The story of our pre-tour video began deep in the bowels of the Arsenal Museum at the end of last season.
As a building, the museum is literally overshadowed by Emirates Stadium but the tales it can tell may as well be the foundation stones of our great footballing cathedral.
That is because the museum IS Arsenal’s history; recounting stories of glorious victory, bitter defeat and almost everything in between.
Character, class, success and style have bound human hearts to a colourful and everchanging cast of players throughout the decades
Character, class, success and style have bound human hearts to a colourful and everchanging cast of players throughout the decades.
You could be forgiven for thinking that those connections were close by for much of the Club’s century-and-a-quarter of existence and they only truly spanned the globe in recent years.
But, as we leafed through overfilled scrapbooks weighed-down with fading pictures and stuffed-in souvenirs, one thing became apparent - Arsenal have always been a travelling club.
And, ahead of this tour, that is the story we wanted to tell.
The still images alongside this piece inspired the video you can see at the top of the page. They were donated to the Arsenal Museum by the family of the late Harry Homer, a former programme editor who lovingly collated scrapbooks when the team went abroad.
The first trip was way before Harry’s time. It was back in 1907 when Phil Kelso’s side won 2-1 at Racing Club of Brussels. And the dominance of the English game in that era would mean Arsenal played another 37 games in 19 years before they first lost overseas.
One of the pictures in the gallery is purported to be the first time Arsenal flew in 1936.
There are other, more certain, records. For example, in 1954 Arsenal were first English team to play in Russia, drawing an attendance of 90,000 against Dynamo Moscow.
And, later this month, Arsène Wenger’s side will be the first Premier League team to play in Vietnam.
The surrounding countries of this Asia Tour are far-flung but not new territory - Arsenal went to Indonesia in 1983 and Japan in 1968.
That will make 54 countries visited and, in the process, countless hearts won and friends made
And Wenger’s men will end their pre-season travels with the Club’s first-ever trip to Finland. That will make 54 countries visited and, in the process, countless hearts won and friends made.
We hope this video captures a little of the spirit and flavour of those early times, when traveling the world was hardly straightforward.
It is also shows the commitment the Club has always maintained to meet its supporters wherever they may be.
It is a constant but pleasurable adventure, season after season…
…and the next stop is Jakarta.