Due to a change in their business direction, the Modesto’s Italian restaurant at The Elizabeth Hotel, affectionately termed by Arsenal Singapore’s supporters as “The Liz” will no longer be the official home of the Arsenal Singapore supporters club. This is sad, because the restaurant has housed Arsenal Singapore for the past ten years.
Last night, the restaurant and bar screened their last match, as Arsenal Singapore’s official “home ground.” This was a pre-season friendly against the Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds on the evening of 26 July.
Here is my recount on the final game staged at “The Liz.”
I reached the top of the all-too-familiar hill and pulled open the door to The Elizabeth Hotel. Eagerly anticipating the upcoming football game, I then walked towards Modesto’s Italian restaurant, feeling quite sentimental that I would never again associate this place with the official Arsenal Singapore Football Supporters Club. As always, a special room at the far end of the restaurant had been set aside especially for us Gooners. I quickly made my way there, with my heart pumping excitedly, but at the same time, feeling slightly sentimental about this place.
Ever since I became interested in football, I have always associated the restaurant with Arsenal Singapore, so it would feel quite weird, at a later stage, to return to the same place and see nothing related to Arsenal in sight.
As I stepped into the restaurant, I took one final glance at all of the familiar Arsenal-related banners, scarves and posters decorating the walls of the clubhouse. Yes, ten years there had been definitely a long time. Even though the memorabilia may be transported over to the new venue at the Molly Roffey’s Irish pub in Bras Basah, it just wouldn’t feel the same ever again.
The various signed Arsenal memorabilia and jerseys of past seasons gone by, reminded me of the good and bad times that I had been through, watching matches at the clubhouse. I took one final glimpse of them, not knowing whether every single one of them would make the journey intact, to Molly Roffey’s.
As I stared at him, the life-sized cardboard figurine of Arsene Wenger pasted on the far corner of the room seemed to look sadly back at me. Like me, he seemed to be feeling sentimental too, about leaving “The Liz” but at the same time, quite excited that a brand new chapter in the history of the Arsenal Singapore Supporters Club is to begin.
I continued looking around me, slowly absorbing the atmosphere at The Liz as I waited for kick-off to start. I was lost in my thoughts and oblivious to the place slowly filling up with people, all around me.
Before I knew it, the match kicked off. There was plenty of clapping and cheering as everyone showed their support for their favourite players.
As I watched the match, I found myself completely absorbed in what was happening on the field. The Japanese side were having a great game and gave Arsenal a stern test. Their goalkeeper made a few good saves too. But at the end of the match, Arsenal’s quality prevailed and a mix-up by the Japanese led to the winning goal for the English side.
The Final Whistle
The game ended 2-1 in our favour. But even though the match was over, I found myself nostalgically wandering around taking pictures of the memorabilia. Many other fans were feeling just as sentimental as me, as they were also recording down all the nostalgic scenes with either their digital or smartphone cameras. Sentimental feelings were evident all around the small room.
While I will definitely miss Modesto’s at Elizabeth, I am looking forward to a new chapter in Arsenal Singapore history as well – at Molly Roffey’s Irish pub. Perhaps we will be there for another ten years?
More Football Articles
- First BPL Game at Molly Roffey’s
- Who will Win the Barclays Premier League 2014?
- A Female Football Fan
- Club Rivalries in European Football