Navigation

Have a favourite Arsenal goal, player or match? Want to share the experience of your first ever game or the atmosphere at a Cup Final? Ever met someone who has played for the Gunners? 

We want to hear from Arsenal fans willing and eager to share something personal about their love for the club. All you have to do is email us via the CONTACT page mentioning 'MEMORY BANK' in the title. Your entry can be as long or as short as you like, just do your best to stick to the Queen's English. 

 

Tuesday
Sep232014

In defence of Sylvain Wiltord

 

By @SEANMARLAND  

Arsenal v Aston Villa. Sunday 9th December 2001. After West Ham's victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, the North Bank was bristling with unspoken optimism as kick-off approached. Titles are never won before Christmas, but after three years of dominance United seemed to be creaking and we were a team on the rise. This was a chance to be grasped with both hands.

However as half-time approached the only thing in my hands was my head.

Goals from Steve Stone and Paul Merson meant we were two-nil down and after succumbing 4-2 to Charlton at Highbury a month before, it looked like we were about to piss in the mouth of yet another gift horse. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug262014

"The day I used the referee's toilet at highbury.."

 

BY DEBORAH COLLINS

When I was asked if I'd like to contribute an anecdote to this site I said, what, like the time I used the referee's toilet at Highbury? That'll do nicely, I was told. Now, when I think about it, there isn't very much to that story. But it sparks off a chain of reminiscences connecting Arsenal with toilets. And no, I don't mean our form since we moved to the Emirates - I'm a glass half full kind of person, which is probably why I have bladder issues.

In the very early years of this century, before online booking had really caught on, I used to take the morning off (or throw a sickie) to queue up at the old box office in Avenell Road to buy tickets for certain key fixtures, instead of risking the phone. These included the last home match of each season - a trick I learned in 1998 in just our second season of attending, when we only went to the matches my young son was confident we could win.

That year, I randomly bought tickets for the match against Everton, which turned out to be the first of three times I've seen the Premier League trophy lifted in the flesh. Adams! Would you believe it! That sums it all up!

So two or three years later, there I was in a queue of hundreds of people stretching up the hill, past the poky little club shop up some steps we used to have, and the way into the sports centre round by the Clock End where my son would attend Soccer School in his new home kit every July.

I must have asked someone to hold my place as I told one of the stewards marshalling the queue I was desperate for the loo. You can use the referee's toilet, she said, and I was escorted straight into the legendary marble halls, shuffling embarrassed past the other queuers, pushing out the front of my coat with my hands in my pockets in a vague attempt to appear pregnant.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug192014

"I paid £2,000 for an Arsenal programme from 1928.."

Nick Latamsing has been watching Arsenal since the 1970s but his life changed forever when he attended a programme fair in 1987. Since that day he’s been collecting Arsenal programmes and a few years ago he completed a collection that included one from every Arsenal fixture played between 1946 and 2006…

How long have you been collecting Arsenal programmes and memorabilia?

I started 35 years ago when I was a schoolboy and then it grew from there. I started doing it seriously in 1987. Arsenal did a programme fair as they used to do after the last home game of the season and a mate invited me along. And that was it – I got the bug! I still sit with the guy who got me started now! We laugh about that story sometimes. My dad used to print Chelsea and Wembley programmes during the 1940s so maybe I got the bug from him as well!

Six decades of Arsenal programmes must take up a fair bit of space?

They do and you can’t store them in the garage in case they get damp! I was living at my mum’s when I started but I had my own place by the time the collection started getting big. I think she’d have thrown them all away if I’d carried on storing them at hers!

What do your friends and family have to say about it?

My wife has always been supportive. She used to take the piss in the early days but once it started getting bigger she didn’t mind at all because it was an investment. I sold the collection to pay for the extension on my house a couple of years back. I still have stuff left but I think I sold at the right time.

How much did you sell your collection for?

I sold it all as individual lots. It would probably have been too much money for someone to take the whole lot together but if I had to value it I’d say the complete collection – including tickets – was worth £80,000 easy. A mate of mine is stockbroker and he bought a programme from the opening day of the football league in 1888 and paid £20,000 for it. It was a single piece of A5 paper.

Click to read more ...

Friday
May302014

Bacary Sagna: A true Gent - and so much more

BY ALAN RANSCOMBE / @AlanRRan

In late 2008, my daughters Sian and Evie had part time waitressing jobs at a bar and restaurant called the Maze Inn in North London, where some of the Arsenal players sometimes went to eat. As Arsenal fans (encouraged by my wife, Teresa and I – both of us lifelong Gooners) they were delighted to meet the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Abou Diaby and Philippe Senderos. They also met and spoke to regulars Bacary Sagna and his wife, Ludivine.

In January 2009, Sian held a birthday celebration at the Maze Inn and Teresa and I went along after dinner. Bacary and Ludivine were there for a meal that night and the girls introduced us. We had a lovely chat with this delightful couple, telling them that we were all going to the upcoming away leg of the Champions League tie with Roma in March and, to my delight, Bacary told me he would give me his shirt (unprompted!)

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr052014

"The day I took on the Arsenal chairman.."

By JEFFREY L. FREEMAN 

In the early years of my life the German nation were causing me and the team certain inconveniences.

If memory serves me correctly it was about 1943 when my father decided to introduce me to the wonders of supporting Arsenal Football Club.

I lived a short walk from Highbury in Finsbury Park but the Germans had bombed our state-of-the-art stadium during one of the Luftwaffe's many air raids. This piece of aggression was bad enough but it meant I had to catch a bus to watch my first Arsenal game at the home of another enemy - Tottenham Hotspur.

Fortunately, I remember nothing about the match so have no memory of the boys in red and white playing home games at White Hart Lane but I do remember standing at the bus stop with my father as he explained the game to me.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb252014

"After 17 years of waiting, it only took 2 minutes.."


BY STEVE COOPER / @SJC1951

You certainly won’t need me to tell you that if Arsenal finish this season empty-handed it will be nine years since we last won a trophy.

But believe me, things have been worse.

In 1970 I was 18 years old and yet to taste glory as a Gooner. Our last piece of silverware had come 17 long years before when we pipped Preston to the title on goal average in 1953. I was only a year old at the time so I think I can be forgiven for allowing it to pass me by somewhat.

The sixties had not been a great time to be an Arsenal fan, but things began to pick up as the decade came to a close and we made the League Cup Final in 1968 and 1969.

I managed to get tickets to both finals and was absolutely heartbroken when we lost both to Swindon and Leeds respectively. In my darkest moments, I began to wonder if I would ever experience the elation of watching the boys lift some silverware…

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb052014

Kieran Gibbs saves arsenal from european oblivion

BY SEAN MARLAND  / @SeanMarland

Watching Arsenal defend a lead can be stressful at the best of times, but when a Champions League spot and the club's future are hanging by a thread, the whole experience descends towards the sheer agony suffered by those unfortunate enough to be hungover on the morning of their root canal procedure.

We've all lived through a couple of these inglorious struggles in recent years, but if you cast your mind back to the one before last, you might remember a stomach-churning moment in injury time when some West Brom attacker breached our ramshackle defence (for at this time they still played in the figurative and literal shadow of Andre Santos) and looked like scuppering us as we shambled our way towards fourth place.*

A bleak future flashed before our eyes. Meaningless Thursday nights spent playing Romanian pub teams. The shame of being forced to shop in the Darren Bent aisle during transfer windows. The prospect of having yet more players prised away by the league's petro-fuelled bastard clubs.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug072013

An Audience with God

BY MATT MASON / @MattMason_

I met God 14 years ago. We sat alone in a hotel conference room and he told me about his work. Being God, he was quite humble about his achievements. Gently clasping his long fingers together on the table between us, he spoke so impassively about The Miracle Of Marseille that his description dulled the otherworldly magic of his deeds.

Fifteen months earlier, on a warm Saturday evening in the south of France, God was sprinting along the grass inside Stade Vélodrome, watching a football drop from the sky towards him. What happened next was an incredible display of skill and nerve. Although the way God described it, it wasn’t anything special. “On the last moment before the ball reached my foot, I decided to take it inside,” he told me. “After that I just hit it.”

He hadn’t “just hit it”. After taming the dropping ball with one touch, he’d brushed it past panicked Argentinian defender Roberto Ayala with his next before calmly arcing a precise volley into the top corner with the outside of his right foot. Three beautiful, daring touches made all the more thrilling because they’d come in the final seconds of a deadlocked World Cup quarter-final.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun072013

A brilliant beginning

BY OLIVER WILSON-NUNN / @Oli_Wilson_Nunn

My interest in football sparked quite late compared to some other fans. The rest of my family absolutely hates the game, but at the age of 15 I made a conscientious decision to plunge myself head first into the world of Arsenal. 

Every week I found myself counting down until the next game knowing I’d be in my own little world. That mix of fear, excitement, bewilderment and bliss luring me in despite the fact I had to watch every game through dodgy Eastern European streams.

Then I finally did it, I booked tickets to watch my first game at the Emirates. 3pm on Saturday, 18 June was to be my first true Arsenal experience, the opening day of the 2012/13 season against Sunderland. I was over the moon.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun042013

For The Very First Time

BY ANNA LVOVA / @MadRuskiGunner

Living in Moscow my relationship with live Arsenal performances has been complicated (by which I mean non-existent) for years. Despite barely missing a game on television during the 14 years I’ve been a Gooner, I’d never actually watched a match in the flesh. That changed though on one overcast April afternoon in 2012.

I’d come extremely close to watching Arsene’s men once before, back in 2006 when we drew CSKA Moscow in the Champions League group stage. Watching the draw I let out a scream so loud that my family looked at me as if I’d gone nuts. I went through hell trying to find tickets for that game and after paying a small fortune I finally got my hands on them.

They sat on my work desk for days staring at me seductively. I could barely think of anything else, the excitement was overwhelming. Then, three days prior to the game my boss called me into his office and instructed me to fly to Budapest at the break of dawn. There was a work emergency and I had to sort it.

Click to read more ...