Anorak | Adrian Durham’s Devotion To Arsenal Sets The Benchmark For True Gunners Everywhere

Adrian Durham’s Devotion To Arsenal Sets The Benchmark For True Gunners Everywhere

by | 9th, August 2014

The Daily Arsenal: a case study in obsessional fandom

Why Adrian Durham’s devotion to the North London club sets the benchmark for true Gunners everywhere.


Listeners to talkSPORT the national radio station that pumps out sing-along ads for builders’ merchants 24/7 from a ketchup-stained studio on south London – will know that surly Drivetime anchor Adrian Durham has redefined the terms ‘troll’ and ‘shock jock’ to the point where neither really does him justice any more.

A troll tends to pick on one victim and stalk them in cyberspace. Durham’s prey is an entire football club and its employees and supporters, whom he has been winding up on a regular basis for several years.

For this reason he isn’t really a shock jock either, because this provocation no longer comes as a shock. There is a sense of inevitability about his endless attempts to find fault with Arsene Wenger, ‘Arsenal Football Cloob’, and ‘you Gooners’ (as he insists on calling the reds’ long-suffering supporters, as he throws out fresh bait and reels them in to phone his show and wait for hours at 10p a minute).

Durham is from Peterborough, and is the kind of person who takes a fierce pride in supporting his local team. And although he likes to mention ‘the Posh’ on his show from time to time, he prefers to talk Arsenal.

There are obvious commercial reasons for this, of course, but such is Durham’s obsession with Arsenal that you can’t help wondering if his WUM strategy has spilled over into hatred and then gone all the way through to obsessional love, with the hatred retained merely as a flag of convenience. These days he seems to live and breathe Arsenal in a way that puts the young Nick Hornby in the shade. In fact, he lives and breathes in a way that is rivaled only by the awesome Away Boyz…



And strike a light! Here he is, with a couple of the Boyz and co-presenter Darren Gough (cricketer, dancer, and now a Brand Ambassador for Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar).




Such is Durham’s devotion to the club that he even has a daily feature devoted to them ‘The Daily Arsenal’, introduced each afternoon with the 20th Century Fox fanfare in which he takes a topical story (or creates one) and uses all his considerable powers of imagination to put the most negative possible spin on it.

If it is a completely positive story (e.g. Arsenal or Arsenal person does something good) then he will simply criticise them for not doing it before now, or for not doing it on a grand enough scale, or for not persuading other Arsenal people to do the same. He has high standards, and expects only the best from the North London giants.

If it is a negative story, he regales the gory details more in sorrow than anger.

After building to his carefully constructed climax he leans back, lights a metaphorical cigarette, and says ‘that was yer Daily Arsenal’ with a contemptuous air that seems designed to distance himself from his pleasure for

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Posted: 9th, August 2014 | In: Arsenal, Key Posts, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink