In the past few months we at Gunners Town, both Editors and writers have been overwhelmed by the interaction with the site of one man – Victor Thompson
What began as the occasional respectful and insightful comment became a regular flow of comments which I know our writing team value and appreciate. The comments became longer and were always so brilliantly written. So much thought had gone into his observations on the articles and blogs whether he agreed with them or otherwise. I watched as our regular writers began to debate with Victor, valuing his feedback and almost garnering his approval. His support of our young writing team I know has been hugely appreciated by us all.
In truth so many of his comments were blogs or articles in themselves and written so intelligently and beautifully that I approached the author to ask if he would like to write for Gunners Town himself. This may happen but at present Victor is still working and feels he may not have the time to do justice to the task. So what I am going to do in the main time is share some of his wonderful views on the club he loves from the comments he leaves. Much as Peter Nelson @Gooner1947 is the elder statesman who we all look up to and admire on Twitter I hope you will all begin to have the same respect for Victor.
This introduction may begin illustrate why……….
I was born in 1946. I am due to retire on the 31st October having practiced as a solicitor. I live in Belfast, married with two daughters and a son. My son is a true Gooner like his Dad.
When I was 11 I lived with my Gran. She bought me The Charles Buchan Annual every Christmas at a time when there was no TV, so no television access to football. There was not the same vast gulf between the super clubs and the others in those days. Most clubs depended on their local catchment area for support.
There were a few glamour clubs in England and obviously legendary clubs on the continent (mainly Real Madrid). Budding supporters depended on publications like The Charles Buchan Annual to provide coloured photographs of their teams and I was immediately struck by the Scarlet Shirts with White sleeves that jumped out of the pages. I read the history of the club and of the iconic Herbert Chapman. The Compton Brothers who played football and cricket for England etc. No other club in my view had that glamour about them. I was star struck and smitten by Arsenal.
I went to live in London in the sixties and I wasted no time in heading for Highbury. I lived in a flat in Tyndale Terrace Islington. It was a time when we had our Mezut Ozil in the form of George Eastham, a will of the whisp inside forward of slight build and velvet touches on the ball. Joe Baker was the glamour centre forward and Chelsea had Terry Venables, Peter Osgood, Charlie Cooke and Alan Hudson.
My best memory was watching the 1978-79 cup final in a bar in Holywood, County Down when we beat Manchester Utd. I was with a lifelong Man Utd. supporter and Arsenal were cruising to a 2-0 victory when Utd who had not been at the game scored two goals in the last 10 minutes. My mate jumped up and punched the ceiling when the equaliser went in. I think he was on his way down from the ceiling when Alan Sunderland scored the winner. It was the first time I had seen a grown man cry.
I travel to the Emirates as often as I can, but I always take my son. He is 27. It is very expensive for us to travel. It is impossible to get seats for big games so we have to buy tickets off season ticket holders and it is just too expensive to go and see mid table teams. Sometimes we go to Everton to watch Arsenal as they are always a very hospitable club and generous with their tickets. We usually get seated close to the Arsenal supporters.
I hope after my retirement, I have many years left to enjoy my favourite team.
Insights and observations from Victor Thompson to appear on GT with regularity from today. He is not on Twitter but he will SEE YOU IN THE COMMENTS FOR SURE!
Thanks for your continued support @goonerdave66 and @invinciblog (Dave & Paul.)
A sophisticated, articulate Arsenal Man of Mystery. Aged 70 and a bit.