I have always been an Arsenal fan & I used to go to a lot of Arsenal games, as did Tom Watt.
How I met Tom Watt.
Most of the games I saw were at Highbury Stadium, Arsenals home ground, but I also went to the occasional away game at different grounds in London. If Arsenal were playing in Southampton, Hampshire near where I lived & I could get a ticket, I would go to see them play in Southampton.
I was going to see Arsenal play against Southampton at the Dell one season & whilst sitting in a pub I saw, Tom Watt. I was wearing my Arsenal shirt & being a big Arsenal fan himself he started talking to me. We talked about the game briefly & then both went our own way as we were seated in different areas of Southampton's ground.
A few weeks later I was going to see an Arsenal game at Highbury & was going with a group of about 6 friends. We always went up on the train & went on a bit of a pub crawl before & after the game, normally going up to Covent Garden or some other area with lots of pubs. Before the game, one of my friends wanted to pick up tickets to the next game, whilst they were standing queuing at the box office the rest of us all waited in the street. As we waited someone spotted Tom Watt walking up the road with his girlfriend. There were very quickly shouts of 'Lofty is a Gooner, Lofty is a Gooner' as he walked up the road.
My friends saw him & pointed him out to me. I quickly made up a story about me knowing him from when I was little & living in London, unsurprisingly none of them believed a word I said. As Tom walked past us, he saw me, stopped, turned around & holding out his hand walked up to me. He shook me by the hand & said 'hello mate, how are you?'. He then stopped to talk for a few minutes about the game we were about to watch & the game at which we had met a few weeks before. The game was about to start soon so we soon walked off to our seats. As we parted he again shook me by the hand, told me it was good to see me again & said he might see me in the pub after the game.
My friends were all amazed that I did actually know him & that he was a friend. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was stretching the truth a bit when I said we were old friends & that we had only met a few weeks before. The only reason he spoke to me was that he remembered me from the game a few weeks before in Southampton but now my friends believe that Lofty & I are best mates.
Tom Watt, I salute you, Up The Gunners.