Sunday, April 01, 2007
Gunners down, Arsenal Singapore up.
I was part of the launch at last night's Arsenal Singapore launch. Arrived much earlier than 2pm, waiting to give my lungs a workout blowing up all them balloons to dress up the pub. The staff at Liz Pub were also putting up the final touches for the event at night.
Slowly the rest of the volunteers streamed in. Despite some having to come from work, all were in high spirits. Amongst all the preparations, the fine staff from Modesto kept us going with drinks, pizzas and yummy chicken wings.
We kept on going till around 5pm, then the staff from ESPN and StarSports began to arrive to set up their cameras. Sharkee, Jamie and Glenn Ong were on deck too, adding a bit of glam to the night.
SGGooner started putting us through our paces and reminded us about our duties. I was supposed to welcome visitors to the Club with Shai. A jug of Tiger was always nearby to fuel our high for the launch.
Whilst carrying out my duties I met and spoke with a few who came by the pub. There were boys enlisting for National Service, couples who support opposing teams (and came down wearing their jerseys!), whole families who signed up! This tall gentlemen who brought his son along told me he always makes a trip to watch an Arsenal match at least once a year, sorta like a pilgrimage. In fact there were many little children ( junior gooners?) having a good time, taking small sips of the Singooner mocktails and playing around with the red and white balloons. I scared a few away with the wig I was wearing.
Yes, the wig got some attention. Enough to be put on camera with Jamie Yeo! Yes, I was pulled by the camera crew to do a short segment in some pre-match thrash talking against a Pool fan. The mugs of Tiger I had before helped. It was quite fun, we did it in 2 takes. Not bad eh. In fact many of the Arsenal Gooners got on camera. Watch out for them on Football Crazy and Football Extra.
Then the arrival of guests. Some big shot from Tiger Singapore, Ashok the owner of Modesto, Glenn Ong as MC, Hassan, Al, Kev and Tiger gals got in front of a very nice cake and got things under way amidst giant poppers spewing out confetti. The cake should taste nice, for it was gone in a flash when they placed it outside at the buffet table. Trust Singaporeans to do a good job there.
The main event ie. the match was played on 3 big screens inside the pub and at the pool area. We did badly, and lost 4-1 to Liverpool. Would've been the icing on the cake if we won the 4th time against them, but that's football for you.
We did have some mini draws during the half and after the match. Jugs of beer, pizzas, Class95 goody bags, and Arsenal memorabilia were given away. It was very generous of the members to donate their precious Arsenal items for the draw, and I hope whoever won them will cherish it.
After the dust settled and while some team called Manure were playing, the crowd went on home and the cast of Arsenal Singapore took stock of a great night out, with complimentary beer too! The numbers who signed up were encouraging, a ball park figure of 150.
We are hoping many more will come to kua kiu with us in the future.
More pictures on my Flickr here.
Magic Word: Gooner