Is Yours Gold: Arsenal Invincibles 20 Year Anniversary Looms

Buy Darren Berry's book on the Invincibles called Is Yours Gold as 20 year anniversary approaches

Is Yours Gold: Arsenal Invincibles 20 Year Anniversary Looms

The day the 2003-04 Arsenal team became The Invincibles. CREDIT: Lucas Pinks

Is Yours Gold?

The Arsenal Invincibles 20th Anniversary

“It’s not impossible to go through the season unbeaten and I can’t see why it’s shocking to say that. Every manager thinks that, but they don’t say it because they’re scared it would be ridiculous.”

The words of Arsene Wenger on September 20, 2002. Words which were met with ridicule from the media and rival supporters alike. “Comical Wenger says we can go the whole season unbeaten”, they said.

Two years later, on May 15th, 2004, I watched from the North Bank, Highbury as Patrick Vieira latched onto Dennis Bergkamp’s through ball and slotted home the goal that would secure a 2-1 win over Leicester City, and Arsenal’s place in the history books as the Invincibles. This came twenty days after the title had been secured against Spurs at White Hart Lane, our North London neighbours’ backyard.

As Vieira held the Premiership trophy aloft, I remember saying – with a lump in my throat, I’m not ashamed to admit – that this would never happen again.

The above are the opening words of my book – Is Yours Gold? The Arsenal Invincibles 20th Anniversary. As we celebrate that anniversary this week, I wanted to share with you my experience of that day 20 years ago, with a full chapter extract from the book…..enjoy!

Saturday, May 15th 2004

Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1

Matchday 38 P38 W26 D12 L0


In all honesty, despite being 1-0 down at half-time to a goal from former Gunner, Paul Dickov, I wasn’t worried one bit.

As I stood there in the North Bank sun, I knew it was only a matter of time.

A completely different feeling to that tortuous half time against Liverpool just a few weeks ago. There was no way we were going to mess this up against already relegated Leicester at home.

That time came just two minutes after the break when Ashley Cole – put through by Bergkamp – went on a marauding run in the Leicester box and was brought down by Frank Sinclair. Penalty.

It was so obvious that Henry was going to tuck it away for his 30th Premiership goal of an incredible season that he needn’t have bothered taking it.

But take it he did, and tuck it away he did, sending Ian Walker the wrong way. 1-1. Any lingering doubts were now gone. Immortality beckoned.

If you could choose the perfect goal to seal the Invincible season, you would choose the goal that sealed the Invincible season.

A move that typified what this team was about, set up by the greatest player to wear the red and white, and finished by the captain of the greatest side in the his­tory of the club.

Another glorious Bergkamp through-ball split the Leicester defence in half and found. Vieira, whose perfectly timed run had left him in acres of space on the edge of the area.

The skipper strolled around Walker as if he wasn’t there and causally slotted the ball into an empty net. 2-1, with 23 minutes of the season left to play.

NOW the party could begin!

There was time for one last drama, though. Would Martin Keown get on? He needed one more appearance to qualify for a winners medal. Ray Parlour decided to wind him up by telling him that Gilberto was injured and

Parlour had to go on to replace him, which would have been our final sub.

The image of Keown pretending to strangle Wenger after that has become almost as iconic as the one of him jumping on van Nistelrooy!

Keown got on in the end, making his tenth appearance of the season – the mini­mum requirement for Premier League winners medal.

Other than that, I’d be lying if I said I remember much about those remaining 23 minutes as far as the football goes.

What I do remember, though, is standing there in the North Bank simply breath­ing it all in. Having spent the whole season desperately trying to take it one game at a time, it was as if nine months’ worth of emotions were washing over me. Like your whole life flashing before your eyes when you’re about to kick the bucket, the whole season was flashing in front of my eyes.

Sol’s red card against Everton.

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s penalty thundering against the crossbar.

Keown towering over Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Henry against Danny Mills.

Henry against Liverpool.

Henry against Leeds.

Henry in general.

Robbie Keane’s silly celebration.

Arsenal celebrating at White Hart Lane.

And much, much more in between.

Then…. the final whistle. The final whistle of an unforgettable season.


We had done it.

Played 38. Won 26. Drawn 12. Lost 0.


I’ll take you back to what I said at the very beginning….

“As Vieira held the Premiership trophy aloft, I remember saying – with a lump in my throat, I’m not ashamed to admit – that this would never happen again.”

20 years on, it still hasn’t.

It’s difficult to explain just how it felt watching Vieira lift the trophy, and the lap of honour that followed.

There felt a need to soak it all up, to drink it all in, because along with the pure, unbridled joy, there was almost a feeling of disbelief.

From each player lifting the trophy, to Arsene walking round the Highbury pitch with one of those “Comical Wenger” t-shirts that some bright spark thought was funny a year ago. The ultimate “f**k you” to everyone who had laughed at him.

Every single second of it.

With the way football is heading these days, perhaps it’s becoming more likely that I will be proved wrong, and it will be done again.

Nothing, however, will ever take away the memory of how I felt that day. I was privileged to have witnessed football history being made in front of my very eyes.

Nothing, or nobody, will ever take that season away from us either.

Whatever happens next, for now, we have that one question….

Is Yours Gold?


In the years that have followed, there have been a few pretenders to the Invincibles crown – the Manchester City Centurions, Liverpool’s behind closed doors champions, Chelsea in Mourinho’s first season, as great as those sides were, they never achieved the ultimate – an entire league season undefeated. The fact that Mourinho Chelsea side lost just one game, the season after Arsenal were Invincible says it all. Money can buy you many things, but it can’t buy you perfection.

To celebrate The Arsenal’s iconic achievement, you can get 20% off of the book through Legends Publishing using the code GOLD20 at checkout here -

The book includes a game-by-game account of that incredible season – including memories and photos from Arsenal fans that were there to witness it all. There’s also a foreword from an Arsenal Invincible legend – the one and only Romford Pele, Ray Parlour, and while stocks last you will receive a limited-edition gold trophy badge while stocks last.

I’ll leave you with some of the photos that Gooners were kind enough to share for the book.

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