In fact everyone was looking to the heavens 100 years ago today, because Haley’s Comet was in the skies, and so bright that it could be seen all day as well as being the dominant object through the night – brighter even than the full moon.
The Earth in fact, was moving in an orbit that would soon take it through the tail of the Comet, and the end of the world was widely predicted.
For Arsenal fans it looked like the end of the world was coming anyway. The club had just escaped relegation, but it was utterly broke, and was making the headlines in the sports pages for all the wrong reasons.
Henry Norris, owner of Fulham had blown hot and cold, and was currently very much at the lower temperature end. He already owned Croydon Common FC as well as Fulham. He had met with the board at Reading as well as at Woolwich Arsenal. And now he had shut up shop and gone very quiet.
Meanwhile Tottenham Hotspur (the Middlesex club) had (according to rumour at least) started to buy some of the shares on offer in Woolwich Arsenal. But even with their purchases the number of sales was horribly low, and there seemed to be no chance at all of this share sale being enough to launch the new company and satisfy the administrators.
On March 25th there had been a meeting in Woolwich Town Hall to launch the new company and Henry Norris was there, but he called himself a “friendly observer”, nothing more.
The team were apparently in a very up-beat mood, having saved the club from relegation, but how many of them would be there next season was open to question. As was the very existence of the club.
Norris stayed quiet, watching events. It wasn’t looking good.
This website celebrates the world of Arsenal FC 100 years ago, as well as taking the occasional meander into other historical bits and pieces. If you have any info on the comings and goings at Woolwich Arsenal I’d love to hear from you. Do write to Tony @ hamilton-house.com