It is fairly safe to say that I am not a football person, it’s not that I don’t appreciate it for what it is, I just personally have never seen the appeal. However I recently upped sticks and moved to Upper Holloway, not ten minutes away from Arsenal stadium, and pretty much every Sunday a sea of fans adorned in red and white float past the kitchen window, old, young, big and small, and I’ve always been rather impressed by this unity of individuals, and sense of community.
Our local pub is called the plough, and by looking at the outside you can very easily tell it is an Arsenal supporting pub, big Arsenal flags on the outside, red and white colour scheme, and of course a sign outside saying ‘we are an Arsenal supporting pub.’ And again every Sunday the red and white fans pour out of the pub at the end of the game, with either huge grins and chants, or faces like thunder, depending on the outcome of the match.
So when I had to think of something I had never done before, joining in with this weekend ritual seemed to jump to mind, I looked up when the next match was on, and sure enough there was one the next day, ‘a big one, Tottenham Vs Arsenal.’ So I was told by my football fan friends.
The game started at one, and I was slightly unsure of what to wear, I didn’t want to look to out of place, so I dressed very casually, but when me and my friend walked in it was pretty clear we stuck out like sore thumbs. This made us slightly nervous at first, this wasn’t helped by the low mood and atmosphere in the pub, Tottenham had already scored twice, but within 10 minutes Arsenal scored. The whole pub was practically raised by the cheering, absolutely deafening, and then within another ten minutes another goal! The pub was now filled with smiles and cheers, and everyone became a lot friendlier. The thing I was most surprised about was the amount of passion some individuals had for the game, when the referee did something they didn’t approve of, or if Tottenham came close to scoring, the jeers where frightening, full of curse words, and one man even made his son cry, but this anger was often quickly amended by a goal or a good pass. I didn’t stay right until the end, 50 minutes was enough for me, before I completely lost what was going on, and a very drunk, very elderly man started hitting on me. However I looked up the score later on and found out that Arsenal won 5-2 I was hit by an amazing wave of pride, I have never felt before by football, maybe that’s because my previous local team was Exeter city FC or maybe it was because watched the match and seen the reactions of the true dedicated fans, I’m unsure, but it was fun, and I would definitely do it again.