Mattbutt

I also liked telling people that I liked going up the Arse. I especially liked their bogs and spent many a pleasant time in there.

Well I mean come on… You’ve been around some grounds and seen some of the troughs you have to pIss in (or in this case, slide down). I myself have visited a number of grounds in my time and as I said I liked it when I got off the Tube at Highbury, turned the corner and there it was.

Most of the clubs had a bit of wedge and could spend (talking about off the field now) some money, but more often than not the budget went on the prawn sandwiches for those posh nobs in the boxes. Little attention was given to us plebs down here who spent their hard earned every week going through the turnstiles.

Then you queued up at half-time to buy a KitKat and that coloured water they called tea, after that you held your nose while you relived yourself before going back to your seat for the 2nd half. But with the Highbury Stadium there was no need to take a deep breath before entering. You didn’t have to look at the fag ends, urinal cake and chewing gum while you emptied the bladder. When you went to wash your hands too, turning on the tap and then taken aback when hot water came out. Hot water ? In a public bathroom ?! Paper towels as well ! Eee… thought my other Northern chums, I could live in here…

But now they have gone. Or have they ? What have the redevelopers done with them ?
Were the fixtures and fittings removed and stored somewhere or were they just taken to the dump ?
What of their location ? Is that bit still there and is it now somebody’s bedroom ?

I looked around and found this blog which has a photo of the East Stand under redevelopment. The blog describes the area :

With Arsenal tube station closed for refurbishment, fan’s heading to the Emirates Stadium need to take the Victoria line to Finsbury Park and then make a fifteen minute trek across the Borough of Islington to the Gunner’s new home. This walk can take you past the old Highbury ground – and what a bizarre sight it is.

All that is left of the 1990’s North Bank is a few steel girders, while the other end, the former Clock End, is completely gone, leaving an uninterrupted view from Gillespie Road across what would have been the pitch to the backs of the terraced houses on Aubert Park to the south…

…The listed Art Deco East Stand and it’s opposite number on the former west touchline are to be preserved, and turned into apartments (700 of them), in a housing scheme known as “Highbury Square”. Where the pitch once lay there will be a communal garden.

(The clock itself, by the way, was moved from the Clock End and installed at the Emirates.)

There is a website where you can view artist renderings of what the place will look like once finish: www.thestadium-highbury.com.

It’s a pity that they couldn’t leave the stadium as it was, do like Real Madrid and create a B team to play there. Or if the Gooners themselves played their League Cup matches there or something. I for one didn’t want to see the place go, but I understand that it was necessary.

On the last home game of last season before they moved out the Arse had a big ceremony and send off. They also had Roger Daltrey, who I didn’t know was an Arsenal fan, compose and sing a commemorative song – Highbury Highs[lyrics here]

There was another musical act who wrote and sang about Highbury. This one was done in 1994. The name of the band was “Yeah” . One of those names like The The which is impossible to Google.
However I did have some success in finding more info: There isn’t a website for the band (who existed from the mid to late ’90’s), but there is a website for their lead singer Don Sebastiano.
It’s a bit of a cliché, but Sebastiano is a huge Arsenal fan. He’s recorded songs about the club numerous times. In fact he’s recorded an entire album which you can download via here. Today though we are featuring one track which is now in my list of the best footie&musical songs:

The Arsenal Stadium

» Yeah – Highbury Sunshine

Extra Time: Have a listen to “Arsene Wenger On Bass” on his MySpace page

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