As we say prepare to say farewell to Highbury we would like to invite all Arsenal fans to share their favourite Highbury Memories with us.
Is there anything special to you that stands apart about Highbury? If there is please, e-mail your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish your special moments for everyone to share.
Here are some we have already recieved:
There's only one Dennis Bergkamp
A Highbury afternoon, Saturday, 3 o'clock kick-off, Arsenal verses Man United. Cantona, Giggs, a young Scholes starting to make a name for himself, the Neville brothers, Beckham still learning how to take a free-kick; a very strong, youthful United were taking on Tony Adams' Arsenal. Except that sitting in the East Stand, a couple of rows from the back, I noticed that, even at the age of 11 or 12, this new unconventional dutch forward, contained promise of something that we, the fans, couldn't quite put our finger on. One opportunity, one goal, one-nil to the Arsenal. And one Dennis Bergkamp, one-Dennis-Bergkamp, walking-along-singing-a-song, walking-in-Bergkamp-wonder-land.
Just like that, Cantona had lost his crown as best foreign player to grace English football.
Growing up in Canada, I spent my younger years watching football on the telly. When Mr. Bergkamp drew me to Arsenal in 1995, who knew that my love for the club would lead me all the way over to London? After years of seeing Highbury on TV and swearing to my mates that I would someday make it here, my day had finally come. Upon graduating from uni, I decided to spend a couple of years in London, mainly so that I could visit Highbury and see the Gunners up close and personal.
Zac De Vouge
It is true what they say, one gets chills when entering Highbury. I will never forget my first visit, nor will I forget any other of the 20 or so that I've clocked up in the past 18 months. So many wonderful moments during this time! I feel so very privileged to have had the opportunity to see Highbury inside and out, to sing and support my team in person after all of these years! Truly a dream come true. It will be tough to leave Highbury but the future is bright - we gooners have a lot to look forward to! Farewell to Highbury!
Mohammed Al-Alawi, Bahrain
My most memorable Highbury moment is, When I went to the match between Arsenal and middlesbrough. As everyone knows if Arsenal dont lose this game they will equall notingham forest's record of 42 games unbeaten. So I went to the match and felt confident that Arsenal will win. The match was good when Henry scored, but When they equallized I was a bit mad. Then they scored another I was frustrated, and when they scored the third goal, I said to my self "its all over" My dad told me dont worry Arsenal are a great team and they will do it. When Bergkamp scored I knew then that we had a chance. Then when Pires scored I was happy and wanted the match to stay that way, but seconds later Reyes scores a beauty. At this moment I was the happiest man alive. And when Henry scored the 5th I knew we are the best team in English history and we deserved the record. And at the end of the game my father said " I told you Arsenal will do it, they are the best team in English history.
Simon Draper, Reigate
Standing on the North Bank - a pleasant but sometimes intimidating experience. Take Arsenal v Hereford United in 1985's League Cup. We won 7-2 - that was easy. Getting through the traffic an hour before kick-off in a Ford Capri was tricky but actually shuffling through the turnstiles? That was hardest of all. A police search found something concealed in my coat. "What's this then?" yelled the copper, holding a bar of white chocolate, "the Milky Bar kid's an Arsenal supporter!".
Hilarious for everyone except me, who's trying to act tough at 16 on the North Bank.
My dad first took me to Highbury when I was 9. We stood in the top right corner of the Clock End (looking from the North Bank) and as I couldn't see dad put me on his shoulders. Just above was a concrete platform with TV cameras on it, the cameramen seeing my dad struggle lifted me up and sat me under the cameras. Wonderful memory.
The 94/95 season and it was just an ordinary game against QPR. We hadn't really played that well, but one man was determined that it was going to be his day whatever happened. You could feel it, especially after he hit the crossbar in the first half. Sitting in the East Stand Lower we didn't seem to care that we were losing or that QPR were really playing the better football, all we cared about is the fact that John Jenson was on a mission that day to score. Then in the second half he picked up the ball just outside the box, put it onto his right foot and curled it in the top corner. No one really cared about the loss, we all witnessed John Jenson scoring!! Classic moment. Kind Regards
What does Highbury mean to me? Somehow 100 words doesn't seem enough to even begin answering this question. I grew up in Chorleywood, not too close to Highbury it has to be said, but born in London and raised with a mother and Uncle who are life time gooners, Arsenal were always going to be my club. My first memories of Highbury were from Match of the Day, I particularly remember the mid week highlight shows during the late 70s and early 80s, Born as I was in the great double winning year of 1971 I grew up during the time of Willie Young, Frank Stapleton and Pat Jennings. Not the most successful of times it has to be said, indeed the 80s were far from happy until George arrived on the seen, but I still remember fondly the views of Highbury on rainy winter nights on the TV, wishing above all that I would be allowed to go and actually seem them play one day. Well my dream came true sure enough, when I was a bit older and my first visit to Highbury was indeed a mid-week match. I recall getting the tube, joining in the crowds from the station and absolutely relishing the whole experience. However I will never forget the first view as I walked up the concrete steps and infront of me loomed the filling crowd, the bright lights glittering through the rain and that beautiful green pitch below. Since this occasion, Highbury has always held a soft spot for me and I take the opportunity to visit as often as I can. Hopefully with the new stadium this will be for often than of recent years when obtaining a seat as proven impossible due to or amazing success of late. I will be sad to say goodbye to Highbury but I trust The Arsenal to keep the traditions alive in the new stadium, here's to the future.
Iain McCall and Adrian Wright - Sussex Gooners
It's December 1st, 1973. As a thirteen year old, I had only seen Arsenal play once, a 3-2 victory away at Palace the previous season. This was my first trip to Highbury with my best mate Ade. He had already seen a 0-0 cup match vs Derby in a 64,000 crowd. It was a freezing cold day, we got to the ground at 11.00 for a 3 PM kick-off against Coventry and savoured the atmosphere with growing anticipation. The crowd was only 22,000, times were hard back then, and Ade and I took our seats in the Lower West Stand, red and white scarves tied around wrists, as was the fashion.
Twenty minutes gone and Arsenal are two-nil down. This is not how it is supposed to be! Happily, Brian Hornsby pulls one back with a header before half-time. I can't remember any of the second half apart from the equaliser. Sammy Nelson down the left, lets fly with a screamer which bends into the top right hand corner of the North Bank net. Bedlam! and sheer relief, 2-2 isn't too bad. To Victoria to catch the train home. Two older skinheads pick on us, try to nick our programmes. They survive but we lose a scarf. That's 'football'!? The game is on 'Match of the Day'. What a goal by Sammy - did he ever score another? I don't remember any! Welcome to Highbury - the start of a thirty -two year love affair.
Clive Mayhead, Season Ticket Holder, West Stand Upper
My father and I were regulars in the late 40's at the clock end which, of course, was open to the skies in those days. But there was a place you could stand to miss the rain and that was under a raised platform in the far left hand corner up at the back where a solitary policeman used to stand overlooking the heads of the crowd. Only about 15-20 people could get under cover and it meant you had to be in the ground early, often around 12.30. I was about 10 at the time and my fondest memory was a fan that had new false teeth and when I asked him who we were playing next he said Toke Tity!!! At 10 years old in those days I thought that was rude and therefore very funny; you know what young minds are like!
My first real memory was the first game i saw at Highbury we had lost 2-1 to Leeds but what still sticks in my mind is Leeds keeper Gary Sprake Laid out Bobby Gould with the sweetest punch I have ever seen. The winning of the Fairs cup in 1970 dad and i went to Highbury early to get a decent view at the front so i could see the atmosphere was muted because i dont think many fans gave us a chance,but the team pushed on and the noise as the first goal went in was amazing,but it did not compere to the 2nd and 3rd at the final whistle dad and i went on to the pitch and ran around the pitch with the team and i think everybody else there was more people on the pitch then in the stands but what a releif to win something after 17 years.
I left Ireland for London in March 1988 and my first full day in London, a Wednesday, I headed straight for my first visit to Highbury. I walked around the stadium in awe, went to the club shop and met Jack Kelsey behind the counter, and then I went through an open door or gate, and found myself standing in the clock-end. I walked down to the front and stared at the pitch for a good 20 minutes remembering many famous incidents that I had witnessed on TV. Here I was with the stadium, empty, and all to myself, so I decided I had to venture out to the penalty spot.
I literally had one leg in the air, stepping over those little hoops that used to separate the pitch from the terrace, when I was yelled at by a groundskeeper, telling me in no uncertain terms that I should stay off the pitch! Never mind, I preceded to walk through the Clock End and bumped into Brian Marwood who must have just signed for the club. I then went in the front door of the stadium to see if I could get a programme from the previous Saturday's game, and the lady in reception gave me about 20 from all the home games that season. That day was 16 years ago, and I remember every detail like it was yesterday.
I can remember trudging down to Highbury with my brother Geoff in the 60's when we were about 9 and 10 years old, standing on the North Bank with only about 15,000 in the stadium (we hadn't won anything for 30 years!), catching the last 15 minutes of the match for free because the gate used to open before the end of the match to allow fans out. I also recall bunking off school with my best mate Dermot to see Arsenal v Derby during the double season, the game was played mid afternoon because of the power strike. I can recall fans being literally lifted down to the front of the pitch over people's heads. We had secured a position just in front of one of the old crush barriers on the North Bank, unfortunately it collapsed due to sheer weight of numbers sending Dermot and myself tumbling down to the front of the terrace. Thankfully and miraculously we were uninjured and ended up pitch side with a great view of the match (0-0 as I recall). Unfortunately we were also captured on TV and appeared on the evening news which gave us some explaining to do the next day!
Due to the power-cut in the early 70's, me and a friend visited the league game (1st division) against Wolves during the week (we skipped School , I was 13 at the time). There were 13,000 people at Highbury that day and the programme was just four pages thick
My earliest memory was a Juventus game in the early eighties, with snow piled pitch-side and even Juve scoring not dampening the great atmosphere. The Italians were 'holding the ball' but their cynical foul tactics were thwarted by a late sending-off. With red cards being rare in those days, the crowd was amazing - imagine 45,000 fans chanting Off-Off-Off! It turned into a frantic fantastic effort to equalize, which we finally did, prompting an enormous cheer and subsequent pitch invasion at the end. And this remains the one and only time I've ever actually made it onto the hallowed turf!!
Kurt-L Peterson, Orebro, Sweden
I've been a Gooner since May 1971 - thanks to Charlie George. Four years after this event in October, 1975 my father and I went to Highbury to watch Arsenal v Middlesbrough (2-2). After my daughter's birth that was the happiest day in my life. My father, who is 78-years-old now, told me last year that I cried with happiness whenever we came to Highbury. I've been at Highbury, at least, 30 times since then and every time my team enters the field some tears of happiness come, just as they did in 1975.
Alan Jackson, Norwich
Arsenal were at home to Wolves, we entered the east stand lower, and myself along with all the other young boys were passed over the heads of the crowd into the schoolboys enclosure, I remember the comments "another one coming over" my dad was left to stand with all the older men some 10-20 yards back. From that moment on I was transfixed with all that went on around me, the noise, the chanting, the colour and most of all my soon to be hero Danny Clapton. From that moment on I was bitten with the Arsenal bug. In 1960 we moved to Potters Bar and along with my schoolmates regularly attended matches even through the lean years. We moved to Norfolk in 1966 but I still managed to see the Arsenal through the first "double season". In 1991 the Norfolk Arsenal supporters club was formed and this made getting to games much easier. In 1994 I was fortunate enough to purchase two East Stand lower season tickets, and as they say the rest is history. What I can say is while I am writing these comments I have tears in my eyes and the hairs on my neck are bristling, just like my first Highbury visit.
Walking from the Highbury Barn, down Lucerne Road to the corner with Avenell Road. As you get closer the atmosphere mounts and then you turn the corner and look down to the Clock End, the West Stand with flags flying proudly, the bustling crowd outside the Marble Halls. Fantastic. It's something I'll never forget. Wrighty and Dennis hanging out of the dressing room window with our first Premiership trophy.