Arsenal v West Ham: Are you superstitious?

Are you superstitious?

by Frederick James McGregor

I went to my first game at Highbury in 1998 vs West Ham, it was on a Boxing Day and Ian Wright had transferred to West Ham 6 months earlier. I was devastated, he was my favourite player. I was only 12 years old at that time and in love with Arsenal.

I was born in England, but my parents divorced when I was a little baby, so my mum brought me to her native Norway, where I still live.  I spent Christmas in England with my father and my two half brothers every year and managed to get to one or two games a season. It didn’t take long for me to develop superstitions before a game. I borrowed my brother’s Arsenal  scarf the first game I went to, we won, naturally I’ve borrowed the same scarf every single game I go to.

After we moved to Emirates my father and two brothers got season tickets. Which was good for me, I get to watch a live game whenever I want too. Living in Norway, getting tickets was never the easiest part.

It didn’t take long before we ended up having family rituals prior to kick off. We take the tube from Euston and ALWAYS get off at Finsbury park, we stop for 1-3 pints of lager. From there on our route is past Highbury and as you pass the Arsenal underground there is a burgerstand 100 yards past it to the right called Fat Harry’s.  Every game we have a frankfurter each, as they are always sold out of burger’s.

Just outside Highbury Square on the opposite side of the road there is a sweet stand, my brothers buy two bags each (If you do not know, it is pre-packed bags £1 each). When we arrive at the Emirates I sit in the middle of our three seats. It is very important for me to complete these rituals before a game, I have yet to see Arsenal lose.

My father refuses to wear a kit during a game, he won’t say why. I think he had some bad experience with it some time ago, it might just be that he won’t wear it till the final game of the season when we need to win our last game to bring the title back home.

I watch all the Champions League knockout phase games at the pub, when I have been unable to go, we have lost. This might all sound a bit crazy, but it keeps me somewhat sane during a game. Maybe it doesn’t matter or maybe it does. It makes me feel like I am contributing towards a victory, and as a fan on the sideline, there isn’t much else you can do (cheering and singing excluded).

Are you superstitious? What do you have to do before a game?

Index to articles

Arsenal Today

Arsenal in 1910 – the book

2 Replies to “Arsenal v West Ham: Are you superstitious?”

  1. hii tony, i am a regular reader of your blog and i like it very much along with the gunning hawk and arseblog.

    I am a fan of arsenal here in United states. I wish to see a match at the emirates someday, its my dream, and arsenal never tour the US. Anyway, i always watch Arsenal’s game in my room, and only my room. Whenever i have watched it at my frens’s place or at the pub, we have lost. So yeah, thts my superstition.

  2. My superstition is not to have a pee during the match. This stems from 2 experiences. I recall a long car journey from the Holyhead ferry, during which I was listening to a radio commentary of an early season evening match. With about 5 minutes left, we were 4-0 up and I called at the Services for a comfort break. I was astonished on returning to the car to discover that West Brom had scored 2 goals, so we won 4-2. In 2000 (I think) I was listening to the radio commentary of an away match in CL League in Russia. We were already 1-0 down when I went for a pee, returning to find that we were now 2-0 down. Things got worse, as during the second half, there was a repeat visit, during which the score beacme 3-0.

    This superstition can prove to be uncomfortable. On Cup Final day in 2002, I was in Portugal, due to return a hire car to the Airport and had to make sure to reach the rental office before 3.00pm. Faster than usual driving resulted in a 2.58pm arrival at Hertz, followed by a quick visit, accomplished with seconds to spare. It proved to be well worth the effort. thanks to Parlour and Ljungberg.

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