Before the Premiership encounter with Liverpool, Arsenal Football Club welcomed a group of 12 men who participated in a 'Jim'll Fix It' match at Highbury in January 1981.

As part of the Club's final season at Highbury celebrations, the Club welcomed back the group of boys who took on an Arsenal side at Arsenal Stadium 25 years ago.

The young men had all undergone heart surgery and were invited to play at Arsenal Stadium following a letter sent by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to the 1980s favourite, 'Jim'll Fix it' programme which made young people's dreams come true.

'Heart Line,' the name given to the team of young boys playing against the Arsenal side, lost the game 5-4. The Arsenal team, managed by Terry Neill, included Pat Jennings, John Hollins, Kenny Sansom, Brian Talbot, David O'Leary, Willie Young, Terry McDermott, Paul Davis, Frank Stapleton, Steve Gatting, Graham Rix and Steve Walford.

Sir Jimmy Savill, who unfortunately could not make the reunion, said: "25 years ago, one of our greatest ever 'fix its' was courtesy of Arsenal Football Club. Millions of people saw the film and were completely thrilled and I received many letters from football clubs saying Arsenal were terrific doing a fix it and could we do one at their ground. Well done for turning the clock back and love to everybody.Now then, now then."

Elliot Cohen, one of the Heart Line team members from Elstree said: "As it's Arsenal's final season at Highbury, I thought it would be great to get together at the stadium to celebrate the game that took place all those years ago. It's a fascinating piece of Highbury history and something I hold close to my heart as an Arsenal fan."

Arsenal Football Club's designated 'Reading Champion', Philippe Senderos, visited North Library, Manor Gardens, Islington on Thursday, March 16 to launch the Premier League Reading Stars initiative.

The project is aimed at encouraging people of all ages to read more books and access their local libraries. Each club has nominated a Reading Champion, who has selected their favourite children's or adults' book to create a list that will be used to inspire families across the country to read.

Philippe, who selected The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, met local youngsters participating in the scheme and answered questions about his reading habits, he also helped them with literacy activities before handing out prizes to the young people.
Philippe said: "I first read The Alchemist when I was 17 years old. I like this story as it's a simple tale with a valuable message. The story is about a young shepherd from southern Spain who dreams of a distant treasure in north Africa. He decides to leave Spain to follow his dream. Along the way he meets many interesting characters who teach him different lessons. The moral of the tale is to follow your heart to achieve your destiny, which I think is significant to all - whatever age."

Players from all 20 Premier League clubs have selected a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books in order to encourage families to read together.

The scheme has been developed as part of a partnership between the National Literacy Trust, Arts Council England, Football Foundation and the Premier League, and will be supported by a series of family reading groups at libraries across the country.

All clubs have adopted at least one library, which receives free copies of all the player-recommended titles. All participants have the chance to meet an author, and take part in a series of football based literacy games throughout the initiative.

Dave Richards, Chairman of the Premier League and the Football Foundation, said: "With Premier League Reading Stars, we hope to be able to use footballers' favourite book choices as a way of inspiring families to read together. The programme gives players the opportunity to act as positive role."

Before our game against Charlton, Theo Walcott met children who had won the opportunity to attend the game by being selected as the most hard working pupils at the Study Support Centre. The children had a great time and even predicted the score of the game before the match! For more information on the Study Support Centre please contact Steve Wilson on 020 7697 8467 or e-mail


Charlton was a busy game for Community Department presentations with Arsenal's Vice Chairman David Dein meeting children from the Arsenal Double Club who, before the game, had taken part in a penalty shoot-out competition in the O2 Sports Centre. For more information on the Arsenal Double Club please contact Scott Cohen on 020 7704 4149 or email


Philippe Senderos helped celebrate Arsenal in the Community's 21st anniversary at Drayton Park Primary School last week. The Swiss defender, who celebrated his 21st Birthday in the same week as the Club's community department did in February, visited the school near Emirates Stadium to celebrate its 'Book Corner Week.' Taking a look at the children's book corners, Philippe said: "It's wonderful to see the children's work and encourage them to read and it's an honour to celebrate the community's work which dates back to the year I was born!  This is my third visit to an Arsenal in the Community initiative and it's always great to see the work the Club does off the pitch.
"I wish all those who work for the department a happy 21st anniversary and hope that the many participants in the different schemes enjoy a year of exciting events and celebrations."

We are pleased to announce that our traditional 11-a-side Men's Charity tournament will take place this year, as usual, on the pitch at the end of the season during late May and the beginning of June.

The tournament is extremely popular and there is no need to tell you that this year will be very special - it being the last Charity Shield to be held at Highbury before the move to Emirates Stadium. This will be your very last chance to play on Arsenal's historic pitch.
We ask for a minimum team donation of £2,000 (from a company) or £1,500 (from a group of individuals).

All the money goes to the Arsenal Charitable Trust, details can be obtained from Beverley Nicholas via e-mail at or by ringing her on 020 7704 4142.

The Eight teams took part in a highly successful afternoon of matches in February organised by 'Access to Sport'. Arsenal Positive Futures entered two Estate based teams from Islington, one from Harvist Estate and the other from Crouch Hall Court.

The tournament was divided into two groups with Harvist Estate in Group 1 and Crouch Hall Court in Group 2. Both teams came through their respective preliminary rounds winning two games and drawing one. This placed the teams head to head in the semi-final. With both teams evenly matched the final result was a 2-1 win to Harvist.

In a tense final against Copenhagen Youth Project, both teams gave very little away. The game finished 0-0 after normal time and through the golden goal period. Onto the penalty shoot out and with the score at one goal a piece, pressure was on Duane O'Achie from Harvist to score the final penalty.

Duane hit a perfect shot to the 'keeper's right hand side. Although the goalie went the right way he could not stop the shot hitting the inside of the post and going in.
This achievement was all the more significant as no other team has ever won this tournament fielding girls in their team who played a valuable part in the success of the Harvist Estate side.

Billy Havan, who played in goal for Harvist Estate, was awarded Player of the Tournament.
Harvist Team members
(pictured left):
Eren Duffy, Billy Havan, Eren Cem, Shauna Magner, Tameem Alameyer, Kyra Duffy, Brendan Kerman.

Nowadays there is pressure on parents to help children with their school work; many parents are happy to do this but do not know exactly how. After all they are not trained teachers!

The Arsenal Double Club has successfully run curriculum-time classes and after-school clubs using a range of literacy and numeracy material based on Arsenal and football in general. The material is designed to encourage learning among children who would be inspired because of their support for Arsenal and/or their love of football.

We are seeking a group of parents, carers or grandparents who have a child currently in Year 5 who would benefit from some extra numeracy and literacy work during the long summer holidays. These parents would use Arsenal Double Club resources in a 'one on one', home-schooling type of situation with their child over the summer.

We will train this group of pioneering parents to use the material to help improve their children's literacy and numeracy skills. We will also show them some simple football practices to develop their children's individual football skills (and possibly their own).
This is a unique opportunity, and as a pilot scheme it will cost just £15 in total.
The Double Club approach is fun and it works!

It will not seem like being in school for your children - but it might be for you ...... you will need to attend three two-hour evening sessions in June/July before the summer holidays. There will also be a follow up session at the end of the holidays to feedback on how everything went.

For further details contact Paul Thompson, Assistant Double Club Co-ordinator, on 020 7704 4152 or email:

Recently the Double Club hosted the final of the first Penalty Competition for some of its Islington Primary schools. Ten pupils from Ambler, Highbury Quadrant, New North Community, Drayton Park and Winton primary schools took part in the shoot out before the tremendous 7-0 victory over Middlesbrough. At half-time David Dein presented a medal to the winner and certificates to each of the participating pupils.

Well it doesn't seem like 21 years ago that Arsenal set up a community sports department, but in February, 'Arsenal in the Community' celebrated its 21st Birthday. Older than a number of the current first team squad, the hard working unit has been at the forefront of some dynamic and innovative projects which have made a significant contribution to the local and wider community.

A week-long celebration to mark the milestone took place during February and some familiar faces were on hand to join the celebrations.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
14 Mar 2006