Hope you are all enjoying your summers! Here’s the latest on what I have been up to:
Wednesday, July 22
I had two events to attend today. First it was off to Hungerford Primary School for their school fete. We had a special surprise for them today because not only did they have a visit from me, but we also took the FA Cup along for everyone to have a picture with. Then I headed off to Regent’s Park for a cricket competition run by the Lord’s Tavern. It’s a quick version of the sport with a limited number of overs. I went around each team and their supporters for some pictures.
Thursday, July 23
Tonight Arsenal Ladies took on Watford Ladies in the Continental Cup at Meadow Park. The ladies rested a few of their top players to give the younger ones a run out and they ended up 3-0 winners.
Friday, July 24
It was the last day of term for some schools today, and at our community sports centre, The Hub, some primary schools were taking part in football sessions. I called in to say hello and gave out some prizes at the end.
Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26
There were two big days in the Arsenal calendar this weekend as it was the annual Emirates Cup event. It’s always a hectic weekend and I called in on Club and Box Level to see as many fans as I could. We won our first game 6-0 against Lyon then a 1-0 victory against Wolfsburg won us the Emirates Cup for the fourth time.
Tuesday, July 28
Members’ Day is always a popular event for our fans. More than 5,000 supporters are given access to the Emirates Stadium firstly to watch the players train, and later to take part in various events around the ground. For me my first duty was to meet as many fans as I could as they arrived and took their seats in the stadium. Straight after the players had finished training there was a Junior Gunners match between youngsters and the players and I was in goal. It was great fun and I think we just about won the match. After the players had lunch it was off to a Q&A session with six of the first-team squad. There was also a surprise for one young fan who had been chosen to be our mascot against Chelsea in the Community Shield next weekend. Next it was scalextric racing with Theo, Per and Calum. There was a huge track set out and the Junior Gunners had a race against the players. I had a go as well and it was brilliant! The best bit of the day for me was having a race firstly against Hector Bellerin and then Chuba Akpom on a zebra. Not a real one of course! Hector beat me by a nose, but I managed to beat Chuba. What a great day!
Wednesday, July 29
It was family day at Pentonville Prison today. I have been attending quite a few of these now with our community team. We took along some games and had a fun day with the children visiting their families.
Sunday, August 2
The Community Shield today at Wembley and a good result won us the trophy for the second season running. The only goal of the game came from the Ox with a stunning strike. I went around the pitch before the game catching up with the fans.
Friday, August 7
I went along to a street party in a local park off Caledonian Road today. There were lots of mums and dads with their children to say hello to and I also took part in a football match.
Saturday, August 8
I got an invite to attend a wedding today in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The groom Freddy is a lifelong Arsenal fan and it was a surprise for him and his bride for me to turn up at his wedding. I waited for the moment when the speeches had just finished and made my grand entrance to his and everyone’s amazement. We had lots of pictures, one with me cutting the cake just after they had, and then I went around all of the guests. There must have been over 100 so I was kept very busy. Congratulations to the married couple!
Sunday, August 9
Today was the first game of the season and it was a disappointing result with a 2-0 home defeat against West Ham United. After a very bright start things just did not happen for us although you have to say that our opponents played quite well. I met Thierry and the players as they arrived before kick-off, then went around the pitch to catch up with the fans. At half time I went out for the penalty shoot-out with three lucky youngsters, then at the final whistle I was up exploring around Box Level.
Tuesday, August 11
The Junior Gunners had a fun day at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne today. As well as being able to walk around the park checking out all of the animals we had a special area where our Junior Gunners could take part in Arsenal Soccer School drills, face painting, balloon artistry, badge making, and arts and crafts. They also had zebra races and later in the day they brought out some animals for the children to see up close.
Friday, August 14
Our under-21s team had a game at the Emirates Stadium tonight against Fulham so I was on hand to meet and greet the fans as they arrived for the match. We won the game 1-0. Look out for the next under-21s match at the Emirates on Friday, August 28!
Saturday, August 15
I was back at the stadium in the Diamond Club tonight for a birthday party for Liz and her 40 guests. I met everyone as they arrived and then there was a special message from Aaron Ramsey and the gift of a signed Arsenal shirt which I presented to the birthday girl. Many happy returns!
Sunday, August 16
A superb scissor-kick volley from Olivier and an own-goal assisted by Alexis gave us our first three points of the season, against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
That’s it for now,
Big hug and cuddles from Gunner
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