Canadian Arsenal fans have their own official supporters group, and it's a big one: Canada stretches nearly 3,500 miles (5,514 km) coast-to-coast and Arsenal Canada covers it all. So grab your passport as we cross the border and head North! As group chairman Morgan Rubes says:
"We're a passionate bunch, debating transfers, tactics, and support all facets of Arsenal from the first squad to the ladies reserves. A line on our website says it all: 'We will do our best to create a community of Arsenal supporters across the land to share stories, songs and support for the club we love.'"
Group Name: Arsenal Canada Supporters Club
Location: "Across Canada: Arsenal Canada operates as one group. But we have city reps in a couple of locations to help with distribution of membership packs and help find bars."
Year established: "We were officially chartered in 2005."
Number of active members: "Several hundred participate on the forums and on Facebook.
"Attendance at matches varies by location, In Vancouver around 20 show up, but they always get more for later kick-offs. Toronto also hovers around 20 supporters on regular day, but more than 50 tend to gather for the big matches and derbies."
Where we watch matches: Our main venue right now is Fox and Fiddle - 1535 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"It's bigger, better located, and will be devoted exclusively to Arsenal. Check theArsenal.com pub list for other venues in Canada."
Where our members hail from: "Across Canada, England, Africa, Middle East, Continental Europe. The turnout for matches is a good mix of locals, tourists (Arsenal America fans email me all the time), English ex-pats, and sometimes Gunners are flying across the country and dropping in."
The group's beginnings: "Doug Ramsey got us started almost a decade ago in Markham, since then we have had chairpersons from Winnipeg, Montreal and Toronto.
"My story starts in 1996 when I played for my school. Someone compared my style of play to Nigel Winterburn. Not knowing who that was, I started watching matches and following Arsenal -- and never stopped."
Arsenal in Canada: "Arsenal is massively popular in Canada, you see kits, toques and jackets all over town. Lots of clubs have supporters bars and the following of the Premier League is huge. We can catch every single Premier League live on TV. We get the FA Cup and the Champions League live too."
Group's favorite Arsenal moment: "Fans have a few memorable moments, winning the league at WHL in 2004, Vieira's penalty winner in the '05 FA Cup, but my favourite memory was Jens Lehmann's penalty save against Villareal. As soon as he saved it I knew we were going to be playing in Paris."
Why we are Gooners: "On this one, we have a consensus: Arsenal’s style of play!"
Why Canadians (and Americans for that matter) should be Arsenal fans: It’s the best football to watch, the most exciting and an example for what the MLS needs to follow as a model. Encourage youth, build them up, and bring back the purity of football with beautiful play.8 Dec 2010