Arsenal: On to the Lane May’71


Gf60 provides the second  leg of his League trophy journey;

To this day, I wonder what made me think that I could go the flicks, watch a lunch time screening of “Get Carter” in Muswell Hill and get to the spuds in good time for the game? With some 40 000 locked out, the Gods were looking after me……I strolled in happily with about an hour to go. Only the following day did I realise my luck.

This was a game of more than a little import…if we won or drew 0-0 we would be Champions. A score draw meant that Leeds would take it…on goal average (no goal difference in 1971). No room for stress then.

spurs-v-arsenal-1971-005.jpgThough the spuds were in 3rd place, there was no doubt that we wanted it more but would goals come? Pulse rate  soaring but as long as it stayed goal-less we were OK. Only 3 minutes to go.

And then Ray Kennedy sored with a fine header from Geordie Armstrong’s cross that gave Pat Jennings (soon to be a gooner) no chance.

But now real fear. The spuds would do anything not to get beaten. One goal and we’d blown our first title since 1953. Ooh, those minutes were painful.

But at last, the final whistle. Like hundreds of other gooners go celebrate on their pitch. On my way I heard someone say “Look at those bastards. Dancing on our grave” I should have thought to say “that’s for fkin up my Christmas 21 years ago” but the chance was lost. What wasn’t lost though was the chance to take home a lump of the ground. Where to put this ultimate souvenir?

Was there any better place to plant it than where the dogs did their business? Haven’t thought of one yet and so it remains.


42 comments on “Arsenal: On to the Lane May’71

  1. The ABC or the Odeon Ian ?


  2. “Look at those bastards. Dancing on our grave”

    So the Spuds admitted they were a dead and buried club!

    Cheers Ian, keep them coming!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. You keep drawing me out with your à point writing, GF, this article looking at a famous win over the Spuds was another excellent vignette! 🙂

    [When I get my dictionary back from Anicoll I will look up what ‘vignette’ means!] lol

    I loved the announcement in the programme referring to the ghastly increase of 5p on the ‘reserved seat’ prices making them an exorbitant 80p.
    How ever did Gooners manage in those days?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Eddie,

    I know you do not like transfer rumours, but your recent comment sounds like inFahmy. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It was the Ritz right at the top of the Hill. Just as well it wasn’t the Odeon, that was almost next door to the John Baird pub and I might have been tempted to a quickie.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I visited both cinemas as a kid many times Gf – happy days

    The Baird served a fine pint of Courage Directors as I seem to vaguely recall, small pub but always immaculate inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. @Ani
    And Harry’s wife did the best meat patties and cold beef sarnies in N.London.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks gf60 for another trip down the Lane. This was the first season I called myself a supporter of The Arsenal, I was just a boy growing up in the wild west. Still have my scrap book and Bob Wilson’s autograph.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. GF 60,

    Just popped back to see how things were going, and am a little surprised at the somewhat somnolent response to an excellent recanting of your experiences of what was one of the most wonderful pieces of climatic history of our wonderful club.

    It must be the heat that has sapped all the energy from the PA fans leaving them unable to dance the light fingered fantastic over the keyboard.

    That sometimes happens – but do not for one moment think it shows a disinterest in your article, but a general feeling of ennui caused by the plethora of ridiculous transfer rumours circulating on the blogs — it is enough to drive even Eduardo into a comatose state.

    I, for one, look forward to your next headline Post — perhaps you could do what so many others do and bash in a disclaimer as regards some Fake News, such as “Report Denies Bellerin’s Twin Chooses Arsenal over Barça” or maybe “Spurs Fear Sheep Allowed to Graze on New Pitch will Look too Much Like Their Fans”. [that last one may not be Fake News]

    That’ll get the PA guys rockin’ in the aisles, and they will then see what they have been missing! lol

    Not that I have ever done such a thing myself – obviously. lol

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Damn — recanting = recounting.
    A5 must have pinched the self correcting software’s dictionary too. lol

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s the UK weather Henry – everyone is asleep under their sombrero, the transfer nonsense rumbles on like a distant car on a remote road.

    I had intended to put pen to paper myself this week but the muse is not with me. I have a British Lions night with Martin Johnson and Keira’s Bracken tomorrow so I hope that will ginger up my sporting radishes a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 1886‏ @1886_blog 12h12 hours ago

    Jose Mourinho has been accused of tax fraud by Spanish prosecutors. Will throw a street party if he ends up in prison.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. afcstuff‏ @afcstuff 6h6 hours ago

    Arsenal will launch their home kit for the 2017/18 season at 9am tomorrow at King’s Cross station. [Live on http://Arsenal.com ] #afc


  14. fucking puma, home kit is red with white sleeves again, its the wrong red, or its the wrong collar, or too much white, or too little white, fucking Puma, fucking Arsenal, fucking Wenger out


  15. Ivor Cannon‏ @ivorcannon 3h3 hours ago

    2 days ago I did a quick count of the players we were linked with in June alone and found 46 of them! That number has risen somewhat already

    Liked by 1 person

  16. typical, more fans can be arsed to turn up for a kit launch than for an attention seeking a4 and banner waving protest march.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. reports in France suggesting that Mbappe is seriously considering joining Arsenal – but would stay no more than 3 to 4 seasons, as its his goal to join either Real Madrid or Barcelona by the age of 22. His big choice is does he move to another club first or go direct to one of the two big boys straight from Monaco


  18. Kolasinac has been listed with no.31 shirt, which was Reine-Adelaide’s number last season.


  19. Before my time, but another great read. Such a special club


  20. I can remember leaving college early (not unusual), jumping the queue to get into the Lane and being one of the first people into the ground. We positioned ourselves alongside the pitch close to the half way line in front of the Shelf. No segregation meant that we stood with Spurs fans who, for the most part, were fairly ok.
    At the end of the game we went on the pitch and I went up the stands and into what I took to be the Spurs directors box. I stood on one of the seats and joined in the singing. And five days later I was at Wembley to see us beat Liverpool and win The Double.
    Not a bad week really.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Utsav Ojha‏ @_thatUtsavOjha 22h22 hours ago

    Sky Sports tweets out a rumor.
    Sky Bet starts taking bets.
    Sky Sports rubbishes the rumor.
    Sky makes money.
    Rinse. Repeat.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. GF
    Are you thinking of covering that cup final in 71 too?

    Couldn’t find much match coverage for the game at WHL. I’m guessing the eminently balanced and observably reasonable Tottenham supporters and BBC producers* disposed of any films, if they existed.

    * “au revoir Venga” – it was a Tottenham support who coined “Wexit” and it was the aaa who picked it up…


  23. …being slightly more serious, it’s hard to believe but given the reports of the tens of thousands locked out then I guess that this match at WHL was not broadcast?


  24. finsbury
    It was on the radio,
    In those days we relied on the radio for games and info so much.My life revolved so much more around radio
    It seems incredible now

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I heard a Marshall McLuhan talk last night on the wireless (YouTube), reknowned for his “the medium is the message” quote, and alot more too.

    He preferred radio to the telly.

    Watching AFTV it’s not hard to understand why!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. @Finsbury
    I do remember it fairly well but would have to write up the memory …46 years later?
    If enough want it, I’ll ask Andy if he has room.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. GF
    If you’d like to share your memories we’d like to read ’em.

    Despite the protestations of the experts Doubles don’t occur every season, not for a Petrodollar club, not for a normal club, though GazCorp did come close this year…

    …I found the full match for the 71 final online but I’ll hold fire for now. Interesting watching for us whipper snappers.

    As one of the few matches broadcast in that era it makes sense how and why the FA Cup finals had such a high status, amongst the other reasons.

    Three in four seasons? Not bad eh? I’m still celebrating…I mean recovering.

    Any transfer news…?


  28. Not that it matters what I say, GF60, and rightly so, but if you were looking for an opinion, then I would gladly like to encourage you to let rip, so we can read your recollections of the ’71 Double year, by way of a headline Post.

    Your first two Posts were excellent and I would look forward to more of the same please.

    Anicoll has also ruminated on putting pen to paper once the creative juices begin to flow again, and the two of you would be presenting a dish worthy of any blog!
    [But don’t tell him I said that,] lol

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Finsbury,

    There is loads of so-called ‘transfer news’ all Fake, of course, and by definition ‘utter bollix’. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Big mistake by Mustafi, who is fortunate to still be on the pitch led to Alexis goal. I’m sure the former is very pleased now his team have equalized!


  31. GF60, I do enjoy reading your recollections, but I’ve not been posting much during the off-season, so sorry I haven’t responded before now. Keep the posts coming as I’m sure there are a lot more readers than commenters. At the very least I expect that searching through the memory banks, getting in touch with the memories and reliving the feelings have their own rewards for you.


  32. the only NLD I have been at

    was high up in what was then still called their new stand, although it had been open a few years at that time.
    Must say that it made what we had at Highbury look ancient and not up to it. although for me it very much felt like if you stood up too quickly that you would fall out of the top tier, it was extremely steep.

    It pissed rain for most of the game, and for the after match march down the seven sisters road to the tube station, with the police doing everything they could to aggravate the Arsenal supporters, I was lucky to not get trampled by a police horse, couple of guys in front of me were not so lucky, and they got arrested for being the ones unlucky enough to get felled by the animal, and his horse.

    I attended a number of games those years, and I could never understand the behavior of the Police towards the fans, at all those games. After games at Highbury they would randomly just pick guys here and there out of the queue for the tube, and say they had jumped the queue, when they hadn’t, it did not matter how many other supporters said they had not, once picked out, it was to the back of the queue, often meaning their friends had to drop out too. Odd thing was that there was lots of guys jumping the queue, but that was actually ignored by the cops.

    Plough Lane was the worst ground I seen Arsenal play at.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. We shall move to Anfield 89 with Ian tomorrow Pass

    Not sure the absolute worst ground I ever saw Arsenal at – Ayresome Park was appalling and the trip to and from the station invariably like a cowboy film, the wagon train making its way slowly through Apache country – you knew an attack was coming but not when. Luton was a total dump, unsafe and unsanitary.


  34. Derby County’s old Baseball Ground was appalling. Very difficult to get into or out of, poor sight lines and one of the worst playing surfaces you would ever see – even in an era when all pitches were shocking by January.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. jeez we are now getting Lacazette for £44M possibly rising to a possible £53M and Mbappe for £90M rising to a possible £120M, not forgetting Lemar for £25M

    why are these rumors being fed to journos loyal to Arsenal, seeing as the season ticket renewal date has passed, its almost as if the club actually don’t feed these stories at all, but that can’t be true, cos arsenal blog world have told us so.

    I really loved the rumor that Arsenal will sell 9 or 10 players if we sign Mbpape so that we meet FFP on wage increases, and not cos we will have at least 9 or 10 players too many for the 25 man squad rules.


  36. edu, you know many of them fans just like to here something about transfer even if it is fake news.

    my fantasy line up for the start of next season
    3-4-3 formation
    mustafi, koscielny, monreal
    bellerin, xhaka, ramsey, kolasinac
    ozil, aguero mbappe


  37. Oxfords ground has to be up there in the crap ranking having to walk through people’s back gardens to get to the away stand.
    Most scary ground was Celtic park after visiting Charlie Nicholas ‘s pub called the nobody’s inn, in the gorbles,
    Worst toilet goes to roker park which was a square brick wall up to your waste so everyone walking past could see you.
    Newcastle was always funny because as the police would walk you through the cobbled streets the old ladies would lean out of their windows and gob at you.
    Leeds was always good because as you walked up the hill their thugs who would stand on the walkway around the stadium could see you coming from a mile away and adapt their attacks accordingly.
    Forest would get you as you walked across the bridge admiring the river.
    Strangely enough I always liked plough lane because of the good memories and the fact you could hear what everyone was saying no matter what part of the ground they were in.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. ianspace2014
    Agree with all, the chip shops and the offy with bars at the door where they would serve you in the Gorbals, never seen anything like that before in England. Piss running down the steps at Forest.
    The chip shop at Maine Road first place I ever had chips,mushy peas and gravy, Ohhh GRAVY!


  39. New post up


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