In 1990, at the tender age of five going on six, my life changed forever. I didn’t know it at the time, I was too young to appreciate the significance of the occasion – my Dad had just taken me to The Arsenal. I’d made my debut.
For my first few seasons we stood upon the Clock End terraces, something I’m glad to have experienced – it differs greatly from all seater stadiums so I’m glad to have been a part of both experiences and footballing eras, all be it very briefly. In 1993 we moved to our new seats in the North Bank upper where, as season ticket holders from the start of season 1997/98, we remained until 7th May 2006 – our final game at Highbury.
Like our great club we made the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium – or The New Home of Football as I prefer to call it. I can’t call it Highbury, there was only one Highbury. One thing is the same however, we have our two seats in the North Bank Upper. Block 106, Row 4, Seats 434 and 435.
My life is about to take a significant change once more, this time at the age of twenty-seven going on twenty-eight, but this time I fully appreciate the significance. I will not be witnessing season 2012/13 from the North Bank Upper and I will not be witnessing any games on the road. I am moving to Sydney, Australia – at least for a year, possibly longer. Only time will tell. So this Saturday, 18th August 2012, I will be going to watch The Arsenal for the last time in a little while. When Arsenal take on Southampton, on Saturday 15th September, it will be the first home fixture I will have missed since Wednesday 23rd August 2006, a night on which Arsenal beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 (5-1 on aggregate) to qualify for the Champions League proper – a certain Mr.Eduardo scored for the opposition. I was in Barbados with my family, celebrating my parents 25th wedding anniversary. I can’t recall the last home game I missed before then.
So what is ‘That Sums It All Up’ about? I guess it’s my way of staying as close to The Arsenal as possible whilst I’m down under. As an occasional writer for The Gooner Fanzine and a frequent tweeter (you can follow me @Palerme12) I guess this will be another way for me to share my views and to write about The Arsenal – something I enjoy doing very much. However, whilst Arsenal will provide the bulk of my content, I must warn you I will also be writing about life in Sydney. Moving from one side of the world to the other (on your own, having sold your house and quit your job) is a rather big step. It’s exciting and scary all rolled into one; I’m nervcited. So as well as keeping in touch with The Arsenal, this will provide me an additional platform through which to stay in touch with life back home in London – sharing with family and friends what life is offering me in Australia.
As for the name of the site? Well, arguably my favourite moment was clinching the league title on Sunday 3rd May 1998. Too young to remember Anfield 1989 and too much of a rookie to appreciate 1991, I see 1998 as my first real title winning experience. On a beautifully hot afternoon The Arsenal destroyed Everton 4-0. The final goal was a thing of beauty, possibly my favourite goal of all time. It was of course Tony Adams put through by Steve Bould. It really does sum it all up.
So 1990 was my Arsenal debut and 2012 is my blogging debut. I hope you’ll enjoy my ramblings; I hope you will return time and time again. I have great admiration for some excellent Arsenal bloggers (Arseblog, The Goonerholic, and That Simon Rose to name just a few), all of whom I’m proud to call my friends – I hope one day my words will bring as much enjoyment to you as theirs do to me.
Roll on Saturday 18th August; I can’t wait for the new season to begin, even if this seasons curtain raiser is my own personal farewell. I look forward to seeing some of you there. Until then, take care my fellow Gooners.