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The man who played football while reading a novel

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

Widespread rioting as Arsenal prepare for division 1.

Below is our daily review of Arsenal anniversaries taken from the Arsenal day by day  files prepared by the AISA Arsenal History Society.   We expect to add another 1000 anniversaries to our files by the end of this year.    The headline today is adapted from a review of a match in 1978 (see below).

14 January 1899: Arsenal 6 Darwen 0 in division 2.   Arsenal were later to face Darwen again, and this time score 11 .

14 January 1911: FA Cup match against Clapton Orient abandoned at 1-0 to Arsenal.  Arsenal won the rearranged match 2-1.

14 January 1919: The FA met and agreed to allow the resumption of matches on days other than saturdays and holidays and to permit clubs to start registering players from 1 May.  In a separate meeting it was agreed to extend the next season into August and May.

14 January 1925: The Arsenal drugs scandal in which manager Knighton claimed he offered drugs to the players to improve their performance.  The story only emerged 20 years later, in a sunday newspaper and then in his autobiography.  Since many of the other claims in his articles and subsequent book have been found to be factually untrue, there must be serious doubts about this story which has no supporting evidence.

14 January 1925:  The International Board experimented with the proposed new offside law in the Arsenal v Huddersfield Town game.   The build up to the event and the meetings and agreements that had to be arranged may have secured Chapman’s arrival at Arsenal in the summer, for it certainly showed that where tactical changes were required, Chapman was the man as Huddersfield won 5-0 which did little for Arsenal’s precarious league position but a lot for the future of the club.  It was Arsenal’s worst home defeat since 28 October 1893 when Arsenal lost to Liverpool by the same score.

14 January 1931: The replay of the Cup game with Aston Villa was held at Villa Park, with 73,668 in attendance (an amazing number for a mid-week afternoon game) and Arsenal won 3-1, with Brain joining the team to replace Jack Lambert, (David Jack moving to centre forward).  

14 January 1933: The Walsall Experiment, in which Arsenal as last year’s cup finalists were knocked out in Chapman’s last ever FA Cup match.  For subsequent impact see also here.  Chapman rapidly transferred several players who were part of the game.

14 January 1941: Goalkeeper Alex Wilson who had played his first Arsenal game in 1934 was transferred to St Mirren; one of the few war time transfers.  He had played 37 games in the 1935/6 season when he was an FA Cup winner.

14 January 1961: Herd gained his second consecutive hattrick as Arsenal scored five for the second consecutive game – but only just got the win as it ended Arsenal 5 Man City 4.

14 January 1978:  Arsenal 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, continued Arsenal’s upturn as in our report “Brady took on the air of a man who was contemplating a variety of new approaches to playing football while reading a novel.” Willie Young, whose form had so improved of late that he looked as if he could do everything right, then scored an own goal, just to prove he couldn’t.

14 January 1995: Hartson and Kiwomya made league debuts just weeks before George Graham was sacked.

14 January 1998: Port Vale 1 Arsenal 1 (FA Cup round three) in the second Double season.  Arsenal went through on penalties 4-3.  Having drawn at Highbury, there was no score in normal time, and Dixon missed Arsenal’s first penalty.    The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

14 January 2006: Arsenal 7 Middlesbrough 0. Henry scored a hat-trick.  This game equalled the highest Premier League win for the club, previously achieved on 11 March 2005.  Senderos, Pires, Gilberto and Hleb got the others.

14 January 2008: The launch of the short lived Arsenal TV as part of Setanta Sports  It was ultimately replaced with an online service.  It closed on 7 August 2009 as Setanta was liquidated.  It was replaced by BT Sport, but without Arsenal TV.

14 January 2008: Untold Arsenal launched with an attack on rotational fouling and rotational timewasting.

14 January 2015: Benik Afobe sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £2m.  He never played for Arsenal but had multiple loans including 22 league games for MK Dons where he scored 19 goals in 30 league and cup games.  He scored 8 in his first 14 matches for Wolverhampton and in January 2016 moved to Bournemouth for £12m.

14 January 2016: Arsenal signed Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel.  He played in Switzerland for 3 years making over 90 appearances and winning three consecutive Super League titles.   He had played for Egypt in the London Olympics in 2012. During the remainder of the season he twice won the fans’ award for player of the month.

Yesterday’s anniversaries: 

The most notorious assault in football, a draw with Rotherham and Rix signs for Arsenal



“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” and “Making the Arsenal are both available on Kindle, and we have a small number of copies of the printed edition available at £10 each.   Details are here.

What’s on the Arsenal History Society site

An index to the various series that contain over 1,700 articles on this site concerning the history of Arsenal appears on our home page.  Our current series is “Henry Norris at the Arsenal”

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