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Layth’s Take First and foremost, on behalf of our entire team, I have to say a heartfelt thank you for helping to Save The Gooner Fanzine.

The pandemic has presented challenges to everyone out there, so we really do appreciate the backing and financial support from each and every one of you in such difficult times.

It’s certainly been hectic whipping up support for our campaign and I have to pay tribute to absolutely everyone for your blood, sweat and tears. I, for one, am absolutely delighted, albeit knackered, but we did it, my word we did it.

And that’s all down to YOU, our readers, for your loyal and unstinting support when the chips were down.

The support we had from so many good people was as heartening and it was humbling. From young and old, teenagers to long-serving Arsenal supporters in their 90s. I will never forget feeling incredibly emotional after receiving a letter from a wonderful lady who told me that the Gooner made her late husband happy, which in turn, made her happy, and enclosed a cheque to continue the subscription in his memory.

The backing from you all to reach our 1,000-subscriber target has now ensured we have a long-term future - one that we can now look to build on the solid foundations laid by so many brilliant people over the course of our proud 34-year history.

It’s no secret I want this publication, all our writers and everyone associated with this fanzine to repair, reclaim and restore the reputation of Arsenal fans through our informed, intelligent and irreverent publication.

@laythy29 Gooner Editor

Because, now, more than ever, supporters need an intelligent voice. And I’m pleased to say thanks to you, our loyal subscribers, the Gooner will provide a long-term platform for you to do so. Thank You.

PS One day, I’d like to highlight just what brilliant writers and creatives we have on every single page of our fanzine, but space always prevents it. Suffice to say, we are proud to publish a record number of writers in our bumper 96-page issue (288) at no extra cost, to say thank you for all your support.

This includes Carl Bourke’s speciallycommissioned work for the Gooner in honouring our 1971 heroes. Our whole issue was originally intended to pay tribute to that team - until news of the ESL broke that was.

You can find Carl’s work on our back page and don’t forget to google ‘Carl Bourke Etsy’ to buy a print or t-shirt. More from the outstanding Carl next season. (And isn’t it wonderful to be able to say that.)

Ruth Beck’s evocative rendering of AFC Glen’s superb photograph of the protests is our front cover for this issue. See pages four and five for more on the brilliant Ruth and her work.

BTW: On a separate note, there’s a brilliant book being prepared by big friend of the Gooner and renowned Premier League photographer Mark Leech. It’s to honour the work of legendary 1960s and 1970s snapper Gerry Cranham, called This Sporting Life. I’ve signed up. I humbly suggest you do too. See page three for more information.

FYI: Issue six (289) will be out early summer. Where we review our 20/21 season in depth.

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