Highbury: It’s Fever Pitch Around Here

7 Nov

I could not start a blog about Islington film locations in 2013 and not mention Highbury, the home of Arsenal Football Club between 1913 and 2006. The Club, celebrating the 100th anniversary of its move to Islington, and its stadium, have provided the backdrop to both murder mysteries and romantic comedies.

I have to confess that when I first heard of and saw Fever Pitch (1997), many years after its release, I did smile and wonder how Colin Firth, having just dried off from that little swim of his and become the fantasy of half of the UK, had decided to take on such role. An interesting thing for me about this comedy is to see the journey made by both Colin Firth and Mark Strong, arguably two big names in Hollywood today, since sharing the screen on Fever Pitch. And if I do not know why the former made this film, you can find on youtube an interview of Mark Strong explaining how, being born and bred in Islington and an Arsenal season ticket holder himself, desperate he was to get his part!

Based on Nick Hornby’s novel, the story centres on English teacher Paul (Colin Firth) a passionate Arsenal fan who falls for colleague Sarah (Ruth Gemmell), not so keen on football herself. Inevitably, many scenes take place around the stadium.

As a kid, Paul (Luke Aikman) discovers the Gunners and the Arsenal Stadium atmosphere. We can see him and his dad (Neil Pearson) at the West Entrance Gate on Highbury Hill.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - West Upper Entrance - FILM

Arsenal Stadium - West Upper Entrance - MRX

At the end of the movie, the last day of the 1988-89 season, Sarah looks for Paul and goes to Avenell Road, passing by the art-deco style East Stand.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 05

There, she finds him celebrating with Steve (Mark Strong) and other Gunners’ fans, the end of an excruciating season and dramatic last gasp win over Liverpool for the title.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 04

Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - MRX

As many scenes of Fever Pitch were shot in the borough, I’ll get back to it: Arsenal fans beware!

Fever Pitch - Firth Strong - Screaming - FILM

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Highbury Stadium N5 1BU

Arsenal Tube Station (Zone 2)

Drayton Park Train station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Highbury Park Road and Holloway Road

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2 Responses to “Highbury: It’s Fever Pitch Around Here”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Night Stroll in Camden Passage for Colin Firth | Lights, Camera…Islington! - May 22, 2014

    […] Fever Pitch brings us back to this well-loved Islington’s street. Having spotted them outside Highbury Stadium and Arsenal Tube Station, we can also see Paul (Colin Firth) and Sarah (Ruth Gemmell) enjoying a […]

  2. Colin Firth House Hunting in Highbury | Lights, Camera…Islington! - July 31, 2014

    […] Highbury: It’s Fever Pitch around Here […]

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