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. 

 

Thursday
Dec202012

It's About Beating Spurs

BY STEVEN PYE / @1980sSportsBlog

It's about beating Spurs. So said Tony Adams on this Sky Premier League promo back in 1996. Some of us already knew this though, way before the summer in which football apparently "came home". From an early age, my Dad had subtlety told me in no uncertain terms that Arsenal were to be my team, and that if we were to win only two matches in a season, then the derby games against our North London friends were the ones to win. He wasn't aggressive about it, he didn't teach me any abusive songs about that lot - I would discover enough of those myself - but he insisted that at no cost could we afford to lose any matches against them.

The problem was, he told me all of this in 1983, a period in the history of the club often referred to as the dark ages. If you think Arsenal 2012 are bad enough then you simply had to be around in the early to mid-eighties to appreciate just how mediocre we could be. Terry Neill's reign had begun to unravel after the high profile departures of Brady and Stapleton, and by the time the 1983/84 season started, time was running out for the Irishman.

The summer signing of Charlie Nicholas had sparked a fresh wave of optimism amongst the Arsenal faithful, and after a brace against a poor Wolves side in just his second game, the press went into overdrive. "Wolves became the first English victims of the 21-year-old Scot's talents - and they won't be the last," declared Dave Horridge in The Mirror, with John Wragg in the Express boldly predicting that Nicholas "...threatens to dominate the First Division...". Naturally the honeymoon period couldn't last, and by November the same hacks were already questioning Nicholas and pondering if Arsenal's star man was about to be dropped.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov212012

Arsene's Generation

BY MATT KING / @King_G_O

I could tell you I remember the football played on April 1st 1995. But in truth everything that day was just about Highbury Stadium. Being there was a dream. I can still recall experiencing so many startling revelations that day: the grass was so green; the whole place so vast; where was the commentary? Did they not play the voice over the tanoy for the crowd like on television? How would I know which player had the ball? The early Arsenal goals were so much louder than on Match of The Day, and so unexpected. I usually knew the score before Saturday night – but this really was…live! I was only 6, if that all seems a bit dim witted.

Just looking around I was fascinated. We were so high in the North Bank upper. The views to the East were rows of rooftops, to the South the Clock End and nestled in behind blocks of flats, to the West there was an empty wasteland immediately but beyond that you could see across Holloway and North London for miles.

But then their fans (who I did not know would be there) were celebrating. I found the rather muffled delirium confusing, at such odds with the tuts and sighs at our end of the ground. I hated that moment, seeing them happy at my expense whilst I was trying to enjoy myself. I’m told that I spent much of the rest of my first game at Highbury almost entirely hidden beneath my coat, peeping out to check there was no chance of having to go through that terrible experience of conceding a goal unexpectedly again.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov162012

Back From The Dead 

BY SANDEEP / @Sandeep725

It hadn’t been a fun few weeks as a Gooner. Demolished in Milan, hopelessly outplayed in the North, and for the first time since the beginning of football, we'd gone through the build-up to a North London Derby as underdogs.

I'm not usually one for idle chitchat on my way to matches. Football means different things to different people. For some it's a social occasion to see their friends, for others it's a sanctuary from the daily grind and a chance for a bit of enjoyment.

On this day I felt compelled to break my usual habit when I saw a grown man, seemingly on the verge of a breakdown, walking side by side with me, praying. A grown man praying before a football match. After I finished judging him, I suddenly realised that I too needed a fresh set of boxers.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov152012

Hooked By An Henry Backheel

BY AHMED YUSSUF / @ahmedyussuf10

It was the 2nd of October 2004; I was a smug 10-year-old bossing around people half my age. I was in a surreal venue in Kenya, Garissa to be precise. There was this mood. I couldn’t really grasp it at the time. Everyone just wanted to sit and watch the Arsenal play, and paid good money to do so. And I made sure they did, standing in front of the ‘Brothers Centre’ asking for 10 shillings for each person who entered.

Everyone took their seats and then it was silent. The whistle had blown, Arsenal had begun to play. Sounds of “oh and uh” echoed through the shabby shed, my uncle tapped my shoulder and smiled. He hadn’t supported Arsenal - he was a Leeds fan who suffered the heartbreak of relegation a season earlier- but, it didn’t matter, true football excellence was on display. I was asking to whoever would listen, who’s this player and what’s that and how’s he’d do this. It was a memorable moment. A passion had been born something I knew that would last a lifetime.

One player I recognised had been simply magnificent, even though I didn’t know the sport, was Thierry Henry. There was this sequence, he’d be juggling the ball and the defenders couldn’t contain him, and as the saying goes he was just “unplayable.”

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov082012

Henry Humiliates Inter

BY @PapsTheGooner

An early flight from London to Milan meant I and Gooner mates Pete (@Feeter84) and Costas (@costaskontos) were up at a ridiculous hour on the morning of Tuesday 25th November, 2003. Despite the sleep in my eyes I was excited about my first ever trip to Italy; yes the match with Inter was a daunting proposition, but at least we had the Italian cuisine to look forward to.

Arsenal’s Champions League group had so far proved a tough affair. We’d only gained one point in our first three matches and been stuffed at Highbury by an Obafemi Martins’ inspired Inter before an 88th minute winner by Ashley Cole saw us overcome Dynamo Kiev on matchday four. Qualification for the next round was hanging on a knife-edge. Not only were we still bottom of the group we had to travel to the San Siro and WIN to keep hope alive.

Landing in Milan, our first port of call was the hotel to check in and drop off bags before we headed to Piazza del Duomo (cathedral square in Milan) in search of  fellow Gooners. We chatted with a few familiar faces before stumbling across a restaurant which to this day Pete still talks about. If anyone is in Milan, the restaurant was called Cialdi and was near the mentioned square; it was there that I had the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. After a couple of beers we headed back to the square to soak up the atmosphere and sing a few cheeky songs. All in all, it was a friendly affair.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov072012

Gazza Ruined My Highbury Debut

BY JOSH EVANS / @GoodOlArsenal

My first visit to Highbury to see the Arsenal play was in May 1996 for Paul Merson's Testimonial. I had been a 'Junior Gunner' member as of 1992, but it took a full three years of pestering my dad, the most casual of Arsenal supporters, to buy tickets to take me to see the team and the stadium in the flesh.

As a 12-year-old, I don't remember much from the day or match itself. The hour long car journey from our home on the Suffolk/Essex border (the town in which Adrian Clarke hails from, I must add) to North London seemed to take an eternity, whilst our view of the game itself from the back of North Bank upper tier felt a little detached.

There is, however, one thing that stands out from my vague memories of the day; Paul Gascoigne, as in the Paul Gascoigne who had broken my heart five years earlier scoring against us in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley (the less said about that, the better), was playing FOR Arsenal. Not only did Gascoigne have the audacity to be playing in OUR famous red and white kit but he also had the cheek to go on and score a hat-trick (a quick bit of research actually indicates that he scored 4?).

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov052012

The Viola Lesson

BY PAUL WICKES / @afc_paul_wickes

I shelled out £40 for a ticket to watch Arsenal play Fiorentina in the Champions League at Wembley. First off, I remember it being bloody freezing, but I'd planned ahead and took a thick sweatshirt and wore my replica strip over it.

My seat was in a section right next to the away fans, who throughout the entire 90 minutes were amazing. They just kept singing all night and when ‘Batigol’ scored the only goal of the game which subsequently condemned us to the UEFA Cup, inevitably went crazy.

As disappointing as that result was, my residing memory of that October night in 1999 is of the travelling Viola. It was just an impeccable display of support; I shook a couple of their hands afterwards and congratulated them by saying 'Belissimo'. They made an impression on me. Good natured singing and not a trace of taunting or insults.

Friday
Nov022012

In The Nick Of Time

BY ANDREW ALLEN / @AAllenSport

I feel quite guilty not being able to remember the first time I visited Highbury. I’ve been told by Dad that he took me in the 1987/88 season and that we sat in the East Stand, but all further details have been lost in the passage of time. I was only 4-years-old so I suppose I should cut myself a bit of slack, but it’s still a source of personal frustration given I run a site dedicated to such details.

One thing I know for sure; I was a Gooner from a young age. Family photos evidence a childhood spent almost entirely in Arsenal replica kits. First came an early eighties Umbro home shirt which, when paired with a cape, doubled up on more than one occasion as a Robin (of Batman fame) fancy dress costume. Beautifully simple in design, it lasted a good couple of years until one evening in early August 1990 my Dad returned from work with our new Adidas home kit.

It was love at first sight and I spent the next few days secretly sneaking into my parents’ bedroom just so I could stand in front of their full-length mirror. Perhaps I was incredibly vain at a young age, or maybe, as I’ve come to persuade myself, I was governed by an uncontrollable sense of pride.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct242012

Grandad Bill 

BY SAM DODGIN /@samdodgeman

I like to think my match day experience is pretty much the same as any other Gooner. I get to Highbury & Islington tube around an hour and a half or so before the game. I meet a friend or two, and we abscond to a local watering hole. Half an hour before kick-off we set off for the ground. We arrive with time to spare and perhaps drop into the shop. We always buy a programme.

Then, a gentleman approaches, an Arsenal elder. I don’t know him but, you see, he’s seen the back of my shirt and he has a burning question. The same question I got asked the last time I was at the Emirates. And the time before that. And the time before that...

‘Dodgin?’ he says. ‘That’s an odd name for a guy your age to have on his shirt. Did you know him?’

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct222012

Walking In A Cygan Wonderland

BY JAMES PERRY / @GoonerPerry

Tuesday 24 August 2005 was a good day. Finishing work at lunchtime is always good, finishing work at lunchtime because you’re going to watch The Arsenal at Highbury is even better. As a red member I hadn’t been able to get to many matches but I was determined to get to Highbury one last time before she closed her doors for good. August always seemed a good month for red members to get tickets.

Seeing as this would likely be my last visit to Highbury I made sure I was up there early to soak up the atmosphere and have last look around the great old stadium. I timed my walk down Avenell Road to perfection as just as I approached The Marble Halls the team coaches arrived.

From memory Fulham were the first to arrive and were cheered by the handful of their fans. Anticipation grew as word reached us that Arsenal’s coach was just around the corner; it duly arrived and I had a great view of all the team as they disembarked. It was slightly disappointing that the age of players wearing headphones was upon us and only Arsene, Cesc and Jens gave us a wave. Never mind.

Click to read more ...