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Arsenal supporters photography exhibition OpAa set to be at Piebury Corner – ‘for the fans by the fans’

PUBLISHED: 07:33 07 July 2017 | UPDATED: 07:47 07 July 2017

OPAA

OPAA

Archant

A group of loyal Arsenal fans have been working hard in an effort to stage a photographic charity exhibition at a popular supporters destination in the shadows of the Emirates stadium.

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Operation Arsenal Art – known as Op Aa for short – are set to host an acclaimed collection of fan-based photographs at Piebury Corner on the Holloway Road on the evening of Friday, July 14.

The cult collective consists of founder Dan MacCarthy, Stephen Conroy, John Clubb, John Holditch and Archant’s very own Layth Yousif, and is now in its fourth year. The team have been busy collating hundreds of the best pictures sent in by fans over the last year following their triumphant event in 2016.

The idea was the brainchild of Dan who said: “Continuing the success of last year our exhibition is a ‘fan’s eye’ historical record of supporting Arsenal over the years.

“It’s been a labour of love to unearth these memories.”

The team were brought together by their love of Arsenal and its history and memorabilia and have worked tirelessly to put on the event for fellow Arsenal fans as well as to raise vital funds for their two chosen charities – The Willow Foundation and The Emily Ash Trust.

Dan added: “It’s been a surprisingly emotive experience for the #OpAa4 team – all long-term season ticket holders.

“At a time when football is all about brand, money and ‘wannabe Twitter celebs’ the project has been like a reset button for our passion.

“We’ve all enjoyed giving up our time towards this exhibition as well as to raise money for two brilliant chairties.

“We also have to say a big thank you to the generosity of our sponsor Paul Antino and those who have donated items to auction.

“All the photographs were submitted by supporters and capture the “real” moments we all remember.”

As with last year the exhibition has uncovered some hidden gems.

One of the goals of the organisers two years ago was to find a fan photo from Arsenal’s legendary title win at Anfield in 1989 – the ‘Holy Grail’ of supporter pictures.

Dan was told it was impossible but through his efforts he uncovered a picture perfectly capturing Alan Smith’s goal taken from the away end packed with Gooners on what was arguably one of the club’s greatest ever nights – with OpAa dedicating a stunning piece of artwork to photos of that night.

As Dan says: “Operation Arsenal Art – by the fans for the fans.”

The exhibition is completely free and open to anyone. Follow the team on Twitter @OpAa2016 and join in the conversation using the hashtag #OpAa4.

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