Thursday, August 30, 2007


Is there nothing clubs won't do???

It appears Arsenal have applied to trademark the name Gooner. What that means is we could soon be seeing Gooner pens, Gooner t shirts, Gooner G Strings.

In recent years a Gooner has come to mean an Arsenal fan of any hue but for those of us a bit older it has a deeper meaning. Gooners used to be one of the names that was given to the gang of hooligans who followed the club round the country. It later evolved to encompass any 'lad' who followed the club and dressed in a 'casual' manner and became the name of a best selling fanzine.

Back then the club would be quick to disown any acts of violence involving the Gooners and the chant Ooh to be a Gooner usually only meant one thing. It is also worth pointing out that our support then wasn't what it is now and frequently at away games these Gooners formed a large proportion of our support. I recall games back in the early 80's up north where we had no more than a couple of hundred and probably half of them were identifiable as casuals/gooners.

Since the inception of the Premier League the club has been ever quick to snap up our money and with the move to the new stadium very little is left of the Arsenal I grew up with. The footballing experience has changed, in many ways for the better it must be said, but much has been introduced that plainly ignores the wishes of the fans. Well, some of them.

For the new breed who fill the season ticket waiting lists and flock to buy the new shirts Gooner is a quaint song that has no meaning. But for others it encapsulates part of their youth when we could pay on the day, travel with mates and have a laugh. That was our footballing experience and it is slowly being taken from us. Maybe I'm just an old git with nothing left but memories but at least the club cannot take them from me.

Even as they try to cash in on the interest in all things hooligan.

Please note : I was not nor do I pretend to have been involved with any hooligan activities. I did though know people who were and once or twice I did take, and give, a slap. Many young lads going to football then will have had the same or similar experiences...


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