Arsenal on this day in history. The February Files.
Note: The anniversary file pages have over time been split and split again as they have grown. Please use the index at the foot of the page to find the month you want.
This page was fully updated 1 February 2023
1 February 1896: Burnley 6 Woolwich Arsenal 1. Having been excused the preliminary rounds Arsenal fell in the first round proper of the FA Cup. Goalkeeper Albert Russell’s first and last competitive match although he also played two friendlies. We know nothing at all of his life.
1 February 1902: A possible date of birth for John “Jack” Lee. He played for a variety of non-league clubs in the north east before being signed by Arsenal as a possible left winger of the future. Jack Lee played his first game on 6 September 1926: Bolton 2 Arsenal 2.
1 February 1908: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1; a crowd of 10,000 turned up to this friendly – the last friendly game between the two until after the first world war.
1 February 1913 Arsenal 1 Liverpool 4. The crowd was 8,655 for this FA Cup match. Arsenal had drawn with Liverpool at home in the league in late December, but there was little hope by February of anything against the twice League winners.
1 February 1914: The main stand at Gillespie Road (Highbury) was reported in the press as having tarpaulin for walls as work continued, showing just how basic the stadium was when opened the previous August.
1 February 1921: Following a successful appeal to have his lifetime ban from football (handed down as part of the Leeds City scandal) rescinded, Huddersfield gave Herbert Chapman a job as assistant manager. For more details see here
1 February 1933: Arsenal beat Bolton away 4-0 with Chapman using his revolutionary style of playing counter-attacking football both home and away (thus giving the players a greater chance of perfecting the approach).
1 February 1935: Bobby Davidson signed. Just 5 feet 3 inches tall it was said he had a kick like a mule, and was in constant trouble with the refs. He played 63 league games for Arsenal.
1 February 1936: Arsenal beat Stoke 1-0. It was the last home win until 10 April when finally Arsenal played West Brom at home and won 4-0. It also saw the first goal for Drake while on the winning side, since he scored the record-beating seven against Villa.
1 February 1947: Arsenal 6 Man U 2. An extraordinary result given that Man U finished runners-up (Arsenal were 13th), and the match at Old Trafford ended 2-5.
1 February 1956: Tommy Lawton retired from playing having appeared 38 times and scored 15 goals in the league for Arsenal. He moved to Kettering as manager where he had considerable success.
1 February 1958: Arsenal lost 4-5 at Highbury to Manchester United in one of the most thrilling games witnessed at Highbury. Derek Tapscott scored Arsenal’s 4th goal to set up a grandstand finish – his 62nd and final league goal for the club. Tragedy was to strike six days later at Munich airport when Manchester United’s aircraft crashed on takeoff coming back from a European Cup tie with Red Star Belgrade. 21 passengers on board died that day, including several of the United players who took part in the nine-goal classic. It was also the start of sequence in which Arsenal let in 19 goals in five games.
1 February 1971: Arsenal 3 Portsmouth 2, FA Cup 4th round replay in the first Double season. Charlie George scored his first goal since March the previous year. Simpson and Storey got the other goals.
1 February 1975: Trevor Ross came on as a sub for Alan Ball to make his first league appearance, against Liverpool. He later reported that after he tackled Tommy Smith, Smith said to him, ”Son, tackle me like that again and I will break your leg”
1 February 1988: Kevin Campbell signed as a professional. He scored 76 goals in 224 games for Arsenal before moving to Nottingham Forest.
1 February 1992: Arsenal 1 Man U 1 watched by 41,703 – the highest attendance of the season. It was Arsenal’s 7th consecutive game without a win. Rocastle scored. But from this date to the end of the season Arsenal were unbeaten in 17 including a 7-1 thrashing of Sheffield Wednesday (who finished the league in third) and a 5-1 win over Southampton.
1 February 1995: Arsenal v Milan; European Super Cup. Milan were managed by Fabio Capello and not surprisingly it was a 1-1 draw.
1 February 1995: Paul Merson returned to Arsenal after treatment for his addictions, and went on to make a total of 24 starts for the club in the league that season.
1 February 2004: Arsenal 2 Man C 1. The 23rd league game of the Unbeaten Season and the second game in a run of nine consecutive wins. Man C scored an own goal and Henry got the second. Anelka scored for Man C and was then sent off.
1 February 2006: Arsenal 2 WHU 3, Sol Campbell was substituted at his request at half time, and left the club for five days. This was Arsenal’s second consecutive defeat after the 7-0 win over Middlesbrough. Henry overtook Bastin’s goalscoring record.
1 February 2010: Sanchez Watt loaned to Southend. It was the first of six separate loan spells that he had before finally signing for Colchester in 2013.
1 February 2015: Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0. This was part of a run of five consecutive wins in which the club scored 15 goals. The run extended for 20 games and had the result of 18 wins and two defeats.
1 February 2016: Following the success of Bellerin, Debuchy was loaned to Bordeaux for the rest of the season in the expectation he would then be transferred away from Arsenal. He was, but not until January 2018.
1 February 2022: After a prolonged dispute with the club Aubameyang had his Arsenal contract terminated and the player was moved to Barcelona. He made just 18 appearances for them before being moved again to Chelsea the following day where amazingly he was given a three year contract. Either ironically or in desperate hope the Chelsea wiki page showed (at least as of this date in 2023) the player having played 100 games and scoring 1 million goals.
2 February 1896: Burnley 6 Arsenal 1. Some Arsenal handbooks have this date listed but the game was actually played on Saturday 1 February.
2 February 1898: Birth of Harry Storer Jnr. His father was the the first man to be forced out of Arsenal by the crowd, despite being the first Arsenal man to play in a representative match. Harry junior played for Grimsby Town, Derby County, Burnley plus twice for England. Like his father he played cricket for Derbyshire. He later managed Coventry City, Birmingham and Derby to championships.
2 February 1907: Arsenal 2 Bristol City 1, in the FA cup en route to the second consecutive semi final. 31,300 turn up at the Manor. Arsenal played Bristol Rovers in the next round and Barnsley in the quarter finals. See also here
2 February 1917: In the ultimate sign that life was getting grimmer, bread rationing was introduced in the UK. Football however continued throughout the war years.
2 February 1927: Herbert Chapman exerted his authority against Sir Henry Norris for the first time in the George Hardy affair, having Hardy removed for countermanding Chapman’s pitchside instructions. Tom Whittaker was promoted in his place, as the dynasty of Chapman, Shaw, Allison and Whittaker was secured.
2 February 1935: Alex James scored his only hat trick. Many reasons are given – the most popular being because the opposition manager told his players not to bother about James because he never scored. Maybe it was because his son was boasting that he had just scored seven in a school game. Or because Allison announced he has just signed the “‘new Alex James”.
2 February 1957: Arsenal 6 Sheffield W 3. (Herd 3, Tapscott 2, Bloomfield). It was the first season in 20 years in which any club scored over 100 goals (both Man U and Tottenham did) while Arsenal who came 5th scored 85. In the following match Arsenal lost 2-6 to Man U.
2 February 1968: Bobby Gould signed from Coventry, his first club. He played for 10 clubs in all, and Coventry was the only one where he stayed for more than two seasons.
2 February 1974: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Burnley. Only 20,789 turned up to see a team made up of Wilson, Rice, Storey, Kelly, Blockley, Simpson, Armstrong, Ball, Radford, Kennedy, Brady. Despite the line up it was not the best of times.
2 February 1977: In a sign of the times the Newcastle United squad threatened to strike unless Richard Dinnis was appointed permanent manager. Player power won as the board agreed to the players’ demands and appointed Dinnis as manager.
2 February 1984: Martin Keown signed as a professional. He was signed twice by Arsenal, won two Doubles under Arsène Wenger, and was part of the Invincibles.
2 February 1991: Arsenal lost their one and only league match of the season. Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1. It was match 23 of what turned out to be a dry run for the ultimate unbeaten season. The media simply noted that it was bound to happen.
2 February 2001: Arsène Wenger successfully appealed against a 12 match ban for violent and threatening behaviour against referee Taylor, but still has to pay costs on the grounds that he should have presented all the evidence at the first hearing.
2 February 2002: Arsenal 1 Southampton 1. Through this draw Arsenal broke the consecutive goal scoring record, scoring in 26 consecutive games, and then went on to win every remaining league game. League match 25 of the 3rd Double season.
2 February 2008: Just five days before, Jens Lehmann had said he would leave the club at the end of the season, partly because of his treatment by fans. But he returned to the side on this day, with Almunia first injured and then catching the flu.
2 February 2014: Media hysteria suggested new loan signing Kallstrom had injured himself playing beach football. A major part of the story (that Arsenal only had to pay him when he was fit for selection) was, of course, ignored.
2 February 2014: Nic Bendtner who played 171 times for Arsenal, made his final appearance on this day at home to Crystal Palace. He came on as a sub in the 84th minute, Arsenal winning 2-0 in what was the last of a 10 match unbeaten run.
2 February 2016: Arsenal played out a goalless draw with Southampton.
2 February 2020: Arsenal played out a goalless draw with Burnley as part of a 10 match unbeaten run in all competitions.
3 February 1894: Last game for Charlie Booth. He played in the first ever league match for Woolwich Arsenal, and was a member of the team that played City Ramblers in the FA Cup in which he was one of the three who each scored three. It was also the first league game for Arthur Worrell.
3 February 1899 Bob John born. He was Knighton’s most successful signing, and played for Arsenal 470 times – more than any other player up to the outbreak of the second world war.
3 February 1901: After 4 November 1900 the London League had stopped for a winter break, and resumed on this day when Woolwich Arsenal played Queen’s Park Rangers away drawing 2-2 with a crowd of 600.
3 February 1902: QPR 2 Woolwich Arsenal 2 in Arsenal’s second season in the London League. The crowd of 600 showed that they were not impressed by the league – but matters were not helped with the game kicking off at 2.15pm on a Monday.
3 February 1906: Arsenal beat Watford in 2nd round of FA Cup en route to the club’s first ever semi-final.
3 February 1909: Albert Beney signed for Arsenal from Hastings & St Leonards. He went on to play 16 times for Arsenal in the league and scored six goals before moving on to Carlisle United in 1910.
3 February 1917. In the wartime Football Combination Arsenal drew away with local rivals Clapton Orient. The temperature dropped to -5ºC and as a result the crowd was recorded as just 800.
3 February 1918: David Nelson born. He won the reserve league three times, but had only modest first team experience before being part of the transfer to Fulham which brought Ronnie Rooke to Arsenal.
3 February 1919: Having honourably admitted that there were no precedents for the issue of extending the League, Tottenham staked their claim to be reinstated in the First Division after relegation. Athletic News responded by suggesting that in the expanded 1st Division the places should go to Chelsea (because they were the victims of the Liverpool and Man U match fixing scandal), Preston and Derby (as they were the top two in the 2nd division) and Arsenal (because of their crowds and support for the Football League against the Southern League).
3 February 1926: Sammy Haden broke his leg in the home match with Burnley which Arsenal lost 1-2. The match was in a sequence of just one win and one draw in six. His last game was a friendly against Corinthians on 21 September 1927 which Arsenal (or more likely Arsenal reserves) lost 0-4.
3 February 1937 Derby 5 Arsenal 4. This was a repeat of the score on December 28 1935 in the match against Sunderland and it heralded the second season in succession without a trophy.
3 February 1934: A surviving Arsenal/Everton programme confirms that the match represented a rare appearance of Alex James as captain. It ended Arsenal 1 Everton 2. After three losses and a defeat following Chapman’s death, it looked like the chase for the championship was over. It was also the last game for Ernest Coleman. He had been a brilliant player in the previous season with 24 goals in 27 games but this season scored just the once.
3 February 1937: Suffering from a range of injuries, Ted Drake scored his last league goal of the season, in a 5-4 away defeat to Derby although he did come good with goals in the cup.
3 February 1942 John Sneddon born. He played 83 games for Arsenal under Swindin and Wright.
3 February 1954 George Swindin signed for the then non-league club Peterborough United as their player-manager and later returned to Arsenal as manager, but after a very promising first season failed to build on that and the club slipped into a long trophyless period
3rd February 1956 Tommy Lawton, who as a Burnley player had rejected a move to Arsenal 20 years earlier, left Highbury and joined Southern League side Kettering Town as player-manager.
3 February 1958 Arsenal publicly withdrew from the transfer chase for Swansea Town’s Wales international winger Cliff Jones, stating that the Welsh club’s methods over the deal were unethical.
3 February 1968: Bobby Gould’s début. The Arsenal website described him as “a willing worker, capable of turning an average pass into a good one by chasing down defenders and forcing mistakes.”
3 February 1973: Peter Marinello’s last appearance for Arsenal as a sub against Bradford City in the FA Cup. Arsenal ultimately lost in the semi-final and Marinello moved on to Portsmouth, before returning to Scotland.
3 February 1979: Arsenal continued their upward surge beating Man U (who were at the time in 11th place) 2-0 at Old Trafford in front of 45,460. The result meant that Arsenal had suffered one defeat in the last fourteen league games. Man U fans showed what they thought of it all by holding a mass walkout after Sunderland scored his brace on 62 and 63 minutes.
3 February 1993: Leeds 2 Arsenal 3 after extra time in the FA Cup 4th round replay. Cup. Wright got 2 and Smith the other. Match 9 of the Cup Double season.
3 February 1996: Arsenal 1 Coventry 1 meant four wins in 15 in the Rioch year. In the 11 games ending with this match Arsenal had scored 12 goals.
3 February 2001 Dennis Bergkamp scored the only goal at Coventry City to give Arsenal’s first away win since November. It was a moment the footballing world changed. Arsenal lost seven times that season but within a year Arsène Wenger was talking about an Unbeaten Season.
3 February 2004: Middlesbrough 2 Arsenal 1 (league cup) – despite the brilliant league run Arsenal went out. Keown was sent off on 45 minutes, Reyes scored an own goal after Edu had pulled it back to 1-1.
3 February 2009: Arsenal finally announced the signing of Arshavin for £15m from Zenit St Petersburg, paying the club’s highest ever fee to date (it was eventually beaten by the fee paid for Ozil in 2013). It is said Arshavin had hired a private jet to take him to London on 1 February for the medical and signing.
3 February 2018: Arsenal beat Everton 5-1 in a run in which they only won two games in eight. Ramsey (3), Koscielney, and Aubameyang got the goals.
3 February 2019: After straight wins against Cardiff and Chelsea Arsenal lost 3-1 away to Man City. However the recovery resumed through the rest of the month with three more straight wins in the league.
4 February 1888: Arsenal 6 Tottenham 2. This was a return friendly following the opening match which was abandoned with Tottenham winning 2-1. No crowd figure is given but the next game between the two in south London the following September attracted 500.
4 February 1905: Final game for William Gooing. He scored 45 goals in 94 games for Woolwich Arsenal before moving on to play for Northampton Town.
4 February 1905: Arsenal 0 Bristol City 0, FA cup, 1st round. Crowd 25,000. Bristol City were a second division club at the time but subsequently won the League in 1906.
4 February 1911: Swindon 1 Arsenal 0; FA Cup 2nd round. Crowd 14,861. Swindon were Southern League champions and as such played Man U in the Charity Shield, and had also played in an early European Cup competition.
4 February 1919: Having just received the support of the prestigious Athletic News weekly magazine, in his campaign to get Arsenal elected to Division 1, Sir Henry Norris took his seat in the Commons for the first time with Lloyd George as Prime Minister, Bonar Law leader of the House, and J Austen Chamberlain the Chancellor.
4 February 1922, The Duke of York attended Arsenal 2 Newcastle 1. With Sir Henry Norris and William Hall unavailable, directors Jack Humble, Charles Crisp and George Peachey, did the honours. Leslie Knighton later alleged that Arsenal wasted money that could have been spent on transfers on champagne at this event, not knowing the Duke did not drink. But really, even if true, how many players could you buy for a couple of bottles of fizz? I suspect yet another Knighton invetion.
4 February 1933: Arsenal started the month 3 points clear of Villa at the top of the league. Having won their first game of the month 1-4 away to Bolton to make it 82 goals in 27 games, the news arrived on this day that Villa won one of their games in hand to creep closer to Arsenal.
4 February 1939: The Irish Republican Army bombed the London Underground stations at Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square. Nevertheless Arsenal’s game against Sunderland went ahead with 45,875 present. Bastin and Lewis got the goals in a 2-0 victory and Arsenal moved up to 7th. Lewis’ goal tally was now at six.
4 February 1946: The FA Cup tried the experiment of having ties played across two legs and then if the scores were tied, the replay would continue after the 30 minutes extra time until there was a goal. On this day Blackpool 0 Middlesbrough 1 lasted 2 hours 31 minutes.
4 February 1954 25 years old Con Sullivan was signed from Bristol City as goalkeeping understudy to Jack Kelsey.
4 February 1961: Newcastle 3 Arsenal 3; last game for Tommy Docherty (Strong 2 and Eastham got the goals). Docherty moved on to Chelsea before becoming manager of Sydney Prague.
4 February 1970: Kevin Campbell born. He started as a trainee with Arsenal, joining the club on schoolboy forms in 1985, won the FA Youth Cup and scored 59 goals in a season, but had to wait for Merson and Smith to vacate their positions before he became a first team regular.
4 February 1975: Arsenal 0 England “B” 2. The match was organised after England’s game in Cyprus was cancelled for political reasons. Kidd and Mancini scored for England
4 February 1993 Martin Keown re-joined Arsenal for £2.2 million – over £2m more than they sold him for, but this time he stayed for over 10 years – and enjoyed huge success in the Arsène Wenger era. He could not play in the cup run however being cup tied for the season.
4 February 1995: Sheffield Wednesday 3 Arsenal 1, Kevin Campbell’s last league game, on his birthday. He had played 224 times for Arsenal, scoring 59 goals in all major competitions.
4 February 1997: Three days after a goalless draw in the League at Elland Road between the two it ended Arsenal 0 Leeds 1 (FA Cup). It was the last game for John Harston and the match marked George Graham’s return to Highbury, as Leeds manager.
4 February 2006: Adebayor scored on his debut which ended Birmingham 0 Arsenal 2. He played 104 league games for Arsenal and scored 46 goals.
4 February 2012: After three defeats and a draw in last four games, Arsenal beat Blackburn 7-1. Robin Van Persie got a hatrick, and Oxlade Chamberlain 2.
5 February 1887: Millwall Rovers 4 Royal Arsenal 0. This was the first Arsenal game ever with a recorded crowd number – 500 – and was played against the club’s main local rivals at the time.
5 February 1889: Matthew Shortt was born. He played with Dalbeattie Star before moving to Arsenal in November 1910. He played four times for Arsenal, being on the losing side each time. Later he had considerable success in the USA as a footballer
5 February 1910: Woolwich Arsenal went to Everton for a second round FA Cup match played in front of 30,000 people and lost 0-5. However a league match at the same venue between the same clubs on 7 March later attracted just 6000 (and we only lost 0-1).
5 February 1913 The Islington Gazette reported that Woolwich Arsenal planned to move to Islington. Rumours had abounded about the new location for Arsenal throughout the season but this was the first correct reporting.
5 February 1916. Expecting the war which had begun in 1914 to be over by now, the London clubs had only organised a wartime league to last until January 1916. With the war very obviously not over a new league was quickly arranged starting on this day. Arsenal drew 1-1 at home with Watford.
5 February 1921: Last game for Fred Pagnam: Sunderland 5 Arsenal 1. He had testified against his own teammates in the Liverpool/Man U match fixing scandal of 1915 – and comes over in history as a man of great honour at a time when every dirty trick possible was being pulled.
5 February 1926: Joe Hulme signed by Chapman from Blackburn. He went on to play 333 league games across a 13 year spell; a 1930’s version of Thierry Henry, an absolute master of counter-attacking at pace.
5 February 1931: Leicester C 2 Arsenal 7, just a week after beating Grimsby 9-1, as Arsenal moved to their first championship. Lambert (3), Bastin (2), Jack and Hulme did the honours this time.
5 February 1931: Malcolm Campbell set a new land speed record of almost 246mph, and four days later the South Wales miners strike ended with a three year peace settlement. The mood of the country which had been bleak, lifted.
5 February 1936: For once Arsenal were not playing when an England match was taking place. England lost 1-2 to Wales with Male, Hapgood, Crayston, Bastin and Drake in the team.
5 February 1960: Brian Marwood born. He played 52 times for Arsenal supplying the crosses for Alan Smith in the box. After finishing playing he worked for Nike and for Manchester City.
5 February 1966: A 1-1 draw with Burnley started another poor run of 10 without a win, and indeed there were only two wins between this game and the end the season. Arsenal ended the season a poor 14th and Wright was sacked as manager.
5 February 1972: Reading 1 Arsenal 2 (FA Cup 4th round). Pat Rice and an own goal took Arsenal through in front of 25,756.
5 February 1974: Arsenal lost 1-3 to Leeds United away in front of just 26,778. Leeds were undefeated in 28 games and Arsenal took the lead but could not hold out for the rest of the game.
5 February 2005: After two defeats in last three games Aston V 1 Arsenal 3 stopped the rot and started a 13 match unbeaten run to the end of the season. Ljungberg, Henry and Cole got the goals.
5 February 2011: Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4. After Arsenal were 0-4 up this match went down as one of the most outrageous referee performances of all time – but was still the 8th out of 16 consecutive unbeaten matches.
6 February 1892: Royal Arsenal 2 Cambridge University 1; a friendly in the final season for the club, before it became Woolwich Arsenal.
6 February 1894: Ly Burrows debut for Woolwich Arsenal v Rotherham. As an amateur he was able to swap between Arsenal and Tottenham over several seasons moving between one and the next without any transfer formalities.
6 February 1895 Tommy Bryan made his league début against Rotherham Town and then played 11 consecutive games in the League and in friendly games up to 2 April for the match against Nottingham Forest
6 February 1899: Woolwich Arsenal 4 Kettering Town 2 in the United League. In these days Kettering were considered a club that although outside the Football League could always give Arsenal a decent game.
6 February 1904: Woolwich Arsenal v Fulham (FA Cup). The first game in which Henry Norris met up with the Arsenal. Fulham played in the colours that were later to become the Arsenal strip.
6 February 1909. Arsenal played Millwall Athletic in front of 32,000 on the Isle of Dogs, an event that proved that occasional matches between physically close rivals was a huge draw. It helped sow the seeds of Arsenal’s later move north. See also here
6 February 1915: Arsenal 2 Leeds City 0. Woolwich Arsenal and Chapman met at Highbury for the first time. Although Chapman was later accused of illegal payments to players during the war and banned from football for life, he was exonerated on appeal and returned to football with Huddersfield. It was Arsenal’s last game against Leeds City.
6 February 1919: Fulham FC held its AGM with Sir Henry Norris a director of the club and so in attendance. But footballing events at the end of February were about to cause the ultimate rift between him and the club which he had done so much to support.
6 February 1924: Sir Billy Wright born. Having spent his whole playing career at Wolverhampton and with his only managerial experience being England’s youth team, it would have taken a master tactician to have made a success of his only club management post – Arsenal. And he was not a master tactician.
6 February 1926: Leeds United 4 Arsenal 2. Debut for Joe Hulme, who was thought at the time to be the fastest man in English football. Brain scored for Arsenal. It was the third of three successive defeats after which Arsenal only lost three more all season.
6 February 1926: Last game for Clem Voysey. His transfer to Arsenal was investigated by the FA in 1925 and again in 1927 in a desperate attempt to show that something was wrong with Henry Norris’ administration of the club but no charge was ever brought against the player, the club or Sir Henry Norris.
6 February 1932: Arsenal were fifth and Everton top before the two met at Goodison, with Everton having won 11 out of their 12 home games. Arsenal’s 3-1 away win closed the gap and made the newspapers take notice..
6 February 1935: England played Ireland and won 2-1. Both England goals were scored by Bastin and there were five Arsenal players (Male, Hapgood, Copping, Drake, Bastin) in the England team.
6 February 1953: Brendon Batson born in Trinidad. He signed for Arsenal as an amateur in February 1969 but only made six starts and four sub appearances across three seasons before going on to Cambridge in January 1974.
6 February 1960: Arsenal 5 Blackburn 2. A Mel Charles hattrick contributed to seven goals in four games for the striker. But he only scored 8 league goals all season in 20 games.
6 February 1968: Arsenal beat Huddersfield 3-1 in the second leg of League Cup semi final to reach their first cup final since 1952 and their first ever League Cup final.
6 February 1971: Arsenal 1 Manchester C 0. After just one victory in the last four Arsenal returned to form in League match 27 of the first Double season. Better still, Leeds, after having lost to Tottenham 1-2 on 9 January now lost 0-1 to Liverpool. Arsenal were thus 3 points behind Leeds with one game in hand but with a fractionally worse goal average. It was Charlie George’s first match since August.
6 February 1999: West Ham 0 Arsenal 4. It was part of a 20 match unbeaten run in which meant Arsenal only lost two games from 20 December to the end of the season. It was also curiously the last time Arsenal played on 6 Feb for 22 years, the next being 2021.
6 February 2001: The case about insulting comments being made against Notts County’s Sean Farrell by referee Taylor was very oddly heard AFTER the Arsène Wenger appeal against his imagined assault on Taylor. Arsène Wenger was cleared.
6 February 2006: Paul Merson was sacked as manager by Walsall
6 February 2010: A member of the Norway Arsenal supporters club claimed that the club had lost over 300 members in the last month because of the poor performance by the team under Arsène Wenger.
7 February 1872: Stanley Briggs, a centre half, was born in Stamford Hill on this date, and was signed by Arsenal on 23 October 1893 as an amateur from Tottenham, to whom he later returned.
7 February 1903: The biggest crowd yet at the Manor Ground (24000) turned out to see Arsenal 1 Sheffield U 3. It was the first time £1000+ had been taken in gate receipts.
7 February 1914: After three successive wins Arsenal drew 1-1 away with Bury making it just one defeat in nine.
7 February 1920: Arsenal beat Oldham at Highbury 3-2. This was the first game for Joe North who scored. He had been with the tank corps in the war, and was awarded the Military Medal, and had registered with, but not played for, Sheffield United.
7 February 1931: Following a 9-1 win over Grimsby Arsenal had drawn 1-1 with Birmingham. Then Arsenal had a 7-2 away win over Leicester but in the next match again could only draw 1-1, on this day, away to Sheffield Utd. Hulme made it three goals in four.
7 February 1951: Eddie Kelly born. He became an Arsenal apprentice in July 1966 where he found a growing group of Scottish players including Ian Ure, Frank McLintock and George Graham. He became a Double winner and our youngest captain until Tony Adams. See also “An evening with Eddie”
7 February 1953: Arsenal 4 Tottenham 0. The first goal was the 100th goal in league and cup games between the clubs, the 4th was 100th league goal between them. Holton (2), Lishman and Logie got the goals.
7 February 1970: Frank Moss died. He moved from being a second division goalkeeper to being one of the top keepers in Arsenal’s history. After his playing days he became manager of Heart of Midlothian taking the club to second in the league in 1938-9.
7 February 1976: Sitting perilously close to relegation Arsenal went to Norwich who were just two points above Arsenal, and lost 3-1 with 23,038 in the crowd.
7 February 1978: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1. League cup semi final first leg. Macdonald scored to give hope that Arsenal could build on their away goal in the second leg to make it to the final.
7 February 1988. Arsenal beat Everton 1-0 away in the semi-final first leg to move closer to a League Cup final. Groves scored but only 25,476 bothered to turn up at Goodison. Arsenal also won the second leg but lost to Luton in the final
7 February 1993: Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 3. League cup semi-final 1st leg. Smith (2) and a penalty from Ian Wright. Cup match 10 of the Cup Double season.
7 February 2004: Wolverhampton 1 Arsenal 3. The 24th league game of the unbeaten season. The game beat the club unbeaten record set by George Graham’s team of 1990–91. Rick Broadbent in the Times said, “The truth is it is a privilege to watch new Arsenal. They are Prozac for those used to the prosaic.”
7 February 2010: Arsenal lost to Chelsea 2-0, following close on a home defeat to Man U on 31 Jan, meaning there were no wins in three games, and with Liverpool the next team to be played.
7 February 2013: Benik Afobe loaned to Millwall but got injured. After a number of loan spells, including a very successful run at MK Dons in 2014 he signed for Wolverhampton in 2015.
7 February 2013: Samuel Galindo loaned to Wilstermann. He never made it with Arsenal and eventually returned to South America to play for Brazilian side Portuguesa.
7 February 2015: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1. Ozil scored and five Arsenal players were booked. However Arsenal won the following eight league games to secure third place in the league.
7 February 2016: Arsenal beat AFC Bournemouth 0-2 away after just one win in five games. Although the run went on to become just one defeat in 11, it was followed by a run of just one win in seven as Arsenal went out of both the Champions League and FA Cup.
7 February 2019: Goalkeeper James Hillson from Reading was brought into Arsenal on loan for the rest of the season.
7 February 2022: Academy player Jordan McEneff loaned to Shelbourne for the rest of the season.
8 February 1902: First game for Thomas Tindal Fitchie – the man who signed five times for Arsenal. Known as the prince of dribblers he signed for clubs seventeen times in his career as he combined being a travelling salesman with being a footballer.
8 February 1905: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Bristol City (away) in the FA Cup in front of 10,000. City were on the way up and in the latter part of the decade were league runners’ up and cup finalists.
8 February 1913: Debut for Stephen Stonley who was signed from Newcastle City, having never played a league game. The selling club was probably in Staffordshire, and his signing either shows that Arsenal’s scouting system was widespread or that the player travelled to Woolwich looking for work.
8 February 1913. First match for Joseph Fidler – one of the men who played the last game in Plumstead and the first game at Highbury. The game was a goalless draw; Arsenal’s first point after four defeats.
8 February 1919: Arsenal played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and won 2-1 in the final season of the London Combination wartime league. The crowd however was only 12,000 as the weather and the flu epidemic took their toll.
8 February 1929: Up to this point there was uncertainty whether Lambert or Halliday was Arsenal’s best centre forward but a Lambert hattrick against Everton, following one earlier in the season against Grimsby seemed to settle the issue for Chapman. Lambert finished the season with 18 goals in 20 games.
8 February 1936: Last game for Frank Moss v Blackburn. Frank took over from Charlie Preedy in goal and was nearly ever present for four years playing in the title winning teams of the triple years (1932/3, 1933/4, 1934/5).
8 February 1940. By this date all the games in the wartime Football League South “A” Division for 1939/40 were played, save one – which for some curious reason was left until 3 April!
8 February 1947: First team debut for George Curtis. He did play in two of the league matches in the abandoned 1938/9 season but those are discounted. He played 11 games in 1946/7 before transferring to Southampton on 11 August 1947.
8 February 1941: Arsenal 15 Clapton Orient 2 (London War Cup, 10 goals for Leslie Compton). In this season Arsenal also scored eight twice and seven twice
8 February 1956: Leyton Orient manager Alec Stock publicly announced his intention to join Arsenal as assistant to Tom Whittaker.
8 February 1979: Brian McDermott became a full professional (for his life in management see here). After his management career ended in the chaos of Leeds he returned to Arsenal as a scout.
8 February 1980: Rhys Wilmot turned pro. He played eight league games for Arsenal in goal and then later played for Hereford, Leyton Orient, Swansea, Plymouth, Grimsby, Crystal Palace and Torquay Utd.
8 February 1987: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1; League Cup semi-final 1st leg. A defeat but the match became famous as the opening game in the sequence of one nil down, two one up games as Arsenal started to win things again.
8 February 1995: Milan 2 Arsenal 0 in Super Cup second leg after a goalless first leg.
8 February 2007: Mark Randall signed professional terms with Arsenal. He never hit the heights and drifted in the lower reaches of the Italian league before returning to England and playing with MK Dons.
8 February 2009: 350 days on from his horrific injury Eduardo was named as a sub for game v Tottenham. He did play again, but never reached his earlier standard.
8 February 2012: Johan Djourou signed a contract extension to 2015 but left before the end to go to Hanover, having played 86 games over a ten year period. He later moved on a permanent deal with Hamburg.
8 February 2014: The run of 6 wins and 2 draws in 8, since the 6-3 defeat to Man C ends with a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool. Arsenal were four down in 20 minutes. It was one of three big defeats (the third was the loss to Chelsea) which came to define the season.
9 February 1883: Birth of Bob Benson, the man who tragically died while playing a wartime friendly for Arsenal in 1916. In all he played 52 league games for Arsenal between 1913 and 1915.
9 February 1889: Arsenal 3 Gravesend 3. Arsenal refused to play extra time because of the late starting of the game and were disqualified from Kent Senior Cup.
9 February 1895: Arsenal played their last game (against Rotherham Town) before the Manor Ground was shut for 6 weeks because of alleged unruly behaviour by spectators. An identical episode at Wolverhampton Wanderers the following season led to their ground being closed for only 2 weeks.
9 February 1901: Arsenal’s first ever victory in FA Cup Competition Proper: 2-0 against Blackburn.
9 February 1903: The final Woolwich Arsenal friendly against Millwall Athletic. These games between the local rivals had been a major source of income and local interest since 12,000 turned up to a game in 1892.
9 February 1918: Arsenal continued their up and down wartime campaign by losing to Fulham at home 0-3 in the London Combination with a crowd of 8000 at Highbury. The following Wednesday margarine rationing was introduced.
9 February 1933: Amidst hunger marches and social unrest the members of the Oxford Union voted “That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and country.”
9 February 1935: Even in the all-conquering 1930s there could be upsets. Birmingham were on a run of six defeats and three draws in the last ten and were 19th in the League. But on this day they beat Arsenal 3-0.
9 February 1946: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1 in the wartime Football League South. Arsenal had won six straight games scoring 20 goals in the process before suddenly losing 0-3 at home to Birmingham the previous weekend. A return to form was hoped for with 38927 in the crowd, but it was not to be. Worse Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-0 the following weekend, and the run went on to four defeats and just this one draw, before Arsenal found their form again.
9 February 1957: Having taken over from Tom Whittaker in October, Jack Crayston suffered only his 4th defeat – Man U 6 Arsenal 2. In the previous game Arsenal beat Sheffield W 6-3.
9 February 1984 Paul Mariner signed by Don Howe for Arsenal from Ipswich, for whom he had played 260 league games, for £150,000. He played 60 league games for Arsenal and scored 14 goals, before moving on to Portsmouth.
9 February 1961. Tommy Docherty transferred to Chelsea (to become player coach) from Arsenal. He had played 83 league games for Arsenal but only played four times for Chelsea in the league.
9 February 2003: Bobby Robson outrageously accused Bergkamp (without the slightest piece of evidence) of deliberately getting Laurent Robert sent off in 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
9 February 2007: Arsenal signed a deal with Colorado Rapids owned by Stan Kroenke; Arsenal’s first venture into the USA and the first meeting with the man who eventually bought the club.
9 February 2009: Joe Haverty died aged 72. (Also reported as 7 Feb). He played 114 games for Arsenal and scored 25 goals, before moving on to Millwall, Celtic and Bristol Rovers and Shelbourne, and then the USA in December 1966. He returned to Ireland in 1969, with Shamrock Rovers before moving on to Drogheda.
9 February 2010: Kyle Bartley loaned to Sheffield Utd. He then went on to Rangers before permanently signing for Swansea in 2012.
9 February 2013: Arsenal beat Sunderland 1-0 away, to make it eight wins, two defeats and three draws in 13 games. In three of these games Arsenal had scored five or more goals.
9 February 2019: Arsenal beat Huddersfield away 2-1 during a topsy-turvey period in which Arsenal won four and lost four in all competitions. In the next match Arsenal lost to BATE in the Europa League.
10 February 1894: Arsenal’s second ever league hat trick. Henderson got all 3 in defeat of Crewe on his way to becoming the top scorer for the season. Arsenal won 3-2 at home with a crowd of 4000. It was Walter Williams only game for Arsenal.
10 February 1906: Arsenal 2 Wolverhampton 1. Having won only six games all season Arsenal won nine of the next 10 to climb away from a relegation threat.
10 February 1909: Millwall Athletic 1 Woolwich Arsenal 0. (FA Cup replay). Despite being a midweek afternoon match over 16000 turned up. Added to the 32000 in the match at Woolwich the large crowds in previous cup matches the FA Cup helped Arsenal finances enormously.
10 February 1917: In the London Combination wartime league Arsenal got a 3-2 home win over Fulham with a crowd of 4800 in the ground, and snow on the pitch. In the press stories were starting to circulate about a shortage of coal and potential rationing.
10 February 1922: John “Alex” Mackie signed from Forth River Belfast – but contrary to most reports based on a false report from Arsenal manager Leslie Knighton he did not ask for a monkey as his signing on fee!
10 February 1927: Ben Marden born. He had only limited opportunities for Arsenal (playing 42 league games across five years) but played in the final game of the 1953 league winning season.
10 February 1934: After Chapman’s death Arsenal lost three and drew one game, but on this day returned to winning ways beating Middlesbrough 2-0 as they headed for their second successive title.Brikett and Bowden scored. It was Peter Dougall’s debut. See also here.
10 February 1948: Jimmy Rimmer born. He joined Manchester United on schoolboy forms in 1963 appearing 34 times in the league and 12 times in cup matches before being loaned Swansea City. In February 1974 he signed for Arsenal for £40,000, and in the three seasons from 1974 to 1977 he missed just three league matches.
10 February 1962: Birmingham 1 Arsenal 0, the fourth successive defeat effectively spelling the end of Swindin’s regime. Mel Charles’ last game. He wrote in his autobiography that signing for Arsenal was the worst choice he ever made.
10 February 1973: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2. Ball scored a penalty and Radford the other, with 49,898 at Anfield. There is a video of the game on the site – which is worth watching just to see the state of the Liverpool pitch.
10 February 1979: On the day after the first ever £1m transfer was announced (double the previous record) Arsenal played out a goalless draw at Highbury with Middlesbrough. 28,371 were there and probably wished they had stayed in the warm.
10 February 1984: Gus Caesar became a professional. He went on later to work in the finance industry in Hong Kong, having finished his football career there.
10 February 1993: Arsenal v Wimbledon (Premier League). Attendance: 18253, with the ground capacity limited due to the closure of the north bank. Arsenal lost 0-1 in a sequence of 14 league games in which they scored just four goals.
10 February 1996: Nottingham Forest 0 Arsenal 1. For the second week running Bergkamp scored the only goal. It was only Arsenal’s fourth win in 14 games since 18 November when Arsenal lost 2-1 to Tottenham.
10 February 2002: Everton 0 Arsenal 1 (Wiltord) at the start of 13 a match winning streak, and as part of a 22 match unbeaten run. League match 26 of the 3rd Double season.
10 February 2004: Arsenal 2 Southampton 0. The 25th league game of the unbeaten season. Henry got both goals.
10 February 2010: Despite the previous games being a draw with Villa and two successive defeats to Chelsea and Man U, Arsenal beat Liverpool 1-0 and start a run of six successive wins.
10 February 2015: A 2-1 home win over Leicester signalled the start of Arsenal’s revival with eight straight wins. Before the match Arsenal were sixth. Two matches later they were third, and six matches after that, second.
10 February 2018: Arsenal lost away to Tottenham in the league 0-1 with 83,222 in the crowd and the match played at Wembley because of rebuilding work at WHL. Curiously the next game was away to Ostersunds in the Europa League, a game played in front of 7,665. In all Arsenal had six defeats in eight games before bouncing back with six successive wins starting with an away victory against AC Milan.
10 February 2022: In just about the worst referee incident of the season Martinelli was sent off for two yellows waved one after the other. Arsenal still won 1-0 and the poverty of Wolverhampton’s ambitions gradually became clear through the rest of the season and into the next
11 February 1888: Contrary to many reports, the first match at the Manor Field (later the Manor Ground) and home of Arsenal until 1913 was not on this day but was against Millwall Rovers on 30 March 1888. The game on this day against Millwall was played at the Sportsman Ground, Plumstead.
11 February 1893: Arsenal played Small Heath in one of over 50 friendly games in the season as preparations continued for possible entry into the Football League. The crowd of 3,000 was below average, but with the players now professional regular games were required to keep the money flowing in. Arsenal won 3-1.
11 February 1905: Debut of Andy Ducat v Blackburn. He won caps for football and cricket, and was eventually sold to Aston Villa in 1912 for £1000, as part of the cost-cutting measures as the club prepared to move to Highbury.
11 February 1920: Arsenal had the return game with Aston Villa, having lost 0-1 at home. And the result was just as disappointing away – Arsenal lost again 1-2. White got a penalty for Arsenal as they slipped down to 12th.
11 February 1922: Newcastle 3 Arsenal 1, the start of a five match losing streak in the league in which Arsenal scored just one goal. Arsenal ended the season 17th, the lowest position since rejoining the first division in 1919. The crowd was 30,000.
11 February 1933: Arsenal could only draw with Blackpool 1-1. Villa won, thus once again putting the pressure on Arsenal, being three points behind but still with one game in hand, But the main talking point was about the match in Merseyside in which Liverpool beat Everton 7-4.
11 February 1933: Last game for Horace Cope v Blackpool. Despite joining for over £3000 he fell out of favour with Chapman and by the time the trophies began he was mostly a reserve player.
11 February 1961: Last game for Len Wills v Cardiff. He played 195 times for Arsenal; his only league club. He later played for Romford, and reports suggest he later ran a sports shop in Southgate, Middlesex, and also worked in the hardware and DIY business. He lives now in retirement in Epping.
11 February 1978: Having seen a run of just two defeats since mid-October end with two consecutive losses in which Arsenal didn’t score, Arsenal drew away to Leicester with just 15,780 in the crowd.
11 February 1988: David Hillier became a professional at Arsenal. He went on to play 104 league games for Arsenal and scored two goals before moving to Portsmouth.
11 February 1992: Arsenal 1 Norwich 1 in front of 22,890 – the lowest attendance of the season. Rockets and flares were let off in protest against the Arsenal Bond scheme. This was the ninth game in a run of just one win, scoring four goals.
11 February 2012. Thierry Henry scored his final goal in his final match for Arsenal in the 91st minute, against Sunderland for Arsenal to win 2-1. Ramsey scored the other in a run of seven consecutive wins.
11 February 2013: Andre Santos loaned to Gremio in Brazil. He had come from Fenerbahçe but only played 55 league games scoring 10 goals for them. He went on to play 25 games for Arsenal.
11 February 2016: Arsenal 2 Hull City 0. It was a welcome relief as the game was the only win amid three defeats including the first of two 5-1 trouncings by Bayern Munich.
12 February 1887: Alexandra Utd 0 Royal Arsenal 6. It was Arsenal’s seventh game since their formation the previous December, and took the goals scored total to 33.
12 February 1907: The Daily News reported an explosion in the Manor Ground had wrecked Arsenal’s catering facilities. It did not however interrupt the playing of matches.
12 February 1910: Arsenal 0 Blackburn 1. The defeat left Arsenal perilously close to relegation and the low crowd of just 7,500 took them closer to closure.. Match preliminaries here. See also report on the crowds during the era.
12 February 1910: Andy Ducat’s international debut for England. As a cricketer he played 1 test match for England and 429 first class matches. He went on to play six times for England at football.
12 February 1927: Daniel Lewis’ first cap. He played three times for Wales between 1927 and 1929. Also first league match for John Barley at home to Leeds. He went on to play 8 league games across three seasons.
12 February 1937: Laurie Scott signed for Arsenal. Ernest Tuckett went to Bradford City in part exchange. He played 115 games for Arsenal before moving on to Crystal Palace in 1951.
12 February 1938: Arsenal v Preston – the fourth ever 70,000+ crowd to see Arsenal. Arsenal lost 0-1 to the team rivalling them for the championship. However Arsenal won the league, while Preston came third.
12 February 1966: Last game for Joe Baker (a friendly). He played 144 games for Arsenal and scored 93 goals – a terrific goal to game record – before going on to Nottm Forest on 26 Feb.
12 February 1972: Arsenal 2 Derby 0. Attendance: 52,055. It was after this game that the dream of consecutive Doubles, and then the dream of retaining the league title both began to slip away.
12 February 1977: Man C 1 Arsenal 0. The fourth consecutive game without a win, the start of seven consecutive defeats in the league – the worst ever run of defeats, beating the six recorded under both Chapman and Knighton, and worse than anything in the relegation year.
12 February 1985: Ian Allinson injured as Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-0. In the 1984/5 season Allinson with 10 goals was joint top goal scorer in the league with Talbot and Woodcock.
12 February 1993: Benik Afobe born. After multiple loans and a bad injury, he finally came good with MK Dons and was transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers in early 2015 and then to Premier League Bournemouth one year later. In 2019 he signed for Stoke.
12 February 2011: Arsenal beat Wolverhampton W 2-0 as part of an 11 match League and Cup unbeaten run. It was the first win on 12 March in 39 years.
12 February 2014: A goalless draw at home to Man U was welcomed as stabilisation after a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool had brought a 10 match unbeaten run to an end. Arsenal won the FA Cup and ultimately came 4th in the league – but there was still one more shock to be had – a 0-6 away defeat to Chelsea in March.
13 February 1892: The first ever recorded incident of a club song being sung at a football match. “Ta ra ra Boom de ay, The Arsenal’s won today.” There were 10,000 at Chatham of whom 3000 were Arsenal fans. Royal Arsenal won 2-3.
13 February 1893: Royal Arsenal beat Third Lanark as their final season moved into its last stages, prior to the creation of the limited company and the start of the club’s first Football League season the following September under its new name.
13 February 1915. Clapton Orient 1 Arsenal 0. Attendance 4,000. Arsenal’s last ever second division London derby. The low crowd was part of the decline in attendance numbers following the outbreak of war in 1914.
13 February 1926: In Chapman’s first season after one win in six, Arsenal beat Newcastle 3-0 to start run of just one defeat in nine as the club headed to its highest first division finish to date: second.
13 February 1932: Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 2 on the way to third cup final in six years after having reached not one FA Cup final between 1886 and 1927. Bastin and Hulme scored. It was Ray Parkin’s only ever FA Cup match for Arsenal.
13 February 1935: The death of Phil Kelso, the manager who took us to our first FA Cup semi-final. Having kept Arsenal in the first division, he moved to Fulham and kept them in the Second Division (avoiding the drop back into the Southern League) throughout his years in the club. As part of its rejection of the Henry Norris era, the club did not acknowledge his passing.
13 February 1956: Liam Brady’s birthday. On his 17th birthday on 13 February 1973 he turned professional. His league debut was on 6 October 1973 when he came on as a substitute in a game against Birmingham.
13 February 1979: QPR 1 Arsenal 2, making it just 1 defeat in 16. It was Terry Neill’s best run during his time at the club as manager. Price and Brady got the goals.
13 February 1988: Lee Dixon’s first game. Arsenal 2 Luton 1. He played 458 league games for Arsenal between this date and 2002, scoring 24 league goals before his retirement. After eight games without a win this was the first of eight without a defeat. Arsenal came sixth in the league, and lost in the League Cup final… to Luton.
13 February 1995: John Hartson signed for Arsenal. He joined at a difficult time but still scored seven goals in his 14 league starts in the tail end of the season making him the second highest scorer (beaten only by Ian Wright).
13 February 1993: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0. FA Cup 5th round with Ian Wright scoring both, making it seven in four FA Cup games so far. It was Cup match 11 of Arsenal’s Cup Double year.
13 February 1999: Kanu’s first match v Sheffield U. The game which was replayed after a controversial goal when the ball was thrown back to Arsenal after a stoppage. He played 119 league games before leaving in 2004 for WBA.
13 February 2000: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 1, following a defeat to Bradford this game left Arsène Wenger admitting that the fight for 3rd spot would be tough. Arsenal ended up second.
13 February 2001. Olympique Lyonnais 0 Arsenal 1. This came as part of a six match winning run. Henry scored on 59 minutes.
13 February 2020: Joseph Olowu went on loan to Cork City.
14 February 1891. Arsenal beat Crusaders 1-0 in the London Charity Cup This was Arsenal’s second and final entry into what is a rather mysterious Cup competition of which few details remain, and they were knocked out in the next round, after two replays, by Old Carthusians.
14 February 1912: Bryn Jones (whose transfer smashed the transfer record) born in Merthyr. He played for a variety of clubs including Merthyr Amateurs,Glenavon and Aberaman Athletic, before signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1933 for a fee of £1500.
14 February 1920: Arsenal lost 3-0 to Oldham in front of 14,000. However results elsewhere meant Arsenal stayed in 11th – and mid table security was the target in the first year back in the 1st division. But Arsenal had lost four and won just one game in the last five and were in need of a change of fortune if they were to avoid slipping back towards division 2.
14 February 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. 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. See also here. This was just one of a number of games that used the new law before it was introduced.
14 February 1925: Dan Lewis was dropped from the Arsenal team for the first time but was reinstated in time for him to play in the 1927 Cup Final, where Dan made the mistake that led to Cardiff’s victory.
14 February 1927: Dan Lewis made his Welsh international début against England, two years to the day from his Cup Final disaster, subsequently winning two more caps for his country.
14 February 1931: Arsenal were top of the league and on this day at home to Derby, secured that position winning 6-3, the goals coming from a Bastin hattrick, James, Hulme and Jack.
14 February 1970: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 3. Last senior appearance of Bobby Gould. He went on to play for West Bromwich Albion (then managed by Don Howe) and then Bristol City, West Ham, Wolverhampton (for a second time), and Bristol Rovers (as player coach), before moving into management. He finally retired in 2012 after managing Wanderers FC of Upper Norwood.
14 February 1978: For the second leg of the League Cup Semi-Final 49,561 came to Highbury in the knowledge that the 1-2 defeat in the first leg should have given Arsenal a strong chance to reach Wembley. But Liverpool “used their long experience in two-legged affairs” (as the press would have it) or in common parlance played for a boring 0-0 draw, and got what they came for.
14 February 1989: Arsenal 2 France 0. Hayes and Smith scored. This friendly was part of the League’s attempt to rehabilitate English football with Europe having been banned due to Liverpool fans’ behaviour in the European Cup Final.
14 February 1991: Herschel Oulio Sanchez Watt born. He never played a league match for Arsenal, and after half a dozen loan spells settled at Colchester. He was last heard of playing for Wealdstone in 2019.
14 February 1995: Glenn Helder signed from Vitesse Arnhem. After leaving football he admitted to attempting suicide because of his gambling addiction. In 2007 he served a prison sentence for threatening one girlfriend and abusing another.
14 February 1996: Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 2, league cup semi-final. Bergkamp got both goals. The second leg one week later was a goalless draw, and Arsenal went out. It was the nearest Rioch got to a trophy with Arsenal.
14 February 1997: John Hartson sold to WHU for £5m. He later set up a foundation to raise money to fight testicular cancer and became a pundit with BBC Radio.
14 February 2002: Kolo Toure signed for Arsenal from ASEC Mimosas for £150,000. He played 225 league games for Arsenal, before leaving for Manchester City. In February 2019, Brendan Rodgers left Celtic for Leicester City, and Touré also joined Leicester as a first team coach.
14 February 2005: Arsenal 5 Crystal Palace 1, this was reported by the media as (shock horror) the first Premier League match with no Englishmen in the starting XI for Arsenal or any other team, without any reference to the fact that Liverpool had played the FA Cup final of 1986 without a single player who could qualify to play for England.
14 February 2014: Chuba Akpom started a loan deal with Coventry. He joined Arsenal aged six, and at the age of 19 started to make first team appearances as a centre forward. In 2015/6 he went on loan to Hull and hit a hattrick in the 4th round FA Cup match that took Hull through to an appearance against Arsenal, in which he could not play.
14 February 2016: Arsenal beat Leicester 2-1 in the League with Walcott and Welbeck scoring – the latter in the 90th minute. Arsenal only won one of the next eight games during which Arsenal went out of the FA Cup and Champions League. But a nine match unbeaten run in the League at the end of the season, helped Arsenal’s league position.
14 February 2019: In a major upset in the Europa League Arsenal lost 1-0 away to BATE Barasov in the Round of 32.
15 February 1890 Arsenal played Chatham away and won 5-0 en route to winning Kent Senior Cup for the one and only time. Arsenal’s nemesis, Royal Ordnance Factory FC (who split from Arsenal the following year) won it in 1893/4.
15 February 1896: Goalkeeper’s William Fairclough’s first game. He played for Woolwich Arsenal between 1895 to 1897 making 27 league appearances.
15 February 1897 Jimmy Boyle captained Woolwich Arsenal in a friendly against Celtic, his last match before a transfer to Dartford.
15 February 1907: The Kentish Independent reported the explosion at the Manor Ground, saying the refreshment bar behind Spion Kop was “a dreadful wreck”.
15 February 1910: The Woolwich Gazette ran a cartoon with a character “Gunner” presenting the referee with the FA laws of the game, whilst the Rover goes off with his bag of “2 offside points”. These were the days when the media was not afraid of the referees or their organisation.
15 February 1913, Archie Devine’s first game for Woolwich Arsenal away to Chelsea which ended 1-1. He had transferred from Bradford City, but only lasted the one season. The game was one of a sequence of 28 in which Arsenal either failed to score or just scored one goal. Arsenal had also won only one of the previous 26 league games.
15 February 1919: Football pitches had not been attended to during the war, although matches continued, and their conditions had seriously declined. Highbury also seemed to suffer a lot through poor drainage, and constant rain following a thaw at this time left the pitch as a mud heap (and indeed much of London was flooded). Nevertheless 16,000 saw Arsenal win 4-0 to leave the club second in the London Combination, six points behind Brentford.
15 February 1930: Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 2 in the fifth round of the FA Cup as Arsenal moved towards the club’s first major trophy. Lambert and Bastin scored.
15 February 1934: Henry “Jimmy” Bloomfield was born. He played initially for Hayes before moving on to play for Brentford in 1952, but when the club were relegated from Division II into Division III South in 1954 he moved to Arsenal for £8000.
15 February 1975: Arsenal 0 Leicester City 0, 43,841 in the 5th round of the FA Cup. Jeff Blockley returned to Highbury where he had been deeply disliked by some in the crowd, and inevitably never put a foot wrong throughout the game.
15 February 1977: Middlesbrough 3 Arsenal 0, and an attendance of 26,083. In the last four league games Arsenal had scored nil, let in six, won nil, drawn one and lost three. Quite how this could be in a team that included Stapleton and Macdonald was simply beyond belief.
15 February 1983: Arsenal 2 Man U 4. League cup semi final 1st leg. Nicholas and Woodcock scored. Man U also won the second leg 2-1.
15 February 1992: After just one win in the last seven Arsenal beat Sheffield W 7-1. Even more amazingly, Arsenal had scored just four goals in the previous nine games. Campbell and Limpar each got two. Sheffield W finished the league in 3rd!
15 February 2003: Manchester U 0 Arsenal 2 (FA Cup 5th round). This was the game in which Ferguson, in a fit of rage, kicked a football boot in the changing room and it hit David Beckham.
15 February 2007: HRH Queen Elizabeth became the first monarch to entertain a football team at Buckingham Palace and Arsenal the first team to visit. On 26 October 2006 the Duke of Edinburgh had opened the Emirates Stadium but the Queen had been unable to attend – hence this invitation.
15 February 2012: Milan 4 Arsenal 0 in the Champions League. Arsène Wenger was visibly annoyed by the performance of his team. Arsenal went out in the end but the replay showed a remarkable fighting spirit.
15 February 2013: David Bentley went to Blackburn on loan from Tottenham as his career appeared to enter its final stages. Upon retirement to open a restaurant he said that he had “never felt like a footballer”.
15 February 2015: 85 years to the day after Arsenal beat Middlesbrough on the way to their first trophy, two goals from Giroud saw Arsenal sail through the fifth round of the FA Cup against Middlesbrough, and hopes began to develop that the club might retain the FA Cup, something it had only ever done once before. The match came in a run of eight wins and just one defeat in nine consecutive games.
15 February 2018: In the midst of a very poor run Arsenal beat Östersunds FK 0-3. The run had given Arsenal 3 wins in 10, and was followed by four successive defeats, including a 1-2 home defeat in the second match with Östersunds.
16 February 1886: Andy Ducat born. It was his transfer from Arsenal after 175 league games that signalled that the club would sell any player in order to try and survive financially.
16 February 1889: Woolwich Arsenal beat dreaded local rivals Millwall Rovers for the third time in six games, but the score is lost to history – a reminder that it was only through joining the League that the club ensured all details of its history were kept.
16 February 1907: Tim Coleman’s sole appearance for England. He was one of a number of players who came to Arsenal via Kettering Town – although he first moved to Northampton Town.
16 February 1918: Arsenal’s time in the war time league was very much an up and down affair – largely dependent on who was available. On this day it was a 3-0 away win over QPR, meaning that Arsenal had just won two away games scoring seven conceding one while in between losing at Highbury 0-3.
16 February 1935: Despite being top of the league, the defeat to Birmingham in the previous match convinced the press that Arsenal would slip up against Reading of the 3rd Division in the FA Cup 5th round – even though Reading had not played any 1st division teams so far. The press were wrong, Arsenal won 1-0 with a goal from Bastin.
16 February 1938: Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1 in which Eddie Carr replaced Leslie Jones at inside left. Carr wasn’t thought worthy of holding his place but when he did get a chance he scored seven times in the eleven games including five in the last three games, when the championship was up for grabs between three clubs.
16 February 1946. After a run of six straight wins in the wartime league Arsenal went five without a win, including a 0-2 defeat on this day to Tottenham – a result which followed a goalless draw against the same team the week before. Indeed Arsenal won only four of their last 16 games and ended the final wartime season in a disappointing 11th and came 13th in the first season in which the League proper resumed.
16 February 1955: Arthur Milton sold to Bristol City. A most relaxed, down to earth man he was the last of the twelve men ever to play international football and test cricket for England. He married the daughter of his landlady while at Arsenal.
16 February 1957: Bournemouth of Division 3 (South) managed by ex-Arsenal man Freddie Cox, beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1. Aside from the League Cup and a friendly, Bournemouth had to wait until 2015 to play Arsenal.
16 February 1974: With both clubs in decline only 38,804 turned up for the north London derby, which ended Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1. Arsenal’s team was Wilson, Rice, Nelson, Storey, Simpson, Kelly, Armstrong, Ball, Radford, Kennedy, Brady – a team that should never have been in decline. But Mee insisted he knew best.
16 February 1980: Bolton Wanderers 1 Arsenal 1 in the FA Cup, with 23,530 in the crowd and a pitch (and very quickly the players) totally covered in mud. The only tactic was to boot the ball as hard as possible up the pitch.
16 February 1991: Tony Adams played his first game for Arsenal upon release from prison – a reserve game in front of 7000 having been immediately rehabilitated into the club.
16 February 2002: Arsenal 5 Gillingham 2. FA Cup 4th round. (Kanu, Adams, Parlour and two for Wiltord). Part of the 3rd Double season.
16 February 2008: Man U 4 Arsenal 0 (FA Cup 5th round). The match was followed by a run of five league games without a win.
16 February 2009: Eduardo played his first game after injury, in a game against Cardiff, and scored twice. Bendtner and Van Persie got the other two as Arsenal won 4-0; all the more remarkable as it came in the midst of a run of four 0-0 draws in the league.
16 February 2011: Arsenal 2 Barcelona 1 – a match which raised the hopes of a return to form for Arshavin, who scored. Van Persie got the other.
16 February 2013: Arsenal 0 Blackburn 1. FA Cup Round 5. Blackburn had one shot; the referee was Mike Dean and his performance was considered somewhat “unbalanced” by some commentators.
16 February 2014: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1. FA Cup Round 5. Arsenal continued on their way to Cup victory and the end of the dearth of trophies since moving to the Emirates Stadium.
16 February 2020: After four successive league draws Arsenal beat Newcastle 4-0 at home, the start of the three match winning sequence.
17 February 1902: 1000 spectators saw Arsenal beat QPR in the London League Premier Division. But even though crowds were always low for these games, any income was worth having.
17 February 1906: Jimmy Ashcroft became Arsenal’s first England international. He played over 270 league games for Arsenal and three games for England.
17 February 1906: Hugh McDonald’s first game. He became so highly rated for Arsenal that he was picked to play in goal even when so badly injured that he could not even jump for the ball.
17 February 1917: It was a measure of how rapidly football fortunes changed in the wartime London Combination that on this day Arsenal won against Chelsea 3-0; a year before Chelsea had been all-conquering. 7,500 turned up, which given the bad weather and the number of men now serving in the army, was a very decent turnout.
17 February 1932: There are few occasions when one could call Grimsby the 1st Division’s “in form” team but they had just had two wins and a draw, and their last match before facing Arsenal was a 5-1 win against Liverpool. But it was Arsenal’s form that was maintained with a 4-0 victory which took the club up to third place.
17 February 1936: Joe Haverty born. He played for Home Farm FC and St Patrick’s Athletic in Ireland (reaching the country’s Cup final), and then signed for Arsenal in 1954. At 5 feet 3 inches he was one of the smallest players ever for Arsenal and “Use your height Joe” was shouted from the crowd in many matches he played.
17 February 1940: The movie based on the novel “The Arsenal Stadium Mystery” was released. The book remained the only Arsenal novel published until “Making the Arsenal” in 2010. George Allison, the man who had been the lead radio commentator for BBC football matches, says, in the movie, “One nil to the Arsenal” – the first time the phrase is used in public.
17 February 1999 : Arsenal conceded their first goal in two months (including six league games) in what was also Kanu’s first league match. The final score was Man U 1 Arsenal 1. Anelka scored Arsenal’s goal.
17 February 2007: Arsenal drew 0-0 with Blackburn in the FA Cup. It was the start of a run of just one win in six games across four competitions.
17 February 2010: With an extensive injury list, Arsene Wenger said Arsenal would need a special performance to beat Porto in the Champions League on this day in 2010, but Lukasz Fabianski replacing the injured Almunia in goal could not live up to the requirements and Arsenal lost 2-1, but recovered to win 5-0 in the return leg in March.
18 February 1888: Arsenal v Erith – continuing the development of Royal Arsenal through the club’s first full season. This is the first recorded appearance of Jack Humble (who became Woolwich Arsenal’s first chairman, and remained as a director of Arsenal until the Hill Wood coup).
18 February 1893: Arsenal 5 Millwall Athletic 0. This friendly continued the local rivalry between the sides south and north of the river as Arsenal prepared to enter the League. 6000 turned up. See also here
18 February 1901: Leonard Thompson was born in Sheffield. He played 26 games for Arsenal and provides one of many examples of how utterly unreliable Bernard Joy’s book on Arsenal is as a source. Joy called him the “penalty king” but in fact he only ever took two penalties!
18 February 1911: Blackburn 1 Arsenal 0. The result meant that Harry Logan had played seven games for Arsenal in the league, and the club had not won any of them.
18 February 1922: Arsenal beat Leicester City of Division II at Highbury in the 3rd round of the FA Cup (equivalent to round five today) 3-0 in front of 39,241. Arsenal were through to the 4th round for the first time since 1907 (when they went on to the semi-final).
18 February 1939: Gordon Bremner was one of the many extraordinary footballers who could never develop his talent because of the war. Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0 was his 7th league game in succession in which Arsenal won six and drew one, and did not concede a single goal.
18 February 1953: Arsenal 6 Derby 2, giving 24 Arsenal goals in six games. Despite losing two of the next three, Arsenal continued to progress to the title. Daniel (2), Holton (2), Lishman (2).
18 February 1958: Last game for Derek Tapscott. He played 132 league games for Arsenal, before moving on to his home club Cardiff City. After retirement from football he worked in the sporting goods trade for Gola and wrote his autobiography, Tappy.
18 February 1958: Johnny Petts first game, a 2-1 home defeat to Bolton aged 19. It was a time when Arsenal had lost five games in six – but this was the end of the sequence, and Johnny kept his place for five games,
18 February 1961: League debut for David Bacuzzi, taking over at full back from Len Wills who was injured. He ultimately played 46 league games for Arsenal. Arsenal beat WBA away 3-2, the first win in four, Haverty (2) and Skirton getting the goals.
18 February 1965: Terry Anderson transferred to Norwich after just 25 games. He went on to play 236 games for Norwich where he stayed until 1974. In 1980 Terry was seemingly on a training run in Great Yarmouth, and never returned. His body was found a week later – tragically he had drowned.
18 February 1969: Arsenal 0 Ipswich 2 made it two defeats, one draw, one win in the last four games, as Arsenal slipped to fourth in the league after the long winning run earlier in the year.
18 February 1976: Derby County 2 Arsenal 0, with 24,875 in attendance. The result meant that Arsenal were now 18th and looking increasingly like relegation contenders.
18 February 1978: Arsenal 4 Walsall 1 en route to Neill’s first cup final. Stapleton. Macdonald and Sunderland scored. 43,789 turned up for the first meeting of the two clubs since Walsall beat Arsenal in 1933, and the result meant Walsall had won seven games against Arsenal, while Arsenal had only beaten Walsall five times. See also here
18 February 1984: Debut for Paul Mariner. He played 60 times for Arsenal and 35 times for England. It ended Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 1 (Rix scoring). It was Arsenal’s sixth consecutive game without a win.
18 February 1986: John Devine broke his leg – an incident that ended his top flight career. He later moved to Norway as a player before returning to England and moving into coaching.
18 February 1987: Tony Adams’ international debut. He played 66 times for England, as well as 15 England “B” games, and five games for England under 21s.
18 February 1989: Millwall 1 Arsenal 2 concluded a 10 match unbeaten run including eight victories. Since their early rivalries both clubs had moved across the river – Millwall south to the Den, Arsenal north to Highbury.
18 February 1998: Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1 (League cup semi final 2nd leg). Chelsea went through to the final, but Arsenal went on to their second League and FA Cup double. (For a short guide to season see here)
18 February 2001: Arsenal 3 Chelsea 1. FA Cup 5th round, on the way to the final. Henry and Wiltord scored to take Arsenal on to a game against Blackburn.
18 February 2012: In the midst of a 12 match run in which Arsenal won nine, including a 7-1 victory over Blackburn, Arsenal suffered consecutive defeats in the Champions League and on this day to Sunderland in the FA cup, which removed them from both competitions.
18 February 2020: Robbie Burton transferred to Dynamo Zagreb.
19 February 1898: Arsenal and Millwall exploited their local rivalry by playing in the United League for the second time in a month. It was a 2-2 draw in front of 12,000 fans.
19 February 1905: Herbie Roberts born in Oswestry. Having played for his hometown club (while working as a policeman) he only ever played for Arsenal (297 league games) and England (one game).
19 February 1910: Old Trafford was opened for its first game.
19 February 1910: Woolwich Arsenal played Fulham in a friendly, both teams having been knocked out of the FA Cup in the previous round and so not having a match. The event probably came about because of Henry Norris’ growing interest in the problems in Plumstead.
19 February 1916: Bob Benson tragically died aged 33 during a wartime game at Highbury after he had arrived as a spectator but was persuaded to play as Arsenal were a man short.
19 February 1927: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0 (FA Cup 5th round) on the way to the club’s first ever FA cup final. Although Arsenal lost in the final, this was a pivotal period in the club’s history and prepared the way for the great successes of the 1930s.
19 February 1930: Derby 4 Arsenal 1. Arsenal only won four more league matches in the rest of the season and eventually ended the season in a disappointing 14th, but results included an 8-1 win and a 6-6 draw. However they were distracted by reaching their second cup final. This was the league debut for Albert Humpish.
19 February 1936: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0 in the FA Cup 5th round replay, on the way to Arsenal’s second FA Cup triumph. Bastin (2 pens) and Beasley got the goals. 62,391 turned up – remarkable for a midweek afternoon game.
19 February 1938: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0 made it four straight wins on the way to winning the league again. Griffiths and Drake scored.
19 February 1948: Alex Forbes signed from Sheffield Utd. He went on to play 240 league games for Arsenal before injury problems forced him to move on to Leyton.
19 February 1955: First Arsenal game for David Herd, a 1-1 draw against Leicester. He scored 97 goals in 166 games for the club before leaving in 1961.
19 February 1957: Centre half Bill Dodgin scored the opening goal for Arsenal in a 2-1 win over Preston North End in a 5th round FA Cup tie at Highbury, the only goal he scored in the whole of his professional career.
19 February 1972: Ipswich 0 Arsenal 1 made it four successive wins and 12 games without defeat as hopes were raised that last season’s double might be repeated. Charlie George got the goal.
19 February 1975: Leicester 1 Arsenal 1 – FA Cup replay. Although only a fifth round tie it was Arsenal’s sixth game in the competition that season. John Radford scored, as he did in the second replay to take Arsenal through. Also on this day WHU played Liverpool, and the away team only took 14 fans to the game. The media saw this as a sign of the end of football.
19 February 1977: Arsenal 2 West Ham 3. Although it was the sixth consecutive game without a win there was a little comfort taken from the fact that Arsenal had scored, after four games without a goal. Brady and Stapleton got the goals.
19 February 1980: Arsenal 3 Bolton 0 FA Cup 5th round on the way to 3rd consecutive cup final. Sunderland (2) and Stapleton got the goals. Arsenal played a total of 18 FA and League Cup games in the season.
19 February 1994: Everton 1 Arsenal 1, making it five draws in a row: two at 0-0 three at 1-1. Merson got the goal.
19 February 1997: Arsenal 1 Man U 2. Trial by TV suggested Ian Wright made a lunge on Schmeichel. Police separated the players at the end and Wright alleged racial abuse against him. Eventually both players agreed to end their disagreements.
19 February 2002: Bayer Leverkusen 1 Arsenal 1 (Champions League)
19 February 2008: Arsenal 0 Milan 0. The result made progress into the quarter final of Champions League look unlikely and the press were, as always with Arsenal, seriously unimpressed.
19 February 2010: Gilles Sunu loaned to Derby, where he played nine games before a further loan to Lorient before signing for them permanently. He stayed with Lorient until 2014, before moving on second division Evian.
19 February 2013: Arsenal 1 Bayern Munich 3 suggested to the media that Arsenal were just not good enough at this level.
19 February 2014: One year on from losing 1-3 at home to Bayern Munich Arsenal lost again, this time 0-2 in the Champions League round of 16.
20 February 1897: Woolwich Arsenal 3 Burton Swifts 0. After four defeats and a draw, Arsenal recorded a win that was particularly welcome having lost the previous game 6-3.
20 February 1899: William Elcoat, Arsenal’s fifth most successful manager in the all time records, left the club claiming that he was having difficulties working with the club’s board of directors.
20 February 1904: Arsenal lost 0-2 in 2nd round of FA Cup to Man City in front of 30,000 spectators. However the main focus continued to be that of getting one of the two promotion spots. Arsenal were third, one point behind Burnley but with three games now in hand.
20 February 1909: A run of just two wins in 11 games ended with Arsenal beating Liverpool on this day, 5-0.
20 February 1915: Arsenal were away to Blackpool, and managed to come back from the recent poor results to score a 2-0 win. It was probably the first time Arsenal played in a warzone, Germany having announced two days earlier that it considered all the waters around the British Isles to be just that.
20 February 1926: Dr Jimmy Paterson played both in the game this day against Aston Villa away, and on 24 February for the replay at Highbury in front of 71,446 – a game which Arsenal won 2-0, with Paterson scoring the first goal. This is important in Arsenal’s history since it relates to one of the issues about which Knighton later libelled Henry Norris.
20 February 1932: Arsenal 2 Blackpool 0 making a perfect February of five league and cup wins. Jack and Parkin scored with 39,045 at Highbury.
20 February 1933: The Management Committee of the Football League finally gave Arsenal permission to wear shirts including “white collars and cuffs.” In this era all colour changes had to be formally approved. But Arsenal waited until 4 March to play in the new shirts.
20 February 1935: First game for Bobby Davidson. He played against Arsenal in the friendly at Muirton in September 1934 and was selected for the Scottish League team against the Irish League a few weeks later. Arsenal were at home to Stoke who had topped the table briefly earlier in the season, but were now lying fourth. Arsenal won 2-0 to stay top.
20 February 1937: Burnley 1 Arsenal 7 (FA Cup, 5th round). Ted Drake got four. Burnley were a mid-table second division side at the time
20 February 1950: Peter Marinello born. Despite all the hype surrounding his arrival he only played 38 league goals for Arsenal and scored just three goals. After Arsenal he had seven other clubs before retiring.
20 February 1971: Arsenal 3 Ipswich 2. Match 28 of the first Double season. George, Radford and McLintock scored, 39,822 in the crowd.
20 February 1998: Death of George Male aged 87. He joined the club in 1929 and finally left in 1975, having spent more than half his life at Arsenal.
20 February 1999: First hat trick for Anelka v Leicester. Arsenal won 5-0, in what was part of a 19 match unbeaten run. After the game Arsène Wenger told Bergkamp he had never seen anyone play so well without scoring.
20 February 2002: Gilberto scored Arsenal’s fastest goal (v PSV) in the Champions League. It was timed at 20.07 seconds..
20 February 2007: Kevin Campbell’s last game as a footballer: Cardiff v WBA. After leaving football he moved into the security business.
20 February 2011: Leyton Orient 1 Arsenal 1. FA Cup 5th round in front of 9,136. Rosicky scored and Arsenal won the replay.
20 February 2017: Having lost three of the last four games including a 5-1 defeat to Bayern, there was media talk that Arsenal would now lose to Sutton United away in the FA Cup. But Arsenal won 2-0, and despite three more defeats in the next four games, went on to win the FA Cup.
20 February 2020: A 0-1 away win against Olympiacos in the Europa League was thought to be enough to see Arsenal through the round of 32, but the return leg proved anything but that.
21 February 1899: Arthur Kennedy became Woolwich Arsenal secretary manager. He also served as club finance secretary, and vice-chairman and was also the first man to write a formal history of the club.
21 February 1914, WA Spittle’s last game (away to Lincoln). We lost 2-5 and Spittle was thus never on the winning side for Arsenal.
21 February 1933: Daily Mirror reported the “sensation” of Arsenal’s new strip. Although the club had changed its strip regularly in the early days this suddenly became a big news story because of Arsenal’s success in the last three years.
21 February 1934: With Arsenal and Derby fighting it out at the top of the league, Arsenal went top with a 2-1 win over Blackburn. Blackburn had won four in a row in January, beating both Tottenham and Derby in the run. After losing to Sheffield Wednesday they beat Manchester City, making it five league wins in six games.
21 February 1939: Arsenal lost 2-1 away to Grimsby. Gordon Bremner played for Arsenal and it was the first game in eight where he played and Arsenal lost. Of the previous seven, six had been wins and one a goalless draw.
21 February 1962: Rhys Wilmot born. He only played eight times for Arsenal but went on to success with Plymouth and later became their goalkeeping coach.
21 February 1964: Defender Laurie Brown was sold to Tottenham – he played against Arsenal the following day – but amazingly was put into the team as Tottenham’s centre forward.
21 February 1970: Derby 3 Arsenal 2. 10 league games without a win. This moment – and the subsequent triumphs of 1970/1 – showed perhaps more than any other how fast things have always been able to change in football.
21 February 1976: With Arsenal in 18th and Birmingham in 19th position the match between the two was considered a crunch relegation battle. Fortunately it ended Arsenal 1 Birmingham City 0 with 20,907 in the crowd. This crowd decline showed that any later talk about Arsenal having a “natural” crowd of 60,000 was nonsense.
21 February 1990: Last game for Niall Quinn (a friendly at Southend). He played just 67 league games for Arsenal but played 204 for his next club, Manchester City
21 February 1995: George Graham was relieved of his duties having been found guilty of accepting an illegal payment in relation to transfer activities. He left the club in 11th position, 23 points behind the league leaders of the day and already out of the FA Cup.
21 February 1995: Stewart Houston became caretaker manager for the first time. He remains the only man in Arsenal’s history to manage the club on two separate occasions. He later worked with George Graham at Tottenham, was first team coach with Walsall, and later a scout for Arsenal.
21 February 1995: Debut for Glenn Helder. With George Graham banished Arsenal finally won for first time in eight. Helder went on to play 39 times for Arsenal and scored one goal.
21 February 1996: Aston V 0 Arsenal 0; league cup semi-final 2nd leg after 2-2 at Highbury. Arsenal thus exited the cup.
21 February 1998: Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 0, making it seven consecutive games undefeated. Arsenal were then nine points behind Man U with two games in hand after the 26th league game of the 2nd Double season. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
21 February 2004: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 2. The 24th league game of the unbeaten season. Vieira and Edu scored in reply to Guðjohnsen’s first minute opening. Guðjohnsen was subsequently sent off.
21 February 2006: Despite gloom among supporters after a poor run of league form Arsenal beat Real Madrid 0-1 away in the Champions League – the first English club to win there. Henry scored – although in the next league match the poor form continued.
21 February 2009: Arshavin’s debut coming on as a substitute to replace Carlos Vela on the hour. The result was Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0, one of five consecutive draws for Arsenal in the league.
21 February 2015: Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 2. Having been 8th in the league after 12 games, Arsenal climbed to 3rd after 26 games. Cazorla and Giroud got the goals. It was the second of eight consecutive league wins for Arsenal.
21 February 2019: Having lost 1-0 to BATE Borisov Arsenal recovered in the 2nd leg of the Europa League round of 32 to win 3-0 and thus go through. Sokratis, Mustafi and an own goal took Arsenal through.
22 February 1910: George Hunt born. He was one of the team that won the league in 1938 and also as the first ever player to move from Tottenham (then of the second division) to Arsenal (about to become champions).
22 February 1913: Gillespie Road named in the press for the first time as the site of the new Arsenal ground. There had been rumours for weeks that the site would be somewhere in Islington, but no one quite knew where.
22 February 1919: The English league debated the size of the league for the forthcoming season and recognising the sentiment of the day, voted for 22 clubs in each division with the recommendation that Chelsea FC should be elected into Division One despite their relegation in 1915, in recognition of the fact that they had suffered from the match fixing corruption of Liverpool and Man U.
22 February 1930: Not all Chapman purchases turned into masterstrokes, and Albert Humpish was one that failed. In all he played 3 league games, of which the second was Grimsby 1 Arsenal 1 on this day.
22 February 1933: Arsenal had the chance to wear their new strip, having just been granted permission so to do by the League, but chose to hold back for the next home game. This was a 2-2 away draw with Derby. Jack and Bastin scored
22 February 1936: Having signed as an amateur in April 1931 and as a professional on 9 May that year Sidney Cartright made his debut on this day against Portsmouth. Arsenal lost 2-3 to make it just two wins in seven.
22 February 1947: Stoke 3 Arsenal 1. Ronnie Rooke made it 11 goals in 8 games. This was part of a run of just one win in six.
22 February 1964: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 1, start of seven game sequence without a win – a run that suggested that manager Billy Wright did not know how to rectify the situation. He did however last until the end of the following season. Laurie Brown, signed by Tottenham from Arsenal the day before, played for Tottenham.
22 February 1992: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1, As a result Arsenal were 6th, 18 points off the top of the table although they climbed back to fourth and cut the difference to 10. Ian Wright got the goal.
22 February 1997: Nic Anelka arrived from PSG for approx £250,000. The story is that PSG did not want to sell him, but Arsenal arranged the signing on a technicality. He was later sold for 100 times the cost to Arsenal.
22 February 1998: The death of George Male. Arsenal was his only professional side and he played 285 games for the club.
22 February 2003: Manchester City 1 Arsenal 5. Arsenal went four up in 19 minutes in the 11th match of a 12 match unbeaten league run. It was Arsenal’s last game at Maine Road. Alex Ferguson ordered the radio broadcasting the match on the Man U bus to be switched off as they drove to their game (according to the Guardian).
22 February 2014: Arsenal beat Sunderland 4-0. The win came between two defeats (to Stoke City and Bayern Munich) and was followed a month later by a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea. But Arsenal finished the season with seven straight wins, including winning the FA Cup and finished the season in fourth, seven points above 5th placed Everton, not to mention 10 points above Tottenham
22 February 2018: Arsenal lost to Swedish amateur team Ostersunds 1-2 at home, having beaten them away 3-0. It was the first of four consecutive defeats for Arsenal.
23 Feb updated 24 Jan
23 February 1895: Arsenal played Burton at New Brompton’s ground following the forced closure of Manor Ground because of crowd trouble. Arsenal won 3-0 in front of 5000 fans and it has been noted that no other club was ever treated so harshly for similar offences.
23 February 1901: Arsenal’s first ever match in the 2nd round of the FA Cup, and only their second appearance in front of 20,000 spectators. It ended Woolwich Arsenal 0 WBA 1.
23 February 1903: John “Alex” Mackie born in Co Antrim. He and started out at Monkstown and Forth River in Belfast, before being spotted (along with Andy Kennedy and Joe Toner) in 1922. Alex is the man who has become best known for the notion that upon signing for Arsenal he demanded a signing on fee of a monkey. He didn’t but may have used his signing-on money to buy a monkey. He played 108 league games for Arsenal but never scored a goal.
23 February 1907: Arsenal 1 Bristol Rovers 0 in front of a crowd of 22,000 on the way to the semi-final, for the second year running.
23 February 1913: Tottenham supported by Clapton Orient called for a meeting of the League Management Committee to prohibit Arsenal’s ground move. However the League reiterated their statement of 1910 that nothing in the rule book controlled where a club played its home games. Tottenham were in effect demanding the League change their rules, to suit Tottenham. The league said no.
23 February 1918: Arsenal got their biggest war time league win – 7-1 at home to Clapton Orient. 4000 people saw the game.
23 February 1920: The Islington Daily Gazette criticised Arsenal’s recent performances, suggesting that with the large crowds the club had, they could afford to buy better players, particularly levelling criticism at the forward line.
23 February 1920: Winston Churchill as War Secretary, signed off the work of Sir Henry Norris as chairman of the committee overseeing the return of conscripts to civilian life, bringing to an end Norris’ enrollment in the army. He left with the rank Lt Colonel and a knighthood having entered with no rank and no honour at all.
23 February 1935: Arsenal away to Manchester City (who were third, three points behind Arsenal with a game in hand and an impressive home form of 10 wins, three draws and one defeat in 14) drew 80,000 fans – over double City’s average for the season. It ended 1-1.
23 February 1946: Arsenal lost 3-6 away to Brentford in the wartime Football League South. It was one of four consecutive games in which Dennis Compton scored.
23 February 1952: Arsenal 3 Leyton Orient O (FA Cup fifth round), heading towards another FA Cup final. Lishman got two and Lewis the other.
23 February 1957 Left back Dennis Evans missed the 2-0 home win over Everton and ended a remarkable run of 103 consecutive league and FA Cup appearances.
23 February 1965: Joe Baker scored Arsenal’s 100th league goal against Tottenham in this 3-1 victory in front of 48,367. Baker also got a second goal and Radford the other.
23 February 1974: With a team of Wilson, Rice, Nelson, Storey, Simpson, Kelly, George, Ball, Radford, Kennedy, Brady the result was Birmingham 3 Arsenal 1 with 29,822 present. Arsenal had sunk to 16th, with just two league wins in 14 league games, and with the club already out of both domestic cups (including the defeat to Tranmere in the league cup). See also here: 23 February 1974:
23 February 1980: Arsenal played Bolton Wanderers for the third match in a row, and won 2-0, with only 24,383 in the crowd and Vaessen making a rare appearance, coming on as a sub for Rice. The pitch was an unplayable mud heap.
23 February 1983: Man U 2 Arsenal 1: Milk cup semi-final 2nd leg. Man U had won the match at Highbury 2-4, and so Arsenal’s progress was always very unlikely. Raphael Meade got the goal.
23 February 1989: Rhys Wilmot signed for Plymouth for £100,000. He had played just eight games in nine seasons for Arsenal, but had played 71 league games while out on loan.
23 February 1997: Arsenal 0 Wimbledon 1 – the 4th game in a row without a win and with just one goal scored.
23 February 1999: Replay of the Sheffield Utd match following the controversial goal – the result was once again 2-1 but this time tickets were half price. Overmars scored (as he did in the first game) and Bergkamp got the second.
23 February 2000: Death of Dennis Evans. He played 189 times for Arsenal – his only football club. Dennis stayed on at Arsenal after his playing days as a youth and reserve coach, and then moved to Luton Town in a similar position, before leaving football to become a chauffeur.
23 February 2002: Arsenal 4 Fulham 1. Second game in the 13 match winning streak and 10th in the unbeaten run from 23 December to end of season. League match 27 of the 3rd Double season. The goals came from Lauren, Vieira and then two from Henry
23 February 2008: Birmingham 2 Arsenal 2. The day that robbed Arsenal of the title as Eduardo’s leg was broken. He never recovered his amazing potential and Arsenal won just one of the next seven. Walcott scored both goals. Birmingham were left unpunished but their reputation never recovered.
23 February 2008: The date of the Aliadière scandal in which the player was sent off wrongly and had his sentence increased on appeal. It revealed just how corrupt (or erratic depending on your point of view) the English refereeing system had become.
23 February 2010: Benik Afobe signed a professional contract amidst reports that Barcelona wanted him. He eventually moved to Wolverhampton and then Bournemouth.
23 February 2013: Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 1 made it three league wins out of three and left Arsenal four points behind Tottenham. Cazorla got both goals, Diaby got a yellow card.
23 February 2013: The loyalty code: Mancini (then manager of Man C) criticised Nasri for “resting on his laurels”. Nasri then verbally attacked his manager but on 16 May said he was sad to see him go.
23 February 2016: Arsenal lost 0-2 at home to Barcelona – losing the return leg 1-3 to go out of the competition. It was the ninth time Arsenal played Barcelona in the Champs League – Arsenal had won just one, drew two and lost six. The defeat formed part of a run of just three wins in 12. The three clubs Arsenal did defeat were Bournemouth, Leicester and Burnley.
23 February 2020: Arsenal best Everton 3-2 in the last of a 10 match unbeaten run that stretched back to the first day of the year. Arsenal lost five of the remaining 16 games as they went on to win the FA Cup for a record number of times.
24 February 1892: Royal Arsenal attempted to form the Southern League. Arsenal eventually gave up on the scheme after some clubs were persuaded to pull out after having voted to join, and instead Royal Arsenal joined the Football League 18 months later as Woolwich Arsenal (being required to become a limited company for the purpose, and with the law prohibiting the word “royal” in a limited company name).
24 February 1894: Middlesbrough Ironopolis 3 Arsenal 6. After taking 18 games to win 6, Arsenal completed a run of four wins in a row, en route to six wins and a draw in seven. It was the club’s first nine goal game, and the first time Arsenal scored 6 in a league match.
24 February 1902: Millwall 2 Arsenal 1, London League Premier Division. The rivalry between the two clubs continued; however only 3000 turned up as the game was played on a Monday afternoon.
24 February 1913: A director from each of Tottenham and Clapton Orient went uninvited to the scheduled meeting of the Football League management committee to ask them to prevent any move by Woolwich Arsenal to north London from going ahead.
24 February 1917: A 2-0 away win over Southampton with 3,000 present meant that out of the last 12 games Arsenal had won eight, drawn three and lost one. It was a tremendous improvement on the first part of the wartime season.
24 February 1926. Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 0 in front of 71446 in the FA Cup 5th round replay. It was the biggest crowd thus far at Highbury despite just two wins in the last six league games. Jimmy Patterson whom manager Knighton denounced as merely the brother in law of the physio played his second game after his comeback under Chapman.
24 February 1934: Arsenal played Newcastle away just weeks after the death of Herbert Chapman. Arsenal won 1-0 but rumours spread that the Arsenal train returning to London had crashed killing two players. In fact, a supporters’ special had had a minor accident. The incident shows how the sense of disaster pervaded reports of Arsenal in the media in the weeks after Chapman’s passing
24 February 1951: Jack Kelsey’s debut, against Chelsea, and he let in five. But he returned and eventually became one of the all-time favourites at the club.
24 February 1962: George Armstrong played his first Arsenal game, v Blackpool. He went on to play exactly 500 league games for Arsenal before moving to Leicester.
24 February 1964: William Garbutt – the man who took football to Italy, died. He played for Woolwich Arsenal before managing Genoa, Roma, Napoli and Milan and is still celebrated in Italy as the founder of Italian football.
24 February 1968 Jim Furnell’s last league game, against Manchester Utd. Arsenal lost 0-2, one of nine consecutive games without a victory during which Arsenal scored just five goals. After playing he went into coaching at Plymouth and later Blackburn.
24 February 1973: Arsenal 2 Carlisle 1. Ball and McLintock scored in the FA Cup 5th round. After beating Chelsea Arsenal eventually lost in the semi-final to Sunderland.
24 February 1975: Leicester 0 Arsenal 1 (Radford). FA Cup 5th round, 2nd replay. Arsenal had thus taken seven games to get through three rounds.
24 February 1976 The crowd of 36,127 was a considerable improvement on recent attendances and the result of Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0 was unexpected, not least because for the first time in this season Arsenal had managed consecutive victories.
24 February 1979: Arsenal 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1. Attendance: 32,215. It was a huge surprise as Arsenal were second and Wolverhampton were 15th having won one, drawn one and lost ten of their away games in the season.
24 February 1988: Arsenal 3 Everton 1. Thomas, Rocastle and Smith scored to secure a place in the League Cup final, which Arsenal then lost to Luton.
24 February 2009. Arsenal 1 Roma 0 did not look to be enough in the Champions League to allow Arsenal through to the next round. Van Persie got the goal, but after a reverse 1-0 result in Rome, Arsenal went through on penalties. It was part of a 17 match run without defeat.
24 February 2019: Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0, the first time Arsenal had won two consecutive games after a run of four wins alternating with four defeats. In fact Arsenal had only two defeats in the next 12 games, before hitting another run of three successive defeats.
25 February 1886: Wally Harding born in Greenwich. Aside from playing for Arsenal he also played over 600 first class cricket matches and was later reserve team coach at Tottenham.
25 February 1893: As the club’s existence came to an end Royal Arsenal started to play friendly matches against league clubs such as Walsall Town Swifts – in this case in front of 4000 fans.
25 February 1897: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2. One of a sequence of six Arsenal v Tottenham games in the United League following the end of friendlies in April 1896.
25 February 1899: First match under Arthur Kennedy. He was finance secretary of the club but filled in as manager after Elcoat resigned mid-season. Sadly he was not recognised as an Arsenal manager by Arsenal.com last time we checked (Feb 2021) but is included in the Arsenal History Society list of managers.
25 February 1905 Arsenal 3 Sheffield W 0 concluded the first ever three match winning run in 1st division, but this game marked the last win until the last day of the season on 22 April.
25 February 1911: Harry Logan played for Woolwich Arsenal 11 times but was only on the winning side once – in the game this day which ended Arsenal 3 Nottingham Forest 2.
25 February 1918: All butchers’ shops were ordered to be open only four days a week as meat rationing was introduced in the UK.
25 February 1919: West Ham lodged their anticipated application to be members of Division II for the 1919/20 season, and started canvassing clubs and the media as Tottenham had already started doing to support its application to stay in the First Division, having finished bottom of the league in the previous (1914/15) season.
25 February 1928: Leicester 3 Arsenal 2. Four defeats and two draws in six saw Arsenal tumble down the league and hope instead for cup glory. Hoar and Buchan scored.
25 February 1933: After four successive draws Arsenal signalled their intent on winning the league by beating Blackburn 8-0. (Coleman 3, Hulme 2, Bastin 2, and Stockill got the goals). Arsenal wore their new kit for the first time but only 27,576 turned up to see it. See also here.
25 February 1939: Last match for Wilf Copping. He returned to Leeds from whom Arsenal had bought him, for 12 last league games. He had made 166 league appearances, won the league twice and the FA Cup with Arsenal. Arsenal lost 2-1 to Preston.
25 February 1961 This was in effect the start of the season’s collapse – of the 12 games to April 29, Arsenal won just two. George Swindin struggled on for one more year before leaving.
25 February 1978: WHU 2 Arsenal 2 made it no wins in four league games.
25 February 1987: Oxford U 0 Arsenal 0. The first of six consecutive league games under George Graham in which Arsenal failed to score – the longest such run ever for the club.
25 February 2001: Man U 6 Arsenal 1. An Arsenal team with a makeshift defence fell apart in this match after holding the score to 1-1 on 25 minutes, but recovered enough eventually to be runners up in both the League and the FA Cup. It was reported that for once Arsène Wenger lost his temper with his players. Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira all played.
25 February 2006: Blackburn 1 Arsenal 0 making it four defeats, one win and one draw in last six, one of Arsène Wenger’s worst runs.
25 February 2007: Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2, League Cup final; Walcott scored his first goal for Arsenal in a game that went on for 103 minutes.
25 February 2015: Arsenal 1 Monaco 3 in the Champions League. Much was made of Arsenal’s failure and Giroud’s poor form in this match, and many critics used this single game as evidence of the poverty of Arsenal’s team (which won three FA Cups in four years).
25 February 2022: Wolverhampton played their return match at Arsenal with many still angry at Martinelli’s sending off in the reverse fixture in the Midlands earlier in the month. In one of the most negative and foul-laden performances seen at Arsenal in many a year Wolverhampton held on until Arsenal got the winner in the 5th minute of injury time. The noise in and out of the stadium then and thereafter was considered to be by many, the loudest ever heard in the “Emirates” ground. Nicolas Pépé’s winner was awarded the goal of the month.
26 February 1887: After a goal total of 39 goals in their first seven games since formation, Royal Arsenal had their first ever 0-0 draw, this against 2nd Rifle Brigade. They were clearly a strong team as a month later they beat Arsenal in the return game.
26 February 1910: Arsenal v Sunderland. Arsenal were equal on points with the second relegation spot (although with a better goal average) and Sunderland were challenging to win the league. Arsenal lost 1-2 in front of 8000, part of a sequence of five without a win. See also here
26 February 1916: Arsenal drew 1-1 away to Clapton Orient. In the wartime leagues players could play for any club they wished and Andy Ducat of Aston Villa (previously Arsenal) regularly played for Arsenal – but this was his last appearance of the season. The game also saw an appearance from Caddick of Bristol Rovers.
26 February 1921: Alex Graham’s one and only international appearance (quoted elsewhere as 1920). He played 166 games for Arsenal but his career was interrupted by the war.
26 February 1927: Arsenal 6 Burnley 2. It was the last victory for a while as Arsenal then suffered six consecutive defeats in which the club let in 26 goals. Brain got four, Buchan and Hoar got the other goals. Thus even Chapman could have bad runs!
26 February 1949: Arsenal 5 Bolton 0, making 13 goals in three games, and 18 in the last five. Logie (2), Lewis, Valence, McPhearson scored. But a run of seven without a victory in March ended hopes of the title.
26 February 1966: With Billy Wright’s time at Arsenal coming to an end Joe Baker was sold to Nottingham Forest for £65,000. Having played 144 times for Arsenal and scored 93 (a fantastic return for a striker) he then played for Forest 188 times and scored 41 goals.
26 February 1972: Derby 2 Arsenal 2 FA Cup 5th round. Charlie George got both goals and after two replays Arsenal progressed and made it ultimately to the final.
26 February 1977: In the FA Cup Arsenal expected revenge in an away game with Middlesbrough for a 3-0 defeat on the 15th. But it ended Middlesbrough 4 Arsenal 1, 35,208 in the ground and Arsenal out of the Cup. “How bad can it get?” fans and journalists asked, and the answer was, “As bad as you can imagine.”
26 February 1979: Nottingham Forest 0 Arsenal 1. FA Cup. Stapleton scored. It was Arsenal’s 7th FA Cup match of the season, but the club was still only at round 5.
26 February 1983: Pat Jennings became first player to play 1000 first class games in a 0-0 away draw with West Bromwich Albion.
26 February 1983: John Kay debut. He only played 13 league games for Arsenal but later had significant success with Sunderland. It finished WBA 0 Arsenal 0.
26 February 1984: Emmanuel Adebayor born. He spent his youth playing in Togo, before moving on to Metz where he played 44 times and scored 15 in the league. Arsenal purchased him in 2006 for £2m and he scored 46 goals in 104 games.
26 February 1986: Tony Woodcock’s 42nd and last England game. He scored 56 goals in 131 league games for Arsenal.
26 February 2004: Jermaine Brown released without playing for Arsenal and later played a few games for Margate and Chelmsford for whom he signed in 2011.
26 February 2012: After two consecutive defeats Rosicky scored his first goal in two years to mark his comeback as Arsenal beat Tottenham 5-2. Tottenham went 2-0 up, with goals from Saha and Adebayor. Sagna and RVP brought it level at half time. Rosicky got his and Walcott got two. There were six bookings and a red card for Parker.
26 February 2013: Bob Wilson was quoted as calling Stewart Robson “bitter” over his ceaseless, remorseless criticism of Arsène Wenger.
27 February 1897: Arsenal beat Millwall, their closest rivals, 3-1 in the United League. The crowd was 15,000, the highest recorded for a United League game.
27 February 1915: Arsenal lost at home to high flying Derby 1-2. At half time the Islington Recruiting Committee (with Arsenal directors’ compliance) were active looking for army volunteers. For Arsenal the only good news was the crowd: 18,000. On the same day a platoon of the Footballers’ Battalion that Henry Norris had funded, marched around the pitch at Craven Cottage, again as a recruiting exercise.
27 February 1926: First senior game for Andrew Neil. He had played for Kilmarnock, Galston, Stevenston United, and Brighton and Hove Albion before moving to Arsenal on March 13 for £3000. He played 54 times before Arsenal brought in Alex James.
27 February 1926: William Harper made his Scottish debut. Arsenal broke the record transfer fee for a goalkeeper to bring him in – paying £4000. Despite the fee Harper was dropped by Arsenal after 20 matches although he did get the minor consolation of a London Combination League Winner’s medal.
27 February 1932: Huddersfield’s largest ever crowd 67,037 saw Arsenal win in the FA Cup 6th round tie 1-0. Over 100 fans were treated for injuries due to poor to non-existent crowd control. Herbie Roberts scored.
27 February 1954: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 0. It was part of a four match sequence without a win as Arsenal slumped to 12th – although not below Tottenham who finished 16th.
27 February 1971: Derby 2 Arsenal 0. League match 29 of the first Double season. Three defeats in the last five games cast major doubts over Arsenal’s attempt to win the league with Arsenal seven points behind Leeds but with two games in hand.
27 February 1986: Pat Beasley, one of Chapman’s signings, died. He played 79 times for Arsenal in the league, and then moved on to Huddersfield, Fulham and Bristol City. After finishing playing he had managed Bristol City, Birmingham City and Dover.
27 February 1991: Shrewsbury 0 Arsenal 1 in the FA Cup. Mickey Thomas scored the only goal of the game, with 12,536 in the crowd. It was Arsenal’s sixth FA Cup match of the season, but they were still only in the 5th round.
27 February 2002: Arsenal 4 Bayer Leverkusen 1, leaving Arsenal needing to win at least one of their last two group games to progress further. Pires, Henry, Vieira and Bergkamp scored.
27 February 2010: Ramsey was seriously assaulted by Shawcross on the pitch causing a double fracture of Ramsey’s lower right leg, breaking the tibia and fibula. He did not play again until a reserve game on 23 November. Shawcross on the other hand was immediately given a place in the England squad. At subsequent games large numbers of Stoke fans inanely booed Ramsey, something the club did nothing to denounce, and which remains an eternal stain on the standing of the club.
27 February 2010: Jay Emmanuel Thomas loaned to Doncaster but it was not until 2013 that he fully realised his goalscoring potential, playing for Bristol City before later moving on to QPR.
27 February 2011: Arsenal 1 Birmingham 2. League Cup final. The referee was Mike Dean. RVP scored Arsenal’s goal and Birmingham’s second came from a mix up between Szczęsny and Laurent Koscielny.
27 February 2019: Arsenal beat Bournemouth 5-1 to make it five league wins in the last six games. Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Koscielny, Aubamayang and Lacazette got the goals.
28 February 1891: Royal Arsenal 3 Clapton 2. London Senior Cup
28 February 1903: Last game for Fergus Hunt. Having been Woolwich Arsenal’s top scorer between 1897 and 1900 he moved on to West Ham before returning for three games in 1903 after that moving on to Fulham.
28 February 1908: Tim Coleman sold to Everton. He had played 172 games in the league for Woolwich Arsenal scoring 79 league goals. He later played for Sunderland, Fulham, and Nottingham Forest. After the war he played some non-league football, and then worked as manager for Maidstone Utd., before moving to the Netherlands.
28 February 1913: The Kentish Independent published Norris’ response to the paper’s suggestions that Woolwich Arsenal were on the move saying that if the directors of Woolwich Arsenal were to move the club to a more populated area of London they could scarcely be blamed for doing so with gates at the Manor Ground as low as they were.
28 February 1914: Arsenal played Blackpool. It is very likely that the photo used by Arsenal as the basis for their change of shirts in the final season at Highbury was taken on this date and did not represent the colour of shirts used in most of the first Highbury season.
28 February 1920: Arsenal beat Man U 1-0 with an approach that The Times described as including “a few bold experiments” such as playing defender Bradshaw as a centre-forward and putting a completely untried pairing on the left. This was perhaps the first match at Highbury that the Times newspaper sent a man to since the 1914/15 season when their man noted the exceptionally poor crowd, while seemingly failing to realise he was watching a reserve match!
28 February 1925: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 0; the sixth consecutive league defeat and Knighton’s final derby. The run left Arsenal in 19th out of 22, and an immediate improvement was needed to avoid relegation.
28 February 1931: West Ham 2 Arsenal 4, making it 32 league goals in 7 league games for the club and 14 in the last three. Jack (2), John and Bastin scored as Arsenal headed towards an all time record points total.
28 February 1931: Sir Oswald Mosley resigned from the Labour Party and set up the New Party. “We challenge the 50-year-old system of free trade which exposes industry in the home market to the chaos of world conditions, such as price fluctuations, dumping and competition of sweated labour,” he announced.
28 February 1953: Arsenal 1 Blackpool 2. FA Cup 6th round. Having lost to Blackpool the week before in the League, Logie scored in front of 69,158 people at Highbury but Arsenal went out of the Cup.
28 February 1959: Arsenal 3 Man U 2, Arsenal made it six wins and two draws in eight. The result left Arsenal one point clear at the top of the table, with Man U in third, but the teams below had games in hand. Barnwell (2) and Herd got the goals.
28 February 1964: John Radford became a pro at Highbury. He went on to play 475 league games for the club.
28 February 1970: Final game for David Court. He went to Luton Town but returned to Arsenal in 1996 as Assistant Head of Youth Development.
28 February 1973: WBA 1 Arsenal 0. It was Arsenal’s first defeat in 12 games, and left Arsenal second to Liverpool on goal difference, but Liverpool had played one game fewer.
28 February 1976: Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 1. This gave Arsenal three 1-0 wins in a row, including the only back to back wins all season to alleviate the relegation worries. Radford scored.
28 February 1978: Arsenal 0 Norwich 0. The last of five games without a win. Only 23,506 turned up to watch.
28 February 1981: Steve Walford’s last game for Arsenal. He went on to play 93 times for Norwich before moving on to West Ham. He later went on to work alongside Martin O’Neill as managerial assistant at various clubs and for Ireland.
28 February 1999: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 1. The draw left Arsenal 12 points behind Man U. Anelka scored. Results picked up but Arsenal still ended second although only one point behind.
28 February 2004: Arsenal went two up in four minutes through goals from Pires and Henry but then hung on to win 2-1 against Charlton making it five wins out of five. The 27th league game of the unbeaten season.
28 February 2009: Arsenal 0 Fulham 0 made it five draws (four of them 0-0) in a row.
28 February 2010: Sanchez Watt’s loan with Southend expired after just four games and despite his early promise the future looked dim. He was moved onto Leeds and after a series of loans settled at Colchester Utd before playing in India.
28 February 2016: Arsenal lost 3-2 to Manchester United. This was the second successive defeat in a run of seven matches in which Arsenal lost five. However after the series of poor results Arsenal ended the season with a nine match run without defeat.
29 February 1904: Arsenal 4 Burnley 0. Tommy Shanks scored a hat trick. It was the second match of a five game winning run in the league. The result left Arsenal in second position, five points behind Preston but with a better goal average and two games in hand.
29 February 1924: James Ramsay joined Arsenal from Kilmarnock with whom he had won the Scottish Cup. His fee was certainly over £1000 – another example of how Knighton’s memoirs misled the public as to the restrictions placed on him by Henry Norris. Ramsa played 75 times and scored 11 goals.
29 February 1936: Arsenal 4 Barnsley 1 – FA Cup round 6, in front of 60,420 as Arsenal progressed to the semi-final. Beasley (2), Bowden and Bastin (pen) supplied the goals.
29 February 1964: Arsenal 1 Stoke City 1. Only 26,206 turned up to see Joe Baker score on leap day. It was the start of a run of six games without a win, which came after a run of just one win in four. However despite the poor runs Arsenal ended the season in 8th.
29 February 1972: Derby 0 Arsenal 0 after extra time. FA Cup 5th round replay, played in front of 63,077 as Arsenal attempted to retain the FA Cup.
29 February 1992: Barnet 0 Arsenal 6; a friendly arranged after Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup. Goals from Parlour, Wright, Campbell (2), Limpar, Smith. Crowd 4,484. Pal Lydersen made his debut.
29 February 2020. Arsenal were due to play Manchester City away on this day in the original fixture schedule, to make this the first Arsenal league match on 29 February in 48 years, but the game was postponed because of Arsenal’s Europa league involvement the previous Thursday. However an under 18s match was arranged on this day.
The index to the anniversary files
And for contemporary events: Untold Arsenal
The anniversaries files are the biggest database of Arsenal events ever produced. However in trying to build it I always openly acknowledge that some of the details recorded here will be wrong, and facts will be inaccurate and will need correcting, not least because information may be taken from inaccurate sources, or (in my specialist way) I may have made copying and typing errors. So far over 250 people have contributed to the articles that make up the anniversary files, and if you can help us improve the data, please do either comment on an article (and I’ll correct the file itself), or write a new article for us. A correction and a citation of sources would be good however, rather than just saying “you’re wrong”. A special mention as always must go to Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews, who helped with the early development of this site. But whether you can add original research or corrections with the right data, or articles on people we have not yet covered, that will be very welcome indeed.
The dates in this file are being added to all the time, and come from a whole variety of sources including the internet and a variety of printed volumes. If you notice an error please write to Tony@schools.co.uk – ideally with a correction and a note of your source.
I would particularly like to mention Richard Lerman and David Brown, and their wonderful (but now tragically out of print) volume “The Gunners: Day to Day Life at Highbury”, which is a mine of information. Also to “Arsenal On This Day” by Paul Donnelley (Pitch Publishing). Also where would any of us be without “Arsenal a complete record” by Fred Ollier (Breedon Books), and “Arsenal the football facts” by Dean Hayes (John Blake). If I have missed another sourcebook, please do let me know and I will correct this at once.
If you know of any anniversary dates not yet listed, please do write in and add them. Not only are new dates being added at the rate of about half a dozen a day, but so are links being added to articles on this site. It is intended to produce a book based on this site in due course – but the date gets put back as I find more and more info.