Supporting role: An Arsenal fan shares his highlights and low points ahead of the north London derby
- Credit: Archant
In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, Arsenal supporter Simon Morgan reveals his favourite player, his most memorable matches, his toughest moment following the Gunners and his prediction for Sunday’s showdown against Spurs.
FIRST GAME: I think it was the home game against West Ham in September 1997, when I had my friend’s ticket in the North Bank. Arsenal cruised through 4-0 and the singing was non-stop. It was good-humoured and great fun and reminded me of the Wales rugby internationals that I frequented at the time. On the pitch the movement and control was beautiful and I thought ‘this is something I could get into’.
FURTHEST AWAY TRIP: Roma in March 2009 in the Champions League. We lost 1-0 so the tie finished 1-1 on aggregate. We went on to win 7-6 on penalties and I caught Bacary Sagna’s shirt. I promised to wear it to the pub for the next game and regretted it as he was a lot more svelte than me!
FAVOURITE PLAYER: Thierry Henry’s blistering pace and faultless finishing had me spellbound every week.
FAVOURITE GAME: The last game of our unbeaten 2003-2004 season. We were 1-0 down against Leicester, who were threatening to spoil the party, but Henry and Vieira scored in the second half and I very nearly fell out of my seat in the front row of the East Upper. Luckily my mate grabbed my hood.
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WORST MEMORY: Losing the FA Cup semi-final to Manure in 1999. Getting lost on the back streets afterwards didn’t help, but we bumped into Mark Burdis – ‘Stewpot’ in Grange Hill – who said: “Cheer up lads, we’ve still got the league!”
FUNNIEST MOMENT: The North bBank wolf -whistling David Seaman as he adjusted his ponytail and getting a giggle out of him. I also went to the Arsenal charity ball a few years ago and put Manuel Almunia in a headlock so my mate could take a photo for his son. The following year Alumunia remembered me and put me in a headlock! He was a lovely bloke.
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DERBY PREDICTION: Arsenal will win, of course. We’re firing on all cylinders, they won’t be able to cope with our attack and at the back we have the steel of Mustafi. Plus that lot aren’t scoring many goals.
COMBINED XI: Sorry, but I just wouldn’t have any of them in my beloved shirt. Except Sol Campbell – that was a great coup.
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