2,000TH MATCH TONIGHT
Tonight's match is Arsenal's 2,000th official fixture at Highbury in all competitions. The Gunners' first competitive match at Highbury was versus Leicester Fosse on September 6, 1913 in the old Second Division - the Gunners won 2-1 thanks to goals from George Jobey and Archie Devine. The matches played at Highbury are:
FA Cup: 142
League Cup: 98
Charity Shield: 5
A complete breakdown of our record here in each competition can be found in the Q&A section of today's matchday programme on page 27.
If Arsenal's World Cup winning midfielder Gilberto plays this evening, it will be his 100th league match for the Gunners.
DEADLINE DAY DEALS
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has left Arsenal for Russian side Spartak Moscow. Since joining the Club as a Scholar in September 2002, Quincy made eight starts for the first-team and also featured 15 times as a substitute. He scored twice, against Everton in the League Cup last season and versus Doncaster in the same competition this term. He also represented Holland at junior levels, including Under-21, during his time with the Gunners.
England Under-21 International David Bentley has made his loan deal to Blackburn Rovers permanent. The young midfielder/striker has been a regular for Mark Hughes' team during his loan spell at Ewood Park this season. David had been part of the Arsenal Academy since he was 11 years-old and made five starts for the first team as well as four substitute appearances. His only goal was a memorable chip against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in January 2004.
REAL MADRID V ARSENAL - MORE TICKET NEWS
Priority Booking Period 3 (25+ away credits) has now closed for our match in Madrid on Tuesday, February 21. All applications submitted correctly will receive their tickets in due course. We are still awaiting the tickets from Real Madrid. Priority Booking Period 4 is now open to Gold, Bond and Travel Club Members with 19+ away credits. Please contact www.arsenal.com for booking procedures. This booking period will close on 5pm, Friday, February 3. We have a limited number of tickets available at £35 each. Our records indicate that an extremely large number of members qualify to submit an application at 19+ Away credits. Should we receive more applications than tickets available, priority will be given to those supporters who have attended European away games over the last two seasons.
FINAL MATCHES AT HIGHBURY - SPECIAL BOOKING SERVICE
Due to the expected record levels of demand for our final matches at Highbury from Silver Members and Junior Gunners, the Club is pleased to announce that a special booking facility is being implemented for our last two home Premiership fixtures of the 2005/06 season, which is as follows:
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Kick off: 3pm
Sunday, May 7, 2006
Kick off: To be confirmed
Further to consultation with members of our Fans' Forum, it was decided that this special booking facility should reward Silver Members who have most regularly attended home matches this season. In order to apply for tickets for these final two Premiership matches at Highbury, Silver Members will be required to have attended a minimum number of home matches during the current season. All Silver Members who meet the criteria will be invited to register an application within the allotted time period detailed below.
If, as expected, the Club receives more applications than tickets, the number of home matches attended by each applicant will be taken into consideration. The Club would like to stress that the success of applications will have absolutely no reflection on the timing of when applications were made within the set period of time. Applications will only be accepted online through Arsenal.com between the following dates:
Tottenham Hotspur Application period:
Monday, February 13 - Monday, February 27
All applicants will be informed on the success of their application by email, week commencing March 13.
Wigan Athletic Application period:
Monday, March 6 - Wednesday, March 15
All applicants will be informed on the success of their application by email, week commencing April 3.
An application requires one credit card number and can contain up to a maximum of six members. Full details of the application process, including the requirement in terms of the minimum number of matches attended, will be posted on Arsenal.com one week in advance of the opening date for registration. A special telephone Helpline (0870 343 0870) has also been set up. This service will be in operation Monday to Friday 9.30am -5pm.
STOP PRESS - RESERVES WIN
Arsenal Reserves travelled to Carrow Road, Norwich on Monday night and recorded an emphatic 5-0 win over The Canaries. The Gunners' goals came from Anthony Stokes (2), Giorgos Efrem, Arturo Lupoli and Nicklas Bendtner. The win keeps the Gunners in second place in the Premier League South table with a game in hand on top placed Tottenham.
BAD LADS ARMY
The Club were recently contacted by the makers of Bad Lads Army with the following plea: Once again ITV are looking for 30 Bad Lads - rough diamonds, ex-cons, absent fathers, workshy wasters and the occasional loveable rogue to have a go at National Service on national TV. The volunteers will step back in time and take part in a fascinating and timely social experiment. Frog-marched to an authentic 1950s army base for a month this summer, they'll undergo a regime which half a century ago was reputed to turn boys into men.
The Bad Lads Army format is based on the experiences of the 2.5 million young men who were conscripted to do National Service between 1947 and 1961. Our bad boys, ladies' men and lazy lads will have their hair shaved, eat army food 1950s style, undergo a thorough army medical and even take part in church parades. This year the lads will be in for a few surprises during their four weeks training. We are looking for brains not brawn - and lads who really need a life changing experience. Auditions take place in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle in February and filming begins in June 2006. Apply online at www.itv.com/badladsarmy or call 09011 33 11 44 for a form prior to the audition. Calls cost 50p.
CHARITY 5-A-SIDE TOURNAMENT
To help raise funds for the Club's Charity of the Season, The David Rocastle Trust, we are holding a charity 5-a-side Football Tournament, in what could be your last chance to play at the O2 Sports Hall at Highbury. Saturday, February 25 will see teams go head-to-head in a series of knock-out rounds that will culminate in a final on Tuesday, March 14. The winners will be presented with a trophy and medals pitch-side during a home matchday. There will also be a pitch-side presentation to the team that makes the largest donation. This is a great opportunity to remember a spirited player who rose through the ranks at Highbury and contribute to this cause in a unique way. If your company or business would like to enter a team, please contact Shadia on 020 7704 4154 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
GOOD LUCK DANNY
Many Gunners fans will have cheered on fellow Arsenal fanatic Danny Williams when he beat Audley Harrison for the Commonwealth Heavyweight Title in December - and now he wants to claim the British Title too! Danny, who is here at his beloved Highbury tonight, takes on Matt Skelton at the ExCel Centre on February 25 for the title in a fight-night that features Amir Khan on the undercard. If you'd like to support Danny in his title attempt, tickets are available from 0870 160 7030.
ARE YOU RUNNING IN THIS YEAR'S LONDON
If you have your own place through the public ballot you can receive our support by running for The David Rocastle Trust. In return for pledging to raise money for the Trust in 'Rocky's' name we will support you with the chance to visit Highbury and have your picture taken at the stadium and we'll provide you with a David Rocastle Trust t-shirt in which to train and run, and of course we can offer invaluable fundraising tips and lots of sponsor forms to get you started! If you have your own fundraising ideas, from running races to dress down days, or even themed nights, we can offer you support. Contact Shadia, Fundraising Officer for The David Rocastle Trust on: 020 7704 4154 to discuss your ideas.
BID TO PLAY AT HIGHBURY!
Tensions will run high, emotions spill over and dreams made over the coming weeks as the most fiercely competitive Football Aid bidding to date kicks off. Bid NOW at www.footballaid.com for your chance to experience the day in the life of a professional footballer. Follow in the footsteps of your Arsenal heroes and play a game of heart pumping football on the hallowed turf of Highbury. Imagine the pride in seeing your shirt hanging up in the changing room, the thrill of running through the tunnel, the adrenaline of playing on the pitch so many superstars have graced before you and the euphoria as the final whistle blows and the crowd goes wild...
Do not let this opportunity slip through your fingers as this is the last Football Aid event to be held at Highbury! Bid early to avoid disappointment as only limited positions remain on the Arsenal team sheet. Visit www.footballaid.com and take part in the ultimate football experience, now! Please Note: Some positions may still be available to "Buy Now" for a fixed price, call the Football Aid sales team on 0131 220 5999 for full details or check out the Arsenal "team" page on the Football Aid website.