Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan has revealed how watching a documentary about Arsenal icon Thierry Henry convinced him to become a fan of the North London club from a young age.
The shot stopper fulfilled a lifelong dream of his when he moved from Brighton to the Emirates on loan in January to provide cover for Bernd Leno until the rest of the season.
Ryan had a chance to represent the Gunners earlier than expected, as he replaced suspended Leno in Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup for last week’s loss to Aston Villa.
Ollie Watkins’ goal in the 74th minute put an end to all hopes that the stopper would enjoy a dream debut, but he managed to keep the score 1-0 with several solid saves at Villa Park.
When he was young in Australia, Ryan admitted that he was encapsulated by one of Arsenal’s best forwards, Henry, and decided immediately after watching a montage of his best moments that he wanted to support the club.
“I was a kid at my friend’s house and we were watching TV at the time and a Thierry Henry documentary came out,” Ryan told Arsenal.com.
“Being a soccer lover, my friend and I sat there watching and were in awe of his accomplishments and what he was doing in this documentary.
“Obviously it was a montage of highlights, of the goals he had scored and the success he helped contribute to at Arsenal with what he had won in those days.
“From that point on, I basically fell in love with him and the club and became an Arsenal fan. I have been, I was going to say to this day, but I guess when I was in Brighton and signed there, you guys became a rival.
“So I guess a little less then, but it is still a club that had a special place in my heart and now even more than ever in the past because now I have the opportunity to represent them.”