Longing for those North Bank Days



Just finished cloning my collection of Arsenal books, when I came across an old favourite of mine called “The End, 80 years of life on The North Bank”.  The book is made up of short paragraphs from supporters, players etc

If anyone wants 10 minutes break from it all, I have picked a few amusing quotes (I have removed expletives):

Petrrovic. That man was a genius.  he was a replacement for Brady, never given the opportunity and then they sold him.  The last game the North Bank were screaming his name, they knew it was the last time they would see him play.

Going to football, going to Arsenal particularly for the big games is a love/hate thing.  It is not something you can do casually; it is not like going to the cinema.

I’ve got glasses, underpants, socks, french letters, I have got cannons all over the place.

On the occasion of the Leicester City match our band gave the first rendering of the Up the Gunners march which, we hope to add to our musical programme as the Club song. Today when it is played once more the lyric will be sung by Monte Rey.  The March has been composed by Gilbert Stacey and it will now be possible for copies, words and music to be bought at all cafes and bars in the stadium at the price of 6d (six pence) A F C PROGRAMME

 Unfortunately the present day Arsenal fan does not appear to be interested in a club song.  the old one lasted 30 to 40 years but was suddenly considered to be ‘SQUARE’. We  ran an opinion poll via th supporters club and a new song was devised, but nobody sang it so we gave up


People wore rosettes I had a red rosette and went to the Peterborough cup match when we lost 2 -1 I picked up a further 8 rosettes from the terraces, when people started slinging them away.  they lasted me about 10 years.

Avoid barracking the players and the referee and don’t be too partisan . Dont call ungentlemanly remarks to players, it does not add to the pleasure of your fellow spectators   Herbert Chapman 25/8/1928

 John Barnwells confidence was destroyed by The North Bank , I think Jon Sammels would say the same and there have been others.  there are always going to be lads who are the butt of the crowd. Bob Wilson

 Ian Wright has got it.  I mean he goes into the crowd when he scores and he is celebrating as much as we are celebrating.

If we get beat by a better team, I will clap the other team off.  Very few times have I done it though.  Spartak Moscow were one.  they done us 5 – 2 that team was outstanding.

Before Wilson , after Kelsey we had McKechnie.  McKechnie, McLelland, Burns, Furnell – put all of those together and you wouldn’t end up with a goalkeeper.  But that McKechnie I’m not being hard on him but he was a lump.

That’s what football is all about its a mix of all ages.  You go to pubs and there’s the 15 year olds pubs, the 20 year olds pub, there’s the old geezers pub whatever.  but football mixes it all up and I hope seats won’t stop that.

There’s a different atmosphere when you’re standing.  It’s more fun.  when you stand you’re part of the game and I do like to have a good shout. You’re all standing there together and once that goes, the game is not the game anymore.

The Bank Holiday weekend we won the last league Championship and Liverpool were playing at Forest.  Four of us were down early.  We went for a drink at the White House in Green Lanes,

Outside- you couldn’t get in – and Forest scored.  Everybody went mad.  I was shaking like a leaf.  I thought I have got to go to the ground.  I didn’t know what to do.  I got to the North Bank, pacing up and down. I had more wees in that half an hour than I’ve ever had.  A Guy came in with a portable T V everyone was going to have a look.  Before that, Liverpool had equalised.   And I just watched his face.  If Forest were attacking, you could see it on his face.  they scored.  He’s got the telly in one hand, he’s sort of juggling with it.  the whole north bank went mad.  that last five minutes were the longest of my life.

The question of the erection of a refreshment stall on the unused ground at the Gillespie Road entrance was left to the manager for further reports. A F C Board minutes 9.5.28

Arrangements have been made with Messrs Gilbarts, the popular confectioners, to purvey their toothsome commodities in the Highbury Ground.  the salesmen will wear distinctive attire.

By Retsub.


12 thoughts on “Longing for those North Bank Days

  • I was also at Peterborough on the dreaded day. The chant from the Arsenal fans was PETERBOROUGH HA HA HA until the Doog knocked us out late in the game.

  • The best North Bank experience, without doubt, when we beat Anderlecht 3-0 in ’69 First bit of silverware since in 16 years. The noise was bouncing off the roof that night.

  • T A whatever you do don’t get the two muddled up.
    Kenny I went to every home game that year and a few away as well. Unfortunately I was on a School journey to Derbyshire when the final was paid., I had to wait till the next day to find out the result

    Happy days

  • Brilliant stuff, retsub. Being a “late comer” to the beautiful and eventful world that is an Arsenal fan’s, I appreciate the power of the nostalgia the history must bring to you. I used to support my own local team in Nigeria and my eyes still light up when I recount some of the great moments, names and quotes; my mates today usually look at me in awe, like I was some mysterious being when I go, and I have to get hold of myself in order to stop. Aaaah!

    Always nice to read up on some of the history from the fans’ perspective.

    TA, interesting choice of words to be curious about there. 🤔🤭

  • It’s being reported we played another game vs Brentford, behind closed doors last night, losing 1-2 after a late goal from a Leno clanger. He is said to have dropped the ball from a corner kick; may have been overblown given our recent “troubles” with that position but, hey! It’s just pre-season and a second game in 24 hours. Auba scored to take his pre-season tally to five goals.

  • Five players were left out of the Singapore travelling squad: Carl Jenkinson, Chuba Akpom, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Joel Campbell and Krystian Bielik were not named in Unai Emery’s 25-man party for the trip, at which we play friendlies against Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

    Bielik and Jeff are likely to go out on loan but it looks like Jenks, Campbell and Akpom (already subject of negotiations with his loan club, St. Truiden) will be sold.

    Petr Cech
    Bernd Leno
    Emiliano Martinez

    Hector Bellerin
    Sead Kolasinac
    Calum Chambers
    Rob Holding
    Shkodran Mustafi
    Dinos Mavropanos
    Jordi Osei-Tutu

    Mohamed Elneny
    Ainsley Maitland-Niles
    Matteo Guendouzi
    Reiss Nelson
    Emile Smith Rowe
    Joe Willock
    Aaron Ramsey
    Henrikh Mkhitaryan
    Mesut Ozil
    Alex Iwobi

    Eddie Nketiah
    Lucas Perez
    Alex Lacazette
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

  • Enjoyed that retsub–
    Though it took me– jw1-come-lately– some time to date the excerpts for context. 🙂

    Another interesting rumor floating– Chuba Akpom moving to his loaner club Sint-Truiden for £2M.

    And a thought. With the PL TW closing August 9? It’s gonna’ be a different experience than in the past. Look for international clubs waiting for ‘fire sales’ on fringe players late. Likely finding abundant ‘must go’ deals cheaply.


  • Hi retsub1. I was an original North Bank boy from when the following started around ‘63/64. Chanting started when Liverpool came up from the old Second Division the year before. We started as a small firm behind the goal and by the early seventies grew to the massive following that we all remember. However by my early twenties got a season ticket in the old East Stand with my pals and still got it at the Emirates. Next to my family the club has been the love of my life. 68 years old now, been going for 60 years and got no plans to retire

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