Arsenal thanks supporters with final piece of Emirates Stadium artwork

Arsenal Football Club has unveiled the eighth and final piece of artwork that will adorn the exterior of Emirates Stadium. The hand illustrated crowd scene features more than 700 supporters who have contributed to the club’s success, given so much to the community and followed Arsenal in every moment.

The piece – meticulously illustrated over 20 weeks by critically acclaimed artist Reuben Dangoor – will sit alongside the seven pieces of art that were launched in January and now feature proudly on the outside of the stadium. While each piece of art has a different theme, they are unified in celebrating the club’s rich history, community values and its relentless pursuit of progress.

The name of the eighth artwork – Found a Place Where We Belong – is inspired by Dennis Bergkamp’s quote: “When you start supporting a football club, you don’t support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history; you support it because you found yourself somewhere there – found a place where you belong.”

The artwork features many supporters who have shown unwavering passion and commitment by attending more than 350 matches at Emirates Stadium since the club’s move in 2006. Arsenal’s global Supporters’ Clubs each nominated a representative worthy of inclusion, iconic supporters from through the ages feature alongside those who have made an outstanding contribution to the community, while club staff past and present are also part of the rich tapestry of the Arsenal family. Illustrations taken from matchday imagery – from Woolwich to Highbury to the Emirates and away days in between – also showcase the energy and diversity of Arsenal’s supporter base.

 

Monique Rocastle is a life-long Arsenal supporter and the youngest of David Rocastle’s three children. Monique spent two years working at Arsenal between 2017 and 2019 and represented the Rocastle family during the artwork consultation.

“I think the artwork looks just incredible. I’m so impressed with it. It encapsulates the club’s history really nicely.

“Arsenal has always played a big part in my life, both from a family perspective but also because my sister Mel and I have both worked at the club. I’ve made friends for life through Arsenal and met my partner too. My time working at Arsenal has really shaped my career and it’s really nice to think I’ll be on the stadium when I come to matches. It was a special and proud moment when I found out I was featuring.”

 

Dave Seager features arm in arm in the artwork with his late son, Liam.

“To be included with fellow supporters, and with my late son, Liam, is beyond special. Liam and I attended so many matches together from his first match in 2001 to his last, the North London Derby in 2018. To be with him on the stadium fills me and my family with such pride. So many in the club have been so supportive of me since his passing but this is truly such an honour.”

 

Thomas Ballegaard has been the president of Arsenal Denmark since 1999 and he has been a part of the Supporters’ Club since the early 1990s.

“Being on the side of the stadium… wow, it’s unbelievable! I think the design, and the way it’s been created, says it all about the way the club have approached the supporters and wanted us to be central to the final product. It reemphasises the fact that Arsenal is not just a football club. We’re Gooners – we’re a family. We’re there for each other. It’s massive for supporters around the world and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Clive Palmer has been going to Arsenal since 1978. He’s one of the stars of the ArsenalVision podcast and was an ever present at the artwork consultations.

 

“I feel incredibly honoured to be one of the 700 or so lucky ones included, as Arsenal has become increasingly important in my life. Growing up, as a young black man with a Caribbean background in England, when I visited the Caribbean, my nickname was ‘English’. At that time in England, you were never made to feel English because you were black. But when you go to Arsenal, you’re an Arsenal person. That’s how I’ve always felt.

 

“I’ve never felt more welcome in any part of my life, in any environment. That was the case from day one. That tells you what Arsenal fans represent. I’ve always felt welcome. It’s not just the football, it’s who you share that journey with.”

 

To read more from supporters about their connection to Arsenal and inclusion in the artwork, click here

The new artwork has already transformed the north London skyline and redefined the club’s home as a cultural landmark. Together with a diverse group of Arsenal supporters, Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, Reuben Dangoor and distinguished graphic designer David Rudnick led the process during a series of consultations which began in April 2022. The workshops were designed to curate insight on the club’s heritage, culture and community in order to inspire eight pieces of art which represent what Arsenal stands for in 2023 and beyond.

 The project has only been possible thanks to the contribution of more than 100 supporters, legends and their families, and a number of club staff. It began with a blank canvas and harnessed the passion, love and knowledge of the Arsenal community across the world to create art that would express the pride they have in their club.

Among the many supporters who contributed to bringing the new artwork to life were legends of the game including Kelly Smith and descendants of legends who have passed, including Jill Armstrong, daughter of Geordie Armstrong; David Rocastle’s family; Lynne Hapgood and Jake Hapgood, daughter and grandson of Eddie Hapgood; Graham Drake and Liam Harding, son and great-grandson of Ted Drake; and Reg Lewis’ stepson, Richard Stubbs.

Critically acclaimed artist, Reuben Dangoor, added: “As a lifelong Gooner, I’ve loved every minute of this project – and this final piece has taken a lot of minutes! It was so important to me and the club that the passion and diversity of our supporters was accurately reflected. There are so many brilliant stories behind the inclusion of each and every one of them – and I’m honoured to have been chosen to illustrate something that means so much to so many people.”

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