Arsenal: From the worst start in 15 years, to the best possible start 1 year later

This is our daily review of Arsenal anniversaries taken from the Arsenal day by day  files prepared by the AISA Arsenal History Society.

Our headline is taken from 26 October 2002 and then 2003.  In 2002 Arsenal did have their worst start for 15 years.  One year later they were top of the league and into the Unbeaten Season.

Special feature:

Highbury: from start to end with previously unseen pictures of the end of the stadium.

Below are the Anniversaries from  October 26. 


26 October 1863.   Representatives of several football clubs met at the Freemasons Tavern, Holborn and formed the Football Association after Ebenezer Morley wrote to Bell’s Life newspaper, suggesting that football should have a set of rules.

26 October 1881: Tim Coleman born in Kettering.  He played 196 times for the club before being sold in 1908 to help try and reduce the club’s debts.

26 October 1889:  Arsenal played Thorpe (Norwich)  and drew 2-2 in FA Cup.  Thorpe declined the chance of a replay because of the cost of travelling to Plumstead so Arsenal went through.

26 October 1903.  Arsenal won their 8th match in a row from the start of the season beating Leicester Fosse 8-0.

26 October 1914: The Arsenal Football Club Limited was proclaimed for first time on masthead of the programme for the Football League v The Southern League at Highbury

26 October 1929: Harold Peel last game (Man U 1 Arsenal 0.  He  re-signed for Bradford from whence he had come for £1,125 in December 1929

26 October 1932: Alex James final international match.  He made eight appearances for Scotland and scored four goals and was one of the Scotland team that beat England 5-1 at Wembley in 1928.

26 October 1938: England beat the Rest of Europe 3-0 at Highbury on a Wednesday afternoon.  Early closing of the local shops allowed 40,185 to attend.  Hapgood and Copping played.  It was the second full match to be shown live on British TV.

26 October 1946: Albert Sigurður Guðmundsson played his final league match for Arsenal – a 2-1 away defeat to Chelsea.

26 October 1968: Jimmy Robertson made his first appearance of 1968/9 season becoming the 16th Arsenal player to be used that season.  No other players were subsequently introduced that year – this being the first time ever Arsenal only used 16 players all season.  The feat was repeated in 1970/1

26 October 1974: Terry Mancini’s debut game.

26 October 1997: Arsenal completed a 12 game unbeaten start to the season with a goalless home draw with Villa,  12th league game of the 2nd Double Season    The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

26 October 2002:  After losing to Everton and Auxerre, Arsenal suffered their 3rd defeat in a row, 2-1 to Blackburn making this the worst run in 15 years.  Edu scored for Arsenal and conceded an own goal.

26 October 2003: Charlton 1 Arsenal 1.  The 10th league match of the unbeaten season; Henry scored the goal.  The result meant Arsenal had won seven and drawn three, and remained top of the league.

26 October 2005: George Swindin who played 271 league games in goal for Arsenal and had four years as manager, died in Kettering aged 90 after suffering for some years with Alzheimer’s disease.  His last football job was as manager of Corby Town.

26 October 2006: The Duke of Edinburgh opened the Emirates Stadium.  The Queen was unable to attend and so the team and Arsène Wenger were invited to the Palace on 15 February 2007, for tea, making Arsenal the first ever football club to be invited to the Palace for tea..


Yesterday’s anniversaries:

Which Arsenal player said of whom: “I watch him in training and it is a joy.”

Elsewhere on this day:

In 1973 President Nixon prepared to launch World War III having been told that the Russians have sent arms to the Middle East War.


The latest post from our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal

Arsenal in April and May 1917. Norris goes missing, Arsenal continue winning.


Arsenal day by day – over 5000 anniversaries of the club

The current series from the Arsenal History Series being developed on this site is  Henry Norris at the Arsenal, covering all aspects off the life and work of the man who rescued Arsenal from extinction, secured the club’s future by moving it to Highbury, and then brought in Herbert Chapman as manager.

The previously untold tale of how it was that Norris came to choose Highbury as the suitable location for Arsenal’s new ground.

The series is being worked on daily, and the articles thus far are here.

Among the many other series we have run are…

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