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My Vision

Written by Mr H on Monday, 25 June 2012 21:15

20 years ago, my family left England to return to south Africa. It was a difficult time in my homeland with many south Africans fearing a full on civil war. Happily, nothing of the sort happened, yet there I was, a continent away from the home of the football team I fell in love with during my short time in England. I think it was during the george Graham years when I watched the lads in red and white play football and knew that this was the team for me. I particularly felt a bond here. I can't tell you what it was, but I knew there was no going back. It was a cold winter in '91 when I first visited Highbury. I bought myself my first gunners scarf, the very same one I have to this day. My fate was sealed, gooner for life!!!

Then we left, and although a million miles separated me from the team I love, the love never faded. And although in the '90s, there was no such thing as satellite tv broadcasting matches in South Africa, the love never faded. And even though, all around me there were two teams supported in South Africa, Man U and Liverpool, the love never faded.

Then came the truly good times, the really really good times, and along with those good times, came new fans, who didn't quite love the team for the club, rather they loved the team for the trophies. Yet still the love never faded, rather it became more defined and refined.

Then came the bad times. Well... Bad is subjective, and even though the were no trophies, it was still my team, and goddamn it, the football played was trophy enough in my books. You see, bragging rights mean less when you don't live in England, and trophies are merely bragging rights set in metal. And even though all of those new fans started disappearing due to lack of physical bragging rights, that love grew and grew.

Then I moved to a new continent, and I learned a new language and started watching a new football team. A team that actually won trophies and even beat Arsenal on their way to winning one of those trophies (Argentine Arsenal that is) and even though I fell in love with this new team, particularly their passionate fans, that love never shadowed that older and more established love, rather it served to once again define and refine that love.

So, 20 years have passed, and here I am, riding the tube from heathrow to charing cross. The first thing to trigger the memory isn't sight or sound, but rather, it's the smell. There is something so quintessentially English about the smell of the tube. And that smell triggered the remembering of so many things. Mostly it reminded me of where that long lasting love spawned.

I'm back and that love is stronger than ever. I haven't been home yet, but you can bet your mothers life that that is exactly where you'll find me, pretty damn soon!!!

A lot has changed. In fact almost everything has. However, home is where the heart is, and my heart bleeds red and white. It's been 20 years, two decades, and of all the things that have changed, the one thing that hasn't, is that love that never dies, the love for the greatest football team in the world. A team that doesn't need external validation, because it's soo damn beautiful in it's own right.

So, keep it VCC and remember why exactly you love this team, regardless of your age, origin or gender.


Guest Post Writer: Mr H

Comments (10)

  • John  - Welcome back
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    Great piece.

    "New fans who didn't quite love the team for the club, rather they loved the team for the trophies".

    I love that sentence.
  • Dandan
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    Welcome home Mr H and thanks for a well written article it would do some of the knockers good to be exiled for a while and let them realise how lucky they are. Hope your first game is a stormer.
  • Terry  - True Love
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    They say the first cut is the deepest and true love never dies.
    Become a Gooner and understand the sentiments behind the qoutes!

    Welcome home H
  • Jayjay  - That makes us two
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    Though ve never stopped loving the Arsenal.... But I haven't yet experience d ecstasy of the EMIRATEs...
    Those good old years.. When the gooners where wining didn't make me love Arsenal more. ironically, my love grew as the trophless years do... the more the wait the more I love Arsenal, with or without trophies, great players have come and gone and more will (am looking at U.. mr Van Persie) yet I still love this team. Nd that love got to a whole new level after the Unbeaten run.. as each season pethers away, as we loose to great teams and terrible poor ones(the stokes,hulls,birmighans etc.) The love grew, as The pain of another trophyless year arrives, d love wax stronger...FORGET ThE TroPHIES,
    ForGet The Great Goals, FORGET astonishing Comebacks, Forget the soul wretching and heart breaking defeats, forget the tears of joy,dismay and extreme disappiontment, forget The Board and Millioniaires owners trying to b part of our club, forget the Manager and Coaching staffs, Forget the deadwoods and perenially injured, Forget the rising stars and establish 1st teamers, Forget d Legends... forget them all. but Forget ARSENAL?????????????
    That am afraid is asking for just too much!

    a Gooner from Nigeria!
  • James o  - Arsenal must keep van persie
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    It will be a shamefull thing to wenger and all arsenal board of directors if they loose R.v.p to m.city infact i will stop supporting arsenal .
  • bake
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    get over it james. football is a business.

    if a deal makes sense it will be done, do you thimk man city fans would stop supporting thier team if they sold agureo to arsenal. NOPE.
  • richie
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    @James O you understood nothing about Mr H's wonderful article if the loss of RvP could cause you to stop supporting Arsenal. Nothing could or should stop a real Gooner supporting the Arsenal.

    John above highlights a great sentence from Mr H's article which illustrates why not all Arsenal "Fans" are "Gooners" or "real supporters" but only glory hunters.

    "New fans came along who didn't quite love the team for the club, but rather they loved the team for the trophies"

    James O if the loss of RvP (great player that he undoubtably is) could cause you even to consider not supporting the Arsenal, then I'm sorry but you shouldn't consider yourself a real Arsenal Supporter. Players come and go, and at the Arsenal we can count ourselves lucky that we've seen many great players, play for the club, but even the wholesale sale of the whole squad wouldn't cause any Gooner I know to look elsewhere. Like Mr H says moving continents didn't stop him supporting his club, if your a Gooner you support Arsenal FC win, lose or draw. Buying or selling players shouldn't cause anyone to stop supporting. Its a marriage so you support in sickness and in health.
  • Mr H
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    Thanks for the comments, it's always appreciated when you put your heart into a piece of writing to have people make you realize they think along the same lines.


    Oh... As for you James, whilst richie pretty much took the words out of my mouth, i'd just like to say this: trollolololol, and keep on trolling, I'm sure usmanov appreciates yours and others attempts at sowing the seeds of division amongst real gooners. Don't matter, real fans were here before the success, and will be here after the success and wil STILL be around when the success returns. Which in all likelihood will be when fans like you will start wearing red and white once again
  • richie
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    @ Mr H great entertaining read! And purposeful follow up comments. I've stated on this blog many times before, I waited a whole decade (the 60's) without my team winning a sixpence, but I never gave up hope my club would one day win something. In those days we weren't the entertainers, our football was horrible to watch, and like the cold of the northbank back then or the dentist chair it was something to indure.

    Years later durring the wonderful Graham Glory years when we won, we still weren't entertaining. Workmanlike we did the job or at least got the job done. Since then we've been spoilt by the Bergkamps, Henry's, Pires's, Vieria's and yes RvP. We haven't won anything for a while but unlike in the past when we didn't win anything we've still been good to watch, still entertaining. Now I'd love us to return to winning ways, but not at the expense of playing great football. I want my cake and I want to eat too. I want us to win playing great football and I'm prepared to wait, what else can those of us who support this team and love this club do?

    Its in our DNA to love and support our club and the team. As Mr H rightly says "We" were here before the success and "We" will still be here when the success returns.
  • Amit  - Gooner For life Arsenal forever
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    Mr H very very good article i totally agree with wat you have mentioned One life one club for hardened Gooners Arsenal is forever Respect for true gooners like yourself

    Ritchie-I am really happy Sensible gooner fans like you and Mr H makes this a great club with class unlike other money doped shit clubs without class i strongly believe in my team Arsenal was there before players like RVP and Arsenal will continue to be a great classy club after RVP is dead Trophies or No trophies We are the gooners for life after every dark night there will be a great sunrise and i am positive Arsenal will Emerge Stronger i respect fans like you and MR H who really understand wat is a true feeling of following your club trophies are merely attraction but the substance is the class and pride to keep the heads up and try harder when things dont go as intended thats wat brings success which i am sad to say not many glory hunting fans dont understand

    "ARSENAL FOREVER"
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