Hello everybody, I hope you are all ok!
Here’s what I have been up to over the last few weeks:
Friday, June 19
I went to Chapel Street Market today where our community team had a stall selling items to raise money for the Arsenal Foundation. I managed to get shoppers to come and have a look while I posed for some pictures.
Saturday, June 20
Today was Aisling and Matt’s wedding. The ceremony took place in the Woolwich Suite at Emirates Stadium and I was invited along to meet and greet the guests as they arrived. After the wedding had taken place I mingled with everyone before they sat down for their meal. The bride is a big Arsenal fan and I hope I made their special day even more magical. Also, did you know that 20 years ago today Arsenal signed one of their greatest ever players? Any idea who? Yes of course, Mr Dennis Bergkamp!
Sunday, June 21
It was a very special day for Owen today. Owen is a Junior Gunner and it was his eighth birthday. I went along to his party in Dagenham to meet him and all of his mates. We had a great time and I even went on his bouncy castle. I had hundreds of pictures taken, even with his West Ham and Spurs pals. I made so many friends and really had a great time.
Wednesday, June 24
There are lots of summer fairs and fetes taking place at the moment and today I called in to Laycock Primary School in Islington for their annual event. There was lots going on with bouncy castles, Arsenal community inflatables, face painting and lots of other stalls selling cakes, books, sweets and drinks. My favourite was the cake stall - yummy yummy.
Friday, June 26
Another busy day and another school fete, this time at Hargrave Park School near Archway. My favourite stall today was the teacher in the stocks and everyone was able to throw a wet sponge at them. I gave them a right soaking! Later that evening I was back at Emirates Stadium to attend our Disabled Members’ Summer Party. Tom Watt was the host and three of our former players were in attendance: Brain Talbot, Jimmy Carter and Terry Neill. There were lots of prizes and raffles and a Q&A session with the Legends on stage. The food was delicious and I enjoyed meeting quite a few of the faces that I usually see on a match day.
Saturday, June 27
No rest for me and another busy weekend ahead. Fortune Park Street at the Barbican was my first stop for a community event in the park. Arsenal community had their inflatable up and running, and there were other stalls there too promoting a wide range of things. They even had a fire engine on site for people to test out. I then went off to Holborn for a birthday party. It was for Frankie who was 5 years old and is a big Arsenal fan. His birthday cake had me on it and I looked great! I took along some goodies for Frankie and his mates - he certainly has a lot of friends. I stopped for a while so everyone could get lots of pictures. We all sang happy birthday then Frankie blew out his five candles. I had a great time!
Sunday, June 28
It was the turn of Drayton Park School just across the road from the stadium for their summer fete today. It was a shame because just as everyone was arriving the rain started to come down so we all had to rush inside. I still managed to knock a coconut off of the shy and pop around to all of the stalls though.
Thursday, July 2
I had to make my way to Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire for a Herts FA Football Festival. Berry the Bear, the Women’s Super League mascot, was there and she beat me in a dance off at the end of the day. I must practice some new moves! Before all of that I went around to each area of the festival and took part in various football skills – shooting, dribbling and even how to run the line, holding up my flag to say offside. Sky Sports were there to do a bit of filming, so you may have seen me on TV. There was also a visit from three of our ladies’ first-team squad: Natalia, Vicky and Jemma.
Friday, July 3
Thornhill Primary School fete in Islington was my next appointment. There was so much going on with lots of stalls as well as the local fire brigade with a fire engine of an ice cream van as well.
Saturday, July 4
I had a super busy day with three school fetes! First on the list was William Tyndall School just behind Islington Town Hall. We took along the community shoot-out inflatable which was a big hit, and with lots of other stalls to get around to I was kept very busy. Then it was off to the St Joan of Arc School fete in Blackstock Road. I have been attending their fete for the past 10 years now and it’s massive. Then it was off to Hackney to Nightingale Primary School and everyone was so pleased to see me when I arrived. Later that evening we had another wedding at the stadium which I had been invited to. The groom was a big Arsenal fan and he asked for me to come along to meet all of his guests after the ceremony had taken place. I had my picture taken with an Arsenal cannon made out of ice!
Monday, July 6
Today I went back to William Tyndall School, but this time took the FA Cup with me so that all of the children could have class photographs taken. We set up in the main assembly where I joined in all of the pictures that were taken. We also popped into the classrooms where the toddlers were so they could get a picture as well.
Tuesday, July 7
Just down the road from the Emirates Stadium near Old Street roundabout is Central Foundation School. I went there today for a musical event called Restore the Music. Schools from Croydon, Greenwich and Hackney all took part in a competition where each school had composed two pieces of music to perform before a panel of experts who would then judge which was the winning entry. I was invited along to add a little light humour into the proceedings during the interval and help keep nerves at a minimum.
Wednesday, July 8
I popped down to the BT Sport offices in Watford to do a little bit of promotion for our upcoming game against Liverpool Ladies. I met the staff as they came down for lunch and gave away some Arsenal goodies whilst posing for pictures.
Thursday, July 9
St Mary’s School in Islington had their school fete this afternoon so I went along to help raise some cash by posing for pictures with a giant cardboard cut-out of the FA Cup.
Friday, July 10
It was Football at the Arsenal in the Community Hub today. Schools who had been attending Double Club sessions all week came along to the Hub for their final day of football matches. I was on hand during the day then later to give out the winners’ trophies and featuring in the team photographs.
Saturday, July 11
It was my very first visit today to Holloway Prison for women. They were holding a family fun day. There were more than 200 people gathered on the day so we took along some games for everyone to play and I popped out towards the end to say hello. There were so many children there I got swamped so it was a bit hectic to say the least! Anyway I think they all had a good time.
Sunday, July 12
Arsenal Ladies played Liverpool Ladies at Boreham Wood today and before kick-off I went along to a girls’ football festival that was taking place just outside the stadium. There were lots of teams taking part and after the tournament we all went inside the ground to watch the game. Liverpool Ladies won 3-1 but our girls played well.
Monday, July 13
Today was the community awards event at the stadium. I was invited along to meet and greet everyone as they arrived. Tom Watt was the host and former player Nigel Winterburn was also in attendance.
Tuesday, July 14
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School had their sports day today at Coram Fields near Holborn. I met all of the boys and girls as they were having a break for lunch and they were all so excited to see me and didn’t know I was coming. We had loads of group pictures taken before they all had to get back to their sports.
Wednesday, July 15
Our first game in the Asia Trophy in Singapore saw us comfortable winners with three goals from Chuba and one from Jack.
Thursday, July 16
I went to Falconer School in Watford today to have class pictures taken before the students break up for their summer holidays. Big smile!
Saturday, July 18
It was the final of the Asia Trophy today and we beat Everton 3-1 with Petr Cech making his Arsenal debut and goals from Theo, Santi, and Mesut.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the Emirates Cup this weekend!
Big hugs from Gunner
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