Updated on 02/03/21
Arsenal, the “establishment club” of the 1930s always attracted more than its fair share of the great and the good. From royalty to dictators, actors to rock stars; they all gravitated to Highbury and the Emirates. This is our list of Top 15 Famous Celebrity Arsenal Fans.
Even ne’er do wells; Osama Bin Laden was spotted outside Highbury while ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser, a cohort of the Krays, also preferred his football at Highbury.
Thankfully, Robert Maxwell’s interest in the club remained in the stands. His track record in destroying football clubs made him a most unwelcome addition to the fanbase.
But which of them achieves true notoriety and finds themselves included on our list of famous Gooners? It’s an exclusive club, you know.
And more to the point, would they be happy with Unai Emery’s second season in charge of the club?
Find out if the Gunners will finish in the top four in our Complete 2019/20 Premier League Season Preview, Predictions And Betting Tips.
20) Mick Jagger
Rolling Stones lead singer Jagger famously penned “you can’t always get what you want” and that definitely applies to the life of a Gooner.
That’s what a lifetime of supporting Arsenal will do to a guy.
He also, with quite a bit less accuracy, wrote “Jumping Jack Flash” which didn’t prophesise the Arsenal career that Jack Wilshire would go on to have.
Proving the Dartford born rocker still has the moves like, well, err, Jagger, at 76 the rock n roll legend still gets down to the Emirates whenever he gets the chance.
Not that he gets any satisfaction out of it.
19) David Gilmour
Another rock n roll hall of famer, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, is another celebrity Arsenal fan.
After a string of miserable results of late, and the Gunners stuck in mid table, we can only hope that the guitars man is “Comfortably Numb” about his side’s current predicament.
With European football a distant memory, and Mikel Arteta’s rebuilding project taking its time to get going, he certainly needs to be.
18) Roger Daltrey
What? Another rock n roll Gooner? You better believe it. But Who? The lead singer of The Who, that’s who.
Perhaps that’s what Roger Daltrey meant when he sang about his generation as it has been a while since the North Londoners, one of English football’s most decorated clubs, have been involved in a title race.
Certainly, despite being the current FA Cup holders, Arsenal teams of previous generations have given their supporters more to smile about.
We’re sure good times are just around the corner.
17) Nick Hornby
The author behind Fever Pitch – which details football fan obsession and Arsenal’s famous smash and grab title win at Anfield in 1989 – is, it will come as no surprise to learn – a huge fan of the Gunners.
Nick Hornby’s 1992 book tells the story of his relationship with football and in particular his deep love for Arsenal football club.
The book was later turned into a film starring Colin Firth, himself believed to be a real life Gooner.
16) Ronnie O’Sullivan
Reigning World Snooker Champion and the greatest snooker player of all time, Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan might love the black, the pink, the blue, the green, the yellow and the brown but did you know he also loves the red and whites too?
That’s because this Essex man loves Arsenal FC when he’s not potting on the baize of course.
In fact, Ronnie is such a massive Gooner that, despite his own regal status in sport, he admits that childhood Arsenal hero Perry Groves left him star struck when they met.
We bet the feeling was mutual Ronnie.
15) David Soul
“He’s Starsky, I’m Hutch”
A staple of mid-week TV in Britain, Starsky and Hutch was one of the most popular American cop shows of the 1970s.
A heart-throb back in the day, Soul admitted that he took up supporting Arsenal when he lived in London during the 1990s and has been loyal to the club ever since.
He even penned a ‘Fans View’ article in the Daily Telegraph ahead of the 2001 FA Cup Final.
Hutch’s prediction that day went out of the window; the match didn’t go to penalties as Liverpool won 2 – 1 in Cardiff.
14) Queen Elizabeth II
If we didn’t include Liz, we’d be heading for the Bloody Tower with “Orf with their heads!” ringing in our ears. So #14 it is in the Top 15 Famous Celebrity Arsenal Fans.
This titbit was recorded by posterity by fellow Gooner, Jeremy Corbyn. Her Majesty doesn’t comment on trivialities such as ‘my team’s better than yours’, which, of course, they are; they’re by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.
There are no reported sightings of the Queen running down the Holloway Road with a red and white scarf tied around her wrist, extolling the virtues of Henry, Vieira or Pires. So, we’ll just take Jezza’s word for it.
Her late mother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen mother, was an Arsenal fan so maybe it’s a family link; part of the House of Windsor’s DNA.
Worst of all, it seems HRH might be a plastic fan. She only ever turns up for the big matches at Wembley and even then not always. Usually, she lets one of the family use her seat so at least it isn’t going to waste.
Harry is in her good books. While third-in-line to the throne William bemoans the cruel fates at Villa Park, his brother is a sneak, crawling up to granny and supporting Arsenal.
Now there’s a royal we can imagine belting out “Oooh to, oooh to be, oooh to be a GOONER!” as he emerges into the daylight from Arsenal tube station…
13) Mo Farah
Perhaps more of a fan favourite in our top 15 famous celebrity Arsenal fans is Great Britain’s very own Mo Farah.
Unlike others in this list such as Piers Morgan, the Olympic gold medalist is not so vocal about his criticisms of the Gunners. Instead, Farah sees himself as a future contributor to the club.
The 36-year-old was heard saying:
”I’d make a good fitness coach for the team or something. I could try to help players if they were injured.”
Whether or not he’d usurp the likes of Chris Morgan and Tom Allen – Arsenal’s senior physio and lead sports scientist – is still up for debate.
But even with Farah around, the constant injury crisis that led to the departures of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, and Gael Cliche, could still continue.
Continuing the trend of loveable Arsenal rogues, next up in our listicle is the English singer Dido.
Having starred in 127 hours, Love Actually, Crossroads, Perfect Stranger, and most notably in the BBC soap opera, Doctors, the latest stage the 48-year-old has graced is the Emirates.
Having been a fan since 1974, Dido has been photographed several times watching the Gunners under both Wenger and Emery.
And all thanks to the efforts of Dido’s father, who used to take her to Arsenal games since she was three-years-old.
11) Osama Bin Laden
To some Bin Laden is royalty, though whether or not he trumps Prince Harry in this list is another story altogether.
One thing the pair did have in common was their love for all things Arsenal-related. Yes – the most famous terrorist among all terrorists was known to be a massive Gunners fan.
It was reported that Bin Laden oversaw the club’s impressive run to the 1993/94 European’s Winner’s Cup campaign – though you could be forgiven for assuming this particular stat to be smoke and mirrors.
But considering that he bought his eldest son, Abdullah, an Ian Wright jersey, the love affair with the Highbury hosts isn’t unfeasible.
10. Fidel Castro
Timing is everything in football and the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro timed his power-grab just right from an Arsenal perspective.
The Gunners were in the doldrums in the early 60s but by the end of the decade, Castro was reaching for his plentiful supply of cigars and raising a glass of Cuba Libre to the success.
His support for the Gunners came to light in the 1994/95 season. Arsenal were drawn against Auxerre as they looked to defend the European Cup Winners Cup won the season before.
Castro, on a diplomatic visit to France, decided to take in the second leg and saw his beloved Gunners win 1 – 0 thanks to an Ian Wright goal.
After the match, his spokesman admitted the Cuban dictator was a Gooner and had been since the days of the double-winning side of 1970 – 71.
9) Michael Moore
Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore is a surprising inclusion on our list of Top 15 Famous Celebrity Fans. Who expected the scourge of the American Establishment to have an affinity with the Gunners?
Moore admitted his support for the Gunners in a 2003 interview with the Guardian. He stunned journalist Gary Younge with his rendition of the Clock End’s homage to Patrick Vieira.
Try as we might, we didn’t find a photo of Moore wearing one of his trademark baseball caps sporting the Arsenal badge.
Having eviscerated capitalism, politicians and America’s gun culture, some Arsenal fans might wonder if the famous documentary maker might turn his attentions to the Premier League…
8) John Lydon AKA Johnny Rotten
If anything explains punk’s nihilism, it’s the fact that Sex Pistols lyricist John Lydon supports Arsenal.
Many interpreted “No future!” in God Save The Queen as a damning indictment of society at the time. It wasn’t; Lydon was an early proponent of “Terry Neill Out!”, wanting the Gunners board to replace the then-Arsenal boss.
Lydon was a local lad; the son of Irish émigrés who was raised in Finsbury Park, just a stone’s throw from Highbury. And they did throw stones in those days; times were tough and hooligans were on the march.
Even though he decamped to Los Angeles as Public Image Limited’s success grew, Lydon’s heart remains in N5.
7) Colin Firth
It’s no surprise that Mr D’Arcy supports Arsenal; he did, after all, star in the Arsenal-themed film Fever Pitch.
Firth was a latecomer to the footballing scene but working on the film converted him to the Arsenal cause and inclusion in our list of Top 15 Famous Celebrity Arsenal Fans.
Nick Hornby, however, pours water on the level of fanaticism Firth displays. The author and committed Gooner claims it was his book and the film which converted the actor to the cause.
Firth, he claims, doesn’t go often but then Hornby sets a pretty high bar for judging his fellow fans attendance!
Mark Strong, who also starred in Fever Pitch and is a noted actor of some repute, is also a regular, previously at Highbury – the Plimsoll Arms was a favourite – and the Emirates.
6) Matt Damon
Anyone who doubts Matt Damon’s credentials for inclusion on this list of Top 15 Famous Celebrity Arsenal Fans need only look at the artwork he submitted to the Willow Foundation in 2008.
It was the first time Matt lifted his support for Arsenal into the public domain and he did so with a bang!
We’re not sure if he ever visited Tottenham a decade ago but it definitely sucked!
5) Kevin Costner
Yes, that Kevin Costner. We’ll let the man himself tell you why he is in our list of Top 15 Famous Celebrity Arsenal Fans:
“My first introduction to English football was in 1990 when I was over here making Robin Hood and I got invited to an Arsenal game. Having watched sports all my life in America, there was no comparison in terms of the emotion that was in the stadium that day. And I really never forgot it.”
He’s obviously kept his love affair with the club going, even being allowed to touch the hallowed turf at the Emirates…
Fans would love him, managers less so but at least their dismissals would be entertaining: “You got 99 problems but your former job ain’t one of ‘em…”
Back in the day, Mr Beyonce was interested in buying shares in the club and contemplated moving to London if he did. Jay, it seems, wanted “to be involved in the decision-making” at the club.
The rapper’s fandom stemmed from his friendship with Thierry Henry. Arsenal fans can only dream of the concerts the Emirates might have staged.
Fortunately, Jay Z made many visits to the stadium down the years to make up for his lack of musical contribution.
And if all else fails, they always have the memories of The Shamen at Highbury…
3) Idris Elba
Yes, Stringer Bell was a Gooner. Of course, he was; The Wire character had his business head-on and there’s nothing like an Arsenal fan for preaching about business.
Idris Elba is almost a local lad, born in Hackney. Not quite a stone’s throw from Highbury, just the London borough next door.
Nobody should be surprised by his Arsenal credentials. He appeared in the Arsenal x Adidas promotional video for the 2019/20 home kit; naturally enough, filmed in the Arsenal Supporters Club.
The actor, DJ, and music impresario made himself a cult hero at the Emirates when he claimed: “I would be physically sick if Tottenham won the Premier League title”. He didn’t do this quietly; Elba announced this during an interview on the BBC’s Football Focus in April 2016.
More recently, he’s been in amongst the action again…
Check the interview @Arsenal‘s home game with Manchester United http://bit.ly/dALsFK
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) February 4, 2010
We’re pleased to report Idris remained in good health as the Gunners perked him up by finishing runners-up to Leicester City, keeping Tottenham forever in their shadow.
2) Prince Harry
Not the only royal representative in our top 15 famous celebrity Arsenal fans, but definitely one of the most notable, Prince Harry has been a loyal supporter of the Gunners for years.
Even so, he misses out on top spot.
Of course, such loyalty would normally run in the family, were it not for his older brother Prince William who is an avid Aston Villa fan.
And it was William himself who first broke the news of Harry’s Gooner status…
Not only is he present in most Cup finals, but the man wedded to Meghan Markle is also a regular at the Emirates.
Having graced Highbury prior to the North London club’s move to their current abode, Harry is no stranger to the North Bank and Ashburton Grove end.
1) Piers Morgan
Leading the charge in our top 15 famous celebrity Arsenal fans and milking his moment in the limelight is none other than Piers Morgan.
Here we have a man whose reputation follows him everywhere, in the online world and in amongst the streets.
The English television presenter is quite the controversial figure. Whether it’s spats over vegan sausage rolls or Unai Emery’s latest starting XI, there’s nothing that misses Morgan’s quick Twitter fingers.
Indeed, when it comes to causing or instigating disputes online, there’s no one better for the job…
Just when I thought Arsenal couldn’t get more depressing, Sicknote appears to be now identifying as Megan Rapinoe. pic.twitter.com/iV3gUi2Pyz
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 17, 2019
Yet while he is excruciatingly critical of the Gunners, and a general pain to interact with on social media, he is a life-long Arsenal fan.
And in the post-Arsene-Wenger era, the Emirates hopefuls will need all the support they can get.