Beth Mead pays tribute to 'Queen of Arsenal' Maria Petri after Brighton win

Beth Mead pays tribute to Maria Petri

Arsenal star Beth Mead has paid tribute to former Gunners super-fan Maria Petri, who passed away in July.

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. 

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.” 

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.”

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. 

“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.

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