A few words from a humble Gooner on the morning before battle...

Last updated : 25 April 2006 By Dr. Headgear
In our veins flows the blood of generations of Gooners, from those who first turned out to cheer Dial Square FC, through those who faithfully followed us to our new home in Highbury to those of today, who wait with a bittersweet anticipation of our new home. Our hearts are the hearts of those generations too, hearts that beat with excitement as we were promoted to the top flight, hearts that pounded through the reign of the marvellous Herbert Chapman, hearts that swelled with pride in Tottenham in '71, Liverpool in '89, Manchester in '02 and Tottenham again in '04. Our minds are as one as we recall the FA Cup in '79, Adams goal V Everton in '98 and, fittingly for tonight, One nil to The Arsenal in Copenhagen in '94.

Yet our hearts also carry a heaviness. A sadness as we bid farewell to our spiritual home of the past 93 years, the pain of '78, '80, '95, '99, 2000, '01 and more and a memory of a young Rocky Rocastle, cruelly taken from us twice.

This pain, this heaviness, has forged us, moulded us, shaped us. This pain has strengthened our sinews, built up our muscles and empowered our spleens. Our resolve, that of those that have gone before us, has been hardened to steel by the bitterness of disappointment and the cutting rebukes of the George Graham era.

Tonight we stand at the half-open door to history, a door that none of us, nor those who preceeded us, has passed through before. We must have the courage and commitment to turn the knob, to push the portal open and at last, to flood the gates in a tide of Gooners.

Tonight we must gird our loins with our luckiest underpants, fortify our spirits with copious amounts of alcolholic beverage, and lift our arms and voices to the sky. Let the Gods of Football be in no doubt, we are here, and we will be heard. We offer up unto them our greivances, the wrongs that have been done unto us and bid them bless our fearless young warriors with the rectification they so deserve.

Let us face our destiny as one, be it Barca in Paris, or Gretna in next season's UEFA Cup. Let us sing glory down upon our boys, or failing that, rouse their hearts, and our own, with a song of commiseration.