By Kevin Mooney
Arsenal supporters worldwide are known to wear their hearts on their sleeves. From shrouding themselves in Arsenal gear and singing and chanting in public places to celebrating a win or lamenting a defeat long after the final whistle has blown.
And now, some supporters in New York City will be able to show their support in a more... permanent way.
On Saturday, October 22nd, the NYC Arsenal Supporters - an official supporter club of Arsenal FC - will collaborate with international tattoo artist and co-founder of Brooklyn's Three Kings Tattoo, Alex McWatt for a special event. As his way of honoring the Club's 125th anniversary, McWatt has created a number of Arsenal inspired tattoos and is offering fans their choice of one for just $18.86 each.
Before you think this is little more than a Groupon-type offer and filter it into your spam folder, take heart. The artist himself is one of us.
"I've been a lifelong Gooner and when I heard that Arsenal was on board I couldn't refuse," McWatt says.
The NYC Arsenal Supporters Club has held numerous events in recent years. The group has brought together Arsenal fans to meet Thierry Henry after a Red Bulls match, screened Fever Pitch at their home pub, and played pick-up matches in Central Park. But this will be the first time the group has supported a tattoo event in the honor of Arsenal FC.
"English Football is getting huge in the US, and I think a lot of our European fans are going to be surprised to see how strong the American fan base is," says Kurtis Powers, Vice President of Arsenal America.
But why tattoos? For McWatt the answer is an easy one. "The synergy between soccer and tattoos has always existed," he explains."And Arsenal has some of the most loyal fans in the world."
For his part, Powers didn't help organize the event just to be an observer. "To have an opportunity to get Arsenal ink by a legendary artist like Alex McWatt is really a remarkable opportunity," he says. "I know that I will be first in line."
The tattoos will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 12pm - 8pm. Powers and McWatt have advised that Arsenal supporters looking to get inked should arrive at Three Kings Tattoo well in advance of the 12pm start time to ensure a spot under McWatt's needle.
And the next day, as Arsenal take on Stoke, these supporters can show that they not only wear their hearts on their sleeves, but also on their skin.
For more information, click HERE or contact the NYC Arsenal Supporters at firstname.lastname@example.org. Arsenal FC has no affiliation with and is not responsible for any offers or work by Three Kings Tattoos.