Why shouldn’t being a Gooner rank high in my priorities in life?


Following on from Jon Fox’s last article, one of the things that came out of the discussions from said article, was the relevance of supporting our club and where it “should” feature in the everyday world we live in.

Some really thought-provoking points were made – global warming.. .ongoing famine… wars around the globe… other countries behaviour… the individuals within that country – in fact, it seems that football and it’s fans, were not able to see the bigger picture and should get their priorities in order…. just as it was over fifty years ago!!!

Now, for me, this holier than thou concept is like a red flag to a bull – and here’s why:

The Arsenal have given me countless years of pleasure, despair and everything in between.

From a very early age, going to Highbury and mixing with people from every walk of life and all with one passion, made me realise what following a club can give one.

I’ve sat next to, and listened to, a complete mix of individuals, learnt words that increased my vocabulary, sang with fellow supporters who I never knew and jumped around with joy when we scored.. .or moaned and bitched with when we lost, swearing never to come back, but knowing we would be at the next home game.

Two or three weeks later, there we were, chatting away as if we knew each other all our lives and talking about many varied things, but it was The Arsenal that held the connection to that friendship.

Even if we disagreed on, say, participating in ban the bomb marches (60’s protests!!) we had the one thing that was always destined to keep that bond… The Arsenal.

As I grew older and started a family, there were other priorities that became bigger issues, but The Arsenal never went away… so much so, that I inducted my two daughters into the family that is The Arsenal, much to my wife’s displeasure I should add!!!

During this time, I had to give up my season ticket for financial reasons and I felt I had betrayed what was, essentially, my first love/commitment – for those who cannot understand my feeling, don’t worry, as I really can’t fathom it out myself!!!!

Once I was able and willing to look further than the family’s health, wealth and stability, it was such a simple thing to step right back into supporting my club again… still knowing that there were wars, famine, corruption, etc, etc, in the world and I diligently cast my vote at every opportunity to try and make the world into the image that I saw as correct.

But why would that affect in any way, the time and money that I wanted to give to my club?

Why would that make me a lesser person, simply because I saw The Arsenal as my outlet once every week?

I don’t need people to tell me that there are other things more important, as I’ve lived through those years and they still exist, despite all the efforts of mankind to eradicate them.

I could sit at home, wringing my hands, go on more protest marches and give even more money to charities, half of which never reaches it’s intended victims anyway (AdPat comment- allegedly!) … or I could follow this “thing” called The Arsenal and use the emotions I have left (after my family and friends) supporting this club of ours.

I look at the latest meeting of the powerful leaders, here in Scotland, patting each other on the back as they try to clear up the mess that politicians have made – sitting around, dining on the very best money can buy – a room full of corruption – and I say to myself… ”Come on Ken, let’s get away from this pig’s trough and go and watch a game of football”.

I’m sick of being told to get my priorities right by others – I believe I have got my priorities right, and The Arsenal is as important to me as it was nigh on seventy years ago.

I leave you to decide what makes someone a supporter or a fan and what their priorities are or should be, and I’m not saying my way is the correct way, but please don’t tell me what I should be doing – and act like Mother Teresa while saying it.


Once a Gooner – Always a Gooner.



Tags Gooner


  1. Well said Ken, good read and wasn’t it Bill Shankly who said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you, it is much, much more important than that”.

  2. Particularly as I get older, and life changes apace with grandkids coming along (now 5 years old apiece) I sometimes reflect upon this very question, or more specifically “why DOES being a Gooner rate so highly in my life” ?

    I could provide my personal slant as to why this is in fact the case quoting upbringing, background, social aspects, family influences, peers and so on.

    There is a very simply answer – it’s in my blood from knee high to a grasshopper.

    An overly simple seemingly throwaway explanation, but just happens to fit perfectly and it’s a simple as that for me.

    Unintelligent, lacking in other aspects of life’s great riches – no …… it is really just as simple as that.

    I couldn’t shake it even if I wanted to.

    I recall to this day. At his funeral service an uncle of mines’ eulogy mentioned “We all recall Mark as being an avid Arsenal fan”.

    I suspect amongst “one or two” other positives (I hope) mine will reflect upon something similar.

    It’s in the blood.

    Talking of departing, my demise nearly came over the weekend.

    I asked one of my grandkids what they would like for Christmas “A Tottenham kit” came the reply !!

    What followed was a lengthy “speech” as to why Grandpa would die for him – but he ain’t having that ! (we’ve got him this years 3rd kit !!).

    1. AJ
      As an under10 year old I went to play at a friend’s house- the family being spuds. When I got home I told my dad that I wanted to be like Alison and support them. My dear dad suggested I moved in with them as hell would freeze over before any member of his family changed allegiance. The rest is history!

      1. SueP.

        Your Dad was a model parent, who brought you up impeccably 👍

        Little Isaac’s request has scarred me – he kept banging on about Harry Kane, and sometimes chooses Spuds when playing FIFA 😩

        All very disconcerting.

        I’m sure it’s some little blighter at school who apparently gave my grandson a Spuds picture the other morning’.

        Got to nip this in the bud.

        There’s only gonna be one winner here, and it ain’t gonna be the little man – and that’ll be a first bless him 😉

  3. I like Arsenal. But I have never made it as a high priority in life, because it’s just an entertainment to me and I cheer for other people’s sporting achievements

    If I were an English and loved Arsenal so much, I would’ve tried to be a professional footballer or coach. The managerial job pays much higher than any medical job, the good competitors are rare and I could be a big part of the club’s history

  4. Great perspective.
    There is no need to make make this an “either-or” issue. You can easily give Arsenal high priority, and still care about- and contribute to the solutions to problems in the World.

  5. As i get older my priorities change and i have many more things in my life far more important than Arsenal. I used to put Arsenal high up in my list of priorities, not so now but that goes with a lot of things in life but they are and will always be my team i have supported in my time. Football has changed, probably not for the better but that again is just my opinion and many wont agree, i dont think it is the sport it was and i am afraid as far as priorities are concerned, i have many more ahead of it. But i am still passionate about them but not quite as much.

  6. I believe Arsenal was a priority for many of us until we started finishing 5th, 6th and 8th. I don’t even get angry about it anymore. It’s just disappointing, that’s all.

  7. Excellent article Ken. I totally agree with your sentiments. I haven’t been to a game now for many years due to various reasons but I still live and breathe anything Arsenal. It always hurts me when we lose and I was devastated when we missed out on Europe, even if it was only the conference cup. If I can’t watch live games on TV or listen to them on Arsenal radio, I’m constantly checking all the scores on my phone or my computer. I look at the sports news on the internet all the time just in case I miss something.
    This doesn’t mean I’m immune to what’s going on in the world, we know more about world affairs now more than ever, thanks first to television, and now the internet. When I see the suffering of some people in other countries, especially the countries torn apart by war, I give thanks for being born in the UK. When I see poverty all around us I’m grateful for what I’ve got and when I see men, women and children dying every day from health issues, accidents or being tragically killed, especially young kids being stabbed to death, I feel so sorry for them and their families. I’m not religious but I do light a candle and say a prayer for all the poor unfortunates in the world. I can’t do much about world issues even though I’m aware of them, so rightly or wrongly, according to one’s point of view, my life revolves around Arsenal, family and friends. I have a great wife who loves football (she supports Leeds) so we have a lot of football on and we have some good banter.
    My apologies if anyone finds this post depressing that’s not my intention.
    Still praying Liverpool lose at least one game.

  8. So KEN THINKS I (presumably he must mean me, as I wrote the article he refers too which so upset him) am “holier than thou”(presumably “thou” meaning Ken).

    Its a cunning and hurtful line but like so much of what KEN claims that I said or think, it is UNTRUE!
    If you can find a quote from me saying I am holier than thou, Ken I will gladly pay £1000 to any charity of your choice.
    But I would far prefer that from now onwards dear Ken, you cease deliberately misrepresenting what I say in my articles and stick to what I ACTUALLY DID SAY, if you wish to challenge me.
    What I did say though that Ken chooses not to mention is that we all follow the sound of our own drumbeat.

    So “holier than though”? A BOGUS LIE!

    1. Jon, it was NOT aimed at you and I also praised your article, so calm down.
      It was what came out of your article, the comments, that I was referring to.
      It was plain that, for some, football should be well down the list of priorities and examples were given of much “worthier causes” and how everyone should be viewing life.
      I objected to that and gave my reasons why – if you read my comments any other way, that’s your problem my friend.

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