I started supporting the Gunners in 1990 when I became old enough to understand what the commotion was all about after which I was addicted. These were the days when we played boring football and the likes of Niall Quinn, Mickey Thomas, David Hillier, David Rocaster, Kenny Sansom, Paul Merson, David O'Leary, Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Ray Parlour and Alan Smith. Twelve years is a long time. In 1990 I was straight, pure and innocent, Tottenham Hotspur had talented players and the Liverpool dynasty seemed to be coming to an end. The infamous match at Anfield on May 24th (25th?) 1989 was recent history and Graeme Souness was about to start destroying his club's dynasty. Man Utd were still an average team with only Bryan Robson as a 'good' player and this nobody Frenchman called Cantona was being rumoured to come to play in England. Sheffield Wednesday hads Chris Waddle and David Hirst and were respectable and, most notably, QPR were in the old First Division.
My father was pumping my head with names like Brady, George, Ball, Richardson, McNab, McLintock, Sunderland, Talbot, Marwood, Kelly and Stapleton to name but a few but I had no idea the history MY time would create.
Over the course of the nineties I winced in agony as the Liverpool era was replaced by one for their nearest and dearest rivals Man Utd. Sure we took the '91 title with only seven defeats to mention and then took the '93 Cup double and the '94 Cup Winners Cup but Utd's rise to prominence always put a dampener on these 'achievements'. Then came the wretched Euro 96 with England losing to Germany on penalties and the life-changing World Cup '98 when I met Petya, who converted me into lesbianism, and has stuck with me ever since. I couldn't have dreamed my team, who had for some reason begun to play decent football, would take the Double.
And then came the pain of watching Giggs score THAT goal @ Villa Park to rob us off another FA Cup and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink destroy our title hopes. I coped, but only cos Petya was there.
And then the 2000 UEFA Cup Final-humiliation; the 2001 FA Cup Final-despair and then the magical season 2001-02. How magical was THAT. We just played out of our skins and my gal said to me: "We've never played this well since Herbert Chapman".
So there's my life as an Arsenal fan. I've had to overcome many obstacles in my life: chauvinism, sexism, zealous teachers, lesbian-haters, laziness, Roy Keane and Argentina. Yet I've overcome these obstacles with Petya by my side and Arsenal in the brain
Love and peace!