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Eight Arsenal games without defeat and the crowd sing “We are boring”.

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

Arsenal establish themselves in the Division 1 amidst scandal, profiteering and strikes.

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.    Four new anniversaries have been added to the list since this time last year.

The headline anniversary comes from 1980.


19 January 1878: Herbert Chapman born at Kiveton Park, Yorkshire.  After success as a manager with Northampton and Huddersfield he transformed Arsenal – but it took five years for him to win the club’s first trophy that everyone craved.

19 January 1889:  Arsenal doubled the highest number of people turning out to see them as 2000 watch the game against Clapton.  Being a London Senior Cup semi-final it was due to played on neutral territory, but it seems it was played at the Spotted Dog Ground which had become the home of Clapton in September 1888.   See also here.

19 January 1898: Bill Harper born. Chapman broke the goalkeeper transfer fee for him, but when Harper dropped out of favour he became the first Arsenal man to play in the American soccer league – before later returning to Arsenal once more,

19 January 1908: The court case concerning Football Chat magazine purchased by Norris and others concluded with the finding that the seller had greatly exaggerated the readership of the magazine, and thus the buyers had nothing more to pay.  As a result London did not get its own long term powerful weekly football newspaper to rival Athletic News.

19 January 1915: German zeppelins bombed Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn, killing more than twenty people.  With planes flying over London and dropping bombs there was a growing concern about the safety of football matches.

19 January 1917, The Silvertown munitions factory, which manufactured TNT on the north bank of the Thames, opposite Woolwich, blew up. 73 people died and over 400 were injured, and a further 400 were forced out of their homes.

19 January 1918: 7,000 saw Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-1 in the wartime league.  Considering the powerhouse Chelsea had been in the early days of the Combination this was quite a downturn for them.  Considering the previous result against Tottenham it was quite an upturn for Arsenal.

19 January 1921: Robert Turnbull joined Arsenal as an amateur.  He was a full back who scored 20 goals in 35 games!   He played initially for the Royal Engineers AFC – a club that appeared in four of the first eight FA Cup finals, becoming the first team that pioneered the passing game (known in the 19th century as the “combination” game).

19 January 1974: 38,589 were at Old Trafford for Man U v Arsenal; Kennedy get the goal on a cold day upon which most time was spent reflecting on the past glories and current failings of both “once great” clubs.

19 January 1980: Arsenal 2 Derby 0, the start of eight without defeat and 19 with only one defeat.  Brady and Young scored.  The crowd of 22,091 however showed that supporters were becoming disheartened by the style of play by singing “We are boring”.  In response Brady kicked the ball onto the top of the north bank so that it got stuck behind the Arsenal crest.  See also here.

19 January 1990 – Colin Pates signed for Arsenal.  A Chelsea star – having played nearly 300 league games for them, he never quite made it at Arsenal under George Graham, and later moved on to Brighton before going into teaching.

19 January 1991: League match 23 of the almost unbeaten season – and Arsenal under George Graham remained unbeaten throughout the season thus far.  This was the last match of the run before the one defeat of the season in the next game.  This match ended Arsenal 1 Everton 0.  Merson scored.

19 January 1997: Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 to go 3 points behind Man U and Liverpool with a game in hand.  Bergkamp, Vieira, and Merson got the goals.

19 January 2008: 19 January 2008 Arsenal were second in a three horse race.  Arsenal and Man U each had 54 points, Chelsea 50 and Liverpool in fourth 39.

Yesterday’s anniversaries: 

Defeat to Rotherham and Millwall, four games without a goal, beating Man C



“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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