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Unveiling the Dennis Bergkamp statue: full transcript of the speeches by the Untold reporter

By Walter Broeckx

As I had written in my pre-match article I was extra thrilled to be able to get to the Emirates for this match as the unveiling of the statue of Dennis Bergkamp would take place in my present.

The first thing I did when I got to the Emirates was to check and to see if all was prepared for the event. And when I got there almost one hour before the unveiling all looked in place. A big curtain was covering the statue and there was some testing going on.  The people who were testing the sound were seemingly doing an excellent job as I could hear them loud and clear.

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Testing : 1 – 2 – 3 testing sound check

Already a big crowd was gathered for the upcoming event.

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One hour before unveiling people already coming to the stadium

I then had to attend a meeting of the supporters clubs at Arsenal and in the meeting it was planned that we would go to the unveiling of the statue of course.  And when we came back some 15 minutes before the unveiling the already big crowd had grown in to a real big crowd. In fact as you can see in the pictures

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Big crowd on both sides of the statue

And then Dennis Bergkamp came out of the stadium. Or at least I think he did. Because well as most of the few thousand people around me we could not see anything going on.  But we heard cheers and people began to sing the Dennis Bergkamp chant.  So we sang along with the rest. After all that is what you should do.

This is Dennis his big moment. He will probably never get a statue ever again in his life so it is big. Ask Thierry.

Apparently there was another person with Dennis Bergkamp. The person from Arsenal who would do a speech and the unveiling himself.  Meanwhile I have found that it was Mr. Friar who ran the show. And as usual on such occasions speeches are made. And I just want to show the speech how a few thousand people standing around me could hear the speech of Mr. Friar.

Dennis mumble rumble may years rumble mumble mutter more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling,

Mr. Friar then stopped speeching I guess as people started to applaud what surely must have been a speech that could have been written by Cicero himself.

Then the unveiling took place and then Dennis Bergkamp made a speech. Well I guess. As we couldn’t see it. But it is always interesting to listen to what a player or former player has to say so I tried to write it also down as precise as can be. So this is what Dennis said or what most around us could hear and understand:

rumble mumble mutter more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling

He then seemed to pause a bit and went on and continued with these very interesting words:

rumble mumble mutter more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling, murmur rumble mumble mutter murmur mumble murmur more mumbling

He then seemed to have stopped talking and a new round of applause could be heard.

I think by now it is clear that apart from a few happy few this was a real fiasco for most of the other people standing there. After the curtain was down and the statue was visible I just went back to the Highbury House with the rest of the representatives of the supporters club who all had the same experience like me. They didn’t understand anything from the whole speeches.

Now I don’t blame Mr. Friar. I don’t blame Dennis. In fact I feel sorry for Dennis. He will probably not have realised it at the time but all the effort done was somewhat lost because the sound was awful, terrible…in fact almost non-existent.  And I think this is a shame because many faithful Gooners turned up for this occasion and now it was for most of us almost a non-event.

I think Dennis deserved better than this. And to think that I heard the sound very loud and clear when they were testing it.  But this is the final result of the statue and the statue itself looks nice

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The statue of the non-flying flying Dutchman

Now I must say that if the sound was non-existing when unveiling the statue it was loud and clear in the Emirates at half time when Dennis made an appearance on the pitch and was interviewed. And then one message came out loud and clear.

That if Arsenal would say the word to Dennis to come and join the coaching staff the non-flying Dutchman would take the first plane to London and take on the job. Needless to say that this was what some 58.000 in the stadium wanted to hear.

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7 comments to Unveiling the Dennis Bergkamp statue: full transcript of the speeches by the Untold reporter

  • Thanks Walter – you had me fooled at the start… I thought you really had been given a transcript of the speeches at the Supporters’ Club meeting.

    I’ve mentioned once or twice (well, one or two thousand times) that the statues is the greatest achievement of the AISA Arsenal History Society – as we came up with the idea and put it to Ivan Gazidis at a meeting in 2010.

    Now we’ve come up with the next whizzo scheme for the stadium. The first mention of it was published yesterday to coincide with statue number four.

    Opening details are here
    http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/9609

  • Mike T

    From a Chelsea perspective I was glad when he retired but in truth what a great player with such a silky smooth touch.

  • rantetta

    Mumble mumble fidget hurrumph

    Here’s the speech:
    http://youtu.be/q2zjJIApXK0

  • ARSENAL 13

    I was expecting this statue somewhere inside the stadium suspended from ceiling. Statue itself is good (pics atleast). But the mount looks odd…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Rantetta, now I will finally get to know what they have been saying 😉

    To be fair when we talked about it later it was probably just down to the fact that Arsenal never expected so many to turn up for this. I think in Belgium most top division clubs would be happy to have so many people turn up for a match. For the unveiling of a statue they would get around 10 people I think.

  • Rantetta

    Walter

    I must say, I too was eventually amused at your piece here. What I really wanted was to see video of Denis speaking at half time, as I’d already seen the link I posted.

    And the funny thing is that in the ‘unveiling’ video, it looked like there were very few people there. So your report and photo’s – latterly – explained to me why Ken Friar frequently had to pause during his speech. (The soundtrack of the crowd was so low, almost like they do it during commentary on TV, where they mute/select the sounds of the Arsenal fans, but boost or talk-up the noise being made by the visiting fans team, or just continue talking shite).

    I’m glad you travelled well – there and back, and that you seem to have had a great time.

    I’m going to meet you (and Tony) one day. When I introduce myself you may be surprised!

    I love your enthusiasm and total support, and your writing is “pretty, pretty good”. (Curb).

  • tamilgooner

    Walter , I think it would be more apt to say if Arsenal said the word , he would be on the first plane train to london … 🙂