BY JOHN DUNNE / @rebelgooner
I just wanted to share the experience of my first trip to The Home of Football. I was 12-years-old when the family decided to take a holiday in London in August 1980. I had been an Arsenal fan since my uncle bought me a t-shirt aged 5 so Dad took me to visit Highbury with a view to getting tickets for a midweek match against Southampton.
When we arrived at the box office, we saw the gate that led to the pitch was open. We decided to go for a stroll and there in front of us was the first team training on the hallowed turf. It was a real shock and then a voice started shouting at us telling us to leave. When the guy got closer we heard his Irish accent.
Dad had a word with him, lied a bit about it being our last day in England and the gentleman groundsman, who I think was called Paddy, let us sit in the dugout and watch the players going through their paces. When they had finished training I was able to meet all of my heroes including David O’Leary, Pat Jennings, Willie Young and Frank Stapleton.