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Just a couple of weeks ago, on 11th January David Faber, aka the Goonerholic, would have been 65, had he not been taken, before his time, on Christmas Day 2019. A few of us toasted his memory in the Drinks on that date but serendipity has provided us with an opportunity to mark it more formally, albeit a couple of weeks late, with a special blog during this Interlull, a term, now forever in the Lexicon, first coined by Dave’s good friend Arseblog.

Dave was a very special guy and a cherished companion to many Arsenal fans, for some in person pre- or post-match for others through his ‘Goonerholic’ blog or his frequent appearances on the ‘Arsecast’ or the ‘Bergkamp Wonderland Podcast’. His wit and wisdom were expressed through sparkling prose on his blog or in dulcet tones (with more than a hint of his Islington origins) in a podcast or over a pint of the black stuff and were beloved by many. Furthermore, a nicer man you will never meet. As headlined on his blog Dave ate, slept, breathed and drank Arsenal. His knowledge of the history of the club and his commitment to following the Arsenal were second to none. A visit to his blog – still accessible online thanks to the good auspices of Invinciblog and linked in the right margin – and a perusal of the posts on the history of the Arsenal will provide younger Gooners with a glimpse of the traditions of the club. It wasn’t just the marble halls that distinguished the Arsenal from other clubs. As a man, Dave seemed to epitomize those old Arsenal values. Dave’s writing drew followers from all over the world and when he passed, those of us who knew him through the Arsenal discovered that there was also a large community of music aficionado acolytes with whom he engaged late into the night on Twitter who were as bereft as we were. As regular visitors to Goonerholics Forever will know, this blog was set up by some of Dave’s friends to preserve the community and traditions he established and we are delighted to have an opportunity to mark what would have been his 65th birthday with a blast from the past that is quintessentially Goonerholic.

A pre-prandial aperitif in Pinner before the 2014 FA Cup Final. 
With a seat in ‘Club Wembley’ where no club gear was permitted, Dave ingenuously adopted the attire that originally inspired Herbert Chapman to introduce Arsenal’s white sleeves
Photograph by BtM. 

Last week, out of the blue, Block 5 Gooner offered us the transcript of an interview he had done with Dave in December 2016 as part of a series he was producing with notable Arsenal accounts off Twitter. We are delighted to publish it as a late tribute to Dave.

On the Block 5 Gooner Interview today I speak to the legendary Blogger – Goonerholic!

Goonerholic, or David to you and I, as well as being a regular guest on the Bergkamp Wonderland podcast, is one of those Arsenal supporters that has simply seen it all. If you were to look up the word ‘gentlemen’ in a dictionary you’d be sure to find a description that aptly portrays this fine fellow.

David, thank you for taking time to chat with me. So, to start with roughly long have you supported the Arsenal?
The short answer is all of my life. Mum made ‘the infant me’ Dad’s responsibility on Saturdays. He went to the Arsenal and so did I. Although he didn’t remember my first Arsenal match he did take me to my first England match against Russia at Wembley in October 1958. I was 18 months old, so I expect 1958/9 was my debut season.

Can you remember watching your first Arsenal match?
Sadly no, I was far too young. My first memory of watching the Arsenal is an Inter Cities Fairs Cup match against Royal Liege in 1963. It was Bob Wilson’s fifth game for the club. We drew 1-1 with a second-half goal from Terry Anderson.

From ebay.co.uk

When you started to attend regularly which end did you stand at Highbury?
Clockend or East Stand as a child. Dad stood with some of his old friends in the same spot to the left of the clock most games and I had a stool on the big step at the back. Once old enough I alternated between the North Bank and Clock End.

Who currently is your favourite player at the Arsenal?
I’m not sure I have a single favourite. At a push I would plump for Laurent Koscielny who has improved so much in his time at the club.

I’m loving both our central defenders, both Rocks.

Who would you say is your favourite all-time Arsenal player?
There are so many contenders but in the end it has to be Dennis Bergkamp, or God as most would acknowledge him today. We were so lucky to enjoy him in his prime years.

So Dave, do you have a most memorable Arsenal match?
I could not separate three. The night I watched us win a trophy for the first time against Anderlecht in the Fairs Cup Final in 1970, winning the league at White Hart Lane a year later, or beating a very strong Parma side in the Cup Winners Cup Final of 1994. All joyously celebrated among like-minded souls.

Our defence in the Cup Winners Cup final was immense! Shutting out a brilliant Parma team. 

Do you have a most memorable Arsenal goal?
No brainer for me. Liam Brady at the Lane, Christmas 1978. His celebration in front of the Shelf just added to the brilliance of the strike, so that just pip’s Thierry’s remarkable solo effort and subsequent celebration against the same opponents at Highbury.

Image from Arsenal.com. Check out that shot! (or view here if you have an Arsenal.com membership)

What about a favourite Arsenal chant of yours?
We are the Arsenal and we are the best… It is sung too seldom these days, but it is as true today as ever it was.

Tell us David, do you have any pre-match superstitions?
Not these days. I used to consider my original 1970s Umbro home shirt lucky, and wore it in Copenhagen against Parma. I still have it, but it seems to have shrunk!

What’s your favourite away ground that you’ve been to?
Craven Cottage for me. Good pubs and that walk alongside the river through the park, then into a proper old football stadium. I loved going there all my life and I hope they get back to the Premier League one day.

Another one of Archibald Leitch’s Stadiums.

Which fixture or teams do you fear and or hate playing the most?
Tottenham away these days. Before all-ticket matches came in we would take thousands to the Lane. They weren’t as disagreeable when the numbers were even. Nowadays, they terrorise soft targets there. Cowards, all.

Are there any teams you have a soft spot for?
Stirling Albion. My Mum was from there and when the Supporters Trust took the club over I bought in. When Rangers were relegated to the fourth tier of Scottish football I bet against them in all four league encounters. Thankfully the Binos won one and drew two so I made a small fortune. “Can we play you every week?”

The Binos’ club crest. Image from BBC News.
Perhaps there’s another reason for that affiliation? Image from The Scotsman.

Have you got an Arsenal humorous moment?
Finding the team hotel in Leipzig when it was still in East Germany. Terry Neill invited us to join the post-match craic. We had to sing for our supper. I did ‘maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’ which resulted in Liam Brady and Sammy Nelson ripping the piss out of me, bless ‘em.

Ha-ha! I’d have loved to have seen that!

What’s your expectation for Arsenal this year (2015-16)?
Premier and Champions League! Ok, maybe just one, possibly the former. We have improved the last couple of seasons and the squad is getting close to where we need to be, and we have some attacking options rather than just burning Giroud out every season.

We do seem to be improving each year. 

What’s your favourite Podcast?
A Bergkamp Wonderland and the Arsecast for obvious reasons. I wish the Tuesday Club would get it back together.

And your favourite Blog?
Another no brainer. Arseblog. A great friend and good counsel when I don’t know what on earth I’m doing.

Who’s your must have Twitter follow?
@WestStandTone especially at North London derby time. He’s a top man.

Can you recommend another Twitter user who you would be interested in hearing interviewed?
I hope @RajPatel (but I haven’t asked him!)

Time for some quick fire questions:

  • Red or Yellow?                                                        Red
  • Clockend or Northbank?                                     North Bank
  • Sitting or Standing?                                              Standing
  • Best ever AFC Goalkeeper?                                Seaman
  • Best ever AFC Defender?                                    Adams (sorry Peter Storey)
  • Best ever AFC Midfielder?                                  Bergkamp
  • Best ever AFC Striker?                                         Henry
  • Best all time Captain?                                          Mclintock

It’s been an absolute joy for me to talk with you David and once again thank you your time.

Photograph by @LucyGooner

Goonerholics Forever are indebted to Block 5 Gooner for sharing this piece from his archives.

41 Drinks to “An Interview with Goonerholic”

  1. 1
    TTG says:

    Great work in transcribing this precious piece . This brings Dave back in a way and makes one realise not only what a great fellow he was but how much we miss him and his insights into his beloved Arsenal.
    I can remember the England / Russia game referred to. I think we won 5-0 ( with Yashin in goal ) and I have a vague memory Johnny Haynes scored a hat-trick . Imagine going to that game at 18 months old ! I can imagine what my wife would have said if I took an 18 month old offspring to Wembley!

  2. 2
    scruzgooner says:

    great work, baff. what a lovely bloke dave was. so clear-hearted. it must be dusty in here…off to search for a kleenex.

  3. 3
    North Bank Ned says:

    Excellent, Bath. You could heat the Guv’nor in every word. So missed.

  4. 4
    Felipe Filop says:

    Fantastic! Thank you for publishing & bringing a smile to my face. Like so many, I miss Dave so much. This brought back fantastic memories, I could hear his voice & envisage him holding court. Thank you

  5. 5
    Bathgooner says:

    Thanks fellas but I barely altered the transcript which is the good work of Block 5 Gooner. Credit where credit’s due. I merely added the illustrations and the links to Chippy’s goal were provided by scruzgooner.

  6. 6
    bt8 says:

    Stupendous picture of a Goonerholic moment in time. I especially enjoyed hearing his voice in my head picking Koscielny as his pick of the then current team, and especially the East Germany travel account. Thank you, Block 5 Gooner and BathGooner for putting it all together.

  7. 7
    Silly Second Yella says:


  8. 8
    Garsguns says:

    What a great man only met him once felt so lucky to meet him after being reading his blog for a few years such a gentleman RIP HOLIC.

  9. 9
    ClockEndRider says:

    Thanks Bath. A lovely piece and a nice way to start the weekend. Cheers to The Guv.

  10. 10
    Ollie says:

    Great stuff. Thanks for unearthing that interview. Makes a great birthday tribute to just have words from the man himself.

  11. 11
    Countryman100 says:

    Wonderful stuff Bath and Block 5 Gooner. I only met Dave a few times, but he had that gift of being totally interested in everybody. He seemed to know everybody and everybody knew and loved him. His blog grew into a fantastic community that we try hard to emulate.

  12. 12
    Steve T says:

    Great stuff Bath. A great nostalgia piece. It brought back many happy memories of spending time with the boss. Be it at a game, dining or consuming copious amounts of ale in the Tollie, they were always very enjoyable. Time to raise a glass and toast those happy times.

  13. 13
    Trev says:

    Thanks, Bath and Block 5 Gooner !

    What a lovely way to fill some of another interminable Interlull. Great memories, great man. Meeting Dave and many members of his community before games, made match days that much more special. As he himself said, once football began to sell out to the super rich, the friendships and those meetings became as, or more, important than the football.
    Quite a statement from a man who really did Eat, Sleep, Breathe and Drink Arsenal.

  14. 14
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev: you have just highlighted one of the things that made Dave so special, not just his essential humanity, which touched all of us here in some way, but his ability to see things clearly for what they are or have become, not necessarily uncritically but always unjudgementally.

  15. 15
    bt8 says:

    If you missed Tim Stillman’s column about Arsenal v. Chelsea at Wembley on August 1, 2020 then I highly recommend it to you. There are four very important characters in his story, and Auba is the only one who is not a member of Tim’s own family. 🤣

  16. 16
  17. 17
    bt8 says:

    Also a really good exploration of Arteta management and disciplinary approach by Blogs in yesterday’s piece, with really interesting discussion of the same in the arses.

  18. 18
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@17: Blogs’s blog was thought-provoking, and the comments made an interesting read. Elite football is the most extraordinary workplace. Beyond the fact that the boss earns considerably less than his workers, a lot of the normal precepts of management must fly out the window. That said, a lot of what Arteta appears to be trying to achieve with internal culture and alignment with mission seems to be what many corporate CEOs profess. Investment banking must be the only industry that comes near to professional football for the participants’ competitiveness, money, egos, and raw animal spirits. It can be a pretty toxic workplace. Perhaps CER can offer a more informed view.

  19. 19
    North Bank Ned says:

    Forest gave Leicester a pounding in the Cup. They’ve got Huddersfield in the 5th Round. Makes out 3rd round defeat even more galling.

  20. 20
    TTG says:

    The decision not to send off Kellegher of Liverpool today for a clumsy and dangerous challenge will give more ammunition to the conspiracy theorists at Untold Arsenal and others . It could even be claimed it denied a goal-scoring opportunity. ( Arteta was once sent off at Palace for a foul around the hallway line on that well known greyhound with deadly finishing skills ….Chamakh! ) . It was a situation that had it occurred when our goalkeeper was involved , we could have expected a definite red card . I do not subscribe to the theory that Xhaka is discriminated against by referees ( he isn’t he’s an idiot) but we as a club don’t come off well in situations like Kellegher found himself .
    To compound my misery the big teams have been given very easy draws in the Fifth Round . I always want big sides left in it while S***s are still in the competition so maybe it’s not altogether a bad thing . Certainly our neighbours would find Forest a real handful on the evidence of today and the game against us .

  21. 21
    bt8 says:

    Delightful. “Fresh” happens to be precisely my favorite kind of Manchester United locker room bust-up. 🙂

    ‘Fresh Man Utd dressing room revolt’ after Rangnick ‘bust-up’

  22. 22
  23. 23
    bathgooner says:

    Thanks for posting that, Cynic.

    What a talented young man! And with a fine taste in football clubs too.

    He should get a regular gig at half time in the North Stand concourse.

  24. 24
    Countryman100 says:

    Omari Hutchinson on fire for the U23s

  25. 25
    bt8 says:

    Great run and great goal. Hutchinson can definitely turn on the burners and accelerate past common mortals. Thanks c100 for the link.

  26. 26
    North Bank Ned says:

    And the Auba head over heels as the final flourish!
    I do wonder, though, in senior football, at what point in that run would he have been chopped down.

  27. 27
    bt8 says:

    Good point, Ned. But I would add “chopped down” sans yellow (or red) card. Fill in the blank as appropriate based on weekly experience viewing the referees’ pattern of non-protection of the brilliance of Saka.

  28. 28
    bt8 says:

    As seen here carried out by the ever so innocent partnership of Mike Dean and VAR. I hope Steve T. and TTG will give me credit for the language used there. 🙂

  29. 29
    bt8 says:

    Basketball had, for as long as I followed it (1965-2005 or thereabouts), rules in place to deter rotational fouling. After the fifth or sixth foul against a team, the opposition would be awarded an extra free throw for each succeeding foul. I do not know why football encourages it by having no such rules, but it diminishes the game.

  30. 30
    bt8 says:


    Probably so. That’s why relegating the Geordies now is so important.

  31. 31
    bt8 says:

    Not good karma for West Ham or for Zouma either.


  32. 32
    bt8 says:

    Jose nearly out of time apparently, once again.


  33. 33
    Cynic says:

    James MacArthur? Book him, Deano.


  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    Jose only does well when he is given a bottomless budget to buy the best players. That’s not Roma.

  35. 35
    bt8 says:

    Re: That article about Jose at Roma. The BBC reports: “Henrikh Mkhitaryan … not contributing much to defensive work in midfield.”

    Who could have predicted?

    Who kept on picking him to be in the team anyway?

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to start asking difficult questions.

  36. 36
    Silly Second Yella says:

    still living on borro(ed) time


  37. 37
    TTG says:

    Has it occurred to English Arsenal fans on here that 2022 is the sporting year from hell?
    We’ve not won a game , the cricket was a disaster , so was the Australian Open, the rugby went pear-shaped and the Winter Olympics has been a catalogue of failure . Let’s hope and pray tomorrow night will change all that . Please !!

  38. 38
    Cynic says:

    Doesn’t really bother me, as I don’t care about tennis, rugby or the Winter Olympics and never watched the Ashes as I was too busy watching Big Bash and Super Smash T20 on t’other channel, having expected a hosing in Australia. My interest in the Ashes died as soon as we chose that team for the first test and opted to bat.

    As for Arsenal, nothing this team does surprises me any more. I don’t expect to win many games these days so most victories are almost regarded as happy accidents. In the days when we had a ton of world class players, I’d expect us to beat everybody. Those days are in the distant past.

  39. 39
    Ollie says:

    There’s whispers of a football match involving Arsenal Football Club being played tomorrow….

  40. 40
    Bathgooner says:


  41. 41
    Ollie says:

    Yeah, I think it’s more hope than expectation these days, Cynic.