Mead scored twice and assisted once as Jonas Eidevall’s side kicked off their Women’s Super League campaign with a dominant 4-0 win against Brighton.
Before the match, Arsenal shared a touching social media post, showing how they’d inserted a plaque on Petri’s old seat. The post read: “In loving memory of Maria Petri, 1939-2022.”
Over the years, Petri became the heart and soul of Arsenal football club and was well known for inventing the Beth Mead song –– even having the chance to sing the tune with the English winger.
It was thus fitting that the impressive Mead netted her second goal of the night in the 83rd minute –– the same age as Petri when she died.
Beth Mead scored in the 83rd minute for Arsenal…— GiveMeSportW (@GiveMeSportW) September 16, 2022
Lifelong Gooner Maria Petri was 83 when she sadly passed away earlier this year ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sLrYzcau0G
What did Mead say?
Speaking after the match, Mead emphasised the memorable legacy Petri has left on the club and described her as the “Queen of Arsenal.”
“I’ve known [knew] Maria for as long as I’ve been here and it won’t be the same without her,” Mead added.
“Long may Maria’s legacy last. We’ll miss her greatly.”
For you, Maria ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OJrDrnAZn0— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) September 17, 2022
Mead is not the only Arsenal icon to pay tribute to Petri.
Back in July, both Alex Scott and Ian Wright offered their condolences and stressed their love for the super-fan.
“Arsenal through and through,” Scott wrote. “Thank you for the love, the passion, the songs and support for us @ArsenalWFC from the very beginning.
“We will never forget you Maria, We love you #COYG.”
💔😭Arsenal through and through..— Alex Scott MBE (@AlexScott) July 22, 2022
Thank you for the love, the passion, the songs and support for us @ArsenalWFC from the very beginning.
We will never forget you Maria, We love you ⚽️ #COYG pic.twitter.com/ba4uTt5zvV
😥😥😥😥💔💔💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/NYCEi2JsyF— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) July 22, 2022
Who was Petri?
Petri began following Arsenal in 1950 as a 12-year-old and remained a passionate supporter for the rest of her life.
A regular presence at men’s first team games in her youth, Petri became an avid fan of the Arsenal Ladies when they were formed in 1987.
On the club website, a statement read: “It’s very difficult to put into words what Maria meant to everyone involved at Arsenal Football Club: players, staff and fellow supporters.
Forever in our hearts.— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) September 16, 2022
Rest in peace, Maria Petri ❤️ pic.twitter.com/hDS9ZpyAxO
“Rarely can it be said that ‘games just won’t be the same’ without a supporter, but Maria’s presence, her legendary ‘Come on You Gunners!’ and many, many supportive songs created over the decades, will truly leave a void on matchdays at Emirates Stadium, Meadow Park and at away matches wherever we are playing.”
Throughout her time following Arsenal, Petri’s infectious enthusiasm had a huge impact on the whole club and her legacy will live on forever.