By Tony Attwood
10 April 1948: Arsenal win the First Division Championship by drawing with Huddersfield 1-1.
After the game (and remember this was the era of two points for a win, not three) Arsenal had a lead over Manchester United of seven points, with United only having three games to play. It was all over.
For many fans it would have looked all over on March 29 when Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 7-0, but this was the day when it all finally happened because…
Strangely after the March 29 match Arsenal had a bit of a stutter. Here are the results:
- Lost away to Blackpool 0-3
- Drew away to Middlesbrough 1-1
- Beat Blackburn at home 2-0
- Drew with Huddersfield away 1-1 (league title secured, April 10)
So here was the league table after the games on 10 April 1948
|4||Preston North End||38||18||7||13||60||59||1.02||43|
The results, after becoming champions in the second post-war league, quite amazingly were…
- Lost to Derby at home 1-2. 52,000 turned up for this match to celebrate the title, and probably not that many really minded the defeat.
- Drew with Portsmouth away 0-0
- Drew with Manchester City away 0-0
- Beat Grimsby Town home 8-0. 35,000 saw the last game of the season.
This was an absolute triumph for Tom Whittaker in his first season in charge. That great and faithful servant to the club George Allison, had taken charge for the first post-war season (1946-7) but it had not been a success for him. We opened with a 6-1 defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers, and although we recovered after that, finishing 13th in the league was not exactly what was expected from the club that had dominated the 1930s.
Even the FA Cup gave Allison no respite, as we went out in the 3rd round to Chelsea after two replays.
In fact 1947/8 was no better for Arsenal in the cup as we went out to Bradford 1-0 at home, and we put out pretty much the first team.
But the league triumph was what Arsenal wanted, to show that they could still do it in the late 1940s as they did it in the 1930s.
Our top scorer was Ronnie Rooke with 33 league goals from 42 games, including four in the final match against Grimsby. Ronnie is our third best goalscorer per game (for players who played over 30 games for the club).
The whole league season was included as Number 9 in our Iconic Moments series.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal – crowd behaviour at the early matches
Other sites from the same team…
- 9th April 1921: Arsenal 2 Bradford 1 – there but for the grace…
- 8 April: The end of time
- The game against Tottenham Arsenal didn’t want to play
- 6 April 1959: First Arsenal game for Mel Charles, (in Southern Floodlight Challenge Cup)
- 5 April 1929 – The Day Herbert Chapman Resigned From Arsenal