World Cup supporter stories: Yutaro


During the World Cup, as well as focusing on the stories of our players representing their countries, we are also shining a light on those Gooners around the globe cheering on their nations.

Here, Yutaro gives his memories of following one of the surprise packages of the tournament so far - Japan:

My oldest memory was the 2002 Japan-Korea World Cup. Since then I always watched the World Cup. I always remember that tournament. I saw a bunch of the kids doing the Beckham hairstyle, and I tried to do it too but my family told me not to!

It was a former Gunner in Junichi Inamoto who also caught my eye back then, who scored two goals at the tournament. His celebration was a memorable one, so much so that it soon became the go-to move when playing at school.

I left Japan when I was 15, and have been living in the UK since 2011. I played basketball, volleyball, and rugby growing up, and until I moved to Holloway Road, in 2014, football wasn’t really my sport.

At the time I could hear the Champions League anthem or chants from Emirates Stadium my bedroom. At the beginning, I thought it was too noisy, but my friend asked me to go and I just fell in love with Arsenal. When I go to games now, I often bring my sister back something from The Armoury, in the hope of also making her a Gooner!

I now run a bar and restaurant called Akari, which has been open since 2006 on the corner of Essex Road. After the game, a fair few Gooners come in for a drink or grab something to eat, and I'm grateful for their continued support - I really appreciate it.

There’s a butcher down the road from me, James Elliott, and they support Tottenham. We have a good deal - if Arsenal wins a game, I get discounted meat. If Tottenham win, he gets a free pint!

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