By Walter Broeckx
A few days ago Tony pointed at the (amazing) fact that Untold has published 5000 articles since it all started on 14 January 2008 with the first article.
I must say that around the turn of the year I noticed that we were approaching this number. And I decided to write an article about it. But a few weeks ago I saw that Tony had already started writing his piece so I thought that I would leave it to the founding father of Untold himself to have his say about it. After all I only joined him around one and a half years after the start of Untold with my first article. I had been reading from the early days but didn’t even comment at the time. And so I let the idea go.
But after reading Tony’s article and the nice comments that followed I thought that maybe it would be appropriate to add a few things. And as I am a man of numbers I want to give you some numerical facts. Since the start of Untold 2589 days have gone by. And that means that we have an average of articles published of just under 2 each day since the start. And as Tony pointed out at the start he didn’t publish daily. Since the start 369 weeks have gone by. That means that we have published 13,5 articles each week on average.
Since the start we have seen 85 months go by. And that gives us an average of almost 59 articles each month. And calculating it in years we come to 7,09 years that have passed away. Meaning an average of 705 articles having been published on Untold each year.
But apart from being a “numbers man” and loving the stats and having written a few articles about all kinds of numbers I also am a bit the man who writes down his emotions.
And I think that on a moment like this emotions are very mixed. The emotion of being amazed. Looking back at how I started at Untold and how Tony encouraged me to continue to write and how before I realised it, I was hooked up to writing. Fulfilling one of my childhood dreams. You know dreams you have as a kid. Apart from being a professional football player (every boy who loves football his big dream) I always wanted to become a writer. Of course I never dreamed of writing on a blog as in my childhood days even computers were something very extraordinary let alone something called the internet and a blog.
But here I am some 40-45 years after my little childish dream, writing articles for thousands of people on a daily basis. I still feel amazed and honoured that Tony made this possible for me. I can imagine a few who came by over the years being angry about it but hey, you can’t please everyone of course.
So writing for Untold really is something special for me. I will not get a Nobel prize for it I guess but I really feel like a writer. Including the occasional writers block and then suddenly the writers diarrhoea. That is the condition that when you write one article you suddenly start the next article in your head and the next one and another one. I think it is like scoring a hattrick on the football field.
But maybe apart from letting this dream come true the most important thing that I feel that Untold has brought is….friendship. I can imagine a few aaa types now turning away and shout: what?! Yes I do know that aaa types don’t get a warm welcome at Untold most of the time. But that is the same for any Untolder that goes to a blog of the other side of the Arsenal supporters spectrum. It is part of the game one could say.
But if you are into the idea of Untold and share our passion for Arsenal and our vision for Arsenal you will find a place filled with friendship. I have had the pleasure of meeting in person most of the other regular writers for Untold. And my friends who were with me all had one thing to say to me after having met them. They all said what a nice friendly people writers for Untold are.
Andrew who was so kind to take us to the ground from the O2 Arena a few times guiding us trough the underground, pointing out good places to eat before the match. “Blacksheep” who is always very relaxed (or looks relaxed!) and is great to talk with…
Of course one of the people that I will probably not meat in real life is Don. I think the distance is too far alas, but I think and know that I would meet an equally nice guy.
But there isn’t just the friendship from the other writers. No the friendship I have felt from the regular readers and people who take the trouble to write comments and push the post button are just as important.
I do get lots of emails with links to articles I might have missed and that might be interesting. I get lots of messages wishing me well. And I do get a lot of funny messages from some people who make me laugh every morning. Keep sending them!
Whenever I open Untold (or my mail box and find a message from an Untolder) I feel warm and at home. And that is the main thing for me. Untold has given me that and I have a place where I can talk with like minded people. Enjoy the wins, grind our teeth when we don’t win, moan when we lose… but we never stop our support for the players and the manager. We never lose the faith. Because we are The Arsenal. And that is what we do.
I have learned to know Tony better in the last couple of years. We have been meeting almost each time I come to London and he stayed at my home a couple of years ago for a few days. A very nice memory and some great days. And Tony is a very kind and friendly person in real life. Well he is to me and Carine. Being locked up in a football stadium in Belgium was surely one of the highs of those days and it was a memory that was brought up in one of my last visits to London. It was funny and embarrassing at the same time.
But all in all I can say that Untolders (writers and readers) in general are good people. That is my experience over the years.
Finally to go all emotional I want to say a few words about the people who we have lost during the years. Dogface who stopped after having lost his dear wife comes to mind. And certainly the tragic moment when we found out that Adam Brogden was killed in a car accident is something that still sends shivers down my spine. His articles about the dealings of transfers were eye openers for me. His knowledge is still being missed.
I don’t know if Tony realised it when he started Untold Arsenal all those years ago. But he started something that has spread all around the world and we have people from all parts of the world joining in, people from all religions, background, poor, rich. I do think that there is always somewhere in the world a Gooner reading Untold. Be it in Australia, China, India, the Middle East, Russia, Europe, Africa, the Usa, Canada, Brazil, South America…. we get comments from all over the world.
Who would have thought that all these years ago. And as Tony was the person with the ideas about the statues around the stadium I want to give Mr. Gazidis a further idea about statues. It’s all nice and great to see our former heroes being remembered with these statues. But Arsenal would be nothing without the most important thing: the supporters. So Mr. Gazidis it would be a great idea to make a statue of “the supporter” and no better person to use than Tony for this. Maybe a statue with Tony, a woman and a child standing for the support from all would be appropriate.
But as I don’t think this will ever happen I think we Untolders will have to build his own statue on this website. By making it and keeping it a place where we all can come together and share the passion for this club. Thanks Tony for making this possible.
85 Years Apart: the coincidence of beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the fifth round on exactly the same date as when Chapman did it, and won the Cup.
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