Ian put up this picture taken by one of his sons celebrating the 2-0 win over the enemy on the 18th November 2017.
Ian Snelling, or as we knew him on various Arsenal blogs, gf60 has died. He died in the first week of June 2018, his last post on PA as far as I can make out was on the 1st June and he died some days later, three weeks short of his 76th birthday.
I personally found Ian to be a very decent, warm and kind but also straight pen friend via email, and I won’t forget his ranging memories of AFC that he shared and posted between seasons that made the summer interlude so much more interesting, rather than just the endless media stories around potential transfers.
My understanding of Arsenal took on another perspective as he described his experiences to me both off the blog and on it, filling in gaps here and there and adding to my idea of what the club is, its history and its atmosphere. He was one of the only person that I’ve ever met that stood on the North Bank when there was no cover in those post war years – as anyone who knows who stood at the Clock End and the old corner sections at Highbury, being in the rain wasn’t a lot of fun. Ian also had many anecdotes on older players now slowly being forgotten, players who are just as much part of the club as the Invincibles or anyone since the Emirates was built.
Copy of the programme for Ian’s first game, a title winning season.
Outside of AFC I didn’t share in any of his life,( and only came in at the final second anyway) a quick look around on the internet shows he had a life that touched many people, and had many interesting facets and interests, including launching important media companies and publishing a novel.
“It would be extremely difficult to exaggerate Ian Snelling’s contribution to the South African media industry.”
He sent me the whole of his written Arsenal archive that also shows he was a big part of other forums outside of the UK, they are a unique diary of sorts, and will spark back your own memories of games as you go along reading them.
I know that he liked you all, and enjoyed reading Stew and Labo’s match previews and Andrew’s post game analysis, and interacting with everyone on the blog in general.
Personally I liked his posts, they were always full of canny insights and of true joy when Arsenal won, but also of a stoic understanding that one must ‘keep the faith’ and ride the roller coaster that’s in the DNA of AFC. Ian was also personally liked also over at Untold Arsenal, where he was a major contributor, at least during the five years I was there, but in the last years PA was his Arsenal blog home.
Lets face it there’s no words I can muster up to cover my sadness or perhaps yours, but more than that, I feel also a gladness, a gladness to have known him, albeit for a short moment, and to have shared in the memories of another Arsenal fan’s life as a Gunner and Gooner a person whom I wouldn’t have known had it not been for UA and PA.
The club don’t know but they have lost a major supporter, a son who dearly loved the Arsenal as anyone ever has. And PA has lost one of its great posters.
Here’s to Ian, to gf60, may he be not forgotten as long as there is one of us to remember him and perhaps even after that.