Peter Mujuzi is someone who you simply can’t miss on matchday – but you probably have no idea what he looks like! The man from our stadium management department tells us all about his role:
I’m the matchday stadium announcer at Emirates Stadium – it’s a job I absolutely love. I started the role in 2015. My first game was against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League and, prior to that, I’d worked in The Armoury since around 2014. Colleagues of mine had started in the shop and ended up at Highbury House. I’d always wanted to work full-time at Arsenal – in fact, when I was a kid, I remember going to the box office at Highbury and thinking ‘one day I’ll work here too’. I went online and saw there was a job as PA announcer advertised.
I’d previously worked in broadcast engineering and I’ve been a DJ for a while, so I thought I’d apply and see what happened. The job was assisting Paul Burrell, who was the main stadium announcer at the time – helping out with things like reading the teams, substitutions and making sure everything was accurate. I got the job and I remember thinking it was just the best gig in the world. I learnt so much from Paul. We’re still in contact now – he really took me under his wing and we’re now friends.
From a professional side, what really stood out about Paul was his focus. His knack of concentrating on the job and speaking while someone was relaying him messages is really impressive. It’s a more difficult skill to master than it may sound – Paul and Nigel Mitchell are both brilliant at it. Paul is a brilliant announcer and that really came through when he needed to improvise and immediately get out a message without having anything scripted. It’s a big job and it comes with pressure, but he handled it really well and managed to have fun at the same time.
On the subject of enjoyment, announcing goals is probably the best element of the job. It gives you such a massive buzz. I used to love doing it when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored. I’d elongate the start of his surname to really get the crowd going and I would feel them respond.
I’ve been lucky enough to announce some dramatic goals at Emirates Stadium. I especially loved the last-minute winner against Wolves last season. I was bouncing around in the control box and had to calm myself down before picking up the mic. I remember thinking to myself: ‘you’ve got to really sell this!’ I lost my voice after the game – I was just so pumped.
Another moment that really sticks out wasn’t a goal. It was last season, when Bukayo Saka returned after the Euros. I remember welcoming him back and holding a note on his surname. The crowd really responded to it and made it clear how much love they’ve got for him.
I have no influence on how a matchday goes in terms of the team getting three points, but everything we do as a club is designed to help them as much as possible - and that includes the music we play on a matchday.
I’ll occasionally get in touch with Mikel Arteta’s PA to find out the tracks the team want to hear when warming up, and then make sure they’re played. It worked during the pandemic, when there was no crowd in the stadium to bring the noise and it’s carried on ever since.
It’s a similar situation with the fans – you sense how they’re feeling and play music that’s going to amp them up and ensure the noise levels in the stadium are as loud as possible. That in turn helps the team.
The Angel is a good example of that - it went huge on social media and we made sure we played it right before kick-off to really get the fans going. It’s about trying to give the crowd something to carry on with to ensure the noise level remains high.
When I’m planning output on a matchday, you’ll have a few things that absolutely need to go out – think security announcements and partnerships messaging. But then in addition to that, I’ll have a few different playlists. One will be player-focused and the other is designed to get the fans ready for kick-off.
I’ll always play London Calling in the lead-up to kick-off, plus Right Here, Right Now when the line-up is announced but, in general, I’ll try to be flexible with what goes out in bowl.
I played Rockin’ All Over The World after last season’s north London derby – I hadn’t initially planned to but it made complete sense because Saka and Smith Rowe had both scored and the fans had been singing their song on and off all afternoon.
I’ll typically play a wide range of music on a matchday – the WWE wrestlers’ entrance music really took off during lockdown. I’ve been a wrestling fan for years and had been playing the music at the Emirates for a few years. People started to notice it during the pandemic. All of a sudden it went huge on social media. I really didn’t expect it at the time. WWE got in touch with me and asked me to play Drew McIntyre’s music. I was more than happy to – he was WWE champion at the time and apparently he loved it!
I love my matchday role – but during the week you’ll find me working in the Stadium Management department. My full-time job is administrative assistant. We’ve got around 120 staff in our team and my role focuses on looking after invoicing, supplies, staff passes and the like. I’m responsible for arranging car parking on a matchday too. Occasionally I’ll be involved in maintenance operations – a lot of work goes on in making sure the stadium is ready to go on a matchday.
Working full-time for Arsenal is brilliant – and whenever I walk up from the train station to the stadium, I still feel fortunate to be here. When you reflect on working for the club you’ve loved since childhood, it gives you a special feeling – it’s just amazing.
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