Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Journal, London, Love Football, Sport

Thierry Henry and nostalgic memories

I brought myself to tears this morning [I cry a lot these days, more than before] seeing the statue of Thierry Henry at the Emirates alongside Tony Adams. Henry was brought to tears by the honour and the memories of the Highbury days. My memories of the bi-weekly trips to the family enclosure with my nephew wrapped up in our Arsenal gear, sometimes freezing and wet, with our sandwiches and drink.

My nephew, always embarrassed by my screaming and cursing, pinching me “Aunty stop!! And I would stop for about 1 minute and start over and so we would go back and forth for the whole 90 minutes. Memories or rather that wringing nostalgia for time passed, moments in personal histories which were probably not as wonderful as we imagine but they keep us human. OR maybe they were because one thing is for sure I was having a hell of a lot more fun in my life then than now. London in the 80s was the entry point to who I am today. London in the 90s was a good place to be and not only because of Patrick Viera, Ian Wright, Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Bergkamp and the rest. But it was only a matter of time before the rot set in. I left London in 2003 and by the time I returned in 2007, Henry was gone, Viera was gone – wrong decisions then and still wrong decisions. I still love Arsenal and I still love London – its my reference point, its my home. But things changed. Something was lost. I think it was a sense of self, a sense of community, a distintive character and here I’m talking of both the city and the club. Or maybe I just changed!