This season Arsenal Women have launched the Maria Petri Community Ticket Scheme, whereby our beloved late super-fan Maria’s two season tickets have been retained by the club and are being donated to members of Arsenal in the Community for every home game.
At this afternoon's game, our guests are Rebecca Finch and Billie Graham, who are both members of our Coach Development Programme, a year-long course that offers a unique opportunity to gain coaching qualifications and experience while contributing to Arsenal’s community projects in the UK and around the world.
“I’ve always been an Arsenal fan, ever since I remember,” says Rebecca. “My dad passed his love of the game and the club onto me, taking me to my first ever game at Highbury. I’ve been supporting them ever since.
“I remember watching a ‘Get to know Maria’ interview on the Arsenal Women Instagram page. I’d heard stories about her support of the club over the years and could finally put a face to the name. She’s truly an Arsenal legend in her own right.”
“I met Maria a couple of years ago away at Watford we were waiting late at night in the cold after the game to wave the players off and we spoke about the win for Arsenal,” recalls Billie. “I’m currently representing the club as a coach in the community on the CDP programme and I think Maria would be proud that her tickets are being used in this way.”
We agree – Maria was a fan of the club for long enough to know that Arsenal Women’s roots go all the way back to the Arsenal in the Community department, where our founder Vic Akers was an inspirational figure.
“I’ve supported Arsenal since I was seven, and one of my favourite Arsenal moments is a recent one – seeing the record-breaking attendance for the Women at the Emirates,” says Billie. And Rebecca agrees: “I went to the match and the support was incredible.”
Maria would have loved it, of course. We hope Rebecca and Billie enjoy their day and that we can give a similar performance to the win over Tottenham for them.
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