Arsenal awayday report: Loyal Grampian Gooner says Giroud’s goal made 800 mile round-trip in arctic conditions worthwhile
- Credit: Archant
With the travel chaos caused through snowstorms and artic-like conditions read how one intrepid Arsenal fan – Danny Coyle, aka Grampian Gooner – made it from Scotland to the south coast for the game at Southampton on Sunday.
I’m writing this at Southampton airport sipping a nice warming glass of Merlot after a long day following the Arsenal.
It’s been a long busy weekend actually. It kicked off on Friday night visiting friends in Darvel, Ayrshire and going to a traditional music festival.
So I was already slightly worse for wear when I got the flight from Edinburgh on Saturday.
That’s when my journey for Southampton away really began as with it being an early kick-off today, a train from Scotland was obviously impossible and there were no flights getting in on time.
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So I opted to stay over at my parents in Barnet via a pit stop at Piebury Corner, King’s Cross last night.
I met with Paul and Nicky Campbell to discuss our wedding catering for next summer.
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One thing led to another with the my old man soon showing up. Paul and his guest DJ from LA Gooners, Steve were spinning out some typically on point tunes on top of the pies and beers going down as well as ever – a trip back home to London whether it’s an away day or or home game isn’t complete without a visit to Piebury Corner. Fantastic pies, music and a cool vibe that my partner Alison and I always look forward to.
That’s why we want them to be a part of our big day next year.
Since we’ve been engaged we got a banner made which I brought down today.
It’s got our names on surrounded by all of our favourite motifs and badges associated with the Arsenal and our proud history.
So after getting in late last night, this morning was a struggle.
Up at 630am with a fuzzy head after two nights on the sauce 400 miles apart and a thought briefly crosses your mind “why are you doing this, Dan?”
But then those feelings quickly turn to the usual warm feeling of excitement.
That said as I was stuck on the northern line at West Finchley for what seemed like an eternity due to the worsening conditions, getting to St Mary’s seemed a very unlikely prospect.
The snow kept pelting down but I made it to Waterloo to catch the last train to Southampton that would get me in on time for kick off.
On the train I was hearing from other Gooner mates who had to go home or were stranded on the M25 and the photos on social media and elsewhere seemed desperate.
So based on that I felt lucky and sure enough after jumping in a cab with three other Gooners at Eastleigh, I made it to St. Mary’s with half an hour to spare.
That allowed me time for a quick swig of a nice Scottish malt whisky to warm the cockles outside and to go in and put up the banner.
Considering all of the stories of Gooners stranded and not being able to make it, I thought the away end would be half full.
But the travelling Arsenal support was as fantastic and committed as ever, with a lot more making it in by half-time.
Thanks to Olivier Giroud saving the day with a glancing header, it made all the trouble and arctic conditions just about worth it.
On a personal note I’m quite proud of myself for managing to not miss any trains or flights without my usual partner in crime Alison’s organisational prowess.
Onto the next one! UTA.