Helps Family (Steve, daughter Fiona and his dad Michael)
Review of their 2004 - 2005 season as Gunners
am Steve age 40 and from Wickwar, South Gloucs, now working for
myself, therefore I am catching up on lost time by watching the
Arsenal "live" as much as possible after supporting
them for 30 years. My daughter Fiona is 13, loves Henry and became
a Junior Gunner for the start of this season. My dad, Michael
is not as young as us but supports the Arsenal and comes with
me to most games as well as watching them on Sky at my house.
Dad and I are Red Members, I am on the season ticket waiting list
and the three of us are Travel Club members. On Home game days
we have always parked in the same school playground on Blackswarth
Road and always have a Burger (Fiona and I) and Hot Dog (dad)
from the Burger stand, either outside the East Stand between the
ticket office and the Clock End entrance or from the one on the
corner of Gillespie Road and Avenell Road, next to the Supporters
Club (a very friendly bunch).
season started as most of them do for my family, a two week holiday
in the sun at the beginning of August (the start of the season-what
a sacrifice). This time it was the Algarve and a hotel with sky
TV and a bar was required for the Charity Shield against Man U
and the Everton game. Great results in both games 3-1 against
Man U and 4-1 against Everton meant the unbeaten run was still
going strong. The next game against Middlesborough was an eye
opener to say the least, we were dead and buried and somehow managed
to win 5-3, a fight back like that had not been seen at Highbury
for quite sometime. Convincing wins against Blackburn at Home
3-0, Norwich Away 4-1 and Fulham Away 3-0 followed, the unbeaten
run still going very well and the team playing fantastic football.
- The first taste of Highbury this season tonight, Dad and I have
tickets in the North Bank, behind the goal for the PSV Champions
League game. Usual routine of leaving about 1.00pm, steady drive
up, park in Blackswarth Road, wait for the school to open at 6.00pm,
park the car for a fiver, then walk to the ground. Great to be
here again, the game is a bit scrappy, nothing special, but a
1-0 win is a good result, one nil to the Arsenal (sounds familiar).
- Back to the premiership again, dad and I set of early for the
Bolton game; this is at home but is on Premiership Plus, therefore
a midday kick off. I had to work hard to find alternative car
parking for this one, as our regular park could not open, after
several phone calls we were sorted. After another scrappy, inconsistent
game we end up with a worrying 2-2 draw, nevertheless the unbeaten
run goes on.
is another hard fought 1-0 win away to Man City and an even harder
fought 1-1 draw in the Champions League away to Rosenborg.
- Today was the visit of Charlton and I was lucky enough to get
a ticket from someone who could not go. So I went up on my own,
sat in my seat in the East Lower stand for the first time (strange
experience) and watched the mighty Arsenal demolish Charlton 4-0.
Highlight of the game - the Henry back heal goal. Unbeaten and
back on track playing stylish footy.
16.10.04 - After a two week gap, which seems like forever,
Aston Villa arrive at Highbury. I take Fiona along to this game
and we are sat up in the Gods of the East Stand Upper - Row Z.
After a nervous start, we finally kick into gear and win 3-1 and
the unbeaten run goes on.
Champions League comes next and our usual away team turns up in
Panathinaikos, it ends up in a 2-2 draw, why can we never win
away from home abroad (with the odd exception of course, Inter
COMES THE BIG ONE - the opening and first meeting of the Official
Arsenal Gloucester Supporters Club, at the Nelson Inn, Gloucester.
Dad and myself think that this would be good to join and go along
to meet fellow Gooners. Sorry did I forget to mention that it
is also the day of the Arsenal playing Man U at Old Trafford.
Game number 50 in the unbeaten run and it is on the big screen.
Dad and I always watch Arsenal Sky games at my house on the TV,
except when I am out of the country, so this is a first for us
(superstitious or what!). We all know what happened next (other
than the regular loss of picture on the big screen).
on swiftly - the next game was against Man City in the "Mickey
Mouse Cup" (Carling Cup), another good opportunity for the
youngsters and the "not so fit" experienced players.
The Arsenal come away from the City Of Manchester Stadium with
a 2-1 win.
- Back to the premiership, the unbeaten run gone on 49 games,
a new and fantastic record for the club. Southampton are the visitors,
never an easy game and hard work is made of this one. The players
were obviously still shell shocked from the Old Trafford experience
and we were still struggling with corners. Robin Van Persie saves
the day with a cracking shot well into injury time at the end
of the game. The game ends in a 2-2 draw.
- The return of Panathinaikos to Highbury, this means a late
night back for Dad and myself, but I really enjoy night matches
at Highbury, under floodlights, its great. West Stand Upper is
where we are, great seats, not a great game, should have been
and it ends up 1-1. We threw this one away.
Palace away on Saturday 6th, this is a 5.15pm kick off on Sky.
Fiona and I have booked ourselves to go to Highbury and have our
pictures taken with the Premiership and Unbeaten season trophy,
as well as the Charity Shield. We set off late morning and go
into the North Bank for the pictures. Dad comes as well to sit
in the car, just in case we cannot park anywhere, traffic wardens
are a nightmare up there (it turns out that he could have had
his picture taken as well). Nevertheless we are all allowed to
go around the Arsenal museum free of charge afterwards which is
great. We then manage to get back to home in time to watch most
of the game on TV. A very "up for it" Palace manage
to get a 1-1 draw from us. The Arsenal are still finding life
hard sine Old Trafford.
Cup time again on Tuesday 9th November and the Arsenal pull off
an impressive 3-1 win against a good Everton side.
13th brings along one of those rare, unusual games, in the form
of the North London derby at the Lane. Live on Sky, bottle of
wine by my side (thankfully because I needed it) and Dad. After
90 minutes of quality football, poor marking, poor defending and
everything else that could happen, the Arsenal win 5-4, brilliant,
they needed that one.
The following weekend brings another game that we could of and
should of won, West Brom at Highbury. Mr Earnshaw had other ideas
and scored to earn the visitors a 1-1 draw.
24th November - Here we go again, Champions League Away to PSV,
Dad and I decide to watch this one at the Nelson as some of the
Supporters Club, including top man Jayl, have gone over to watch
the game. The Nelson banner is spotted in the ground (the highlight
of the game) and Arsenal again fail to do it away on foreign soil
but do earn a 1-1 draw to keep our hopes alive.
28th is another televised game against Liverpool at Anfield, so
again Dad and I decide to watch on the big screen at the Nelson.
Never again though, just as you think the team is getting over
Old Trafford and injury problems etc, the Liverpudlians nick a
goal right at the death to win 2-1.
- Dad and I are off to Old Trafford to watch the young guns play
Man U in the Carling Cup, Fiona is not happy because she is not
allowed to come because of school the next day. We get there very
early, have our usual pre match meal, hot dog and burger (not
as good as at Highbury) and get let in at about 6.00pm. After
going one nil down within the first 20 seconds and never looking
like scoring, we spend most of the game trying to out-sing 62,000
United fans. After the game and finally getting out of the car
park, which was a United fans car park and mine was the only car
with Arsenal stickers in, we got home in the early hours of the
morning. Dad was happy though as it was his first time at OT and
he was very impressed.
to the Premiership on Saturday 4th, this time against Birmingham,
a team that can be full of surprises. Nothing to worry about though,
the Gunners win 3-0.
- Champions League night at Highbury, we have to win, it is against
Rosenborg. All three of us are there, sat in the West Lower, it
is a tense atmosphere at first, but by the end what a great result,
Arsenal 5 Rosenborg 1, job done. A great night out at Highbury
was had by all, even the Norwegian that was sat by us.
12th brings the favourites for the championship to Highbury, Chelski.
Live on Sky and my front room is buzzing. We really need to prove
something in this game and we really could have won it. Henry
is on fire and the rest are following suit but our defending in
the air again lets us down. A 2-2 draw is better than losing but
I still feel that it was there for the taking.
- My daughter Fiona, who has only been in the Junior Gunners for
4 months entered a competition in one of the match day programmes.
It was only for JG`s and the prize was to go to the JG`s Christmas
Party at Highbury today. Well the lucky so and so won. So I have
had to drive up to North London with her last night, stay in a
shoe box of a hotel room on Finchley Road and then drop her off
at Highbury, North Bank entrance in the morning. Then I have to
collect her at 4pm, how jealous am I, and I forgot to mention
that she will meet the entire Arsenal team, except Freddie as
he is still having headaches. So I have a day to wander the streets,
looking at the Emirates Stadium, watching the players drive in
and out of Highbury, me waving like a possessed fan. The only
up-side for me is that I manage to see Mr Wenger entering the
main entrance, so I run from the Arsenal shop as fast as I can,
taking my permanent marker pen and yellow shirt from my pocket,
shouting "Mr Wenger, Mr Wenger could I please have your autograph",
which he very kindly gives to me.
So what if when I collect Fiona she has her yellow shirt with
18 autographs on it!
Fiona really enjoyed her time at the party, they played games,
had two hours with the players, met Mr David Dein and got fed
following Sunday is another Sky game, we are away to Portsmouth.
There is a problem with this, I have the in-laws coming around
and I have had to concede to not watching the game. While the
game is on, the father-in-law is asleep and the mother in-law
is talking to my wife (Celia), so I could have watched it. Dad
misses out too, but I watch the game later on Sky without knowing
the result and thankfully Campbell saves the day with a rocket
shot from the Isle of Wight (well it seemed a long way out at
the time). The Arsenal win 1-0, "one nil to the Arsenal",
"One nil to the Arsenal."
- Our very first Boxing Day game at Highbury, front row, West
Lower Stand, where the extra away supporters normally sit and
it is very cold. John Motson walked past me and I missed the chance
of an autograph. Anyway it is a happy festive experience, with
the Arsenal winning 2-0 (I think Fulham had too much turkey).
following Wednesday brings an away game at St.James`, the home
of Newcastle United, televised on Sky and watched by myself and
dad. Newcastle a team full of promise but we win 1-0. This is
followed by an away match to Charlton on New Years day which ends
in a 3-1 win for the Gunners, so all in all a great festive period
- Man City at home, we are all in the East Stand Lower, usual
procedure of the journey, the pre match meal and a pillar in some
of our view. Wright-Phillips scores a cracking goal but luckily
we manage a 1-1 draw. An early morning journey follows and another
early start for Fiona as school has started again.
- The FA Cup comes to Highbury today and all three of us are there,
sat in the West Stand Upper about on the halfway line. The Stoke
fans are really loud and have the entire Clock End to themselves,
all credit to them, we even help a few out pre match telling them
where to park. It is a very tough game for us but after a few
frights we manage to win 2-1.
the 15th we are away to Bolton, this is on Premiership Plus, I
pay my money and Dad and I watch us lose 1-0, enough said. Sunday
23rd brings Newcastle to Highbury and is shown live on Sky, with
Dad and I glued to the TV, we are more than happy to see the Arsenal
win 1-0, "one nil to the Arsenal". Wolves are next up
in the cup and I have to settle with 5 live on the radio for this
one, but we do the job and win 2-0.
Tuesday February 1st 2005, myself and Dad decide to go the Wickwar
Social Club to watch the visit of Man U to Highbury. Well it was
all going so well, goals, sending offs but what on earth happened
- somehow we lose 4-2. I have never really got over what happened
in that game, we had it and we lost it.
5th Aston Villa at Villa Park made up for some of what had happened
in the last game. Live on Premiership Plus, Dad, me and positive
thoughts. The Arsenal ran riot, they were possessed, they should
have won by hundreds but ended up winning 3-1, it will do. The
next game and the same thing happened again, Crystal Palace at
Highbury, Monday 14th (Valentines Day). I invited Dad around and
two friends of mine, a father and son who are die hard Palace
fans. We stuffed them 5-1, I did not know what to say as they
19th and the FA Cup came to Highbury with Sheffield Utd, I didn't
go, as the last time we played them in the Semi Final at OT, a
United fan threatened to kick my head in. We watched the game
on the BBC, we should have won but ended up drawing 1-1, with
the gloved hand of Reyes causing all sorts of trouble.
- A momentous day in my life, my first trip abroad with the Arsenal,
Bayern Munich in the Champions League in Munich with snow. I chose
to go on the official Travel Club flight from Gatwick, so stayed
there the night before and after. After all sorts of delays due
to snow we got there. I met up with a Gunner called Graham from
Southampton and we stayed together for the day in Munich. We ate
and drank well and mingled with the Bayern fans and other Germans,
it was a great day out - except for the performance and result.
We lost 3-1, with the highlight being the massive snow ball fight
that the Germans were having with themselves inside the ground.
Never mind I managed to make a new friend in Graham and shouted
at Aly McCoist as he walked into the commentary booth.
- Southampton at St.Marys. Fiona, Dad and myself all go to this
one and we meet up with Graham and his family who I met on the
Bayern journey. The Arsenal make a mess of this one, with Van
Persie being sent off and the final score being 1-1.
Sheffield Utd at Bramhall Lane in the FA Cup are next on Tuesday
March 1st, this is on BBC so Dad and I watch on our own TV`s.
A mixture of youth and talent due to injuries and suspensions
manage to win on penalties. This is followed by a 3-0 home win
against Portsmouth on Saturday 5th March.
The return of Bayern Munich is on Wednesday 9th March, we need
to win 2-0, the team tries hard but only manages to win 1-0. The
Champions League is over again for us with nothing to show for
it. Dad and I watch this on Sky but you knew that the damage had
been done in Munich.
- FA Cup quarter final time, against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
The three of us all go up. We park in the official away supporters
car park and go for a wander. Whilst in the car park I spot Diouf,
so I try and get his autograph along with a young boy who was
asking him as well, Diouf refuses. Once in the ground we sit right
behind the goal, Freddie scores after 3 minutes, Diouf gets sent
off (ha ha - he should have given me his autograph) and Freddie
misses a sitter right in front of us near the end, just as I said
to Fiona "watch, watch we are going to score". We win
1-0 and it is the semis for us.
Next up for the Arsenal is an away game at Blackburn Rovers, this
is on Premiership Plus, Dad comes around but I miss most of it
because I take my son to Karate grading. We manage a 1-0 win again
though, this is important as we need to finish above Man U, it
looks like Chelski have the title in the bag now. April 2nd we
thump Norwich 4-1 at Highbury and scrape a 1-0 win away to Middlesborough
on Saturday 9th.
- FA Cup Semi Final day at the Millenium Stadium. I invited Graham
and his son (from Southampton) to stay the night at my house to
save travelling time. A great day out is had by all of us, the
weather is good, the result is great, 3-0 to the Gunners and I
met the supporters club lord and master plus his wife there. The
Arsenal end was sold out unlike the Blackburn end, Van Persie
played a blinder.
at the Bridge followed on Wednesday 20th, on Sky TV, at my house
with Dad. It ended 0-0 but we could have scored, we played very
well, we were well organised and we can end the season saying
that we were never beaten by Chelski the Champions.
Another televised game on Monday 25th, this time it was Spurs
at Highbury, after a few early scares we should have knocked them
out of site but ended up winning by a single goal, 1-0. "One
nil to the Arsenal, One nil to the Arsenal".
- West Brom at the Hawthorns, fighting for survival. Dad, Fiona
and I all go and we meet Graham there. After a pre match meal
in McDonalds we go in to the ground. Whilst waiting for kick off
Mr David Dein walks past and I manage to get him to sign my programme.
A little while later he walks by again, so this time I get a picture
of him with Fiona and Dad gets his programme signed. The game
is not the best, the baggies supporters are the loudest I have
heard all season (shame the Highbury library can`t be like that)
but the result is 2-0 to the Arsenal, second place in the league
is getting to be almost ours.
8th brings Liverpool to Highbury, the game is live on Sky, me
and Dad are glued to it. The first half is some of the best football
we have played in ages, the second half is not, but we still end
up winning 3-1 against the Champions of Europe to be.
Wednesday 11th on Premiership Plus is the last time Arsenal will
wear the Red and White kit at Highbury. The visitors are the Premiership
surprise package Everton. Dad and I at my house, with my wife
and Fiona coming in every now and then and saying "how many
now, have they scored again, have the other team not turned up".
A phenomenal performance and it should have been more, but it
ended up 7-0, yes seven to the Arsenal.
- Last Premiership game of the season, away to Birmingham City.
We all go, we meet up with Graham again, I wear fancy dress, a
prisoners outfit which in hindsight was not a good idea as everyone
thought I was taking the mick out of Mr Pennant. The Arsenal supporters
were up for this one, the team were not, we took the mick out
of Heskey and he scored the winner. I think most Gooners and the
team especially had their minds on the Cup Final next week, star
players were rested and the score of 2-1 to Birmingham showed
21st May 2005 - The FA Cup Final against Man U. Well I have to
confess I was really in the mood for this one, the TV was on from
lunchtime, the Wife and Fiona had gone shopping and the bottled
lager was being drank. Dad arrived just before kick off, by which
time I was on the wine. The game seemed like a dream, were the
Arsenal actually there, it seemed to be all Man U. Somehow through
all of this I believed we could still win, I don't know how though,
we had no strike force. Full time ended, extra time ended, penalties
came, Scholes missed, Lehmann saved, Vieira scored, the Arsenal
won 5-4 on penalties, absolutely brilliant. This is fantastic,
I get Dad and Tom (my son) to get into Dads car and we go up to
the Social Club for a celebration drink. After that I cook my
family an evening meal in our wok because I feel so GOOD !.
I look back at our season as supporters it has not been too bad
really, we watched 17 live games, 10 at Highbury and 7 away. We
saw the Arsenal score 32 goals and concede 16.
decided that the best Hot Chocolate served at an away ground was
the one at St.Marys, Southampton (shame because they were relegated).
I decided they sold the worst un-cooked burgers in the premiership
(good job they were relegated)
managed to win the FA Cup and finish runners up in the league
despite a lot of key players being injured at crucial times. I
cannot wait for the new season to start, our last at Highbury
and as we are not away in August, I look forward to going to the
Charity Shield on August 7th against Chelski.
the last game of the season against Birmingham in the Arsenal
end there was a banner, it read :-
CHELSKI - YOU MAY HAVE BOUGHT THE TILTE, BUT YOU CANT BUY HISTORY
We have plenty of that and long may it continue, but it takes
supporters through thick and thin to help create that history.
of the dates that are highlighted are games that we attended,
all of the comments are my opinion only and everyone is entitled
to their own..
Helps - 2005
Helps is the Arsenal Gloucester Home Ticket Officer.
contact Steve email
can view more of the Helpsy 2004-05 photos on our GALLERY
can view more photos of Fiona with the players at the Junior Gunners
Christmas Party 2004 on our FEATURES pages.