BY JOHN VERLING / @JohnVerling
Much has been written about how you choose your football club and how that choice is handed down from generation to generation. Not all choices are voluntary, and in the case of Spurs fans this borders on child abuse, but we all have a story about how our irrational love of the Arsenal began. This is mine. A story of how that love grew very quickly and has been a constant in the last thirty-nine of my forty five years on this earth.
I was almost 6-years-old, that ‘almost’ being pretty important at that age, when I was playing football ‘Up on the Road.’ It was where we played all out matches ‘Up on the Road,’ a place where boys of all ages from the four surrounding terraces would meet without arrangement every weekend and every evening so long as the light permitted.
On this one particular Sunday morning, one of the older boys, probably about 12, came down full of talk about how his team had just won The Cup. I was captivated as he spoke with excitement, naming the players, who had scored, what it had been like watching on his uncle’s television. I mean, this was the most popular boy on the road – it made it an even bigger deal. He was the fastest, strongest and best player, he even owned the football…and his team had just won The Cup.