The team to face Man U. Where they came from, where they went

Woolwich Arsenal launched their first division campaign 100 years ago, on September 1, 1910, with a match against Manchester United.  And the team that was put out was quite remarkable.

Here it is

E Bateup

A Gray                                                                                                 J Shaw 

A Ducat                            P R Sands             R J McEachrane

D Greenaway       A Common      W Rippon        CH Lewis       F Heppinstall

Manager: G Morrell

The team formation was the classic for the period – two full back (Gray and Shaw) who stayed back, with three “half-backs”.  Sands in the centre would be the defending centre half – the equivalent of the central defender today.

Although the forward line of five looks overwhelming the line actually played in a W formation like this…

A Common               CH Lewis

D Greenaway                                    W Rippon                       F Heppinstall

Common and Lewis were inside right and inside left, while Greenaway and Heppinstall plied the wings.  Rippon was the classic Number 9.

I’ve reported before on the remarkable set of players we had – but in case you missed it, here’s the run down again with an article on each.  What we had in that squad 100 years ago on 1 September was the man who took over as manager after Chapman, the man who played for England at both football and cricket, a man who played 346 games for us, the man who became the first Arsenal captain at Highbury…

Quite a selection.

There’s an article on the Arsenal History site about each one of these players.  Here’s the link and a brief summary in each case, plus a link to the manager.


Goal: – E Bateup  The keeper we signed and lost

2: Right Back – A Gray  200 games but now forgotten

3: Left Back – J Shaw  Pat Rice in disguise he eventually took over after Chapman

4: Right half – A Ducat  Played for England at football and cricket!

5: Centre half – P R Sands The first captain of The Arsenal at Highbury

6: Left half – R J McEachrane  346 games in 14 years

7: Outside Right – D Greenaway  Lost in the mists

8: Inside Right- A Common Our big name signing who joined in 1910

9: Centre forward  – W Rippon A brief appearance but two records

10: Inside Left – CH Lewis  Not quite as versatile as reports suggest

11: Outside Left – F Heppinstall  Frank Heppinstall – one of the unknown heroes of the club

Manager: G Morrell the man who had to answer to Norris

12 Replies to “The team to face Man U. Where they came from, where they went”

  1. Tony, any chance you could something similar for teams from the late 80s early 90s….players like Anders Limpar etc…itd be great to see where the teams that faced Man U back then came from and what they went on to do – also the transfer fees….many thanks

  2. Tman76 – thanks for the suggestion, and over time yes. But it is actually quite a big task, and the research for the article and the links to the 11 players took me over two weeks of an hour or two a day.

    So maybe not just yet, but I must say having done the work I was rather pleased with the result – especially when it turned out that some of the guys that day had actually become very important to the club.

  3. Yo – If you don’t like the blog, you don’t need to comment, just read elsewhere. Comments like that aren’t appreciative.
    Great blog Tony, it’s nice knowing a little history about the team.

  4. Great blog, love the History side of Arsenal etc.. I agree side in 70’s 80’s 90’s would be cool too see

  5. Hi from Italy, i sent an email to mr.Tony Attwood but received no reply, anycase just answered about some info on Percy Sands the school-teacher who became an AFC player, a good photo in action of mr.Sands let my Christmas be happier

  6. Really sorry Bengleton – I have written back to you today; I don’t know how I missed the email, but I don’t seem to have received it. Please do write again.


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