First Touch: My 90s Football Beginnings

"Stewart to the right. Lineker and Howells to the left. Is Gascoigne going to have a crack? He is you know.......OHHHH I SAYYYYY......BRILLIANT!"

14th April 1991. I am pretty sure this was the moment that I fell in love with football. What a goal! Gazza (legend) thumping in a free kick into the top corner of THOSE Wembley nets (they need bringing back) in the Semi Final of the FA Cup before racing across that carpet with his teammates in tow, grabbing at the screaming madman! So electrifying. So iconic. Strange response from Arsenal fan right?!

It was the first time that I was absolutely devastated by a game of football. I had seen a fair few Arsenal games on the TV before during the 1990/91 season all of which had been positive and led to us going on to win the league that year. I remember just being absolutely fascinated by that Gazza goal and how it just grabbed me. Now as an adult I think I know why the goal made the difference but as a 6 year old I think I was just stunned how, a game like football, could be just so important to people who were watching it. My Dad, Uncles, and the fans I could see on the TV losing their minds. 

My first live game was just after this in May when Arsenal beat Man United 3-1 at Highbury. As both a parent of 2 and having been to a couple of big evening matches recently, I think my Dad must have been a lunatic to take me there! From then on I was hooked. The programmes, the kits, the magazines, the TV programmes. I was invested. I'd nail my lunch just so I could get down to the playground first to play. At home, anything that was remotely spherical got the Robert Jarni treatment! I had the floppy tongued Puma Kings too (see below). I'd use my school bus money to buy Premier League stickers on the way home. Championship Manager stole a lot of my teens too! I'd sit in RE planning my transfer policy.


When I was about 6 years old, my uncle was 20 and still living with my Grandparents about 300 yards from where I lived. When he was at work, I would take myself up to his room and sift through his ridiculous Subbuteo collection. I'd set up the stands, sit the people down as carefully as I could, construct the scoreboards, put the nets on the goals, set up the advertising hoardings, turn on the floodlights (yep!) and then write out programmes of the teams, a preview and copy fictional tables and results from games who went before. A dream afternoon! My Nan used to get Match magazine delivered weekly too and I would put the posters on the wall. 

Football was and is still an obsession BUT there is nothing quite like 90s football.

What is your 90s football story?

Who is your team? Who was/is your 90s football hero?

Who do you think of when you think 90s football?

Which shirt is a must in your collection?

I am off now to listen to some more Quickly Kevin and searching Youtube for Euro96 footage! 


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