My first game: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne

WTTGT Writer: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne

November 1997, Arsenal vs. Manchester United live on Sky Sports. I was six years old and just starting to get into football. I remember watching the match with my uncles who are die-hard Liverpool supporters. The memory that will forever stick in my head is Patrick Vieira’s goal which put Arsenal 2-1 up in what turned out to a topsy-turvy thrilling match. It influenced me to become a Gooner.

This was the game that convinced me that football is the best sport in the world. It is a game that I will never forget.  It may have been due to the fact that the Gunners won the game that I decided to support them, but when David Platt hit the winning goal to seal the 3-2 victory, I immediately felt that special connection.

Even though they lost three out of the next four league games, I stayed loyal and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. Now, 14 years later, I’m still a Gooner and proud of it.

A few weeks later thanks to my mother, I had my first Arsenal top. It was the Yellow and Blue JVC shirt with the number 10 at the back, partly due to the fact that Dennis Bergkamp was my favourite player at the time. I tried to wear it everywhere including incorporating it as part of my school uniform! That was yellow and blue too.

That 1997-98 season turned out to be a memorable one as Arsenal clinched the double and the players that stood out to me, other than Bergkamp, were:

David  Seaman – mainly because of the his trademark moustache and stunning saves.  

Tony Adams – he was simply a leader at the heart of the defence his presence is what the current team lack today.

Patrick Vieira – who simply dominated the midfield had a huge presence in the middle of the park.

Stephen Hughes – who was hugely underrated in my opinion but his two goals against Chelsea will be remembered.

Ray Parlour – the Romford Pele, need I say more?

Nicklas Anelka – who was quick and had an eye for goal, shame he had to go.

Marc Overmars –the pacy winger and will always be remembered for the winning goal against United at Old Trafford in March ‘98.

One word to sums up that season for me: Amazing!

How many fellow Arsenal fans can recall when they became a fully-fledged Gunner?

November 9th 1997 is a day I will never forget.

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