Happy 26th May Gooners

The 26th May 1989 was an amazing night in Arsenal’s history.

Arsenal travelled to Liverpool for the final game of the season needing three points and 2 goals against the scousers to clinch the title. This game had been postponed following the tragedy at Hillborough where 96 Liverpool supporters had been crushed to death. It was a sad time for football.

Arsenal were the underdogs going into this game and they hadn’t won at Anfield in 15 attempts. In addition they had allowed a lead of 15 points to slip through their fingers since the start of the year.

Liverpool had the previous week, won the FA Cup and so they were going for a ‘Double’. It was a night for the footballing gods.

Here on AA we have celebrated the 26th May with posts in previous years. Big Raddy’s post titled A Belated Happy Birthday and the Renaissance of Football was included in a book containing Arsenal memories and remains an excellent read.

In addition we have two bloggers who have taken their blog names from that great occasion – MickyDidIt and 26may1989 remind us every day of that wonderful night at Anfield.

This video was unearthed this morning by chas, it had me in bits, so watch and enjoy ……….

There’s not much Arsenal news around but I have to say the comments from Vertonghen are rather strange considering he has Vermaelen to refer to. Do we want a player who says that the totts are his first choice but he’ll come to us if that doesn’t work out? Is he ‘avin a larf?

Enjoy the weather if you can and if you’re desperate for football there’s an England friendly against Norway tonight.

Written by peachesgooner


50 Responses to Happy 26th May Gooners

  1. Double98 says:

    Damn that has to be one of the most important momentsof my life… is that sad?

    I well up watching that fever pitch clip… it so fundamentally narrates that whole seminal experience – 23 years later and i still can’t believe how colin firths dialogue matches my own internal one.

    15 years old dublin boy surrounded by manc fans and scousers..
    I didn’t have the “Its up for grabs now” commentary, i watched on RTE and was on the way out the door when George Hamilton says something like
    “MICHAEL THOMAS, a chance to win the League Cup OOOOOOOOHGHHHHHH”

    “Nobody comes to anfield and wins by 2”

    My pedantic head mentally corrects George hamilton’s faux pas but after that its a street party for 1 and a few man u fans join in…

    Love this club…

  2. 26may1989 says:

    Happy 26 May one and all! Especially Steve McMahon and your right index finger – ha ha ha!

  3. chas says:

    Thanks, peaches.
    Happy 26th May, 26. πŸ™‚

  4. oz gunner says:

    cheers peaches! happy 26th one and all! damn my youth for not letting me experience such a monumental occasion

  5. neamman says:

    I was in Canada for 1989 so missed the emotions.I was aware of the game but live football on tv didnt exist in Canada those days so I only heard by phone call from my family! Still I was around for the win at Spurs in 71..so I will treasure that night!!

  6. neamman says:

    It would be interesting to hear from other oldies.. but for me personnally 71 was a bigger game..not to downplay this one at all.. but we hadnt won the league since 1953, it was at Spurs and the double was on the line.

  7. GunnerN5 says:


    The choice is very difficult but for me the best league win was 1947/48 just because it was my first season of going to Highbury.

    However some of our biggest league wins were made even more unforgettable by winnning on our opponents turf – Spurs, Liverpool and Man U – memories are made of this…………….

  8. Double98 says:

    Neamman – 71 was 18 years without but then so was 89.

    I would say for my generation of Arsenal fan this was the TV ages finest sporting hour.
    There is a difference to being there and watching on tv but on occassions like this the lines blur –

  9. goonermichael says:

    N5 1947/48? Wow.

    I’ve enjoyed reading accounts of lot’s of people who were there on the net and Twitter. I have a female client who never missed a game that season. Me being the archetypal armchair fan watched it in my flat in Caledonian road. Whe Micky score I spat tomato pasta all ove our new carpet and my (then) wife said “you never used to like football, look at our carpet”. I love the way that people are trying to say this season was the most exciting end to a season. Nothing comes close to that. Actually, even in the end of Caledonian road where I was living was full of the sound of car horns and general celebrations.

  10. goonermichael says:

    Everyone must be out enjoying the glorious weather

  11. RockyLives says:

    Aren’t we lucky to have all these special days?

    We have 26th of May.

    We have St Totteringham’s Day.

    We have the new (and excellent) suggestion of celebrating St Invictus Day – when the last unbeaten EPL team loses, thus meaning the Invincibles’ achievement cannot be matched.

    I was living in Hull on May 26th 1989 and watched on TV. I spent an hour or two afterwards going from pub to pub with my scarf on (and a non football fan mate) trying to find fellow Gooners. I didn’t, but lots of people seemed really happy for me!

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    Apologies for not being here sooner, by way of an excuse:

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    As for memories, I was sat round the telly at home with Mum, Dad and brother. When Micky did it I jumped to the ceiling arms aloft and smashed a lamp shade. We all laughed (after my Dad had called me a pillock).

    The next day we set off on holiday to the west country, I remember stopping at a Little Chef and seeing all the back pages and wanting everyone to know we were Gooners and were walking on cloud nine.

    Quite simply “the” moment of my Arsenal supporting life, until I got to witness Linighans late winner in the FA Cup at Wembley with my Dad alongside me.

    The League was great the FA Cup win is my greatest “I was there moment” along with Limpar from the half way line against Pool at Highbury.

  14. goonermichael says:

    GIE that beer would kill me!

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    GM πŸ˜€ you don’t want to try their Nuclear Penguin then (32%)


  16. Big Raddy says:

    Happy birthday one and all.

    Let us all raise a glass

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Camp on beach? Footie? Camp on beach? Footie?
    Got it. There’s a sniff of a chance that The Ox may come on, so footie wins. Easy.
    I’ve so been Ox’d πŸ™‚

  18. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky I’d be camping on the beach…..is that even legal?

  19. RockyLives says:

    Well said Sir!
    This is an issue that had ceased to be an issue, so it was bizarre to have it blow up again.

    Blimey – I forgot there was an England friendly on. Trouble is, it’s a beautiful day here in Toronto and it’s a 2.45 kick-off here for a non-Arsenal game… hmmmm probably have to go with Family Fun and give the footie a miss.

  20. RockyLives says:

    Test Match cricket always makes me miss being in England for the summer 😦

  21. Gooner In Exile says:

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If you knew the beaches we go to, you’d laugh at that question as well. No-one there to tell you off, although I don’t think its illegal anyway.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    From a practical point of view, I’ve been at a football tournament all day, and both my son and moi are flaked out. Final decision was made for us by the fact that I’ve lost my daughter. Hey ho.

  24. SharkeySure'sGhost says:


    Happy 26th May to one and all !!

  25. Chas says:

    The rumour is that if Engelbert Humperdink wins the Eurovision tonight, he takes the spuds place in the Europa cup. πŸ™‚

  26. glic says:

    Happy 26th
    Chas`s earlier Fever Pitch vid` gave me goosebumps (” you`ve got some disease ,which turns people into miserable bastards”, had me howling ! ) even in this heat . Shark infested water`s one had me welling up .
    What a fantastic day, loads of scantily clad females everywhere I went, trying to entice me, but no, I am strong minded, sorry to deny you glicettes, but I`m a married man. They tried their hardest and I was at a weak point when they sang the line, ” Your such a, your such a, your such a, Hot Temptation .” from Blackbox`s ” Ride on time “, but I stood firm !.
    I see Humperdinck Is on first tonight in Eurovision, he`s pretty old and It`s a long show, whats the odds on him not lasting the night ?. Not a problem though, as John Terry has flown in ( aparrantly he has been taking lessons and has his own little chopper ) to pick up the trophy who ever wins .( someone said he had a Bayern Munich kit on underneath his Chav one last Saturday just incase ! )

    I had a look at one of my comments last night and laughed, as It is quite ironic that I should suggest to some people on here,( who have the combined age`s equal to Moses, Abraham and God ) that they should “get a life or sense of humour “, remove that “get a life” bit, I was wrong there , I think they`ve had their fair share of It !. πŸ™‚

  27. RockyLives says:

    Englebert – hilarious πŸ˜€ he would probably do better than Twitchy’s lot anyway.

    Terry getting ready to claim Eurovision glory – equally hilarious πŸ˜€

  28. goonerjake says:

    Hi Peaches,

    Great post. What a great night that was. I remember I was 12 years old. Where I live (newark, nottinghamshire, long story why im from the midlands and a huge arsenal fan but basically you cant help who you fall in love with can you?) their was a huge liverpool fan base at my school and I was (and for all my school life) the only arsenal supporter. And i went around school saying we are going to win and we will get two goals.

    You can probably guess what stick I got for that which made it so sweet the following day.

    The night of the game watching on tv I felt sick to the stomach (still happens during big games , however always worse when watching on tv compared to watching in the stadium) The feeling when we won it though was great. But not as good as the feeling next day.

    Also… that clip from the film Fever Pitch speaks to me sooo much. It is precisely how I react while watching any arsenal game, when watching in the pub people must think im mad sitting down standing up, pacing then again i think im mad. I love both the film and the book.

    Kind Regards


  29. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh dear Micky Henry Winter agrees with you:

  30. Illybongani says:

    Great memories…my mrs had a pottery party to go to so I was left on my lonesome babysitting our 4 year old. It didn’t bother me as I had very little expectation of what was to follow.

    As Mickey charged through the middle and grabbed the Championship I went ballistic (as we all did). As I watched the celebrations on the telly it dawned on me that was stranded in on me Jack Jones with only a cheap and nasty bottle of red for company. So I downed it straight from the bottle and awaited the return of my good lady – complete with two very nice ceramic candelabras – who was to find me in floods of tears. Her natural motherly instincts were that I’d killed the little’un, but eventually I was able to babble out that we were champions, much to her relief.

    I was a milkman at the time, based off City Road and working around Crouch Hill. So my journey at 4am took me through Finsbury Park/Stroud Green Road…to find hundreds of Gooners dancing in the street. It doesn’t take much to realise the appeal of a 10 mph milk float decorated in red and white scarves to a pissed up happy Gooner. Still this was my chance to celebrate and I gave rides to whoever wanted it and tooted my horn with a total lack of consideration for whoever may have still been trying to sleep.

    A great day indeed.


    Illy “floods of tears”, hahahaha. Top man

  32. Gooner In Exile says:

    Illy that may be the funniest celebration story of that night I have ever read:

    “So I downed it straight from the bottle and awaited the return of my good lady – complete with two very nice ceramic candelabras – who was to find me in floods of tears. Her natural motherly instincts were that I’d killed the little’un, but eventually I was able to babble out that we were champions, much to her relief.”

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    That game was so special to every Gooner who was alive then. How many fans have been lucky enough to have that feeling. No one will ever take that night away from us..

  33. Hi all

    Anyone fancy writing anything about either tonights England friendly or something else for a small post for the morning?????

    The weather is going to be scorchio again so tumbleweed may be it’s companion that’s why I say ‘small’ ……

  34. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    That clip was a great watch except for the main character (lol?).

    I really struggle with common or garden doomers, let alone fatalistic people like that. They really do my head in…I just can’t have them around me.

    On a night like that I might just have thrown him out of an open window

    I left work (young trainee..??) that day believing that we would do it. I always remember saying it to a stranger on the tube as I travelled home.

    Truly unbelievable night. One of the few live games that you ever saw on TV back then.

    If Carlsberg did Friday nights in, watching TV…

  35. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    “a 10 mph milk float decorated in red and white scarves” !!!!!!

  36. RockyLives says:

    “His name was Illy,
    And he drove the smartest milk cart in the east…

    “They won’t forget old Illy…”


  37. Gooner In Exile says:

    Only a football fan thinks like this

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “When I grow up, I dream of pulling on the pale blue shirt of England, or dark blue, or grey, or red…”
    Where’s Englands identit? You know exactly what Holland, France, Italy, Germany etc will wear.

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I need to prepare myself for a very dull week. Is impossible to make signings whilst players are with their national teams?
    I’m even considering working unbelievably hard 😦

  40. Gooner In Exile says:

    I wouldn’t worry Micky it’ll only be worn shortly as judging by that performance we’re going nowhere fast. The only player who did not play last night but who could change that performance is Rooney, and you need more than one player.

    One thing I did take from last night is that if Johnson doesn’t go (as expected as he is only a standby) we should send Steve Bould to his home every time England play and remind him that because he can’t get a game at City he won’t get in this England side and point at Downing on the bench and laugh loudly. 17 starts for City (10 in PL, 1 in CL, 1 in EL, 4 in League Cup, 1 in FA Cup) at the age of 24 with 4 years to run on his contract is a waste of talent. I’d take him as he could start or give us something off the bench, reckon he would cost us about Β£10m.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very true.
    Before the game, I was discussing England with my 11yr old son, and explaining that we had arguably one world class player. He said that we had two and that I’d forgotten about Jack.
    The other from the two, was Ox….ha ha. My poor boy is not blinkered and Arsenal bias is he in any way?

  42. evonne says:

    GiE @ 7:28 – classic, cannot beat that πŸ™‚

    My mother phoned me yesterday and said ‘Did you forget what date it’s today??!!’ So I told her, of course I have not, 26th May, very important day in Gunners’ history. I was surprised at her tone of voice and why did she remember?

    Ooooops, she meant Mother’s Day in Poland. Yes, I forgot 😦

  43. Morning all

    A couple of great stories from yesterday – Illybongani thanks for sharing yours with us ………. hilarious πŸ™‚

    Micky – are you still about, I’m thinking of using your International Gooners post. I know you’ll be on the beach but hopefully there’ll be some interesting stories when you return. Is that ok?

  44. Agree about that blue England shirt – it looks awful, like a school uniform.

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Forgot about that one as well!!! Awful rushed post in my opinion. Trouble also is that International Gooners tend to read/comment during the working week, but if you have nothing else, fire away. As you rightly said, its going to be a tumbleweedy day.

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its an identity thing. We should be red or white and that’s it. Perhaps a combination of the two in say…an Arsenal strip way.

  47. New Post ……………..

  48. Gooner In Exile says:

    Maybe with the lack of Arsenal news we should just go for once every other day for a new post….eases the pressure….and hopefully maintains quality.

    There are probably 3/4 regular authors, another 6-7 irregular and then about 10 once in a blue moon authors.

    So that’s 20 authors. There are 5-6 weeks of downtime so let’s say if we had a post every other day we need about 21 posts. That’s one each from now until the new season…. we could do that surely? Memories, hopes, analysis and then the hair tearing out ones as the transfer window plays out. πŸ˜€

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