North London Is Red – Happy Birthday

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Mar 14th, 2015

In a way I guess this is quite an egotistical post as it has very little to do with Arsenal at all – or should I say, anything immediately relevant to Arsenal.

This post is a narcissistic nod to myself and a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.

Four years ago on this very day I started my own Arsenal blog having spent a few years sending in articles to various established sites and Premier League blogs. Writing has always been a passion of mine but had never really merged with my greatest passion – Arsenal.

It took me a while to find a ‘style’ as my type of writing had always been fiction. Short stories, unpublished novels, whimsical epistles to magazines, and fan fiction site posts better suited my raconteur spirit. Expressive and expansive prose came naturally but did not suit my chosen subjects in the earliest posts on NLIR.

My articles were often far too long for the point I was attempting to make needed a certain degree of conciseness and succinctness did not come naturally.

arsenal fans cheering emirates goal

Over the past four years I have been praised and abused in equal measure with each shaping the blogger (writer seems such a grandiloquently vainglorious thing to call myself) I am today.

I don’t wish to be boastful so shan’t talk about the “success” of this site except to say it has performed beyond all my wildest expectations and dreams. I am incredibly proud of how far this site has come in the four years since I launched it.

NLIR was created as an avenue for me to get my thoughts about Arsenal out of my system. I worked with a host of United, Liverpool and Chelsea supporters whilst I lived in Bristol and discussing football with them was a painful exercise. Anyone who works with United or Liverpool fans in particular will know what I mean when I say it is impossible to have a football conversation with them without it being steered towards Steven Gerrard’s greatest ever goals, that Ryan Giggs semi-final goal (probably the 8-2 nowadays) or how many trophies they have won. Oh, and how crap Arsenal are.

This site became my haven. It started as a place to jot down my thoughts and hope a few people saw them and we could have a discussion about it. In its lifespan so far it has not only brought me closer to the club I love and my fellow fans from all over the globe with whom I have shared many happy hours discussing the greatest team the world has ever seen but has also indirectly introduced me to some fine people who I now consider some of my closest friends.

The subscribers, casual readers and one time visitors of this site made that possible by reading, agreeing, disagreeing, sharing, liking, hating and commenting on my articles and giving me a reason to write something new.

So Happy 4th Birthday NLIR and thank you to everyone who has visited this site, even those who called me a c**t.

Here’s to hoping for 3 points against West Ham. COYG!

Thanks for reading! Please comment on this post, subscribe by email, share with friends and follow me on twitter (@thedanielcowan). Please check out the official NLIR Facebook page for news, views, freebies and more. 

Don’t forget to tune into the funniest Arsenal podcast around “Goonersphere Podcast

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

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