My first Arsenal game at Highbury

Arsenal v Liverpool, February 24th 1976

My dad took me to the big match, he eased me in gently to the large crowds by taking me to a few reserve games prior to this. The game was three days after my ninth birthday and I can remember being overwhelmed with anticipation and excitement.

It was nil-nil until Liam Brady put in a perfect cross and John Radford headed home in the 90th minute for a one-nil victory. In comparison to some of the attendances in the 70’s the crowd wasn’t that big really, just over 36,000. To me it felt like the whole of north London was there at the game as I’d never been a part of such a large gathering of people.

We sat in the upper section of the East Stand and the view was fantastic. With about five minutes to go my dad asked me if I wanted to leave to avoid the crowds but I opted to stay and it’s lucky we did! Although John Radford scored the first goal I had ever seen in a first team game at Highbury, the 20-year-old wizard on the wing called Liam Brady became my instant hero.

Liam_Brady
Liam Brady

It’s amazing looking back at the line-up, Alan Ball – World Cup winner, legends Pat Rice and George Armstrong. John Radford, 4th of all-time Arsenal record goal scorers.

A few of the players that day were coming to the end of their Arsenal careers, Armstrong, Terry Mancini, John Radford and Brian Kidd.

Arsenal were in the depths of the First Division at the time and talk of relegation was getting louder and louder but they managed to avoid going down and finished the season in 17th place.

Do you remember your first Arsenal match? Please write to us as we would love to hear about your memories.

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