Why did you become a Gooner?

If you were born or brought up in or around London or your family are dyed in the wool Arsenal fans, then this article probably isn't for you. But if like myself you were raised in another country, there's probably an interesting story behind why you became a Gooner.

Being the Addict that I am, I now live in Highbury and I can easily walk to Emirates Stadium within a few minutes - a privilege that makes me smile every day.

But I was born and brought up in Scotland so I’m often asked why I support the Gunners and I’m the first to admit it’s a totally random reason.

As a youngster, it was the done thing to support the local team (mine being Dundee United), but also an English team. Most of my school friends chose the obvious winning teams - Manchester United and Liverpool - at the time (it was the 1970s). My big brother chose ManUre, but something told me that there was something inherently evil about being associated with the Red Devils and I was determined to find another team to follow.

Cue Super Mac's arrival at Arsenal and one of the weekly football magazines - I think it was Shoot, but it may have been Scoop - marked the occasion by giving away a pennant of Malcolm Macdonald in his new Arsenal colours. Random perhaps, but the pennant instantly found itself pinned to my wall and I proclaimed myself a Gooner.

That was 1976 - a few years before I started following Dundee United, so although I didn't actually get to attend my first match at Highbury until 2000, technically the Arsenal have now been my club for more than 30 years. In that time I've seen people from my home town go from quizzical looks when I announce my allegiance, to looks of envy as a result of the beautiful football the Gunners now play under Arsene Wenger.

I’m still the only Gooner of my age group who comes from my home town, but when I return now to visit, I’m not alone in wearing Arsenal colours.

I'm now a season ticket holder and a resident of Islington, so I know that I'm very lucky indeed compared to the vast majority of Arsenal fans. The season ticket waiting list is full and the club has more than 160,000 registered members, while countless millions of admirers live outside of London and overseas, knowing that in all likelihood they might never get to see their heroes play live in the flesh. But that doesn't make them any less important a supporter.

So for all of you fellow Addicts, whoever and wherever you might be, if you have a tale about why you started supporting the Arsenal, share it here. And if you're not in England, give us the details of where you're based - you never know you might find some like-minded souls living nearby with whom you can form a supporters club.