spuds fan’s knocking around.

    I don’t know exactly what it is I love about that, probably the fact that in my family I have no proper derby conflicts to get excited about in the household. My brother follows Liverpool.

    Great post. GN5

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Super read G5. I thought I was AFC nuts but nothing compares to your family!

    DD. The only thing that has lasted longer than my love for AFC is my birth family. Wives come and go as do most friends but AFC and my guitar are true constants and help me through thick and thin.

    Arsenal is for life (as is my treasured hand-built Lowden guitar)

  9. Big Raddy says:

    “Smith’s crisps with a blue twist of salt….. “. Happy Days 🙂

  10. Red Arse says:


    I have previously said that I am not at all sure Arsene needs to, or should, buy in January. BUT I have also said he really should keep shtum about his intentions.

    Why did I say that?

    Because if you read a composite of his comments, allegedly coming out of AFC, he has said he won’t buy (in January) because he has a squad he “believes in”; he then sid he would buy (in Jan) if a player of the right quality, who would enhance the team, at the right price became available; then he said he would only buy if he sold a player first, but also said he did not want to sell Bendy or Denilson, and wants Almunia to stay; and has no intention of buying cover for TV, (who might be out for the season).

    Confusing messages when taken together, and unnecessary, as he does not need to explain or justify his decisions, in my opinion!

  11. Red Arse says:

    Come on guys, GN5’s excellent Post needs a bit more support!

    What do you call a fish with no eyes?

    A Fsh! 🙂

    There’s more to come if no one talks to GN’s Post!

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    18 Uncles and 46 Male Cousins, all Gunners!!!
    That is without doubt the most fantastic family I have ever heard of in my entire life. Absolutely fabulous.

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can I tell people I know you?

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Wives come and go “… you huge great Romeo you!
    Oh, and Kettle crisps or Walkers Cheese and Onion. No arguments.

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    18 Uncles and 46 Male Cousins, all Gunners!!!
    Sorry to repeat myself, but I simply CANNOT get over that one.
    Apologies to all other posters, but that is simply unbeatable as an Arsenalism.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Where are you all?
    Ok, I was not around as various strains of family have been arriving today, and maybe you are all in the same boat, but frankly, get over it, and get back here!

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Preparing for hols tomorrow Micky. Assuming the flight goes!

    I am away for a week and it is unlikely I shall have the opportunity to chat with you folk. May I wish you all a wonderful Xmas and 3 points on Boxing Day.


  18. Hi all

    Sorry, been mega busy doing stuff!!!!!!!!

    Its such a shame more people haven’t been around to chat but the post has been viewed by over 1,000 people today – obviously not the chatty type 🙂

    My family has gooners and others from the dark-side so family gatherings are often lively football discussions. I remember my uncle – a dark spud – telling me it wasn’t worth going to Highbury when he he could take me to the lane whenever I wanted – I took no notice of him thats for sure.

  19. Hi Raddy – good luck with your trip, hope you have lovely ski-ing snow. Will you get to watch the game on Monday?

  20. RockyLives says:

    Nice one GN5. Was having internet problems so have only just got on and read it.

    I had no Gunners in my family and by rights I should be an Addicks supporter as I grew up in Charlton. My Irish dad didn’t have a strong team affiliation but he adored George Best and had a soft spot for United.

    I’m not sure whether it was the regular train trips from Charlton station to Woolwich Arsenal Station (where my Mum used to go to do the shopping) or whether it was the allure of the best team kit in world football, but by age 6 or 7 I had decided that Arsenal was my team. This was in about 1966, so it wasn’t as if it was on the back of any great triumphs. The years (many decades worth!) that have passed since then have only served to make the addiction even more intense.

  21. London says:

    The blue twist of salt……my childhood, my childhood. I remember watching the World Cup final, getting bored and then annoyed that there was extra time so I went out on my tricycle to the local offy and bought a bag of Smith’s crisps which still had the blue twist of salt; happiness indeed, as I peddled around the estate with two blocks of flats facing each other I can remember the eruption as people came screaming out onto their balconies shouting we’ve won, we’ve won, I didn’t know what all the fuss was about my crisps were far more important to me.

  22. Neamman says:

    Great post G5. I thought I was the oldest here but based on your dates you beat me by 10 years or so.
    My background is opposite yours as my father and all his friends were Spuds fans.. I was one of the “sad’ ones who supported the other lot!! My mum was Irish and couldnt care less about London footie.
    I made sure that the new Canadian branch of the family are all 100% Red and White, though I have to admit for some reason my youngest also has a yen for the Toon. He loved the old Newcastle Brown shirts so whenever I am in Thailand I get him an Arsenal and a Toon shirt.

  23. Neamman says:

    Your world cup tale reminded me of the night we won the double in 1971. I had an important exam in the morning and as i was working and living in Basildon I knew I wouldnt get to WHL in time to get a ticket. I was studying and listening to the game on the radio. when Ray Kennedy scored I was so happy I had to stop studying and walked down to the local pub to ceelebrate. Foolishly forgetting I was in West Ham territory I walked into the pub yelling Arsenal won, Arsenal won. All I got was a mumbled “Big F***ing deal” in response!!
    I quickly drunk my pint and decided to go home and celebrate alone!!!!

  24. Vinay says:

    A fabulous read and i may not have the same background as yours but i can promise one thing, i have been an Arsenal fan for the last 12 years and will be till the end of my life

  25. kelsey says:

    Fantastic read and as we are friends I know that you are just as passionate today as you were back in those early days.
    I doubt anyone could top your ties to The arsenal and passion, as you say it is in your DNA.

    My story is quite different,being adopted as a baby with no siblings,and my father was a boxing man.
    my uncle took me on alternate weeks to Arsenal and Chelsea,who at the time were both shite,but I was drawn to Arsenal and saw my first match in February 1958 as a small child.We lost 4-5 to The Busby Babes,tragically the last domestic game before the Munich Air disaster.

    Spurs became the dominant force in the early sixties and we waited another 11 years until we finally won a trophy.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have a couple of adopted children, and believe me, they do not go to alternate games at Arsenal and Chelsea! Some Uncle.

  27. kelsey says:

    Micky, those were in the olden days.I may drop you a line if you don’t mind as adoption is something very close to my heart.We have 4 kids of our own,two grand children and now only 4 dogs 🙂

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Please do.
    Peaches, could you drop Kelsey my email address, thanks.

  29. kelsey says:

    I have got it,Micky 😉

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches moves in mysterious ways her wonders to perform!!!!

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Village shop, and hopefully back to a shiny new post.

  32. Morning all

    Sorry had to minister to a sick daughter and then walk her dog ……

    Theres a NEW POST

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