Tag Archives: wilson

Choosing Arsenal and our Scottish ties

People support their team for a myriad of reasons, but if polled, the most popular reason fans choose their team is because of family tradition.

Which doesn’t make it a choice for most.

I’m jealous of those who have their support passed down to them like an intangible family heirloom. It runs through the family and is simply expected that the new generation will follow the same course. It means that the values and beliefs of the club from bygone eras will continue to live on in a way.

I found my club calling while I was in Scotland. It was the tail-end of the George Graham tenure, our football wasn’t exactly vibrant and a title challenge didn’t look remotely close – but as a cup team? That incarnation of Arsenal could rise above the ignominy of their league position and give any team in the land a game.

I didn’t enjoy football prior to the last two seasons of Graham’s reign. I regularly had Rangers games spoonfed to me on terrestrial TV and they were my Scottish team – but I didn’t have that fire in my belly to watch them, to lend my support, to spend inordinate amounts of money on merchandise and to go to Ibrox to watch them in the flesh.

When I began to follow Arsenal though, I would hoover up anything about them. Football magazines with posters. Collectibles (remember Pogs?) newspaper cutouts, Match of the Day – anything I would consume with voracity. On the rare occasion that an Arsenal game was televised? I was there on the edge of my seat.

Supporting Arsenal when they weren’t a fashionable team – while in Scotland – presented a few objections from pals at school. They would regularly scrawl on my Arsenal pencilcase, colouring it blue or green – or questioning why I didn’t follow Man United if I wanted to support an English team.

It wasn’t that simple. You know as well as I do that when you become a fan, it’s not as if you can sever ties. The bond (should) be unbreakable. So I weathered the abuse and jokes.

I’m quite proud now to say I’m a Scottish Gooner. And looking at the club’s history, my nation is intrinsically linked to the club.

First and foremost, Arsenal wouldn’t exist without a certain Scotsman.

David Danskin, the man behind the original idea to form the club.

a95f5651-c0e5-49e6-ab04-a621fcd807be

George Graham, Frank McLintock, Alex James, David Herd, Bob Wilson, Jimmy Logie, Eddie Kelly, Willie Young, Charlie Nicholas. These men were fine representatives for the club and upheld the Arsenal Way. It further strengthens my love for the club and my pride as a Scotsman.

There has been a dearth of Scotsmen wearing our red and white in recent years however. Young Charlie Gilmour was our last and before that it was a big gap. This is easy to explain – the quality of Scottish players didn’t exactly enamour top clubs to chase after their services…

But now, we have Kieran Tierney. The left-back started his Gunners career with injury, but now we are starting to see what the fuss was about. His darting runs down the flank are far from simply fast. They are pre-meditated and perfectly timed to coincide with the attack. His delivery is probably among the best at the club from out wide – and he has certainly destroyed any notion of struggling to jump the gap between the uncompetitive SPL and the Premier League.

Tierney is another link, another thread interwoven in the story between Arsenal and Scotland.

Arsenal Unveil New Signing

It may also help to strengthen our fanbase north of the border too.

Fans nowadays have an array of different mediums to consume football and it is easier than ever to forge the bond between fan and club. But the allure of glory is still very strong for kids, which is why there is a healthy contingent of City, Liverpool and Chelsea fans across the UK and beyond.

Hopefully though, Arsenal will be chosen by just as many by those kids who don’t have heritage to fall back on when choosing their club. Hopefully they will turn on the TV and the first match they devour greedily will be our boys on the pitch, scoring goals for fun and giving us all heart problems when they defend.

If these kids like excitement and unpredictability – there really is only one club in the running.

 

Aubameyang Up For Best Player at London Football Awards 2019

London’s footballing finest will be out in force on 28 February, as the annual London Football Awards take place on 28 February.

 

Battersea Evolution is the destination for this year’s LFA’s, and some of the biggest names in the sport will be vying for the awards, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Chelsea winger Eden Hazard and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all nominated, with nine awards up for grabs during the prestigious event.

 

The cream of the capital’s football crop will be in attendance for this fifth London Football Awards. Among the honours being contested are Manager, Player and Young Player of the Year, as well as Women’s Player of the Year and Community Project of the Year also being in the spotlight.

 

Jordan Knobbs LFA18 winner & Kelly Smith MBE CREDIT Action Images.jpg

 

Nominees are selected by an independent panel of judges, hailing from respected media professionals belonging to the BBC, The Telegraph and Sky Sports, as well as distinguished current and ex-professional players.

 

The nominees were announced by Bob Wilson OBE on 28 January. Wilson and his wife Megs run the charity Willow, the only national charity dedicated to working with seriously ill young adults aged between 16-40, aimed at making wishes come true with Special Days designed to give those suffering a time to forget about their illness and make some memories.

 

The London Football Awards will raise some much-needed funds for Willow, and the competition for the awards will be keenly contested, the city’s biggest clubs and players will be duking it out among some shining lights from the Championship, League One and Two for honours. It will be a celebration of London’s footballing achievements, and a chance for some to achieve recognition for their brilliance during the season.

 

Ian Wright accepts Outstanding Contribution to London Football at LFA18 CREDIT Action Images.jpg

 

 

Over the five years of the LFA’s, the likes of Arsene Wenger, Ian Wright, John Terry and Frank Lampard have attended and picked up Outstanding Contribution to London Football awards, and this year will be no different. Tottenham and England legend Glenn Hoddle will be the next icon picking up this illustrious accolade.

 

The night will be filled with stars and those in attendance will be hoping that this year will be their time to pick up one of the gongs. Other past winners such as N’Golo Kante, Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli, Jordan Nobbs and Aaron Ramsey have all enjoyed the spectacle and been given the honour of winning their respective category, and Bob Wilson feels this year will be even bigger;

 

“The London Football Awards is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the skills of our nominees, as well as the outstanding community work achieved by the clubs and County FA’s. It’s been a dramatic and exciting season for all the capital’s clubs and it’s refreshing to see names from some second and third tier league teams, vying for awards against the usual Premiership heavyweights. I’m looking forward to celebrating the best of London’s football with friends and colleagues on February 28th.”

 

Standard tickets to the London Football Awards, including pre-dinner drinks and a three course meal, cost 225 pounds per person Tables of ten are available at 2,250 pounds, with Premium tables costing 3,500 and Legend tables (for nine guests plus a bona fide footballing legend) going for 6,000.

 

For more information and booking, visit www.londonfootballawards.org or call Willow on 01707 259777.

 

Almost Invincible – The Perfect Christmas Gift

Christmas is on the horizon, and buying the ideal gift is troublesome to say the least.

If you have a Gooner to buy for though? That means you always have a present in mind for them to unwrap.

There is plenty of merchandise that would put a smile on their face. Jerseys, training kit, stationary, everything up to and including their very own Gunnersaurus.

I’m here to tell you that my book, Almost Invincible, is the answer you’re looking for.

Don’t believe me?

Let Bob Wilson, Arsenal icon, convince you;
IMG_6827

Not enough to sway you? What about the words of Arsenal goal machine and title winner Alan Smith?

Arsenal legend Alan smith endorses my book!

My book has even won rave reviews from one of the best writers in the business. Amy Lawrence, Guardian and Observer journalist, had this to say about Almost Invincible;

This book thoughtfully details an historic campaign for Arsenal; a team full of character and a season that required a band of brothers to succeed.”

My book looks in depth at the title-winning season of 1990/91. A season that saw points deductions, a 23 man brawl, our captain being sent to prison – and a league campaign that saw our squad rise above it all in a spectacular fashion.

One single loss was incurred in the face of these huge setbacks. A loss that should never have happened.

I delved deep into the annals of the British Library to take from newspaper excerpts, player interviews and more. I also enlisted the help of some esteemed Gooners who were fans and enjoyed the season first hand, to get as close to the feelings and events that they went through.

This book is much more than just a stats book, or a focus on a season. This book was written to give fans a time machine with a sole destination – the incredible season of 1990/91.

Any fans who find this book under the Christmas tree will have the chance to enjoy that wonderful season.

So consider ‘Almost Invincible’ for the Gooner in your life, or leave a few hints to your nearest and dearest if you’d like it yourself!

You can find the book here or on Amazon here.

Stars on Canvas – Gunners Paint For Charity

Some say football is an art form, but some Arsenal legends have taken it further – by producing art themselves – and you can win their work!

One-off artwork by Arsenal players and legends, Paul Merson, Ian Wright, David Seaman, Bob Wilson, Sol Campbell and Jordan Nobbs is up for grabs in online charity auction, Stars on Canvas, from November 15 with bids starting at just 99p.

image004

Stars on Canvas is a collection of unique artwork created by more than 250 stars of TV and film, sports personalities and musicians, as well as respected artists, illustrators and cartoonists.

View the Stars on Canvas collection and find out how to bid atwww.starsoncanvas.org.uk

Each and every canvas will be sold in aid of Willow, the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days –www.willowfoundation.org.uk