An Uplifting Tale from the 1992-93 Double Cup Winning Season

Another story from that important (to me) Double Cup winning season (and apologies to those  AAers who’ve heard it before).

At this point in my professional career I was still teaching Physical Education and had designed a new GCSE course to satisfy the young sportsmen and women in my comprehensive school entitled Sports Science. It had both a theoretical and practical structure.

The largish group of 26 were an enthusiastic and talented group who were a pleasure to teach and we had great fun for the two year course. At the end of the very last practical exam (assessed by external examiners), the kids asked me to stay behind in the Sportshall for a few minutes. To my astonishment, one of the smallest and most roguish boys pulled out a gift for me to say thank you for my efforts.

He explained he was doing a weekend job, to make some money, at the Adidas factory in London responsible for producing Arsenal’s match shirts. Although copies of the FA Cup shirt were made available to supporters to buy that season, the League Cup shirt was restricted to 11 plus sub, all printed at the factory he was working at.

Only it wasn’t! Knowing I was an Arsenal nut, this young man persuaded his boss to print a 13th shirt and here it was presented to me.

Unbelievable! Made me very proud and in fact weep briefly. I will never regret 23 years teaching kids.

Written by LBG

21 Responses to An Uplifting Tale from the 1992-93 Double Cup Winning Season

  1. Thank you LBG, what a brilliant story and how lucky are you 🙂

  2. Rasp says:

    Great story, thank you LBG. It’s reaffirming to be appreciated, the negatives from people far outweigh the positives on any given day, but it just takes one gesture such as that to restore your faith.

    It must be the rarest Arsenal shirt in private ownership. Had you considered sharing your story with the club … or are you wary they may demand it back!

  3. Pete the Thirst says:

    Great story LBG. Merson had played a blinder that day and then Big Tone broke Morrow’s arm in the celebrations. Very Arsenal.

    I remember a long party outside the Gunners on Blackstock Road when we got back from that dump Wembley.

    I would keep that one from the Club. Their behaviour with merchandise in recent times has been downright Nazi-like.

  4. RockyLives says:

    Great story LBG.

    On the theme of “my Arsenal shirt story” here’s mine (although my shirt is nothing like as unique as yours).

    In the summer of 1995 I was working as a producer at London Weekend Television. We were doing a special about a hospital and its patients. One of the patients we featured was a severely handicapped lad of about 10 years old who was a massive Gooner.

    As part of the filming we arranged a secret (for him) trip to watch Arsenal train. In those days (before London Colney) we were training at the University College London facilities at Shenley.

    We pitched up on the day with our film crew and the lad. Needless to say he was over the moon. We got to watch some pre season training and the players were lovely to our young man (I remember Parlour, Big Tone, Wrighty and Dixon in particular taking time with him and Bruce Rioch was fantastic).

    Obviously I was in seventh heaven too and even my colleague Peter, a big Chelsea fan, was a bit star struck.

    As it happened there was a bit of a buzz around the place because Arsenal had recently made a big new signing… a certain blonde Dutchman.

    Watching Dennis train alongside everyone else was great, of course.

    At the end of the day the club’s PR people gave the disabled lad a shirt signed by all the team, plus lots of other goodies. They were also kind enough to say that they would get a shirt each for Peter and me, signed by the player of our choice.

    Well, at that time (as now, indeed), I didn’t follow foreign footy much outside of the World Cups and Euros, so although I knew Dennis was a huge name (and I’d been delighted when we signed him) I didn’t have any particular connection with him. On the other hand I loved, worshipped and adored Ian Wright.

    I asked for my shirt to be signed by Wrighty. Peter (a Chav, bear in mind, thought I was mad and should have opted for Bergkamp, which he duly did).

    The rest is history. Dennis went on to become (in my opinion) the best Arsenal player of my lifetime.

    So do I regret not getting a Dennis signed shirt?

    Not a bit of it. I had no way of knowing then how great he would turn out to be and, in any case, Ian Wright is not far behind him in the Arsenal legend stakes and was my idol at the time.

    I’ve lost touch with Peter, but I do sometimes think I should track him down and see if he still has the signed Dennis shirt (and see if he’ll flog it to me).

  5. RockyLives says:

    I had the shirt in my office for years, just in case anyone was in any doubt about where my loyalties lay 😀

  6. LBG says:

    Great story Rocky
    Certainly I’d be searching for your Chelski mate and taking a DB10 shirt off his hands asap.
    The power to support, especially disadvantaged young footie nuts, is in the hands of Clubs and players. It is heart warming to see and hear about players who use their priviledged position and put themselves out for these “causes”.

  7. LBG says:

    Rasp
    Just to answer your query. The boy who did the deal ( and he collected the £50 that his “printer” boss ask him for, to do the deed, from his fellow students. I only got this detail from him as he left the school, and thought did shirts cost £50 in 1992-3?….I think not) asked me specifically not to mention where I had got it from as he had been told the Club would not approve!!

  8. LBG says:

    Two interesting comments from very different sources yesterday. Wenger commenting on Gnabry and why he didnt make it at Arsenal and eventually returned to Germany – “despite having all the skills and potential, as a 16/17 year old he was (too often) looking for the easy route (in performance and training”. Dont know if this is directly quoted, but AW indicated he was missing something in desire.
    Good luck to the boy if maturity and Bayern found the key.
    And Huddersfield manager raving about Smith-Rowe. “This boy is Premier League quality already”.

  9. LBG says:

    Giroud ” At sixteen Gnabry was not mature enough,( to succeed at Arsenal).

  10. jjgsol says:

    Talking about Ian Wright, I listened to the Desert Island Disks with him and was extremely impressed.

    He is clearly a man with a heart, as opposed to modern players, who seem only interested in their bank accounts.

  11. LB says:

    Very nice shirt stories, thanks for the read.

  12. RockyLives says:

    jjgsol

    I think in Wrighty’s case he never lost his connection to “ordinary” people because, unlike most young players even in his day, he had a real life and real job before he got his big break.

    These days kids are hot housed in the clubs’ academies from a very young age and the ones who make it never have to dabble in the mundane business of turning up for a tough, dirty, nine-to-five job every day.

    That Desert Island Discs was a real tear jerker. If you haven’t googled the moment where he meets his old teacher you should take a look. Very moving.

  13. Pete the Thirst says:

    @Rocky hindsight is a wonderful thing, though you did alright with Wrighty.

    I saw Bergkamp play for Holland v Brazil in the USA ’94 world cup finals. He was fantastic on the day. It would have been a stretch of the imagination to see him at Arsenal 3 years later…but it happened…

    For me it’s a toss up between him & Henry for best Arsenal player I’ve seen play.

  14. RockyLives says:

    Pete

    It’s a close run thing between DB10 and TH14, but I shade it to Dennis.

    I also wonder whether Liam would be more in the reckoning if he had played more recently.

    Then there’s Paddy… Tony… Sol…

    In fairness, we’ve had some cracking players.

  15. Pete the Thirst says:

    @Rocky Brady is spoken about in God-like terms by fans that watched him play. Although that Arsenal side wasn’t half as good as the one Dennis played in.

    I saw Brady play for Arsenal when I was very young at Highbury then when he was playing for West Ham v Arsenal.

    He used to have a drink in the Bank of Friendship on Blackstock Road regularly a number of years ago (I think he knew the landlord). Spoke to him a few times. On one occasion he was very rude to a friend of mine. It was quite embarrassing and left a bad impression on a group of us. Haven’t held him in great esteem since.

    I got the impression he was purely a ‘face’ at Arsenal and did very little with the youth team. Wenger ran the whole show.

  16. RockyLives says:

    Pete
    It’s always a shame to hear stuff like that about our heroes.

    There’s no excuse for being rude but maybe he was having a bad day…

    He was a hell of a player.

  17. RA says:

    What wonderful stories and musings!!

    I don’t have any. 😩

  18. LBG says:

    Pete
    Some will know that a response from me was imminent!!
    My moniker is LBG, and most will know that it stands for LiamBradyGod…..and, for me, he was and is!
    I believe I am a little older than you, having watched my first games in 61-2. Admittedly, I was youthful, but saw in Chippy the best left foot wand I have seen in any player since,( and that includes such magicians as our own Mesut). Whether a forty yard cross field ball, or a defence splitting pass, or a delicate chip, he was a master at the passing skill.
    I am disappointed at your unpleasant experience with Liam, and presume, like all humans he has his off days. But I would choose to balance the books with two experiences of my family. My Brothers met him at a Club do and ask to to sign an old photograph of the conclusion to that famous goal against Totteringham, for me as his No1 fan! Not only did he sign it to me personally but talked with Chas and Ant about the goal and the other players in the photograph as well.
    On another occasion my son met him at a taxi queue in Loughborough where both were going to the University. My son for an interview, and Liam for a Conference. Matthew, my son, eventually plucked up courage and spoke to him, again mentioning me. Liam chatted away about football and why Matt was going to the University. He then invited Matt to share his taxi, paid for it and wished him good luck at interview.
    My rose tinted spectacles are firmly fixed, Pete, and I’m not finished!!
    I trained as a Physical Education teacher and, perhaps 10 years ago, at a reunion, met up with a girl I trained with. She was working in the education department of the Academy. Her day to day experience of Liam was expressed in terms of the great influence he had with the youth from the moment they played for the Club, both on and off the field. I believe Wenger was indebted to Liams knowledge and experience.

    Apologies for being strident and to AAers who have heard it all before. Like to think you and your colleagues were unlucky.

  19. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I’m trying to imagine whose shirt we’d need to snaffle to have even a hope of it fitting you.

    Big Sol maybe?

  20. Morning all

    Just writing the post ………….. back in a bit …………

  21. New Post …………..

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