Supporting role: An Arsenal fan shares his highlights and low points

Arsenal fan Gareth Bannister flies the flag for the Gunners in the Maldives

Arsenal fan Gareth Bannister flies the flag for the Gunners in the Maldives - Credit: Archant

In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, West Hampstead’s Gareth Bannister reveals his favourite player, his most memorable matches and his toughest moment following Arsenal.

WHY ARSENAL? I wasn’t hugely into football when I was young but I started watching at university and really admired their style of play. This was only in 2009 so I can hardly be accused of being a glory supporter!

FIRST GAME: I think it was a Champions League group game against Olympiacos at the Emirates in 2009 – it was one of those teams we always seem to be drawn against! We got the win so it was a good experience.

FAVOURITE PLAYER: I’m torn between Henry and Bergkamp. Thierry maybe just gets in ahead after his return to the club in 2012 – he didn’t make many appearances but it was a privilege to watch.

MOST MEMORABLE MATCH: Back in February 2012, when we were 2-0 down at home to Spurs. Adebayor was gloating after his penalty and suddenly, out of nowhere, we pulled it back and won 5-2. The north London derby – you can’t beat it.

HIGHLIGHT: Winning the FA Cup in 2014. It had been far too long since Arsenal won a trophy and it finally put an end to those jibes about “how many years since you won a trophy?” – although we didn’t make it easy for ourselves against Hull...

WORST MEMORY: The summer of 2011, when we sold Nasri and Fabregas and lost 8-2 to Man United. To make matters far worse, my brother’s a United fan.

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FUNNIEST MOMENT: A few months later when John Terry’s slip helped to beat a woeful Chelsea side 5-3 at Stamford Bridge. Bliss.

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