We Are The Arsenal

Arsenal Fans Are The Best!

We are The Arsenal, a club closely associated with classy attitudes, financial prudence and for famously decent, well behaved fans. Right?

Well, yes, in the modern era, that is essentially true, although for a relatively short time in the 1960s and 1970s we, as fans, along with the fans of nearly every other club, were swept up in the general social malaise and unrest of that era, which resulted in feral gangs who gloried in ‘unusual’ gang names and tried to terrorise the fans of other clubs.

But that was just a blip, would you not agree?

woolwich arsenal_1888_squad

Maybe, but were you also aware that the Woolwich Arsenal were the first English League club to have their collar felt, and have their ground closed for extreme naughtiness by their fans?

This happened in the late 19th Century for a period of 6 weeks in the 1894/95 season.

It happened as a result of the Arsenal fans taking it into their heads to thump a rubbish referee after a bad tempered, violent home game against Burton Wanderers.

They believed that the referee was an incompetent, cheating pillock, although some of us might not accept that that was really a sufficient excuse to beat up the fellow, because if this vigilante attitude extended into the current era we would be exhausted with all the rigorous physical exercise involved in administering corporal punishment to every miscreant official who officiated at the Emirates, but anyway, regardless of that, it was sufficient excuse for our naughty forebears to mete out their version of justice.

The original draconian sentence proposed, as a result of this kangaroo justice, was that the Arsenal ground would be closed for the rest of that season, but a short time later, cooler minds prevailed, no doubt with a little ‘nudge nudge’ skulduggery, and that sentence was reduced, after furtive negotiations with the FA, to a relatively minor 6 weeks suspension.

The FA having set a precedent, though, then proceeded to play fast and loose with their ‘justice’ system, and after another referee bashing incident, this time by the fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers, the following season, resulted in only a teensy weensy 2 week suspension.

Surely, this was a fore runner and a clear and early example of the rough and summary justice handed out to the mighty Arsenal. Five months reduced to 6 weeks, for us, but only two weeks for Wolves. Hissssss!!

Around the same time there were sporadic ‘engagements’ between Arsenal and Spuds fans, which became somewhat ritualised and led to a lot of bad blood, which even, astonishingly, led to an ex-Arsenal player, who had been transferred to the Spuds brutally punching out the lights of an innocent Gooner who was allegedly subjecting him to “foul and insulting language”! Ahh, diddums!!

It seems to have been the custom and the ‘right’ of disgruntled Arsenal fans to verbally abuse all and sundry, the referees; the away team; the away fans; the police and also their own Arsenal team, if they were deemed to have played poorly.

Of course the social and working demography of the time was very different from today, with the majority of the population working a sould destroying five and a half day week, so their precious ‘week end ‘ meant they wanted to let off steam, while also enjoying themselves, supporting their beloved club.

Part of that enjoyment was seen as their entitlement to dish it out, having paid their precious, hard earned entrance money, and yelling at and abusing anything and anyone at the ground was par for the course.

Home team players who were seen as playing rubbish, did not have to suffer the vitriol of the modern day internet, but because the fans had an intense sense of belonging to their local club and community, any player who let themselves down by missing a ‘tap in’ or letting in a soft goal, or left the club for another club, or in any other way screwed up, were subjected to extremely volatile and painfully humiliating abuse, on the premise that they were unforgivably also letting down their local club and community.


Yes, but perfectly understandable, and all the players understood and accepted this behaviour as a fact of life.

By contrast, the rather demure and civilized expressions of disappointment and betrayal aimed at Brave Sir Robin pales into insignificance by comparison.

Our forefathers were honest, hard working, decent men, but you messed with them at your peril.

It was from those modest origins that the classy, decent, special way our club is currently perceived came about.

Long may it last.

Up The Arse!

Written by Red Arse


131 Responses to We Are The Arsenal

  1. Mayor of the Woolwich says:

    I just loved the club more…not minding whatever the scumbags say!

  2. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the great read RA, always good to read interesting stuff about Arsenal’s history.

    So the ref’s haven’t forgiven this event and we’ve been screwed by it ever since!

    I love this club!

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Brilliantly entertaining piece. Doff, doff and bow. Thank you.
    Given that the Arsenal “feral gang” were known as “Gooners”, may I suggest you were being a tad bias when you refer to the “innocent Gooner” 🙂

  4. Mayor of the Woolwich says:

    Micky, the ‘gooners’ sounds so civilized… A planet away from an alias like ‘the spuds’ or ‘the y***’

  5. Bryan says:

    I enjoyed reading that & must admit, many a time wanting to thump a crappy referee 😉
    Also went back & read yesterdays comments from after I went offline & found your doggy story was incredibly touching as I lost mine 6 months ago & have started thinking about getting another.

    We all love our club, I’m just not so happy about how it is run

  6. Manthan says:

    The are Arsenal we ado all the things by arsenal way


  7. dandan says:

    You have succeeded in making me feel young Red Arse well done. Given the alleged CL accusations should Daren Bent be playing for Liverpool 🙂

  8. Red Arse says:

    I apologise for not being around for a while this morning – needs must etc — but I learned something new about our history too, when I did a 10 minute google research for the article, the results of which quite surprised me, in truth.

    It is fascinating when you read back into the Gunners history how you can get a snapshot, in any given period, of the ‘mores’, the traditions and the struggles of society at large reflected in the lives of footballers and the fans.

    Not that I want to get into politics, as I am only a visitor, but it has struck me before now, that the story I told you above, was very much a working man’s attitude to his football, his club, his community and to his team, and what was expected of it.

    You will note the use of the possessive pronoun ‘his’ before ‘football – club – community – team’, because that is what it was, it was a sense of ‘ownership’ and of ‘belonging’.

    The credo of the times was that the fans were backing ‘their’ men; ‘their’ local team; part of them; to come good against the other clubs; the other communities, and with their support, to give a good account of themselves.

    Sadly, in the modern era, football, for many, is no longer a way of life, no longer part of an easily indentifiable community, and has become just another form of entertainment competing with many other forms of entertainment.

    With that has come the inevitable and incessant pressures on the club and the team to perform, to win, or in old parlance ‘to sing for their supper’, with the wrath of the ‘paying audience’ likely to swiftly follow any bum note.

    It has taken a long time for that to change, but we are now living in an era of ever more rapid change, with oligarchs, foreign owners, and footballers brought in from all over the world to play in a vastly more athletic and technically brilliant league, which has brought us the wonders and delight of Wengerball, laid on for us by superbly gifted players.

    The trade off has been the disenfranchisement of many traditional supporters, and the growing gap between the wants and needs of today’s worldwide Arsenal fans, and the business ethos of the current day club owners trying to compete against people and states with obscene amounts of money to ‘invest’ in their playthings.

    Get used to it guys – change will happen even faster over the coming years.


    Lovely stuff Redders

    Didnt know about that Ref kicking. if you consider that it was at the time when we played in Millwall country and that original gooners were from south east london it kind of makes sense that the odd beating was dished out. Though ime sure the bent ref deserved it. hahaha.

    Its amazing how our support has changed. I first noticed it in the eighties when we would have a sprinkling of scandanavian support in the ground.

    Since the sky revoloution we have been invaded by tourists, the middle classes, and most horribly of all…. women. hahaha

    I guess its not all bad. Gives me something to look at if the games crap. hahaha

  10. Red Arse says:

    You are a wicked man, TerryM!! 🙂

  11. Rasp says:

    Terrific entertaining post Redders.

    It seems we can take pride in being the bad guys as well as the good guys 😕

    One interesting point is that you highlight the vitriol directed at our own players by Arsenal supporters unhappy at their performance long before the modern era.

    I have long suspected that the concept of today’s fans being more vocal in their criticism is a fallacy – they simply have more avenues through which to channel their feelings.

  12. GunnerN5 says:


    Great piece of nostalgia – made me think back to the crowds of the 40’s and 50’s and reflect on how things were and how they’ve changed.

    I started off supporting with the hob nail boots supporters in the 40’s
    and your comments are right on the money.

    It has to be remembered that “back in the day” our main sources of entertainment were the pubs, some radio (usually poor quality) the odd social club and the (very expensive) theatre…………….

    Then there was football and believe me it really was considered more than a game, it was a way of life as we had so little else to attract and maintain our attention.Our only source of feedback was the 5:00 o’clock news on BBC radio where we would get the results for the day and then of course the Sunday morning papers, we had three delivered, and we would devour the game reports.

    Those were the days my friend – those were the days.

    Then of course we have the “modern” supporters – seems that I should write an article of the evolution of fans.

  13. GunnerN5 says:


    The difference was that the early fans truely felt ownership whereas today’s fans appear to feel entitlement.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal.com have updated the site layout. It will take some time to get used to it but my first impressions are positive.

  15. GoonerB says:

    That was an excellent well written piece Redders. The only thing I will say is that I don’t feel particularly demure and civilised when I think about Van-Persies betrayal, but I have to hold myself in check for fear of becoming a ranting angry lunatic. Busy day today so I will catch up with you all later.

  16. Red Arse says:


    Now that would be a fantastic Post! The evolution of Arsenal fandom! 🙂

    I may sound a bit morbid, but I know you will understand what I mean, but when guys like you, Dandan, and others of your generation have gone to the great football game in the sky, I wonder if anyone will have recorded your knowledge and the experiences, such as you mentioned above.

    I saw a film or documentary once (not about Arsenal) but it showed a man sitting with a pencil and a newspaper, shushing the family, while he listened to the results on the radio, and writing them down on the newspaper. Strange scenario, for me to see all those years later, but it seemed to be a family ritual, as I recall.

    You guys should set your stuff down for future generations to read, because the history I mentioned above, was gleaned from public records, and such like, and did not really carry the individual voices of the fan/man in the street, of that time. Pity!

  17. Red Arse says:

    Thanks, Rasp, but you have a point regarding the nature of fans’ ire.

    The difference, as GN5 has said, is that back in the day, it was to do with fans feeling their ‘representatives’ had let them and their community down.

    Nowadays, it is more about dissatisfaction in not being the ‘top dog’. 🙂

    Whatever the cause, you are right, the nature of fans has not changed, in that there is great deal of loyalty, balanced by great deal of anger in either era, though the root causes may well have been different. 🙂

  18. GunnerN5 says:


    My Dad was one of those people with the sharpend pencil sitiing by the crackling radio telling us kids to be quiet. He was writing them down so that he could check them out to see if he had the right entries on his Littlewoods Football Pools.

  19. GunnerN5 says:


    It may be even more basic, it used to be the fans were vocal because they felt is was their “right” – today it seems to be for “bragging rights”

  20. Red Arse says:


    I did not realise that was the point of recoding the scores.

    I have heard of the pools, which I suppose was a form of lottery, but I suppose they don’t still exist, do they?

    The odds of winning the lottery (when it started) were reckoned to be about 14 million to one, [fat chance] but I wonder what the odds of winning the pools lottery were? [another fat chance, probably]. 😀

  21. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5 and Redders, I agree it is the sense of ownership that has been lost and that is not the fault of the fans but an inevitable consequence of modern sports business. I used to hate this phrase when I was younger but “it was so much more fun in those days”

  22. Afternoon all and a very interesting post Redders, i like these sort of backwards looking posts, I remember writing one like that a while back, as I lived in south east London(Plumstead Common) for a while and I went past historical AFC landmarks for AFC(Dial Square FC).on a daily basis.

  23. GunnerN5 says:


    Winning the “Pools” was every man’s dream, if you were to forecast 8 draws and there were only eight draws on the day then you would win a small fortune.

    My Dad would spend hours each week studying the teams form before he made his bet, it gave him a great deal of enjoyment – to his dying day.

    He passed away on February 17, 2003 aged 83 – two days after we beat Man U in the FA Cup at Old Trafford, we spent 2 hours on the phone that day – he died a happy man – even though he never won the pools.

  24. RockyLives says:

    Yay! Another first for Arsenal.

    Along with first stadium to have floodlights; first ever game broadcast live on radio; first live game on TV etc etc etc we now also have – first to have our ground closed because of violent behaviour 😀

    We are a club steeped in history.

    Incidentally, I believe the referee in that 1894/5 season was one Ebeneezer Dowd, great grandfather of a certain referee still plying his dodgy trade in the game today.

    Top, top read Redders – thankyou 🙂

  25. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Very enjoyable read. Where did you source your post?

    GN5. Football Pools. Thanks for another memory. I recall sitting with my father filling them in and feeling so honoured to be asked about potential draws. Then i later years doing them myself.

    Do they still exist?

  26. RockyLives says:

    Regarding your 1.02
    Their memories are being recorded – right here in blogs like Arsenal Arsenal.
    Rasp, Peaches and the other founders, in setting up this site for us to play on and while away the hours, have also helped to create an archive of footballing memory, anecdote and wisdom.

    That Saturday ritual of Dad taking down the scores before checking his pools coupon is ingrained into my memory. I think he won 500 quid one time (a lot of money back then) but I was very young at the time so it might have been 50 quid. Sadly he’s long since gone, so I can’t ask him…

    We also had blokes who would come to the door to collect the pools coupons and the money. I always wondered whether they just pocketed it in the assumption that no-one would ever win.

    The two pools companies I remember from my childhood were Zetters and Littlewoods.

  27. Weren’t the Littlewood’s people/family the one’s who funded the ‘dippers dominance in the 70’s and 80’s ?

    BTW nice to see Alex McLeast has got sacked after barely getting his feet under the table at Notts Forest. McLeast is he of the “Get in their faces early” pep talk to Martin Taylor that fateful afternoon he got poleaxed and we lost the momentum in our league title push.

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer Sweaty.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    Thank you for your kind comment.
    As usual you are being far too generous, as my response to Raddy shortly will explain.

    (I don’t mean Raddy is a shorty) 🙂

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Stories, stories, stories.

    Dad loved his bet and would bet on most things. Even before betting shops became legal I would run his bets down to the bookie, who parked his van around the back of a local shop.

    One particular Saturday Dad placed a bet on a 5 horse win accumulator. That afternoon he and Mum went shopping, well Mum shopped while Dad spent the afternoon watching 4 of his horses win. They rushed home so that Dad could watch the last horse race on TV at 5:45 pm (I think it was at Kempton Park) his horse was called Mr. Wilson and it was a 100 to 8 outsider.
    Mr. Wilson shot out of the gate and Dad fell to his knees saying “FFS don’t fall over – well it didn’t and won the race – Dad shot off to the betting shop.

    We were all waiting in anticipation when 2 hours later he returned, he had a stern look on his face and stood in the middle of the living room not uttering a word, then he started to pull wads of 20 pound notes from his pockets and toss them in the air.

    He had won 27,500 pounds and took it all in cash as he trusted no one.

    Mum and Dad bought their first house from the winnings.,

  30. VCC says:

    GN5 + Rocky.

    Memories memories. I remember the Zetters Vernons and Littlewoods pools so well. My Mum n Dad used to do them religiously every Saturday.

    The sheets would be picked up by agents before every Saturday.

    My Mum used to have a line with set numbers (same every week) My Dad used to study form.

    Alas, both never won a penny. Although I remember one week my Mum thought she had the jackpot up. She had eight draws alright, but she had misread her lines, she used to do a thing that allowed you to cross perm 4 x 4 (memory fades me just how it worked)

    Bless her she rang all the family and told them, everyone got extremely excited at the prospect of getting eight draws in a line.

    I remember she asked me what I wanted and I said an air rifle.

    Cor that must be approx. 55 years ago now. Those were the days. Happy times.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Chary — you were close but John Moore, of Littlewoods, would not be happy with your suggestion as Everton were their team and John was an Everton director.

  32. VCC says:

    GN5…That’s a great story about your Dad winning that sort of money.

    I can remember if we had to go shopping on a Saturday, probably either Romford or East Ham, we had to try and get back for the football results to check the pools coupons.

  33. RockyLives says:

    Vernons! I’d forgotten about them.

    Great story about your Dad.
    My Dad also loved the gee-gees. His Saturday ritual was – early lunchtime snooker upstairs at the Working Men’s Club – then down to the bar and TV at the club to see whether his weekly Yankee (11 bets) would come in.
    He also used to run bets on the quiet for our local parish priest, who was a horse racing nut. He (Father Charles) was gutted when he was told he was going to be transferred out of our South London parish. Then a week later he learned where his new parish would be: Newmarket.

    As he said to my Dad at the time: “You see – there MUST be a God!”

  34. VCC says:

    Redders……that was a fine article, down memory lane. Thank you.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Hiya, Randy, 🙂

    In answer to your question about sourcing for the article.

    I cannot specifically attribute credit to any one particular source, because it is a pot pourri of info I obtained by speed reading via Google.

    As I said earlier, I allotted myself approximately 10 minutes to find a suitable subject for a Post, having answered Peaches’s call to arms — and as I had also teased the Rasper.

    My instinctive thought was to compare and contrast the current turmoil and dissatisfaction of many of today’s fans with the way in which fans behaved in the past, and any variations in the causes for such upsets.

    With the above in mind, I googled “Arsenal History” and ploughed into Wiki. I then jumped about and somewhere saw a reference to the AIS, and looked them up on Google too.

    I believe in compartmentalizing my time, so when the allotted 10 minutes time was up for speed reading, I gave myself a break of 30 minutes to have my supper, digest my food and also try and digest what I had absorbed on Google. 😀

    It took me 5 or 6 minutes to type out my thoughts, and about 2 minutes to edit my work, before emailing the result to the governors.

    Now you can see why I am a little embarrassed to receive kind comments for my essay, when the whole thing takes only about 20 minutes or so all told.

    Now you know my darkest secret!!

    Bit like exams really. I take in the data, put my own stamp on it and present it as best I can.

    Never an original thought – as I have often said! 😦
    (Well I wasn’t around in the 19th Century!!) 😀

  36. Red Arse says:

    That is fantastic GN5!! You will turn me into a gambler yet. 😀

    Do you know I have never bet on anything in my life – well except in Vegas — but that does not count! 🙂

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    RA: I only bet on the lotteries and dart games when I’m playing.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Geeze RA it takes me 20 minutes to write a comment let alone an article.

  39. RockyLives says:

    Never mind red arse – should be more like red fingers. I’m surprised there wasn’t smoke coming off your keyboard Redders 🙂

  40. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, (from earlier).

    I think we are singing from the same hymn sheet.

    I was simply encouraging GN5 to follow up on his own idea to write a Post on the ‘evolution of Arsenal fandom’ (or whatever strap he would prefer) 😛

    Once committed to the Internet via AA his thoughts and memories will circulate in the aether for all time, and his experiences will never be lost! 🙂

  41. Red Arse says:

    I taught myself to touch type, but I am far too slow for my own thought patterns, and become too impatient.

    Typing ‘wrongly’ with two fingers from each paw, means that I am banging the words down almost as if I was dictating to myself.

    Not pretty!! 🙂

    Before I write a Post, I am very clear what I intend to write, in this instance I allowed myself half an hour to compose my thoughts while I ate supper.

    However, when I write a comment, it is usually when I am responding to someone else, or spontaneously deciding to tease Rasp or Rocky, and that can be more tricky, because if I have misunderstood the original comment, or my humour is off, that can cause problems — except among friends. 😛

    I am told I do everything quickly — but don’t believe it — my girlfriend is lying!!

  42. dandan says:

    Great stuff GN5 my dad was a pools man, it shows how the world has changed winning the pools meant a top jackpot of 75k and that we believed would set us up for life. Try living on that now. I
    had an office in the John Moores building in Liverpool he was the owner of Littlewoods pools and of course the football club.

  43. dandan says:

    It takes me so long to type a comment that there have often been 14 other comments by the time I post and you lot have moved on to pastures new 🙂


    hahaha, nice story GN5. My old man was part of a pools syndicate back in the seventies and on one occasion they won 9k each, a lot of money in those days.

    What made it funny for me was that one particular bloke pulled out the week before. ive never seen a man more gutted. His hair turned grey overnight and he went from been a happy go lucky type to the kind of bloke who chased kids down the road for daring to walk past his house.

    I saw him a couple of years ago and he was as miserable as sin. To compound my delight he mentioned his misfortune and that just cracked me up.

    He then proceeded to chase me down the street. hahaha

  45. VCC says:

    Terry , your lucks never in, you always get chased down the road by blokes. 🙂

  46. RockyLives says:

    I think Terry’s life is like one long Benny Hill sketch 🙂

  47. Ah right N5, my memory failing me as usual – nowadays you have to be an Oil Shiekh/oligarch to buy the league.

  48. Red Arse says:

    Benny Hill was gay too?


    Ok, i exagarated a bit. He tried to chase me down the road but coz of a dodgy Ticker pulled up after a few yards.

    Apparently aquired when he heard the pools had come in. hahaha

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Great stories about the Pools.

    Funny how a word can trigger childhood memories long forgotten, which is why we need the older generation like Kelsey and GN5.

    RA. I thought my less-than-90 mins for a post was fast- you are the Usain Bolt of post writing!

  51. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Memories about the pools.
    My mates dad won 35k on the pools in the 70s,they lived in a rough council estate in a council house.

    Two weeks past buy and they moved out and bought a new 3 bedroom house in a posh part of the city.
    With the winnings

  52. Red Arse says:


    The difference is that you, Rocky, Total Arsenal (both on here and on BK), and all the many other great authors on AA, regularly write many, many Posts which are classy, well rounded and look as if a lot of thought and care have gone into them — and my scant offerings don’t! 😀

    And no, that is not false modesty.

    I went to some lengths to explain how I go about things, just to give you some idea of why mine look rubbish! 😳

    I only write, very occasionally, when Rasper and Peaches make an appeal, simply out of a sense of duty, because I get such a lot out of reading the Posts and comments on AA.

    [I promise not to mention this again!] 🙂

  53. Shard says:

    All this talk of bookies seems to tie in nicely with the allegations and investigations into match fixing..

    Sorry to jolt all of you back to today. I actually waited for a good half hour or so after reading the post and the comments because I was enjoying the look back, and I didn’t want to interrupt that.

    I’ve been away because I’ve been unwell 2 days, and then I stayed away a further day because I had missed the Superbowl, and was afraid one of the comments would give away the result 🙂 Well, I’m lucky to get back on a day when RA has treated us to another example of him redefining speed post 🙂

  54. Red Arse says:


    I am not sure I am speaking to you!!

    It has just come to my attention that it was Welshmen who bumped off poor old Richard 111 at the behest of Henry and Jasper Tudor. (the name Sir Jasper was a bit of a giveaway). 🙂

    It appears that he was, after all, an Arsenal type of fellow, brave and fearless, who had his story posthumous written by a bunch of Tudor Spuds so that everyone believed he dived at the battle of Bosworth Field. Tsk!!

    What have you got to say for yourself??

  55. Red Arse says:

    Hi Shard, 🙂

    I was worried that you may have been trodden on, in your guise as a beetle! 😀

    I’m glad you were only ill. Well, not glad you were ill — but glad my beetle allegations had not given you a fit of the vapours! 🙂

    I made special arrangements to wake up to watch the Superbowl, having looked forward to it all day, only to wake up to see the result.

    Damn!! 😦

  56. RockyLives says:

    NFL is not really my thing, but even I thought the Superbowl was a good game.

    I was hoping for a Ravens win for no particular reason other than I quite like birds of the corvus family.

  57. 20/20Vision says:

    I thought Chelski V Barca last season needed a stewards enquiry myself. The FA (feckarsenal) have cleared England player Michael Owen after clearly committing a red card punch on Artetta as “the ref saw it”, didn’t the ref see Kompany’s reckless stud up lunge at Wilshere? just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you! (as they say)

  58. Shard says:


    There was no danger of me being squished since I was staying away from fair haired, 13 stone, Americans. Instead, I contracted a stomach bug, leading me to the realisation that bugs can be deadly too, so I have decided to not give into your threats and continue my name calling towards you, you blue eyed, fair haired Yankee giant 😀

    Your experience of the Superbowl is something which has happened to me every year since I’ve decided to try and watch the whole spectacle. I never manage to wake up on time (usually around 4 am here) and end up finding out the result before I have an opportunity to watch it. I’m not a huge fan of American football, but I did enjoy watching the Superbowl today, and I think I am starting to understand why Americans seem to like ‘football’ so much. I still prefer sports like Football (Soccer), Rugby, and Basketball. Which reminds me.. When is the NBA All Star Weekend?

  59. Red Arse says:


    The NBA, week end starts on Friday 15th February.

    I do not like NBA – not my scene.

    You have been very flattering to me saying I am a slim 13 stone, sadly you would need to add another 5 stone to that!! 🙂

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Shard 🙂

    I recorded the Superbowl and sat down to watch it after breakfast. 2 hours in and the lights went out – I had scheduled the recording and the bloody thing stopped with 10 mins of the last quarter remaining thanks to the 35 minute delay. I was spitting feathers!

    Had to go on the BBC and find out the final score!

  61. Red Arse says:

    I just popped out for 20 minutes, and it was snowing again!!

  62. Shard says:


    Wow. That must have been so annoying. The lights going out nearly cost the Ravens the game too since it seemed to rob them of the momentum they had. I’m sure they’d have been infinitely more annoyed than you if they had missed out at the end. But they deservedly won, even though I was cheering on the 49ers (no particular reason)

  63. Shard says:


    Are you unenthusiastic about basketball in general, or just the NBA? If the latter, then why so?

    As for the missing 5 stone, you could blame it on my memory and me not used to thinking of weight in those units, or it could be your weight after the mysterious stomach bug (also known as Delhi Belly) gets done with you..Muhuhuahahahaha

  64. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    3 sports I can’t watch
    No3 rugby
    No2 cricket
    No1 show jumping
    Much love

  65. RockyLives says:

    Three I can’t watch:
    No 3 – Formula 1
    No 2 – Figure Skating
    No 1 – Tennis

  66. RockyLives says:

    Obscure(-ish) sports I like watching:
    No 3 – Whitewater Canoeing
    No 2 – Ski Racing
    No 1 – Lacrosse

  67. RockyLives says:

    Favourite sports to watch:

    No 5 – Boxing
    No 4 – Basketball
    No 3 – Cricket
    No 2 – Rugger
    No 1 – Footy

  68. RockyLives says:

    Well, I’m enjoying nattering to myself, so I’ll carry on…

    Top five sporting events I would like to attend:

    No 5 – Undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing match (Brit winner)
    No 4 – Winter Olympics
    No 3 – Rugby World Cup Final (Ireland or England win)
    No 2 – World Cup Final (England win)
    No 1 – Champions League Final (Arsenal win)

  69. RockyLives says:

    Top five sporting events in history I wish I could have been at (I’m only allowing one Arsenal one or they would all be Arsenal).

    No 5 – England World Cup win 1966
    No 4 – 1981 Ashes series (especially the 3rd Test at Headingly)
    No 3 – Rugby World Cup Final, Sydney, 2003
    No 2 – Rumble in the Jungle (Ali v Foreman)
    No 1 – Anfield, 26th May 1989

  70. RockyLives says:

    OK, I’ve even bored meself now.


  71. Merseforever says:

    Great reading the comments from some of the older Gooners on here.

    Tomorrow Ashley Cole wins his 100th England cap. I intensely dislike the man, but can never fully hate him as he was one of my favourite players while he was with us, was an Academy boy and he loved Rocky. I’ve never paid much attention to the tabloid assinations of his character as I have an intense dislike for the paparazzi, but my dislike stems from how he’s disrespected Arsenal supporters since he left (on Twitter etc). That aside, he’s a fantastic player. I think at Chelsea, his defending improved and his attacking slightly regressed, but at the end of the day a defenders job is to defend. He is annoyingly, a big game player too. FA cup final 2005 anyone? He took a penalty that day too.

    What are people’s thoughts on him. Has he been justified in his move, the stuff he said regarding too many arrogant young players around the club in 2005-2006. At the time were you sorry to see him go, or did you think we got the better end of the deal with Gallas? A local paper in Islington yesterday or day before says regardless of the circumstances of his exit, Arsenal and its supporters should be proud of the achievement.

  72. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    My five fav sports
    No5 tennis
    No4 golf
    No3 F1
    No2 boxing
    No1 football

  73. Gooner in Exile says:

    RA Truly superb post sir, well done, such a refreshing change to have a little trip down memory lane, something that used to happen far more frequently on here…..and your post serves a reminder to me and others that the topic of the day does not have to be current an pro/con the current setup.

    Do i like the idea of bopping ref’s on the head for poor displays, damn right i do, i think i’d score quite a few points on one of those bash the crocodile machines if the crocs were replaced by ref’s like Webb, Dowd, Dean, Atkinson, Mason and of course Darren “Bloody” Deadman

  74. goonerjake says:

    New laptop, making sure my username is saved

  75. RockyLives says:

    I just think he’s an idiot – low on intellect and low on morals.

    But he’s been the best left back in the world for about 10 years and I which we’d never lost him.

    Then he’d be our idiot, and I’d love him 🙂

  76. 26may1989 says:

    Nice, quirky post Mr Arse, thank you.

    The Pools still exists. I think the Pools Panel still has Gordon Banks and Roger Hunt on it.

    My Mum did the Pools and had a couple of four-figure wins. She knew absolutely zip about football, which probably helped.

  77. 26may1989 says:

    Re Cashley, Merse is absolutely right about his talents, though I’m not sure about best in the world (Philipp Lahm, Jordi Alba and Marcelo would all be good shouts). And I would absolutely agree that the Chavs got much the better of the swap with Gallas.

    But the way he behaved with the not-so-secret meeting with Kenyon and Mourinho and then his departure extinguished any hope of my thinking well of him. The ludicrous, tabloid-fuelled behaviour after that was just the icing on the cake. He may have mellowed now but he’s shown himself to be an odious little nerk.

    Mourinho was a poor coach for him, but since the Special One left, Cashley has found real equilibrium in his game, and now seems to be the best of his time at Arsenal and Chelsea. I still hate him, mind.

  78. RockyLives says:

    “odious little nerk” 🙂

    I love the word “nerk” – straight from the mouth of Norman Stanley Fletcher…

  79. Gooner In Exile says:

    Lol at GoonerJake…..get your priorities right:

    Install MS Word … can wait
    Install excel …. wait
    Set up email ….. wait
    Set Up Internet …. First
    Embed AA username …… Second


  80. 26may1989 says:

    I like Rocky’s mental doodles – my top five sporting events I would like to see:

    5. Tour de France, being won by another Briton
    4. The Montreal Candiens beating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in the series to win the Stanley Cup
    3. Buenos Aires Superderby, Boca Juniors vs River Plate
    2. Boxing Day Test Match, MCG, Melbourne
    1. Arsenal 5 Real Madrid 2, Champions’ League Final 2013 at Wembley

  81. 26may1989 says:

    Norman Stanley Fletcher, the greatest Spurs fan that ever existed (or rather, didn’t exist).

  82. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Back to the pools chat

    Many years ago a man knocked my door in a posh suit.
    He said I’m from little woods ,I said as a small boy has mother won the pools

    No he said son we have caught your mother shoplifting

    Much love

  83. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Have to agree about the historical sporting events but I would have to make the list longer …. Your Top 5 plus

    Barry Mcguigan beating Pedroza at Loftus Rd (or Taylor in Belfast)
    Mo Farah’s 5000 m in fact just to be there for the whole Saturday
    2012 Last day of the Ryder Cup
    Arsenal 5 Spuds 2 …. either game. Probably the first because they were coasting and then ….. BOOM

  84. Merseforever says:

    All non Arsenal- because my real list is all Arsenal.

    5. Michael Jordan’s game winner in game 6 of the NBA finals 1998
    4. 2005 Ashes, Lords test final day.
    3.Olympics super saturday
    2. Ingerlund winning the world cup in 1966
    1. Arsenal win the title at WHL 1971 (couldn’t resist)

    Wish I had been at WHL in 1971. Always had to listen to spurs mates (or rather their older brothers and dads) chat about how they ‘took’ the North Bank repeatedly through the late 70’s and early 80’s but I’ve seen the pictures of that day in 1971. That day, it was full of Gooners. Anyone on here there that day? And did you give any stick to Tottnumb supporters you knew about us totally and utterly taking over their gaff.

  85. Gooner In Exile says:

    Historical wished i was there

    5. Steve Redgrave, Sydney Olympics
    4. 1971 FA Cup Final
    3. Highbury last game v Wigan
    2. Rugby World Cup Final … Wilkinson’s drop kick
    1. 26 May 1989 Anfield

  86. oz gunner says:

    Rocky I like it!

    Top 5 sports:

    5. Maybe Crossift tournaments…if that counts
    4. Top 3 are that good I couldn’t care less about the rest

    3. Mixed Martial Arts
    2. Arsenal
    1. Aussie Rules

    Top 5 I’d like to see
    5. Aussie winning Tour/Aussies dominating cricket again
    4. BSR in a gladiator event with Lions and Chariots
    3. Aussie Rules team winning the flag
    2. Arsenal win the league at Tots/Manure
    1. Arsenal win Champions League

    5 Worst:

    1-5: Olympics!

  87. 26may1989 says:

    Still can’t believe I wasn’t at Anfield that night……

    But sorry, Exile, I was there for the last game at Highbury – a sad but lovely day.

    My fave “I was there” Arsenal games:

    5. Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1, 1987 League Cup Final – the end of the years of purgatory, and to cap it all Charlie Nicholas ended Ian Rush’s annoying record of never losing when he scored

    4. Arsenal 3 Manchester United 1 – May 1991, Arsenal fans arrive at Highbury as champions and win in luxury with a Smudger hattrick to polish it off. I still remember getting the W7 bus towards Finsbury Park with a feeling of euphoria, having seen Liverpool lose already and hand us the title

    3. Barca 2 Arsenal 1, Stade de France, Paris – oh so close……

    2. Chelsea 2 Arsenal 3 – Kanu’s 15-minute hattrick, and I was behind him when he curled in the winner into the top corner from the tightest of angles

    1. Arsenal 4 Everton 0 – Tony Adams scores a volley and lifts the title in 1998

    There are others, from the few decent performances I saw in the early 80s (esp wins at WHL) to the magic of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Vieira. Nostalgia is fun……

  88. 26may1989 says:

    Oz, what about that Aussie guy winning the gold in the Winter Olympics speed skating when all the others ahead of him wiped each other out?? That was excellent!

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ahhh I was there moments:

    That 3-1 vs Man Utd was good, one of the few times the old ground was All Ticket in terrace days.

    Also last game standing on the North Bank was pretty special. I don’t remember much about the game except Wrighty bagged a hatrick and we beat Southampton, another all ticket affair which i bunked off school and got the train/tube to Arsenal to ensure me and Dad got tickets.

    As terrible finals as they were I was there for all the cup finals in 93, Linighans winner lives long in the memory. http://youtu.be/iKfh_-VdD24

    Non Arsenal I haven’t got many biggies….

  90. Joe says:

    Being an Irish Arsenal fan born in north London who always reads this blog. The biggest Arsenal match I attended was the 2005 FA semi final match loved it.
    But the biggest sporting event was woman’s boxing final at 2012 Olympics watch Katie Taylor winning her gold medal and the party after it.

  91. Gooner In Exile says:

    I thought I was lucky just being at the Olympics Joe, to see an event like that must have been amazing. I can remember the noise created when I was listening on the radio, the commentators gave up and let the fans speak for themselves, and that was just the entrance!

    If I could capture the way I felt during the Olympics and bottle it i’d make a fortune.

    Went to two events…Tae Kwan Do at Excel and Football at Coventry.

    The rest of the time I was listening to FiveLive or watching BBC, it was extraordinary, there were some moments like the kayak whitewater Gold when I was sitting in traffic and several motorists were fist pumping and smiling at each other.

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    But I should add the best thing about the Summer Games was the crowds andatmosphere created for the Paralympics.

  93. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    That was good, perhaps the luckiest moment in Olympic history.
    Quite the fine tally of games you’ve chalked up there, very jealous. I hope every moment lingers in your mind forever

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Quick morning, then an away.
    Splendid comments during the day yesterday.
    Loved the Sheep inspired lists.
    1. Wiff Waff
    2. Ping Pond
    3. Table Tennis

    For which category I have no idea, certainly not watching.
    And finally, can I big up Amateur Sports.
    Hate the modern era 🙂


  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ping Pond?

  96. Red Arse says:


    Ping Pond: immerse your butt in the bond, fart at will, the best bubbles win!

  97. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ping Pond = Frog Internet

  98. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I see the lists were a hit .
    Micky wats wife waff

  99. Red Arse says:

    Don’t be silly Sheep. it’s Wiff Wife.

  100. Red Arse says:

    My favourite sporting pastimes;

    Wiggle shifting.
    Eskimo kissing – note first catch your eskimo.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    I was at the ’71 FA Cup Final and locked out of WHL. Kelsey had a seat …. lucky so & so.

    Most painful game attended?

    Paris …. Nayim
    Spurs Wembley FAC SF
    Home to Chelsea CL SF at Highbury
    MU FAC SF. Giggs.
    Luton League Cup Final
    Swindon League Cup Final
    Wimbledon Home the week before 26/5/89

    There have been other defeats like Liverpool FAC Final at Cardiff and countless others but the ones above scarred me permanently 🙂

  102. Red Arse says:

    For the Shard:

    18 stone = 252lb = 114 kilos

    18 stone does not sound as big!! 😀

  103. Big Raddy says:

    My favourite sports to play were/are

    1. Football
    2. Cycling
    3. Tenpin Bowling
    4. Cricket
    5. Pocket Billiards

  104. Red Arse says:

    Morning Raddy, 🙂

    Both fantastic occasions to attend, and horrific results to endure!

    Historic moments for a man to say “I was there!”, but you have my commiserations. 😦

  105. Red Arse says:

    Ahh, Raddy, pocket billiards, ranks right up there with the ‘pick and flick’ championships.

  106. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    5 people I dislike for various reasons

    5 cliff Richard
    4 Russell grant
    3 Alex ferguson
    2 lance Armstrong
    1 sheep dogs

  107. LB says:


    Dandan wrote a superb post describing his experiences on that wonderful evening in 71 when we beat spuds to win the league. I am sure Peaches or Rasp could post the link, it is well worth a read.

  108. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Right I’m off to the Jail/Prison today,have a good day and be nice to each other.
    Catch u all about 5pm when I get let out.
    Big game here tonight in Swansea don’t laugh Wales v Austria,I’m not going I will watch England v Brazil.

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger™

  109. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Your lists?

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Sheep. HAGD

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What’s Wiff Waff?!!!??

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

  113. oz gunner says:

    @ Big Radical

    A 10 pin bowling man. Good sport to play. I flew across Oz to rep my state in the under 18’s when i was 10 (started it at age 4). Although vs a viking would be tough as you’d probably shatter the pins with your ball and raw incessantly! 🙂

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, sorry

  115. Red Arse says:

    That’s fine Micky, thank you.

    What Sheeper actually wanted to know is “what is Wife Waff”, so stop prevaricating! 🙂

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Micky…. 😀

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Who needs a Duck when you want a video, eh Raddy?

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is Ox in the squad/team tonight?

  119. Morning all – yes Mdi89 – Oxo is in the squad for tonight.

  120. Red Arse says:

    I think Daffy Duck said he was moving nests or some such and he did not have an internet connection.

  121. Morning all

    New Post ………………..

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