What following Arsenal for over 60 Years has bought – memorabilia and memories

With all the rumours, discussions and arguments involving our club and its fanbase, I thought “what about some nostalgic memories that might bring a smile to our faces”?

As some of you might know, I am lucky enough to have a wife of over 50 years, who lets me indulge in my unconditional love of our club.

So much so, that I have a room of my own, with the obligatory 42inch TV, tropical fish and all my accrued physical memories of The Arsenal.

From over 1000’s of programmes, every daily newspaper report the day after Bertie Mee led us to the double at WHL, books, videos, DVD’s, pictures on the walls, models of Highbury, Emirates, all the crests that the club has had on our shirts and (courtesy of Danbury Mint) a badge for every single honour we have won…including the Charity/Community Shields.

I then thought what would be the top five items that mean so much to me and so I have laid them out, with a little story about them.

So, in date order, here they are:

1. The rosette I wore to Wembley when we lost to Swindon Town in the league cup during the 68/69 season by 3 goals to 1 and this after losing in the same competition to Leeds United the year before by 1 goal to 0.
As I left the twin towers, Arsenal scarves, rosettes, hats and everything else red and white had been thrown away in disgust…we had just lost yet another final to a club two divisions below us. I vowed to keep this rosette to remind me of the bad old days, as I was convinced that one day we would be the biggest club in the world.

2. The programme from the night we beat the spuds at WHL to win the double and, once and for all, shove all the taunts down the tiny tots throats. What a wonderful night, remembered to this day when Bertie Mee (the most dapper of managers) appeared with his coat off and braces showing jumping up and down and laughing with the fans.
I also had a clod of the spuds pitch safely squirrelled away in my collection, but my wife, while doing the housework, threw it away!!!

3. My signed shirt of every single player from The Invincibles, authenticated by The Arsenal and with photographs of some of the players signing the said shirt. It hangs on the wall and the saddest thing is we just recently lost the first of The Invincibles in Jose Reyes.

4. Two pictures of my grandsons posing for a photograph with the great Thiery Henry. They were taken at Euston station as the boys were about to board a Eurotunnel train and the great man quite happily posed for one and waited while my daughter ran and got her other son from a nearby sandwich bar!!!

5. Any of you programme buyers who have the one from the Everton game that took place on October 24th 2015, will see that within the noticeboard section there is a message for me from my family. “KEN LOCK HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY”…fancy that, me appearing in The Arsenal programme!!! My dream was to have a shirt number by the side of my name, but this is the nearest I ever got to fulfilling that dream. Along with this, I got a personal letter from the great Arsene Wenger, congratulating me on my 70th birthday and also for being a loyal supporter for over 60 years. Pride of place for me of course!!!!

I hope I haven’t bored too many of you and I sincerely hope that the younger ones who read this will have such personal and wonderful memories of the greatest football club in the world and I would love to know what memories/keepsakes other Gooners have to tell us about.

Ken1945

29 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    This article is like a breath of fresh air! Well done Ken.. it really is nice reading about all of your memories.. and to have appeared in a programme & received a letter from Arsene – very impressive!! ?
    Thank you for sharing that with us Ken.. you are a true gooner ?

    1. aMoistMuffin says:

      couldnt agree more sue

  2. aMoistMuffin says:

    I really enjoyed reading that Ken makes a nice change from being linked with 100s of players a day. Im 28 so about 20 years deep into my Arsenal obsession. I was somewhat spoiled by the invincibles but feel so priveliged to have seen them. I just hope some day we can get at least somewhere near that level again because i genuinely believe we were the best team in the world at that time. Its nice to hear the views of someone who has seen it all over the years and one thing i gained from reading your article Ken, is that we can come good again its just not our time right now. Anyway sorry to waffle on COYG

    1. Sue says:

      ?? brilliant, aMoistMuffin! 20 years in.. I’m 28 in… seen some great times & some not so great, hey? But I believe we’ll be a force again one day.. once a gooner, hey?!

      1. aMoistMuffin says:

        it can be torturous at times Sue but what would we do without our beloved Arsenal. Oh yes no doubt about it.. haha exactly

  3. Durand says:

    Ken my friend, what a brilliant article; beautiful, simple, honest.

    Reminding us why so many of us fell in love with the club. Nothing about transfers, managerial decisions, pitch performances, only the aspects that touch us so deeply and are ingrained in our hearts.

    Whether a comment or an article, I always make time to read Ken1945.

    Bravo my friend

  4. Xxnofx says:

    Agree with Sue and Mrmoist Ken
    Nice to read abit about you and some of your favourite past memories.
    The 1st article I’ve actually read all the way through and enjoyed reading in a quite awhile on here .
    I say carry on writing even more articles Ken ….
    ?

  5. Declan says:

    I was at the league cup final against Swindon Ken. Don Rogers broke my heart, I cried my eyes out.
    I was on the “shelf’ at spurs ground when Ray Kennedy scored the winner and we did our first double, what a night.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      I was also on the shelf that night Declan, got in the ground about 6-30 through one of the last gates open. Some estimates said up to 100,000 people were locked out.

  6. Kakas says:

    I love this club regardless of the constant heartache

    1. Phil says:

      Congratulations Ken-And if anyone is not aware this is a supporter who travels down from SCOTLAND for every home game.Wonderful memories from a wonderful fan.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Well said Phil, SCOTLAND every game. Incredible fan.

  7. Uchman says:

    Wonderful memories from a great gunner, u know I have big respect for u, ur honest analysis and great knowledge of our great club always gladens me, i strongly believe we can be a force again,kudos my dear friend ken more grace bro

  8. Jeff Fairbrother says:

    Ken, a really interesting story and one to which I can relate very well as I also have supported Arsenal for 57 years, not as long as you but close enough that I also remember the terribly depressing days after the games against Leeds and Swindon Town. I do remember however, the great feeling we all had in 1969 when Arsenal won the Fairs Cup at Highbury. It was a very exciting game and one in which Frank McLintock played an absolute ‘blinder’ of a game and was, in my memory anyway, a true inspiration to the team in his role as captain. There had been some terrible seasons in the 60s up to then and after that Fairs Cup victory, Arsenal went on the win the double at Wembley with Charlie George scoring the winner.
    I emigrated to Canada shortly after that and I have only been to the Emirates three times since but unfortunately never to see Henry play. He was the supreme goal scorer and with the rest of the “Invincibles’ Arsenal had a team of wonderful and brilliant individuals! I have to make do now with watching Arsenal’s league games on TV and while the Emirates may be a great stadium, it’s not like Highbury used to be with the crowd close to the pitch and fans who were really into every second of the game being played in front of them. My visits to the Emirates were nothing like that and the crowd seemed to be like tourists from all over Europe who had just come to visit the ground as part of their coach tour! No fervour and not even sure they were Arsenal fans or even football fans!
    Maybe it will get better as the team improves but while I will always be an Arsenal fan, I am worried that under the current owner, we might struggle to catch up to the teams with deep pockets.
    Thanks again for your memories Ken.

  9. Kenny Rolfe says:

    I second that Ken. It feels like we have parallel Lives. I can still remember one of mu earliest games, a 4-4 draw at Highbury against the great Wolves side of the late fifties. We equalised in the last minute at Laundry End as it was called in those days before being changed by the fans to The North Bank. As you know Ken Wolves were one of the first teams to be shown playing midweek European football on the BBC, (about haLf hour highlights) against the likes of Barcelona and Hungarian side Honved. Great nights of football. I can a;so remember the great Real Madrid’s 7-3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960 European Cup Final from Hampden Park in front of 134,000 fans with Puskas and Di Stefano sharing the goals. A rare live televised game in those days. Going back to the Swindon game I was playing non league football that day and there was an Arsenal supporter in the crowd with a transistor radio who kept telling me what was happening. When Bobby Gould equalized I was going mad in the centre circle all on my own. I was in the bath after the game when I found out we were beaten. I was distraught. I was at the Leeds game when we were beaten 1-0 but for the likes of us, success started with the greatest ever night at Highbury when we came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Anderlecht 3-0 and just as you done a year later, I dug up a piece of the Tottenham pitch on that great night at White Hart Lane and put it in my white jacket, not a good idea then went on to celebrate all night.For the youngsters, you paid at the turnstile in those days and Arsenal fans got in early and there were more Arsenal fans in the ground that Tottenham. What a night!!! Gave up playing non league football in the mid seventies purely because I missed going to the Arsenal. Apart the eight or nine years playing I’ve been a regular all my life, home and away. Stopped the way games about 10 years ago when tickets became compulsory. 24 years on the terraces and 37 years a season ticket holder. Been going from the age of 8 and now I’m 69 and still get the same buzz before a game as I did when I was a kid. What a fantastic club, so many memories, Anderlecht ’69, first double in ’71, United in’79, 3 finals on the trot , George Graham’s era, Anfield ’89 and then Arsene Wenger’s great era with the best club side of all that time. Greatest ever Arsenal player? No doubts, Dennis Bergkamp. As I’ve said before apart from my family Arsenal Football Club is the love of my life and always will be to the day I die.

    1. Sue says:

      Brilliant, Kenny ??? another true gooner!

  10. G.O.C says:

    Respect to you @Ken1945,

    I really envy all the experiences, both sweet and sour, and the strides you have made as a gooner….. Almost felt like a baby gooner reading the article… 24 years of pure rollercoaster ride with this club and I wouldn’t have it any other way…

    Hope to someday celebrate 60 fun years of Arsenal memories like you…. God bless you sir…Stay hale and hearty…And keeping making more memories….

    1. Mobella says:

      Ken, thanks for sharing your memories with us. I enjoyed every bit of it. I wish I will be able to make to Emirate before I die and watch the boys play even if it means losses to Swindon Town again????I live far away in Nigeria and not rich enough to make the trip right now but I’m hopeful. Where is gotnoideal, 20 comments in and he is nowhere to be found?? oh this is no article bashing any of our players??

  11. ken1945 says:

    I’m so pleased that lots of you have enjoyed some of my treasured memories.
    It is hard to describe exactly what being a real fan really is and age doesn’t mean one is better than younger supporters does it?
    It’s a sudden realisation that The Arsenal, somehow or another, has become part of your DNA and it never ever goes away.
    The passion, excitement, the highs and lows are the same if your seven or seventy and are just as important to each of us.

    Of course we all have our own opinions and see things differently…I have no doubt whatsoever that fans like RSH and TMJW are as passionate as I am and it’s this diversity of opinions that make “justarsenal” so good to be part of.

    As a footnote and my last post on this subject, my other grandson, who is a trained pysthio at Addenbrookes in Cambridge, is also employed by Cambridge United, looking after their younger players.
    He rung me up a few days ago, totally overwhelmmed by the fact that he was going down to The Arsenal to watch them (Cambridge) play one of our young sides.

    So, I’ve done my bit…two more generations of diehard gooners, completely and utterly hooked for the rest of their lives…my wife still doesn’t get it and who can really explain it?
    I know I can’t!!!!
    Thanks for joining indown memory lane.

    1. Phil says:

      Ken-through correspondence outside of JA i know just how proud you are of your family and this show through yet again.Im looking forward to hearing more stories from yourself and others including the “Old Brigade” who are fortunate to have witnessed the highs we did-it certainly helps you appreciate the times we enjoyed when going through the we had in the 60’s 79’s 80’s 90’s.But isn’t this what truly makes a supporter?
      As younger fans of today get older I hope they experience the roller coaster rides we have had over the seasons as it’s the bad times that really helps you appreciate the successful years so much more.
      A very typical post from Declan,Durand (watch those Hogs this season Declan) and of course Kenny who I’m still surprised want hit with a lifelong ban for putting off Jack Kelsey from behind the goal and chasing Puskas on the pitch at half time for an autograph.Lets face it -nowadays it would be a ban for running on the pitch and most players would never expect to have to sign an autograph (unless arrangrdvthrough his agent).
      Football has changed and life has moved on-I just cannot help believing the younger supporters of today will never have the opprobrium experience Arsenal Football Club as we and so many thousands of others have over the last 50-60 years .
      Once again Ken thank you for this wonderful article-and looking forward to the next one.

  12. Mobella says:

    2019 at 10:13 am
    Ken, thanks for sharing your memories with us. I enjoyed every bit of it. I wish I will be able to make to Emirate before I die and watch the boys play even if it means losses to Swindon Town again????I live far away in Nigeria and not rich enough to make the trip right now but I’m hopeful. Where is gotnoideal, 20 comments in and he (and others) is nowhere to be found?? oh this is no article bashing any of our players??

  13. Paddy Gooner says:

    Great to read all those memories. Hopefully we will make some more soon. Been a fan since ’79, and apart from the fantastic final against united, all we seemed to do after that was lose finals. Thank God for George Graham, without whom none of what came after would have happened. I don’t know why I’m an Arsenal fan, cause win or lose, play beautiful Wenger ball, or 1-0 to the Arsenal, or even the dour years with Howe and Terry Neill, I’ll still be a gonerr till I die??

  14. ozziegunner says:

    Thank you Ken, Kenny Rolfe, Phil and other long term supporters of the Arsenal for your recollections of following this great club through thick and thin. Although I have followed the Arsenal since age 10 for 57 years, it has been like Mobella from afar; however I have managed to see the Arsenal play Leicester City from the North Bank of Highbury in September 1977. It was the great Frank McLintock’s return as manager of Leicester City. Malcolm Macdonald “Super Mac” should have scored 5 goals himself that day and I commented to some old fellows along side me that a young Graham Rix would play for England. The highlight was seeing the great Liam Brady, prior to.his heartbreaking move to Juventus. What Arsenal would give to have his like today.
    Malcolm McDonald, by the way Sue, had the best physique you would see on an association footballer!

    1. ken1945 says:

      ozziegunner, he had the bandiest legs one could ever have had and still be able to walk!!!

      You could have run a horse and cart through them!!!

      ANother extraordinary player that scored goals for a hobby and run the 100 metres in olympic qualifying time during his prime.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Ken, but from the waist up he was built!

  15. Le Coq Monster says:

    What a wonderfull wonderfull post, although I would have divorced the wife for losing the turf ! 😆

    My first game was in 1965 against Sheff Utd and we won 6-2.
    There have been many great occasions, but to take a child to their first game is probably my best moment. I took my son drilled out in Arsenal attire for his first game in 2011 and we won 1-0 against W Brom. I showed him around the old stadium and on the way to the Ems stopped off at a old programmes stall where I asked a chap whether he had a programme of my first game against Sheff Utd………….he did !……..so now I kept the programme together my sons first programme and like reading your fabulous story it has brought a tear to my eye.
    You ask what makes a real fan of The Arsenal and there are numourous answers from millions of fans, but if asked as a snp question mine would be………I hate Totnumb……..it`s in the dna.
    Thank you for a trip down memory lane.

    PS
    I have put a clip of my first game on the next comment as if I put it up now, the whole comment will go into moderation, so if anyone wants to see the clip they may have to wait, unless AdMart can get his boots on ! 🙂

  16. Le Coq Monster says:

  17. Kenya 001 says:

    Great memories Ken????

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