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Long may it continue

Even allowing for the fact that we were a little earlier at the stadium than usual it seemed pretty quiet before the game against West Brom and didn't really pick up much until kick off. Maybe the fact that there wasn't an early kick off game to watch on the monitors around the ground had something to do with that. In any case we had plenty of time to buy and consume a couple of plastic bottles of probably not the best lager in the world and reflect on the developments going on around the ground. The immediate area has seen some major regeneration since the Bergkamp testimonial opened the stadium but it`s still continuing. It has been a huge project and Arsenal's impact on the area is quite significant and quiet positive. That community aspect was something of the pre-match focus of this game.

A pitchside interview with a resolute character from the education field praised the work of the Arsenal foundation. 'We find that when you give the children struggling with their school work the opportunity to write about Arsenal their work comes along in leaps and bounds' the kindly authoritative fellow revealed. Not all football forums will be entirely grateful was my unnecessarily cynical thought.

'Can you remember when you took me to my first Arsenal game?' Pat asked.

'I'm not sure' I contemplated 'Was it 1990?'

'No, that was Crystal Palace. 1992 against Aston Villa' he remembered 'It was your first time for a while too wasn't it?'

It was true. I hadn't been that often in the 80s. Opportunities were infrequent. Somehow life gets in the way as marriage, family, career all take precedence in a way that many will be familiar with already or will come to find in future. In truth taking him to that first game and seeing him shiver and tremble with excitement much as I had done years before was more of a memorable experience than the game itself.

'So I was part of the reason for getting you back going again.' Pat smiled with satisfaction.

That was true too. My own father and his father, my grandfather, were both staunch gunners and for a good time regularly went together to games until life got in their way. My father worked at weekends and passed away while I was still relatively young with gramps passing on in the same year. Though I went pretty often the opportunity to go to matches regularly with them just wasn't there nor did it occur to me in all honesty.

All being well my son will become a father himself for the first time in a few months and I will become a grandpa.

'Whether it`s a boy or girl wouldn't it be great if all three of us can go to games together?' Pat said as his thoughts were finally revealed.

Yes. Yes it would.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 10 2012

Time: 12:24PM

Your Comments

Lovely little piece. I've recently become a dad as well, and whilst it's a little early (1 month) to take him to the ground, I can't wait - not that i'm wishing the years away. Following a similar theme, I was having discussions about how much hard work i anticipate it'll be taking a five year old (or there abouts) to a game like we had on Sat. When i first went football there was still a fair amount of swearing, standing, smoking, drinking and generally more rowdiness, which was a lot of the attraction to me. Think maybe I need to move from the East Upper.
Wrote something on a very similar subject a year or so ago :)
Little Dutch
Great piece Amos. Pretty timely for me. I'm supposed to be taking my 5 year old to the Bradford match tomorrow night. Unfortunately he's off school today poorly but I'm hoping it's just one of those 48hour malarkies. I asked him earlier if he was feeling better "not really" he replied. So I told him if he wasn't better by tomorrow he wouldn't be able to go to the game. "Well I've only got a bit of a cough now, I'm not lying" was his reply. If he's well enough to go to school tomorrow he can go to the game. I'll be mortified if he can't go, been looking forward to this since the draw. If not nanna will be looking after him whilst the wife comes to the game. Funnily enough the last time she came to a game was me was the home game vs Bolton in 2007 when she was 7 months pregnant (and frigging huge). We missed Cesc's winner 30 seconds into the second half because it took her about 30 minutes to go for a pee. I guess technically this was the first time Charlie went to a game. I'd like him to actually be able to see what's going on rather than just hear it.
Touching stuff all round. Nice piece there Amos. Now, for the irony; I just read the story of Bradford City's Alan Connell, who is a staunch Arsenal supporter, but has to deal with the 'dilemma' of trying to knock us out of the league cup (some say, our most realistic chance of silverware this season) and facing up to rival fans who will remind him about our barren run, should Arsenal fail to win the game tomorrow and the cup. Turns out the Connell family are fans too; story is told of how Connell snr took his two boys, including Alan, to see the Gunners beat Sheffield Wednesday in the '93 FA Cup final, after handing in a sicknote at work. Alas! The TV camera zoomed in on them at a point, for no apparent reason other than to get Daddy in trouble, perhaps and Connell snr had explaining to do back at work. Here's hoping Alan doesn't find his scoring boots tomorrow.
Belated congratulations on parenthood shewore. Life will never be quite the same again.
Cheers mate, can't say I hadn't noticed ;-]
Great article Amos :-) cup defeats against the likes of Bradford happen from time to time but the bonds that football can help create between parent and child, friends, family etc are a far greater prize than any footballing trophy
So Rocky, what happened in the end? Who went and how was the atmosphere? Over dodgy internet stream and 13000 miles the away fans sounded great in the early part of the game, even following the goal.

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