Friday 2 May 2014

Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle [Prime Sky Lounge, Hong Kong]

The win against Newcastle (happy belated St Totteringhams!) was my final game as a Gooner On The Road. It was a convincing display, much like Hull previously, and was a great way to say goodbye to the Arsenal Family.

As I write this, I'm sitting at Hong Kong Airport reflecting on what has undoubtedly been the most memorable eight months of my life. I don't really know where to begin either, so many emotions. I think there's some anxiety in there somewhere, some sadness that the journey is coming to an end, but also some excitement about going home and seeing friends and family.

The one feeling that I'm sure of though, is pride. I've always been proud to support my club, but over the past eight months I've become proud to call myself a member of the Arsenal Family. You don't just become a member of the the Family overnight. It doesn't happen when you start supporting the club, at least not in my book. There's no application list and no pre-requisites to meet. It's not a circle of trust, or a cult either. To me, the Arsenal Family is all about camaraderie, trust and hospitality. It is this family that has defined the journey as a Gooner On The Road. Without these fellow fans by my side, the adventure wouldn't have been feasible, I wouldn't have been able to experience the many destinations the way I have done, and of course I wouldn't have raised anywhere near as much for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. So, from the bottom of my heart I say thank you to the many, many members of the Arsenal Family that have helped shape such an unforgettable journey. 

Later on (and by the time most of you will read this) I'll be back in the UK. This doesn't mean that the challenge is over. Due to Arsenal progressing to the FA Cup Final, the deadline for my fundraising has been extended to the 17th May. That gives me just over two weeks to find $2,500 or less than £1,500. My friends have said I've done an amazing job so far to raise the amount I have, and there's truth to that, but it would still feel like a kick in the teeth if I came all this way only to fail to reach the final target by a thousand dollars (imagine us losing in the FA Cup Final against Hull. Similar feeling perhaps). I know I sound like a broken record here but I still need your help. Please, support The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, and my objective to raise $15k for the charity, by donating here

So it's definitely not the end from me. Expect to see more blog updates with reactions from the West Brom game, where I'll be watching in person (I watched the first home game at the Emirates so it's fitting to do the last there too). I'll also be keeping you regularly updated on the progress of the fundraiser, and of course there will be an announcement, at some point, about my book!

As for the FA Cup Final itself, I'm not sure where I'll be yet, but it looks highly unlikely that I'll be going to Wembley, so I'll probably settle for a pub close by. We'll see what happens.

Until Sunday!