It was the first week of 2012, with the usual FA Cup 3rd Round fixtures throwing up difficult tasks for Premier League teams, Arsenal included. Struggling to score against a Championship Leeds side, Arsenal needed a hero, and turned to a legend for this task in the shape of the newly returned Thierry Henry.
Fresh from New York, coming off the bench wearing the unfamiliar No.12 shirt, the King cemented his return with a winning goal.
In part 2 of our interview with Ed and Max from Arsenal fanzine Eighteen86, Max talks about this magical moment and more, as he looks back on his favourite football memories.
First football shirt
Speaking of Bukayo Saka, how could we talk about football shirt content in 2021 and not include an Arsenal vintage drop?
My first shirt was the yellow Adidas JVC away shirt (93/94) - my godbrother (son of my godfather if that makes sense!) gave it to me when I was very young. I remember it so vividly even though I would’ve only been 4/5 at the time.
I fell over and cut myself badly playing football with him outside his family home and wouldn’t stop crying. He was a couple years older than me and he didn’t know what to do. But very sweetly he rushed back in and came back out with the shirt and gave it to me - it worked. And really that was the start of me supporting Arsenal. I had my team and I had my shirt. And I still go to games with him to this day.
Favourite football shirt
The Arsenal home shirt from 2005/06, nicknamed the redcurrant shirt, was worn for Arsenal's final season at their Highbury Stadium, before making the move to The Emirates 🏟 pic.twitter.com/2cEecVvp1u
Hard to argue with Ed’s choice, all the early 90s one are incredibly but my favourite might actually be the Nike redcurrant home kit from 05/06 - the final season at Highbury. It felt like a perfect way to commemorate that event. I just loved the colour matched with the gold numbering.
It just seemed to represent all the things that us Arsenal fans like to say the club stands for, class, tradition and style. I have it in long sleeve with Henry on the back - and it just reminds me of that iconic moment when he kissed the Highbury turf after scoring a hat trick during the Final game.
I think my most memorable moment (and I’m judging this on when I lost my mind most) was the year that Thierry Henry came back and scored late on against Leeds.
He was obviously one of my favourite players of all time and then to have him come back, score the winner (and in such a trademark way) and then have him celebrate like he was a just random fan who’d just got lucky (plus a heartwarming embrace with Wenger).
Everything about the moment felt like a movie. And the atmosphere in the stadium was unparalleled - grown men and women reduced to emotional wrecks.