Trophy apartment at Arsenal’s Highbury football stadium

It’s enough to make a Gooner jump with joy.

If your dream Saturday involves cheering on Arsene Wenger’s boys in red and white or reminiscing about days spent squashed into the crowd at the Clock End, then this two-bedroom flat in North London could be for you.

Once part of Arsenal Football Club’s Highbury Stadium, the third-floor flat in the building has come on the market.


But with a Champions League winning price tag of £660,000 (Dh3.7 million) – the same price you could pay in Dubai for a three-bedroom detached villa – many loyal fans or local residents would be hard-pressed to stump up the cash.

The stadium, built in 1913, and where Thierry Henry once slotted the ball in the back of the net and Tony Adams made crunching tackles, was converted into 650 luxury flats in 2006 when the club moved to its new Emirates Stadium, built on a former rubbish dump.

Although the team may be gone, many of the Arsenal-related features in the Grade II-listed ground remain, including the artwork on the front of the art deco stadium, the original marble entrance hall including a bust of the 1930s manager Herbert Chapman, the players’ tunnel, and of course the hallowed Highbury turf, now turned into a communal garden.

A description of the flat on property website Zoopla adds that it also includes a modern integrated kitchen open plan to a reception room as well as a fitted bathroom.

The current inhabitants have certainly entered into the spirit of the place, exhibiting signed shirts and signed framed photographs of the stadium on the walls.

One neighbour you might bump into, however, is the former French international and Arsenal left winger Robert Pires who bought an apartment in the block when it first opened and uses it whenever he comes to visit his family in London.

Another close neighbour and fellow Arsenal fan is the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, in whose Islington North constituency the flats are located and who has made it his mission to champion the cause of the poor of what is the UK’s 14th most deprived borough.

Spurs fans need not apply.

Q&A

Tell me about the history of Arsenal Football Club

Founded in 1886 as Dial Square by workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich in South-East London, Arsenal became the first professional football club from the south of England to join the football league in 1893.

Who are their rivals?

Arsenal has a fierce rivalry with local opponents Tottenham Hotspur. This appears to date back to the pre-war years when Arsenal, suffering financial problems from its relative isolation in south London, moved to Holloway in north London. The club only finished in fifth place in the second division during the 1914-15 season but was elected to rejoin the first division after the end of the First World War at the expense of Tottenham – many suggest as a result of bribery.

Who are their supporters?

The team has the seventh-highest average attendance in European football and, aside from Jeremy Corbyn, has a number of famous fans. These include the author Nick Hornby whose first novel, Fever Pitch, was an autobiographical account of his relationship with the club.

How successful are they?

Following their slightly dubious route into the top flight of English football in 1920, Arsenal has never left it, making it the only league team still in existence never to have been relegated. The team completed the 2003-04 season unbeaten and eventually went 49 Premier League games without a loss. Much of this can be put down to Arsene Wenger, who became the first foreign manager to win the Premiership in 1998.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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