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Arsenal turn pro, Norris offers the club to the fans, the end of Highbury, farewell Rocky

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


 

Here are the anniversaries for today.  

2 May 1891: Royal Arsenal’s club committee held the historic  Extraordinary General Meeting where they voted by 250 to 10 to turn professional.

2 May 1903: Jimmy Bellamy signed from Reading.  He went on to play 29 times and score four goals in the league before moving on to Portsmouth in 1907.

2 May 1910: As part of the attempt to build a recovery programme for Arsenal’s finances and show supporters that he was not trying to take over the club himself Henry Norris advertised shares in Arsenal in Athletic News for £1 each.

2 May 1921: Last game for John Peart.  It was his one and only appearance at right back and his only game of the season – a 0-0 draw with Liverpool.  Peart then moved on to play for Margate.

2 May 1925: Leslie Knighton’s last match in charge: Bury 2 Arsenal 0.  Arsenal finished the league in 20th position, missing relegation by one place.  It was Arsenal’s worst performance since the resumption of football in 1919.

2 May 1931: Arsenal ended their first ever League Championship season beating Bolton 5-0 to set up record 66 point league total.  Jack Lambert scored two to make it 38 goals in 34 games (also a new record).  David Jack scored two to make it 31 goals in 35 games.

2 May 1933: The first report of a sighting of the Loch Ness Monster in modern times.

2 May 1936:  Arsenal played their fourth game in eight days drawing 2-2 at home to Leeds.  Bastin and Kirchen got the goals. For five consecutive years Arsenal had ended the season in first or second place.  Now they were sixth. But they had won the Cup.

2 May 1954: Death of Charles McGibbon.  He had come in with no league experience, played four games, scored three vital goals and saved the club from relegation in 1910.  He then vanished and we have no idea what happened to him.

2 May 1958: David O’Leary born.  He signed as an apprentice for Arsenal in 1973 and played for the reserves from the age of 16, playing his first game for the first team on 16 August 1975, aged 17.

2 May 1967: David Rocastle born. According to Martin Keown when Rocky first signed he always played with his head down because of his poor eyesight.  It was only when he was set up with contact lenses that his career really took off.

2 May 1970: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 0 ended the league season with Arsenal a disappointing 12th.  Extraordinarily, one year and one day later the game was repeated, and the score was repeated, except in reverse as this time Arsenal won the match and the league.

2 May 1981: Arsenal 2 Villa 0 made it 7 wins and 2 draws in the last nine games as Arsenal finish 3rd – Neill’s best finish.  Young and McDermott scored in front of 57,472.

2 May 1990: Brian Marwood’s last game. Following the arrival of Anders Limpar it was made clear Brian would no longer be first choice, and he transferred to Sheffield Utd for £350,000 in the following September.   

2 May 1992: Last game for David Rocastle. He was then sold on to Leeds Utd who at the time were Champions, for £2m; their most expensive signing.  Anders Limpar later revealed that Rocastle was deeply distressed about the move and the way that Graham handled it.

2 May 1992 Ian Wright hat trick (two in the 90th minute) in the last game in front of the old North Bank.  Arsenal won 5-1 against Southampton as Wright beat Lineker to the top scorer spot with 24 league goals.  A hardy group stayed on after the match chanting “We’re here to save the North Bank,” as stewards left them to slowly drift away.

2 May 2009: Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 3.  For the fifth away game in a row Arsenal scored three and make it 25 goals in eight games. Bendtner got two and Vela the third.



The current series: 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, our current series of articles is on Henry Norris at the Arsenal.  The series is being worked on daily, and the articles thus far are here.

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” and “Making the Arsenal” are both available on Kindle, but orders for the printed copies cannot be processed at the moment as I am currently away travelling.  Please  see here for more details


The previous series

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