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Untold goes where nobody else goes. And just look what we found…

Untold goes where nobody else goes. Apart from a few happy few of course…

By Walter Broeckx

First of all if you might be wondering about the fact that I didn’t publish articles or comment on the Untold website for a few days, it is down to the fact that the internet for an unknown reason refuses to let me go to the website.

We hope to resolve this problem very soon because for a while I have not been able to read what you are writing and what Tony is publishing. A very, very, very very annoying situation for me.

So it is back to the old working method of me typing something, mailing it to Tony and then it is up to Tony to publish.  I’ve just got the ability to read the site back, but nothing else yet.  Very frustrating!

So where have I gone (apart from my internet exile)?

Well I went to the Emirates last Saturday for the game against Norwich. Not a big deal one might say. There were another 60.000 there, as you may have  noticed.

But this was a rather special event for me. And for our travelling companions in the Benelux Arsenal Supporters Club. Because thanks to the Arsenal this time we got the chance to form the welcome party when the teams arrived at the Emirates before the game.

Because of this we had to make sure that we were at the Emirates two hours before kick off. Despite a not so co-operative UK border control agency and a ferry service that refused us access to the booked boat, we just managed to make it thanks to our dedicated bus drivers. And a bit of luck with the traffic in the streets of London.

After waiting a little while we were escorted into the hidden world of Arsenal football club.  And we were guided to the place that is reserved for those privileged few: the players, the staff and other more important persons than us mere mortals.

But there we stood face to face with Gunnersaurus. Who gave us all a big hug. Pictures were taken. Lots of fun, lots of laughter and smiling faces. The Arsenal match mascot was also there fully concentrated on his important task.  You could see he was having the day of his life and a day he will never forget. I later found out that it was the cousin of one of my twitter followers. It’s a small world at times.

After we all settled down the special guests arrived.  In particular there were supporters in wheel chairs with their families. We later found out that Arsenal had received an award for being very  wheel chair friendly and one of the best stadiums around for people with a disability. From my own personal experience I know how important it is for such people to have good facilities. So the fact that Arsenal are providing them is something that made me an even more proud Gooner than I usually am.

I can imagine some people saying sarcastically that they are not interested in such an award; well any decent person should be glad that their club is setting an example to the rest of the world. And if not, just hope you never get to need wheelchair access or anything else as you make your way through life.

So we formed two lines and then waited for the players to arrive. First the Norwich team and we were extremely polite and didn’t swear to them or throw anything.  All very proper.  And then we waited for the Arsenal to arrive. (Interestingly no sign of the referee and his assistants – maybe they arrived much earlier.)

Then after a short wait  the Arsenal bus arrived and all the players got a warm welcome. I must admit that even for this old person it was rather impressive to see the players walking by a few meters away from us so shortly before they would play a game.  Thomas Vermaelen got a huge shout from the fellow Arsenal Benelux supporters. Giroud was rather popular with the female part of the audience. Theo also scored high on the love barometer.

But I must say that all the players were welcomed with much love and sympathy. And then came the wait for the manager himself.

He came off the bus a while after the players. And I must say that the crowd was very enthusiastic. He even made a little pirouette in front of us as he was reaching out to touch hands of a few people on the other side.  Then he made sure that we, on our side, didn’t feel left out.  A big warm smile on his face as a reaction to the sympathy he felt.  If I ever get back to a normal service I will try to upload my own video of the players and Wenger’s arrival at the ground before the Norwich game.

So it was fun. We had a great time. Just as it is supposed to be when we travel for 24 hours to see a game of football.  And of course not just any game of football. No, a game of Arsenal. So I really would like to thank Arsenal for giving our supporters’  group the chance for having this little look behind the scenes before a game. It took away a lot of the time I usually spend with Tony before a game, but I had to take this opportunity for this.

It is one of those things that I will never forget and a day that makes me even prouder than ever for being a supporter of this club. It is ranked with the memories of playing on the pitch myself a few years ago. The tour with Perry Groves. And now this look behind the scenes.

Standing there it felt almost as if we would walk along with the players on the pitch. You had the players within almost touching distance before the game. If it wasn’t for the security we could have walked with them to the dressing room, put the shirt on and go out on the field.

So winning this game had  for us lucky ones an even bigger feeling than usual, because we was there when they came out of the bus and entered the stadium. We felt part of the team at that time. And by shouting our support before the game to them personally it made us feeling a bigger bond with them. So the win felt better than any win before. It really felt as if I (and the rest of course) had been part of the journey of this game. Part of the win.

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11 comments to Untold goes where nobody else goes. And just look what we found…

  • I read a report that there has been a ‘bot’ attack on WordPress.

    Perhaps that is what you were caught up in.

    Good Post — very interesting! 🙂

  • ema

    i could feel ur passion and love for the club as i read this. Nice article… Thanks 4 sharing!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well I’m back now on the site! Finally!

  • Florian

    Now this is the kind of post that makes me want to travel half the world to be on the Stadium. Amazing event Walter!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Welcome back Walter, hope you and family have put the traumas of the past couple of days behind you and all are hale and hearty.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Walter,

    How lucky. If possible post the pics. Make us Untolders as lucky.

  • gouresh

    U lucky so&so’s…….!

  • AL

    Good to hear of your wonderful experience at the Emirates, and believe me you guys played a part in this important win, thank you.

  • weedonald

    I hate you Walter….you get to have such fun and see the occasional game and I’m stuck here in snowy,rainy, weather-hell (Canada) and won’t likely get to see a live game, never-mind be in an Arsenal welcoming committee anytime soon.
    Honestly, I just saw a site where our 0-0 result today is being treated as if we just lost the CL final AND the EPL in the same game! One moron even wrote that losing all 3 points was a disgrace today!!!! With idiots like them for ¨supporters¨, it is no surprise that our poor players,manager and club must wonder what they have to do to merit any credit or praise.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice one Walter ,a big LIKE from me .Glad you had a great time .
    Cheers !

  • Asif

    Good un Walter…wish I too was a part of the entourage!

    Really like the article…