I am a supporter of Arsenal football club, and have been since 1999. I started following JustArsenal five years ago. I have been following the articles and have posted a comment or two sometimes. I am a Nigerian an you must have heard that one of us died last week when watching Stoke City. Apparently, he had an heart attack when Stoke scored, and died before he got to the hospital.
I didn’t follow any Arsenal news throughout this week because we lost, mainly because I am sick of the media killing us after every loss, though they may have some point. Not reading about Arsenal for some days is my recovery therapy, so I don’t know if this has been covered for fans to honour the man. He may have taken it too far to his heart but that’s what we fans do, we love our club and sometimes pay for it, even with our lives. His wife’s revelation about how he loved Arsenal is touching.
This is how she described her awful experience: “My husband came back to the shop at the end of the first half of the match between Arsenal and Stoke City to urinate.
“He promised to be back at the end of the match, telling me how his club would win. But about 20 minutes after he left to watch the second half of the match, somebody rushed to the house to inform me that he had slumped at the viewing centre and that he was being rushed to a hospital.
“When I got to the hospital and saw him, he was almost dead. He was on a stretcher. At a point, one of our neighbours, who was among those that rushed him to the hospital, told me to go back to lock the shop and get a vehicle we could use to transfer him to another hospital.
“According to him, the hospital he was rushed to couldn’t handle the situation. I never knew it was a trick to send me away from the place because all that time my husband was already dead.
“It was until the next day, which was a Sunday that I finally believed that my husband was dead after he failed to wake up.
“His corpse was finally deposited at the morgue by the hospital workers. The sight of his lifeless body left me in utmost shock and a deep sorry state.
“My husband was neither sick nor showed any sign of being unhealthy. He woke up normally and we were all looking forward to a great day and other activities that weekend before the tragedy.
“We had plans together as a family but now death has taken him away. He died less than one month after we moved into our new house in the village. We were planning to dedicate the new building with relatives and friends when he died.
“To imagine that my husband who took good care of us is no longer around is unbelievable . I don ’t know where to go from here because life has not been the same for us since then.
“Watching Arsenal play was his life. He would rebuke and sometimes ignore me whenever I told him to reduce his obsession with Arsenal.
“He loved the club so much. He was ready to chase his customers away and lock up his shop just to watch the team play.
“For the 10 years that we were married, he never stopped watching football matches involving Arsenal.
“He was a loving man to his family and all those who came in contact with him. He had a lot of plans for us especially the children whom he promised to train to any level as far as education was concerned.
“He did his best to always make us comfortable and happy; we never knew death would snatch him away from us so soon. Words cannot tell how much we will miss him.”
I have tried to send a mail to the club about this to ask if a statement or recognition can be made about this. It would give peace to the grieving woman. I don’t know if you can also help on that front. Just a mention would do to know we are not alone. We supporters here in Nigeria would do something here too.