My Highbury Farewell
With all the palava of 'lucky dips' and ticket selection policy for the last two games at Highbury, it was a mixed bag of emotions for me as a 1-0 victory over Villarreal in the semi final of the Champions League was coupled with my final visit to the home of football.
Standing on the corner of Elwood St. staring up at the famous East Stand facade, I suddenly found myself feeling very sad that we were on the verge of leaving the old place, so many memories, good and bad make the stadium very special for everyone lucky enough to have visited her.
While I realise moving to the Emirates Stadium is exactly what the club need to continue to compete with the top teams in Europe, a part of me wants to stay, wants to keep the history and heritage that is renouned the world over, it's all very emotional.
It was fitting then, that my final trip to Highbury was a winning one, a victory that took us within touching distance of the Champion's League final, a night that brought goals, controversy, nervousness and laughter. Never will I forget my last views from the North Bank,of the crowds surging out of the pubs and down Avenell road ten minutes before kick off, long will live in my memory the jubilant feeling as Kolo stabbed home the winner in the closing stages of the first half, the smell, the same faces, the chants, the sheer love shared by each and every Gooner for team that had brought us all together on our final floodlit get together.
After leaving the North Bank for the final time, I gave the East Stand a parting kiss, and then took my first steps away from my beloved Highbury, halfway down the road I stopped, turned and allowed myself one last look at the glorious North Bank before it was sent to the history books of my mind. As I travelled back on the coach I sat in quiet reflection on what had just happened, the end of an era, not only in Arsenal history but in my own life, I recalled something said to me a few days ago..........
'Highbury will always have a place in my heart, but it is Arsenal that I love'