(Editor’s note: This is a fun one. Long time Gooner and BKesque stalwart, Retsub1, is at it again and shows that–even if you miss a few of Arsenal’s greatest triumphs–there is much to be appreciated about our club and its football. Here he shares some of the finest footballing moments–and a couple he “almost” got to see–he has witnessed over the years. Enjoy.)
A few years back I wrote a post on how I had never physically seen Arsenal win anything. This was due to school journeys, being shut out at packed stadiums and picking the wrong cup finals to attend. I decided a few years back that I was obviously jinxed and no longer attempted to get final tickets, etc. So, having supported this great team for 50 years, I decided to remember a few of the great–and not so great moments–when I did attend. In this modern era, one can share the majority of these through internet videos, which are presented here. Hopefully, they will stimulate some magic memories others have experienced, maybe even including ones seen by our overseas friends on TV. Of course, there’s nothing like being present for true moments of glory, and I would gladly swap them all to have been at Anfield in May 1989.
OK, here we go…
1999, 2-nil down at Stamford Bridge and feeling pretty glum. This was the Kanu hat-trick match and the third one is a piece of real beauty (and rubbish goalkeeping). Arsenal went on to win 3-2.
The 2003 FA cup semi-final versus Sheffield United at Old Trafford. My Daughter and I witnessed a a fairly dull match versus Sheffield United. Arsenal went on to win 1-nil, but David Seaman pulled off a fantastic save from a close range header. It looked good from the other end of the stadium, but, having seen the highlights later, I realised just how good it really was.
My Daughter attends very few games with me, but she was also there when Thierry Henry came on as a sub and scored the only goal in an FA cup third round replay against Leeds in 2012. Henry was on loan from his US side at the time. The king had indeed returned.
In the double year, 1970/1971, Arsenal played Stoke twice in the cup semi-final and the semi-final replay. The first game is famous for two goals by Peter Storey, including a last minute penalty against no less than Gordon Banks. I had tickets for neither game. The following season the same thing happened. Stoke in the semi and a replay at Goodison Park. I was at that one, and, having been 1-nil down, Arsenal came from behind to win 2-1. When John Radford scored the winning goal I threw myself forward in celebration and head-butted the crash barrier. I remember very little after that.
Some time in the early 70’s, Arsenal were playing Coventry at Highbury. Coventry had a throw in and Willie Carr, a very short Coventry player, came over to take it. Charlie George, who was about two feet taller than Carr, stood about six inches in front of him to stop him taking the throw. I think someone was injured, so play was held up. During the injury time, Carr turned around to avoid Charlie’s larger than life presence and started talking to a few of us in the stands about a fantastic goal scored by Ernie Hunt in which he had played an essential part. The technique was subsequently banned because it was deemed that the first movement of the ball by Carr was illegal. So, I wasn’t there when the goal was scored, but it was fun talking about it.
My Dad and I attended the 1969 League cup final against 3rd division Swindon Town. The only problem was that we had Swindon tickets. I have to say, however, that the Swindon supporters were fantastic to us, even singing, “It’s all gone quiet over there,” and pointing at me. This one is worth a look just to see the state of the Wembley pitch.
Jon Sammels scored some good goals during his time at the club, including an absolute cracker of a goal against a star studded Manchester United (2nd goal on the video) that I witnessed. The third goal in the clip is from the EUFA Cup final against Anderlecht. Like so many others that I missed, I had a ticket but was in Derbyshire on a school journey.
My friend’s mum worked in the Charlton box office, so I attended many Charlton vs Arsenal games. As much as it pains me to say so, my favourite ever goal was scored by a certain Robin van Persie–a truly spectacular volley.
So, there you go, some of my favourite memories. I would love to hear–and see–others. Please share yours.
As 17HT might say… Go on then…