Arsenal Programmes before Programs – written by gunnerN5

September 4, 2010

Written by gunnerN5

Being an old codger, I get fed up with idle speculation and “what if scenario’s” and I get a titch angry when I read derogatory comments about our manager, club and B.o.D.

So it was good to read dandan’s piece on Peter Simpson. It brought back many memories both good and bad.

I dug out my stockpile of Arsenal programmes and rooted through them – boy that made the memories flood back.

The oldest programme I have is from Christmas Day 1948, it’s just a photo copy as the original did not stand the test of time.

We played Derby County and drew 3-3.
I had no money so I couldn’t get in legally so to see the game I had to crawl in through the turnstile under the legs of strangers – they always helped us poor kid’s out.

What a game we had Swindon in goal Barnes and Smith as full backs, Macaulay, L. Compton and Joe Mercer were the half backs with Roper, Logie, Rooke, Lewis and McPherson up front. I forget who scored the goals but I remember enjoying a great family party later that day. Drunk gunners.

My collection of programmes includes EVERY home league game for 1970/71 double season plus the league winning game at Spurs on May 2nd, 1971 and the FA Cup final against Liverpool on May 8th – gee I can still hear the roar when Charlie George scored our winner.

The first game that season was against Man U and we trounced them 4-0. The programme bears the autographs of George Best, Jon Sammels and Charlie George.

I remember that season only too well we won the Fairs Cup in 1970 and then the double in 1970/71 but before that we had a barren period of 16 seasons. If you had lived (suffered) through those years you would better understand why I get upset with today’s glory hunters. We were a mediocre mid table team that had no hope of winning anything but the team always got our full support – after all, what are supporters supposed to do – support – right? well some of today’s “fans” just don’t get it.

Oops, sorry, I’m getting angry again.

I also have the 1972 Cup Final programme when we played Leeds, that, of course, was the 100th Cup Final.

I have the Evening Standard from May 31, 1971 and the headline reads……

The action story of London’s greatest ever football season.

It’s gone brown and it’s a tad tattered but it still brings joy to my heart and a smile to my face every time I read it.

Frankly folks I never thought that I would derive so much pleasure from a 30 year old collection – but I sure do.