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FA Carling Premiership, 23/4/00
Tall tales
By Pete Fincham

I've only visited Highbury once before this season, and that was with a couple of Coventry supporting mates back in 1989. It was Arsenal's first home game of the season and they had won the Championship with that Michael Thomas goal months earlier. They also paraded the Makita trophy as well, some dodgy pre-season tournament thing they had won over the summer and also, I think, the Charity Shield. Basically it was their 'Treble'.

The reason this game stands in my memory is because at the time I was fifteen, a pale shadow of the filled out confident individual I am today. The two guys I was with were Coventry lads and both about my age. Now at fifteen it is quite a big deal to come down to London from the North (as I saw it), and after messing around in London for a few hours, we set off for Highbury having bought a Hakki-Sak en route.

We got into the ground ridiculously early, at about 6pm for a 7.45 kick off and started kicking around this Hakki-Sak. After about twenty minutes we had a great keep 'em up going and it got everyone watching. Then one of the guys I was with kicked it up in the air a bit too hard and it landed on the head of the main copper for the area.

In a moment the copper had unceremoniously dragged this friend of mine out of the ground and into the street where he gave him a lecture on the way to respect the law! The words mutual respect have never been so shallow!

Anyhow, he paid 9 to sit in the 'posh' bit - yes, only 9 and pay on the day! - and watched Coventry lose 2-0.

Thought: The Met are Scum!