6 May 1991: the game, the championship, the song

Arsenal 3 Manchester United 1

6 May 1991.

On 4 May this is how the top ten of the table looked

Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 36 22 13 1 65 16 +49 77
2 Liverpool 36 22 7 7 74 38 +36 73
3 Crystal Palace 37 19 9 9 47 41 +6 66
4 Leeds United 36 18 7 11 60 42 +18 61
5 Manchester City 37 16 11 10 61 51 +10 59
6 Manchester United 35 16 11 8 56 38 +18 58
7 Wimbledon 37 14 13 10 52 45 +7 55
8 Nottingham Forest 36 12 12 12 59 46 +13 48
9 Tottenham Hotspur 36 11 15 10 50 47 +3 48
10 Chelsea 37 13 9 15 56 67 -11 48

We are obviously going to focus here on the top two, but I include the top 10 because it shows the changes that 22 years can bring.  Palace in 3rd, Leeds 4th, Wimbledon 7th, Forest 8th – all these days dreaming of a more glorious past.

Oh and Tottenham in 9th, just dreaming.

Anyway it was a 38 game season.  Arsenal you may note had lost just one match – something that the press never even bothered with.  Arsenal were also top scorers in the league – something that could never be mentioned because this was Arsenal under George Graham.  Boring boring Arsenal.  And we had let in less than half the goals of any other team.

And now you might just be wondering about the points – because it shows

Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 36 22 13 1 65 16 +49 77

And you will be saying – “err, another Attwood cock up here – that would be 79 points.”  But because of a minor dust up at Old Trafford Arsenal had had two points deducted.  Another rule made up by the League encouraged by the media.

Two games to go and if Liverpool won both and Arsenal lost both Liverpool would be champions.

The evening was May 6th 1991.   ITV were doing the filming and so arranged for Liverpool to play first against Nottingham Forest, and then (in their little minds) with a Liverpool win secure Arsenal would “have to” win to secure the title.

Didn’t work out like that of course.

We piled into the Duke of Edinburgh pub just off the Seven Sisters Road – one of the most evil, obnoxious and filthy pubs you can imagine.  I used to get cholera injections before going to use their “toilet” facilities.  But that’s where we went.

Liverpool lost 2-1, the pub went mad, and those of us with season tickets went straight to the ground.

Despite being docked two points, despite an overtly hostile and biased press throughout the entire season, we had won the league in the pub.

As we entered the ground, we could hear singing – over an hour before kick off.  One song.  Over and Over and Over and Over again.

A charming little ditty.  It went….

“You can stick your fucking two points up your arse” to the tune of “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes.”

It went on and on and on.

The Man U players formed their guard of honour and still we didn’t stop singing.  Arsenal came out, and yes, for a moment, we cheered.  But then with everyone doing their pre-match kick about, we went back to the song.

We scored in the 19th minute through Alan Smith, and again on 44 minutes.  In the second half  Steve Bruce handballed in the area and Alan Smith took the penalty and added the Golden Boot award to his collection.

The season ended with one defeat and just 18 goals conceded.

I can’t remember when I finally got home, but the house was of course all asleep, and far be it from me to disturb the lady wife and three daughters.  So I went into the sitting room and turned on the old VHS which had recorded the match.

Kept the volume down of course, but still I could just hear the commentator at the start of the broadcast saying, “And the Arsenal fans are in fine voice, singing ‘We are the Champions’.”

It was the final insult, the final stupidity.  We would never sing a northern song like that.  We were singing “You can stick your fucking two points up your arse” and you could hear it loud and clear.

Yesterday’s news:  5 May: Arsenal announces its new name

See also…

The books…

Other sites from the same team…










6 Replies to “6 May 1991: the game, the championship, the song”

  1. As soon as I read the date and the mention of a song, I just knew it was that one, and started singing along to it. It’s as totemic an Arsenal song as ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’, ‘We love you Freddie, cos you’ve got red hair”, and another forgotten favourite: “2 years, it only took 2 years, now the scum are in tears.” There, that’s put a smile on your face.

  2. Pl W D L F A GD Pts
    1 Arsenal 36 22 13 1 65 16 +49 77
    2 Liverpool 36 22 7 7 74 38 +36 73

    You write that Arsenal were the top scorers but unless there is typo error then Loserpool were top scorers.

  3. Since writing the above had a chance to check my official book of Arsenal myths.Seems we beat manure 3 1 and Coventry 6 – 1 which gives 74 – 18 I apologise for doubting you.

  4. I watched that game in the Plimsol – first time I’d won the league in the pub!

    That chant came out far earlier in the season (and there were even t-shirts). As I remember it the weekend after the deduction we got 3 points and Liverpool only got 1 thus negating the deduction and giving birth to the song.

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