Last year, Northbank1969 wrote about his and his mates’ journey to see Arsenal play Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in 1977. I believed that one of his party was my brother who I knew had gone to the game. It turned out it wasn’t. Another group of North London lads organised their own trip up north to watch the game. Here is their story as told by Mick Kelly.

The Arsenal pre season team photo

The Arsenal pre-season team photo

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For this classic match we go back 30 years to a season that saw Arsenal play some scintillating football early doors but lost their way in November. Once again, we have the whole programme for you to read. This has been reproduced with the kind permission of Leicester City FC. There’s also a quiz question at the end of the article to test your knowledge.

Matchday programme Click to read the whole programme

Matchday programme
Click to read the whole programme

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Long service rewarded

After tweeting that Abou Diaby was celebrating his ninth year at Arsenal on Tuesday 13 January, someone pointed out that he is due a testimonial next year – if he has his contract renewed.

I was also asked if there was a list of Arsenal players that had been granted a testimonial. I wasn’t aware of one so I decided to put one together.

For those that aren’t aware, a testimonial can be granted to a player that has ten years unbroken service at the same club. This is irrespective of any loans, as he is still registered as a player of that club. Testimonials were introduced in the 1950s and, after a slow start, become a regular part of the fixture list during the 1970s and 1980s. The idea was to provide a financial bonus to a player coming to the end of his career. The testimonial. more often than not, involved a number of events throughout the year, the biggest usually being a game against attractive opponents, with the proceeds being handed over to the player. However, some players ended up out of pocket due to their club’s stinginess.

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Well, not quite an Arsenal badge but an Arsenal Football Supporters’ Club badge.

I’ve recently been buying copies of football’s oldest fanzine – Gunflash. It has been going for more than 65 years having started in September 1949 by the Arsenal Football Supporters Club. The content of these publications is nothing short of fantastic: exclusive photographs, contributions from top journalists of the day, historical articles and a fascinating insight into Arsenal fans of yesteryear. And then there were the odd quirky items.

Gunflash - June 1950

Gunflash – June 1950

The Cup Final Souvenir Issue of June 1950 edition included a pattern to knit your own Arsenal badge.

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