Arsenal SG Member V. Jeyakanthan shares his VIP Match Day Experience (vs Newcastle at The Emirates, 16 Dec 2017) with us:
15th December 2017. London. Rainy. Cold.
Perfect weather conditions to snuggle under a down feather quilt and sleep. But I lay with eyes wide open, brain buzzing with excitement and fingers trembling in anticipation. The night before match day was one I’ll probably never forget. But match day itself was one I’d never want to forget.
Match day. London. Cloudy. Cold.
London is home to the worst winter weather possible. Also home to the Arsenal, and host to a myriad of shitty “football” clubs. The trepidation intensified as I got off at Holloway Road tube station. Will we win? Which Arsenal player will I meet? Which pie should I get at Piebury Corner? Should I punch that Newcastle fan in front of me? So many questions, and simply no answers.
Also I didn’t punch the Newcastle fan. Connie asked me to be civilised.
Reaching the Emirates Stadium after a short walk. My fears were allayed. Instead, an electricity was strangely palpable. Left and right, Arsenal fans young and old. This was it, this was really happening. Every fibre in my body was tingling and I was feeling slightly lightheaded. I still cannot believe it. Now, it was time for my Arsenal journey to come full circle. I had watched them play in Singapore, away at West Ham and finally at home to Newcastle. The VIP match day experience started by leaving the horde of fans behind to catch glimpses of the Gunners coming into the Emirates Stadium. Fleeting as the moment was, it was exhilarating. As we left to take our seats, I couldn’t help but observe that everyone else was thrilled as well. A twinkle in their eyes, a slight spring in their step. Ready we were for Newcastle. Ready, Newcastle weren’t for us.
Exploding out of my seat to roar in unison with 59,866 other Gooners when Mesut Özil’s sublime volley bulged the back of the net, was when I knew that dreams do come true. The only goal of the evening, and the only one needed to see off Newcastle anyway. Up next was meeting the Welsh Rambo, Number 8, Aaron Ramsey in the flesh. I got a picture with him and he autographed my mini ball. The day just seemed to get better with every passing second till Ramsey had to head off.
And with that the VIP match day experience came to a close. I knew I’d return with a heavy heart. But I returned full of memories to last a lifetime. To Arsenal and Arsenal Singapore, a heartfelt thank you from me. You made this possible and made my dream come true. Oh, and I’ll be back London.
(P.S. The picture was taken when I met Iwobi at Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park the day before. Just throwing it in to make you guys more jealous.)