Should Arsenal have had a minute’s silence for AFTV’s Claude?

In the UK at the moment, not just in terms of football, we are becoming a nation that if you have an alternative point of view you are pressured to conform your opinion.

I respect this site for respecting my freedom of speech.

This past week Claude, of AFTV Fame, sadly passed away. Tributes poured in for him throughout the YouTube Community.

Yet the danger of social media is you exist in this little bubble that doesn’t represent the real world.

In midweek I found myself defending Arsenal when it was suggested that they wouldn’t have the class to hold a minutes applause or silence for the 58-year-old. I will criticise my club at times for how it’s run behind the scenes, but I felt this was unfair.

Of course it’s heart-breaking when anyone dies, and you wouldn’t wish that on any family to go through that unimaginable pain. Unfortunately, that doesn’t give you a divine right for your favourite Football Club to honour you.

I challenged this stance because I have written previous articles how I felt a man struggling with mental health was being exploited instead of helped.

I wrote that when he was alive, and feel it’s wrong to not be honest just when someone has passed.

When you feel lonely and isolated (as Claude admitted to), views and subscribers can become your validation.

My articles get traction. Sometimes I get lovely comments, often I get readers who want to call me names.

I’m aware though that’s it’s not real life. It’s a world where it’s easy to hide behind a key board and therefore many are not thinking before they interact. The majority wouldn’t in a debate say to your face the words they type. Some as a hobby just try to pick a fight as a source of attention.

It scared me that there’s a minority out there who think their world of Fan Channels is bigger than it is. That because someone who provided content that was entertaining should qualify for Arsenal FC, one of the biggest clubs in the world, holding a pre match ritual.

Think how self-involved that is?

That if you make a successful YouTube Channel, one of the biggest institutions in England should mourn one of your peers how you see fit.

It was argued to me that the Gunners should understand that this was a lifelong fan.

No one disputes that. Nor do they dispute what a lovely gentlemen Claude was.

Yet law of averages he won’t be the only man /women / child who passed away last week. There is no nice way to write that.

There will be those who passed who lived for Arsenal, who’s loved ones would be tickled by the idea of the club paying their respects.

In an ideal world Arsenal would hold a mins silence for every fan who dies and pay for their funeral.

Yet what some are saying is Claude should be given the honour because he was popular for a company that had nothing to do with Arsenal.

Yes, he spoke about Arsenal, but the club have on more than one occasion distanced themselves from AFTV and stressed their content has nothing to do with them.

In fact what Claude got his notoriety for was verbally abusing players and was sacked for a racial slur.

This was a man who didn’t have the respect to applaud Arsene Wenger in his final home game because he didn’t want to be accused of hypocrisy. Was that love for Arsenal or designed for his own agenda?

Just because he’s not here doesn’t mean you re-write history.

Arsenal never liked him calling the greatest manager in their history the C world or telling him to F off.

As I told people (and was called all kinds for this), there was reference to David Rocastle at the Emirates before our kick off against Liverpool but zero mention of Claude. Some on social media were unhappy with both the club and Sky Sports for only mentioning The 20-year anniversary of Rocastle’s passing.

To clarify, David Rocastle played 228 League games for Arsenal.

Yet some think that a Youtuber shouting into a camera is the same thing?

Claude is an AFTV legend. He’s not an Arsenal legend, there’s a difference.

Yes, he loved our club. There are gooners who love their club who work in the NHS, who put out fires, who do charity work. Guess what? They won’t get a minute’s silence from Arsenal either.

I’ll tell you a story.

A Gooner had terminal cancer. Before they died, they contacted Arsenal and asked if they could transfer their membership to their sons name so he could carry on the family legacy of attending live games.

The email came back. “While sorry to hear you are ill, our policy means you are unable too.”

Because just like any business, Arsenal are ruthless and are all about making money.

One day I will die.

Admin might say, ‘he liked to write about Arsenal’.

Readers might say they liked or hated what I wrote.

My family will say how much I loved this club.

Guess what?

I wouldn’t expect Arsenal or Sky Sports to hold me a minute’s silence…


  1. I agree completely with this article.. they cant hold a minute silence for every (famous) arsenal fan and one should not fake respect somebody after their death.. either you respect somebody honestly while they live or you dont.. if they had done a minute silence it would have been only for the image and never with any substance to it

  2. Absolutely not
    He was a fan. Full stop. And one who made irrational unstable rants, for which he was an aftv celeb. A show thst delighted in talking the club down

  3. The question is have Arsenal done it for any other supporter, when they died? If you do it for one, then you have to do it for all.
    I don’t know that they have except for ex players and Board members.
    The 20th anniversary of the death of David “Rocky” Rocastle, who played for Arsenal with distinction, certainly deserved acknowledgement.

  4. I that would give undeserved credit to AFTv which should not be allowed to record their silly rants anywher near the emirates.Claude though a gooner through and through had no respect for the regime at arsenal,there are critism we can make here but not live on camera.All arsenal fans are equal as a Matter of right.

  5. Completely agree with this…Arsenal should give a tribute who has made a difference to Arsenal…No offence, but what are Claude’s achievements other than being a glorified Arsenal fan?
    I’m a life-long Arsenal. Does that mean Arsenal should give a tribute to me when I die?
    No, because it doesn’t make sense

  6. Not sure what to make of this article actually. There are quite possibly an element of tongue in cheek or playing devils advocate here but the result is a possible trivializing the deaths of both men. Claude a man suffering from serious depression and having recently hinted at ending his life and David Rocastle who died of non-hodgkin’s lymphoma at the young age of 33.
    The author along with so many others these days says he ‘abhors’ the ills of social media yet on the face of it is using the very same techniques.
    To be fair Just Arsenal is a lot closer to the Sun and the Mirror than the Telegraph or the Guardian but making fun of the dead is taking things a bit far even so.
    But it is all part of the flotsam and jetsam of life and I don’t have to read or respond.
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          1. Your name was missing DAN! Simply that !

            AND IF YOU ARE BEING FAIR, I ALMOST ALWAYS PRAISE YOUR ARTICLES, though not every time. I hold no grudges or favourites and just react, honestly, to whatever people write. Usually you and I agree, though are you apparently suggesting otherwise? On Aguero signing, we did differ but that is not usual.

  7. I enjoy watching AFTV on occasions, if only to hear their views but NOT because I necessarily agree with them. There are some people on that channel I don’t like.
    I think you’ve done a fine job displaying equanimity on this issue. And I think it’s rather hypocritical here that the company which saw it fit to fire Signor Callegari are now gushing over him in tribute. Not that I’m defending what Claude said in any way, he should have known better and the whole thing could have been handled better. And WHAT exactly did AFTV do for Colin Nowell, AKA The Boominator? EXACTLY.

    Rocky Rocastle played his part in Arsenal’s legacy on the field and deserved a special tribute, as does EVERY Arsenal player who passes on. But the club were within their rights not to hold a tribute for Claude, good a man that he was.

    On another note, it was probably the nicest thing for his family who didn;t need any more publicity!

  8. With all due respect, I think not.

    There are thousands of us who have got many miles under our belts following the Arsenal home and away, over land and sea through thick and thin.

    Such loyal support, often over many many years, does not necessarily revive the “oxygen of publicity “ received by other fans – but this doesn’t make anyone less of a supporter.

    No disrespect to Claude, and may God bless him.

  9. A moving and excellent though heartbreaking article PAT. Sadly, what your outlined story shows is that AFC is primarily a business, at least at the level of those who make financial decisions, which ultimately means Kroenke, (at least a stooge acting on his behalf).

    That being said, there is no way any large supported club can ever have a minutes silence for every fan who dies. Claude had problems as we know but just being a devoted fan and, at heart, a decent man does not entitle him to a minutes silence, though I wish it did!
    But as ever Pat, I live in the real world where business people make hard nosed decisions and with enormous regret – as I wish it were otherwise – things will not be changing any time soon.
    Perhaps, in the future when our race has evolved a little further. When human livesare commonly seen to matter more than money, IF they ever do!

    I do not consider KROENKE AN EVOLVED HUMAN AT ALL. Does anyone ?

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