Anniversaries 05: May

  • Notes on sources and an index to each monthly file appears at the end.
  • This page last major update  1 May 2024


?May 1889: Alf Singleton and Henry Stewart, two of the men who led the split away from Royal Arsenal to form Royal Ordnance Factories FC attended the annual dinner as leading members of Royal Arsenal FC.  The exact date in May is unknown.

1 May 1902  Tim Coleman, one of the stalwarts of early football trade unionism, joined Arsenal from Northampton.  He went on to play nearly 200 games for the club.

1 May 1902: Roderick McEachrane joined Arsenal from West Ham.  He played 346 games for Arsenal over 14 years.

1 May 1919: After all transfer activity was stopped for the 1st world war, this day was designated for the start of transfer registrations once again as clubs prepared for the return of the Football League at the end of August.

1 May 1920: Arsenal 3 Bradford 0. The last senior game for David Greenaway.  In the war he had served with the Royal Field Artillery and after 161 league games there is a suggestion he went on to Margate, although details are sketchy.   This was also Arsenal’s first ever league match in May.  Following the extension of league to 42 clubs the previous rule that football always ended by 30 April was abandoned.    Attendance 30,000.  Arsenal finished the season in 10th.

1 May 1926: Herbert Chapman ended his first season with Arsenal 3 Birmingham 0 and Arsenal an unprecedented 2nd in the league, after just missing relegation one year earlier.  Jimmy Brain scored two to make it 34 goals in 41 games, beating the previous record of Harry King (26 in 37 games in 1914/5). 

1 May 1936: David Nelson joined Arsenal.  He played his first game in December, but as with so many his was a promising career interrupted by war.  He returned briefly in 1946.

1 May 1937: Last league game for Alex James.  One of our five greatest players to be sure, and also a forgotten captain. He did go on the 1937 summer tour, and during the war he served with the Royal Artillery and then became a journalist before being invited by Arsenal to coach the youth team.

1 May 1943: Arsenal 7 Charlton 1 in the Football League Cup South, wartime final.  75,000 turned up for the game at Stamford Bridge.

1 May 1948: Arsenal 8 Grimsby 0.  Having finished 13th the season before, Tom Whittaker ended his first season in charge with the league title finishing seven points ahead of second placed Man U.  It was also the league debut of Lionel Smith.  

1 May 1953: By beating Burnley 3-2 in the final match of the season Arsenal won the league on goal average.  With Arsenal 3-1 up at half time, and Burnley attacking in atrocious conditions, it was widely reported that part way through the second half manager Tom Whittaker, left the dugout and poured himself a stiff drink.

1 May 1962: Final appearance of Jack Kelsey.  Arsenal 2 Everton 3. In his autobiography he wrote, “There is one very good reason why I believe few if any star players will come to Highbury, and that is that the Arsenal do everything legally.” 

1 May 1962: George Swindin resigned after losing 3-2 to Everton and ending the season in 10th. He was replaced by Billy Wright.  Swindin went on to manage Norwich, Cardiff, Kettering and Corby.

1 May 1971: Arsenal 1 Stoke 0 in the penultimate league match of the first Double season.  The result left Arsenal one point behind with one game in hand and a goal average 0.01 goals better than Leeds.  A 0-0 draw in the final match would win the League, but not a scoring draw as placings were determined by goal average not goal difference.

1 May 1980: Arsenal beat Liverpool 1-0 in third replay of cup semi final with a goal from Talbot.  For reasons that never became clear the game was played at Coventry’s modest sized ground.

1 May 1989: There were warning signs for Arsenal about the level of their support even in this time of triumph and championships as only 28,449 turned up for Arsenal 5 Norwich 0.  Indeed in the pre-season games the following July only 20,000 and 23,000 turned up

1 May 2001: Juan signed from São Paulo. He never played for Arsenal, and after a three match loan spell at Millwall returned to Brazil.  He did however get a song (There’s only One Juan) but it depended on people knowing how his name was pronounced.. 

1 May 2001: Benik Afobe joined Arsenal at the age of six.  He never made it at Arsenal but in 2015 signed for Wolverhampton.

1 May 2004: Arsenal 0 Birmingham 0.  The 35th league game of the unbeaten season.  With the title won but with four games to go the nerves on making it unbeaten all season started to show!

1 May 2006: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 3.  This was the match in which Diaby was viciously assaulted by Dan Smith and his career wrecked for years to come.  Sunderland clearly didn’t want to be tainted by Smith and quickly loaned him out.  After eight games with Huddersfield he went to Scotland, and by 2008 was playing non-league football. He really should not have ever been allowed to play again.

1 May 2008: Keith Edelman resigned as a Director at Arsenal Holdings plc but continued until May 2009 as a consultant, having overseen the Emirates project.

1 May 2009: Stan Kroenke became the largest shareholder in Arsenal with a 28.3% shareholding in the club.

1 May 2011: Arsenal 1 Manchester United 0. This was the only win in the last seven games of the season, but there was never any danger of Arsenal slipping out of the top four, and despite the run Arsenal ended six points above Tottenham who were fifth, and just three points behind Chelsea in second.


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

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

2 May 1910: As part of the attempt to build a recovery programme for Arsenal’s finances and show supporters that he was not trying to take over the club himself Henry Norris advertised shares in Arsenal in Athletic News for £1 each.  He continued to divest himself of shares throughout his time at the club and the plan for the democratisation of ownership was only wound up when the Hill-Wood family became part of the club when Norris was removed from the board.

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

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

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

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

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

2 May 1942: Arsenal 0 Brentford 0, London War Cup semi-final, played at Chelsea. 41,154 turned up – Arsenal went out in the replay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 May 2019: Arsenal beat Valencia 3-1 in the Europa League semi final first leg with Lacazette getting two and Aubameyang the third in the 90th minute.  Arsenal also won the away leg to make it to the final.

2 May 2021: Having won only one game in the last five Arsenal began a run of five consecutive victories through the last five games of the season, on this day beating Newcastle 0-2 away.

3 May 1893: George Lawrence signed the documents to turn Royal Arsenal formally into Woolwich Arsenal.  He then ensured the freehold of the Manor Field was obtained by arranging contracts and the deposit with the freeholder of the Manor Ground.

3 May 1905: Tom Arnold signed from Coventry City.  He went on to play just two games for Arsenal before being transferred back to Coventry in 1907.

3 May 1907: Spencer Bassett turned professional having signed from Maidstone as an amateur the previous year.  He only played one game for the first team – away to Notts County on 7 October 1909 and transferred to Exeter City in 1910.

3 May 1915: Athletic News reported that Sheffield United had made a loss of £2050 despite winning the FA Cup.  Sheffield Wednesday had debts of £10,000 because of recent ground improvements.  So Arsenal were not alone being in debt – and at least they had good reason: the building of Highbury.

3 May 1919: Arsenal played their first post-season friendly, a 1-0 away defeat to West Ham in front of 8000 as WHU prepared for life in the Football League.

3 May 1920: The Province of N Ireland was created.

3 May 1924: Arsenal 1 Preston 2.  One win in the last six meant Arsenal ended the league in 19th  but Sir Henry Norris didn’t act and Knighton lasted one more season.

3 May 1929: John Barley transferred to Reading having played 8 league games across three seasons, scoring one goal.

3 May 1930: Having won the cup one week earlier Arsenal showed off the trophy in their final match but lost 2-4 at home to Villa, making it only one league win in the last nine games of the season.

3 May 1933: Arsenal had already won the league and had one league match left to play but still managed to fit in a friendly against Cliftonville.   Arsenal put out a strong team and won 4-0.

3 May 1941: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 3 (played at WHL as Highbury was shut) in the London War Cup..  Although Arsenal won the final group game they did not qualify for the semi-finals.

3 May 1950: Last game for Dennis Compton.  Arsenal 2 Portsmouth 0.  He was then selected to play for England on 15 November 1950, at the age of 38 years and 64 days; the oldest post-war England débutante and the oldest ever outfield player to début.

3 May 1951: The Metropolitan Police played the Paris Police at Highbury.   There were considerable jokes made about the possible number of sending offs, and even perhaps arrests.

3 May 1952: Arsenal 0 Newcastle 1. FA Cup final.  It was Arsenal’s last FA Cup final for 19 years – until the victory in extra time in 1971.

3 May 1965: John Jensen born in Copenhagen.  He started his career at Brøndby IF, and was Danish Player of the Year in 1987. He also played with Brøndby in 1990 as they reached the semi-final of the Uefa cup

3 May 1969: Bob McNab’s last cap of four for England, but the bulk, and indeed the best part of his career with Arsenal was ahead of him.

3 May 1971: Arsenal beat Tottenham 0-1 at WHL to win the league, with Kennedy scoring.  With much of north London blocked for most of the day tens of thousands entered the ground through broken turnstiles making much of the ground unsafe.  Two minutes from time Kennedy headed in an Armstrong cross.  In the final minutes of the final game, 78 years to the day after the formation of Woolwich Arsenal FC, Arsenal moved towards the Double for the first time.

3 May 1980: Cardiff 0 Arsenal 1.  Last game for goalkeeper Paul Barron.  He played just eight times for Arsenal and moved on to Crystal Palace in August.

3 May 1986: Birmingham 0 Arsenal 1.  Tony Woodcock scored his 11th and final league goal of the season.  He was Arsenal’s top scorer as he was the previous season when both he and Brian Talbot got 10 each.  But only 6,234 were in the crowd to see it.

3 May 1998: 105 years to the day after the formation of Woolwich Arsenal, and 27 years to the day after the winning the league as part of the first double, Arsenal beat Everton 4-0 and won the League in game 36 of the second Double season. Adams scored his most famous goal on 89 minutes in front of the north bank as Arsenal secured 10 successive wins, a new Premier League record.  Arsène Wenger became the first non-UK manager to win the English league, with an unbeaten run of 18 games starting on Boxing Day.   Even the commentary of the Arsenal v Everton game became famous as Martin Tyler said, “That sums it all up” as Adams scored and turned to the crowd, arms out wide.  The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.   

3 May 2010: Blackburn 2 Arsenal 1. It was the last in a run of five games in which Arsenal drew one (a goalless draw with Man City) and lost four.  But Arsenal still came in third, five points ahead of Tottenham/

3 May 2018: Atletico Madrid 1 Arsenal 0 meant that Arsenal went out of the Europa Cup at the semi-final stage having drawn the home match 1-1.

4 May 1908: William Curle signed from Rutherglen Glencairn.  He played three times in the 1908/9 but then either stayed in the reserves or retired from football as he did not sign for another club. 

4 May 1918: The third season of wartime football ended with the final game in the National War Fund trophy series.  Sadly no details seem to be available of the tournament as a whole, but it didn’t attract big crowds, and only 1500 turned up for Brentford 1 Arsenal 1.  There was one more war time season to go.

4 May 1925: The date on which Leslie Knighton was sacked as manager is not clear – it was between this date and 9 May.  The story of Knighton’s entire career in every gory detail including all his vast number of false claims, excuses and downright lies is contained in our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal

4 May 1926: John “Jack” Lee signed as an amateur by Arsenal from Horden Athletic.  It appears that three weeks later he then became a professional with the club and played in the 1926/7 season.

4 May 1931: Northampton 0 Arsenal 1.  Chapman returned to his earlier days as manager, in the second in a series of three friendlies at Northampton, to raise money for the local hospital – a common type of post-season friendlies.  

4 May 1935: Despite losing 0-1 at home to Derby on the last day of the season George Allison made it three championships in a row for Arsenal under three different managers.  The defeat meant Arsenal equalled the club’s all-time goal difference record of 69 set in 1904.  A draw and they would have beaten it.

4 May 1940: Arsenal 3 Crystal Palace 1 (Football League War Cup, 2nd round 1st leg).  Arsenal also won the return leg but  were knocked out after just one game against Birmingham in the 3rd round.  But why only one match?  “The Ball is Round” website says “The competition consisted of 137 games (including replays) which commenced in October and were all complete bar the final by January 1940” – but the Arsenal games reported by the normally 100% reliable Fred Ollier suggest otherwise.  It remains a mystery.

4 May 1946: Arsenal’s last ever game in the wartime league and last home match at White Hart Lane. It was a 2-1 win over West Ham in front of 29,189.

4 May 1953: Three days after Arsenal had won the league in the final match of the season the club played a home game against Tottenham, and lost 0-2.  The proceeds of the match went to the Lord Mayor of London’s National Flood Disaster Fund.

4 May 1959: Arsenal 2 Birmingham City 1.  Dave Bowen’s last game.  He moved on to Northampton Town as player manager.  Arsenal ended the season in third, following three successive wins following seven before that without a win.

4 May 1962: Ian McKechnie left Arsenal for Southend.  He was signed as an outside left, but became a goalkeeper and played 23 times for Arsenal in that position.

4 May 1969: Reykjavik 1 Arsenal 3.  First games for Charlie George and for Eddie Kelly.  This was part of a three match tour – the Iceland game being followed by two matches in Malta.

4 May 1976: Bertie Mee left his post as manager.  He managed 539 league games – the largest number of any manager until Arsene Wenger, and won three major trophies, as did Chapman and Allison.  But his win percentage of 44.71% making him 10th best manager, worse than not only Chapman and Allison but also Howe and Neill.

4 May 1987: Cesc Fàbregas born.  It is said that Barce would not let him play in youth matches for fear of other clubs poaching him.  Also that Pep Guardiola gave Fàbregas his shirt as consolation when Fàbregas’ parents divorced.

4 May 1987: QPR 1 Arsenal 4.  Martin Hayes scored his 19th goal in 31 starts to make him far and away the top scorer for the season.  Second highest was Quinn with eight.

4 May 1994: Arsenal won the Cup Winners Cup for the one and only time by beating Parma 1-0 in Copenhagen.  Ian Wright missed the final through suspension, Alan Smith scored the goal

4 May 2002: Arsenal won the FA cup and Ljungberg became the first player since 1961 to score in two successive cup finals, and so the 3rd double was completed.  Tim Lovejoy, commentating said, “Oh no, he’s got through.  Oh, it’s alright.  it’s only Ray Parlour.”

4 May 2003: Arsenal 2 Leeds 3.  The championship was lost by this defeat, but this was the last defeat before the run of 49 league matches unbeaten.  Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp scored.

4 May 2004: Portsmouth 1 Arsenal 1.  Reyes scored to keep the belief in the unbeaten run alive in the 36th league game of the unbeaten season.  Two to go – but the last three had been drawn which started a few worries and predictions from Ferguson that Arsenal, like Ferguson’s Rangers, would lose at the last.

4 May 2006: Man City 1 Arsenal 3.  Arsenal continued to battle for 4th place with Tottenham.  In the end Arsenal ended up two points above Tottenham with a far superior goal difference as well.

4 May 2008:  Jens Lehman – the only player ever to play every match in a season and be unbeaten – came on as a sub for the game v Everton for the last home game of the season.  He was given an overwhelming ovation and in his unique style he turned and bowed to each side of the ground.  It was his final appearance.

4 May 2013: QPR 0 Arsenal 1.  Walcott scored after 40 seconds.  It was the fastest PL goal of the season and took Arsenal into 3rd place while QPR headed for relegation.

4 May 2014: Arsenal 1 WBA 0.  This was part of a seven match run of successive victories.  In the five league games in the sequence Arsenal conceded just one goal, but then conceded two against Hull in the cup final – although we recovered to win 3-2.

4 May 2015: Hull 1 Arsenal 3 in a match described as a typical piece of one sided refereeing from Mason, every Arsenal semi-foul called but Hull allowed to do pretty much what they wanted.  Another not given penalty for Arsenal and the Hull game came from a non-given foul. The match was the last in an 11 match unbeaten run.

5 May 1893: Royal Arsenal needed to become a limited company to join the Football League but were forbidden by the rules from registering a company name that associated the club with the royal family.  On this day they chose Woolwich Arsenal FC.  For the history of Arsenal’s name changes see here.

5 May 1907: Woolwich Arsenal played a Belgian XI in Brussels, winning 2-1.  It was the first overseas match that Arsenal played, as far as we know, and  was the start of an ambitious eight match tour of which Arsenal won seven and drew one game.

5 May 1908: William Garbutt – the Arsenal man who later took football to Italy – was transferred to Blackburn.  He stayed there for four years, but after injury stopped playing in 1912, aged 29 and moved to Genoa. 

5 May 1910: Henry Norris and Charlie Buchan entered discussions for Buchan to play for Fulham, but Buchan rejected the offer saying Bury had offered him twice as much.  Norris did however succeed in signing him once Chapman took over.

5 May 1928: Charlie Buchan’s last game.  Everton 3 Arsenal 3.  He scored 56 goals in 120 matches for Arsenal and then moved into journalism, and commentary for the BBC.  His autobiography, “A Lifetime in Football” claims he introduced the tactical change to the “WM” style but an analysis of matches in 1925/6 suggests his reporting is little more than self-aggrandizement. 

5 May 1930: Northampton Town 0 Arsenal 7.  One of a series of end of season games with Chapman’s first managerial club organised to help raise funds for the local hospital.  

5 May 1934: Arsenal 2 Sheffield U 0.  Arsenal won the league by three points from Huddersfield despite the sudden death of Herbert Chapman earlier in the season, Joe Shaw taking over.  It was also the last game for David Jack who went on to manage first Southend and then Middlesbrough.

5 May 1936: George Cox transferred to Fulham for £150.  Despite playing for Arsenal’s first team during the glorious 1930s, George Cox remains better known for his career in first-class cricket and he was indeed himself the son of a cricketer who played for Sussex (in cricket he was known as George Cox Junior).

5 May 1945: Last game for Ted Drake.  He went into management and transformed Chelsea, leading them to their one and only championship of the 20th century, before they sacked him.  

5 May 1945: The final game of the 1944/5 wartime league season. WHU 1 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal came 8th, but they won the Football League Cup (south).

5 May 1948: Death of Charlie Satterthwaite who scored Arsenal’s first ever goal in the 1st Division.  Charlie played 21 games in 1907/8, 18 the following year and four in 1909/10, ending his career on November 6th in a home defeat to Bradford.  He did not join another club and retired from football aged 32. 

5 May 1954: Last game for Lionel Smith (a friendly v Grasshoppers).  He moved to Watford and then became player-manager at Gravesend & Northfleet where he won the 1957-58 Southern League title.

5 May 1961: Racing club de Paris 1 Arsenal 4.  One of the series of games set up by Herbert Chapman, initially to raise funds for men invalided in the first world war.

5 May 1966: Arsenal 0 Leeds Utd 3.  The infamous “4,554” game with Highbury’s lowest ever crowd for a league match.  It was the third successive 0-3 defeat although Arsenal won their final match 1-0 to end up 14th in the league.

5 May 1986: Oxford 3 Arsenal 0.  Last game for Tony Woodcock and last game with Steve Burtenshaw as manager before George Graham took over.  Woodcock moved into business, and later became an ardent supporter of Arsene Wenger’s style of management.

5 May 1990: Last game for Martin Hayes.  He scored 29 league goals in 70 starts, He moved to Celtic but this didn’t work out but had more success at Swansea before moving into non-league club management and commentary on Arsenal Player.  

5 May 1990: Norwich 2 Arsenal 2: David O’Leary beat George Armstrong’s record of 500 games in the final game of the season.  

5 May 1996: A last gasp victory at home against relegated Bolton gave Arsenal fifth place and a European place amidst much celebration within Highbury.  A draw would have let Everton in to the final European slot.  A defeat could have made way for Tottenham.

5 May 1999: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3 as the championship looked possible, however  Arsenal faltered in the next game.  Anelka scored his 17th and final league goal to end as top scorer for the season.  Between 20 December and 5 May we didn’t lose a single game.

5 May 2008: Mathieu Flamini agreed to a four-year contract with Italian club Milan, meaning he would leave Arsenal on a free transfer on 1 July.  He had a hard time at Milan in the early days, playing as a late sub in Europa League games and eventually returned to Arsenal on a free, and then moved on a free to Crystal Palace meaning no transfer fee had ever been paid for him.

5 May 2009: Arsenal 1 Man U 3 (Champions League semi final; 1-4 aggregate).  Van Persie scored a 76th minute penalty but with Ronaldo and Park scoring in the first 11 minutes there was no chance of progression.  Fletcher was sent off for Man U on 74.

5 May 2016: Arsenal concluded the season with a 4-0 win over Aston Villa leaving the club unbeaten in its final nine league games.  Six goals were conceded in these games, but 19 were scored by Arsenal.

5 May 2019: Arsenal had to beat Brighton at home to have any realistic chance of a top four finish.  Aubameyang scored a penalty on nine minutes but a penalty for Brighton meant that anything short of a record score on the final day would mean Arsenal would miss out.  

6 May 1910: In one of several attempts to rescue Woolwich Arsenal financially, shares went on sale at £1 each, the money payable in instalments.  The aim was to sell £2000-worth but by the close of the sale two weeks later only £1200 had been applied for, and so the offer failed.

6 May 1916: Arsenal v Rest of London. Testimonial for Bob Benson.  On 19 February he played in a London Combination match and although retired, made up the numbers. He collapsed on the pitch in the second half and died in the changing rooms a little later of a burst blood vessel.  He was just 33.

6 May 1922: After a dismal season which included five consecutive defeats Arsenal rounded the league off with four wins and a draw in the last five to finish with Arsenal 1 Bradford C 0 and 17th place in the league.

6 May 1933: Herbert Chapman ended his final complete season with a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield U, having already won the league for the second time in three years.

6 May 1936: England lost to Austria 2-1 with the England side including six Arsenal men Male, Hapgood (captain) Crayston, Copping, Bastin and Bowden, just one short of the record seven, also held by Arsenal.

6 May 1939: Arsenal 2 Brentford 0.   Last appearance for Eddie Hapgood and also Leslie Jones.   The game was used in the film Arsenal Stadium Mystery.  Although three matches were played for the 1939/40 season it was then abandoned and this was the last “official” league game until 31 August 1946.     See also here

6 May 1944: Arsenal 3 Aldershot 1.  The end of the 1943/4 wartime season.  Arsenal came fourth in the league but were encouraged by a seven match unbeaten run at the end of the campaign.

6 May 1953: Jackie Henderson first international cap.  His international career was more or less over by the time he came to Arsenal in 1958, but he still delivered as a powerful forward.

6 May 1968: Ray Kennedy joined as an apprentice.  He became an invaluable member of the 1970/1 Double side, but then moved on to Liverpool – one of a number of ludicrous transfers by manager Bertie Mee.

6 May 1972: Arsenal, the cup holders, lost the cup final to Leeds 0-1.  There was a feeling that there were more triumphs to come but the club did not surface again as a challenger until the end of the decade.

6 May 1974: The friendly Kettering v Arsenal was played to celebrate the opening of the home club’s new stand.  John Matthews first game.  It also marked a link between the clubs going back to the 19th century.

6 May 1978: Arsenal lost the FA Cup final to Ipswich which they had been widely tipped to win.  Ipswich approached the game claiming (falsely) they had to play injured players to make up the numbers, but it was a hoax, and Arsenal performed poorly to lose 1-0.

6 May 1990: Tony Adams crashed his car and was found to have four times the legal alcohol limit within his blood.  He subsequently gave up drinking and set up the Sporting Chance Clinic to help others who suffered the same addiction.

6 May 1991: Arsenal 3 Man U 1.  Arsenal had won the league before kick off with just one defeat and received a guard of honour from Man U.  Supporters sang one song (in reference to the 2 point deduction earlier in the season) through the entire game as Alan Smith gained the first hat trick by any Arsenal player in the season.

6 May 1993: Sheffield W 1 Arsenal 0.  First game for Gavin McGowan and Scott Marshall.  McGowan had won the youth cup, and played seven league games.  Marshall played 23 league games before moving on to Brentford.

6 May 1998: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0, but Arsenal had celebrated as champions in Game 37 of the 2nd Double season having won the league the game before.   The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

6 May 2000: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1 meant Arsenal finished second, as Leeds and Liverpool failed to win their respective matches.  Henry scored both to make him top league scorer for the season with 17 – exactly as Anelka had the previous season.

6 May 2018: Arsenal 5 Burnley 0.  Arsene Wenger’s last home match as manager.  After the game he was given a very positive send off by the crowd as he toured the ground.  It was all very much in contrast to the regular “Wenger out” placards that had been waved during the season.

6 May 2022: Arsenal drew 0-0 with Villareal in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final and so went out of the competition having lost 2-1 in the first leg.

6 May 2022: Arsenal announced that Mikel Arteta had signed a new contract to the end of the 2024–25 campaign.

6 May 2022: Arsenal announced that Mikel Arteta had signed a new contract to the end of the 2024–25 campaign

7 May 1883:  Joe Shaw was born.  He became one of the most important men in the history of Arsenal spending virtually all his working life with Arsenal playing 309 times for the club, being club captain, and being reserve team manager.  He is also known for being the man who took over from Herbert Chapman as manager when Chapman died, and led Arsenal to its second successive championship.

7 May 1910: King Edward VII died; the mourning period throwing a spanner in the works of Arsenal’s attempt to restructure the club as no commercial activity could continue until after the funeral.  

7 May 1915: The news of the sinking of the ocean liner RMS Lusitania by a u-boat killing 1,198 civilians en route from New York to Liverpool was censored but was a major reason for America’s later engagement in the war on the side of the Allies.

7 May 1919: A delegation of Belgian refugees met Sir Henry Norris to thank him for his work and that of the local council not just in providing accommodation and work for them during the war years but also protecting them from attacks by locals who held a “no foreigners here” viewpoint.

7 May 1929: Charlie Preedy signed from Charlton.  He was the first player Arsenal ever signed who was born in India (where his father was with the Royal Artillery).

7 May 1921: Arsenal lost the final game of the season 0-3 away to Liverpool to end the season in 9th – a one position improvement on last season.  Sadly it was to be Knighton’s best achievement and from here on it was downhill all the way.

7 May 1927: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 4.  Chapman’s team finally beat Tottenham at the  4th attempt and ended the season with six wins in the last seven, but only finished 11th.

7 May 1931: Pat Beasley signed from Stourbridge FC.  He made his first team debut a year later and stayed with the club until 1936, winning the league twice.  He made 79 appearances in all in the league scoring 19 goals. 

7 May 1932: Chapman concluded his 7th season with a 4-0 home win over Blackburn and his second runners up spot, just two points behind Everton.

7 May 1938: Arsenal 5 Bolton 0 – Arsenal won the league  for the fifth time in 8 years.  Bastin and Carr each got two and Kirchen got the other. Not only did Arsenal need to win but also Wolverhampton had to lose – which they duly did.  Man City, last season’s champions, lost and were relegated. For the story of the month’s football in detail see here.   Eddie Carr got two goals. 

7 May 1945, One day before the Allies accepted Germany’s surrender and with the war in the Far East continuing, the FA announced that the FA Cup would be resumed with the extra preliminary round played on 1 September 1945.

7 May 1949: Arsenal 2 Charlton 0 as Arsenal ended the season in fifth, despite just two defeats in the last 14.  League début for Ray Daniel.  Ray’s elder brother had also played for Arsenal and died in the second world war aged 18.

7 May 1966: Arsenal 1 Leicester 0.  The last game as manager for Billy Wright.  His job had been to take Arsenal back to the top but his record of 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th was worse than his predecessor, and crowds were dramatically down. 

7 May 1977: Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 1 drew little attention on this day because since being beaten by Arsenal on 11 April, Tottenham had won just one match and a 5-0 away defeat on 7 May meant that Tottenham were almost certain to be relegated for the first time since 1935.

7 May 1983 John Hawley’s final game for Arsenal against his former club, Sunderland, who won 1-0 at Highbury.  Arsenal finished the season in 10th.  Infinitely more important was his subsequent role in saving lives in the Bradford stadium fire.

7 May 1984: Tony Woodcock scored his 21st and final league goal of the season in the 3-3 draw with WHU at Highbury.  The club finished sixth.

7 May 1988: Everton 1 Arsenal 2.  Thomas and Hayes scored as Arsenal finished the season in sixth.  First game for Kevin Campbell, and last game for Kenny Sansom and for Graham Rix.

7 May 1994: Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 as Arsenal ended the season in 4th.  Last game for Alan Miller who had played nine times for the club.  He moved on to Middlesbrough and later West Brom.

7 May 2003.  Arsenal 6 Southampton 1.  With hat tricks from Pennant and Pires the 49 match unbeaten run began.  The most wonderful anniversary in the history of Arsenal.

7 May 2006: The last game at Highbury, Arsenal beating Wigan 4-2 including a Henry hat trick.  Dennis Bergkamp’s last league game.  Curiously his last game for Ajax was also their last game in their old stadium.

7 May 2017: Arsenal beat Man U 2-0, the first of five consecutive wins which concluded the league season. However Arsenal ended in 5th one point behind Liverpool but with a better goal difference.  We did however beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

8 May 1910: George Male was born in West Ham.  He had a trial with WHU who turned him down, and so started playing with Clapton, before joining Arsenal as an amateur in November 1929.  

8 May 1922: Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in the London Challenge Cup final having beaten Barking, QPR and Tottenham in earlier rounds.  See also here

8 May 1923: Jimmy Brain transferred from Ton Pentre to Arsenal.  It was one of the most significant pieces of business by Leslie Knighton.  Brain scored 125 goals in 204 games for Arsenal.

8 May 1930: George Male turned pro on his 20th birthday.  He started out on the left wing as a deputy for Bob John and he played just three times in the first championship winning season, but played in the 1932 cup final due to an injury to Alex James

8 May 1934 Charlie Jones left Arsenal to become Notts County manager.  This was not a success as the club finished bottom of division 2 in his first season, and he was sacked in December 1935.

8 May 1942: Terry Neil born.   He played for Bangor in N Ireland before moving on to Arsenal.  He moved on to become player manager of Hull at the age of 28 and later manager of Arsenal.

8 May 1954: John Hawley was born in Patrington, in the East Riding of Yorkshire and played 287 league games in the football league, scoring 89 goals including playing 20 games for Arsenal.

8 May 1963: George Eastham made his international debut.  In all he played 19 times for England and scored two goals, and was a member of the 1966 World Cup winning squad.

8 May 1965: Wally Hardinge died.  Wally joined Woolwich Arsenal in the summer of 1913, as Arsenal dropped to the second division and moved to Highbury.  He played in the first-ever game at Highbury, and was also an England international, and additionally played cricket for Kent and again for England, and was Cricketer of the Year in 1915.

8 May 1971  Arsenal won the Double for the first time, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup, in extra time, having secured the League at White Hart Lane five days earlier.  Kelly and George got the goals. It was only the second time Arsenal had played in front of 100,000.

8 May 1993: Ian Wright scored his 15th and last league goal of the season as Arsenal beat Coventry 3-0.  Wright was the top scorer for the season.

8 May 2002  Arsenal not only won the League in Manchester by beating Manchester United but also then became the first team in over 100 years to go unbeaten all season away.  League match 37 of the 3rd Double season.   We win the league and the FA Cup   Arsenal also set a new record for 8 consecutive away wins in Premier League – a record equalled on 28 September 2013… by Arsenal

8 May 2005: Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-1 as part of a 14 match unbeaten run in all competitions up to the end of the season which concluded with another FA Cup triumph.  The run also included a 12 match unbeaten run in the league.

8 May 2009: Theo Walcott signed a new long term contract which took him through to 2016.  

8 May 2009: Bendtner was fined by Arsenal for unacceptable behaviour in a nightclub.  He played 108 times for Arsenal in a nine year spell at the club which included loans to Birmingham, Sunderland and Juventus.

8 May 2016: Manchester City 2 Arsenal 2 in the penultimate match of the season, making it eight successive matches unbeaten, and making the runners’ up spot possible, which would make this the best season since 2004/5.  All told Arsenal went 9 unbeaten and finished second.

8 May 2022: Arsenal beat Leeds 2-1 to make it four straight wins and make a topfour finish look very likely, but subsequent defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle followed by a 5-1 drubbing of Everton on the last day of the season meant Arsenal  finished in 5th.  The match was notable before kick off by the entire Arsenal support singing “North London Forever” immediately before kick off, for the first time.

9 May 1891: Royal Arsenal FC voted at its AGM to turn itself into a professional side, making the club the first professional team in the south of England in a move proposed by Jack Humble. The club immediately tendered its resignation from both the Kent and London FA but this was turned down in both cases (although later reports suggested otherwise).  See also here

9 May 1891: Dr James Paterson born.  He was awarded the Military Cross in the first world war and his history at Arsenal is a major factor in exposing the mendacity of Leslie Knighton’s autobiography which misled historians of the club for years.

9 May 1921: Arsenal beat Southend United 4-0 for the Southend Hospital Cup which Arsenal won 4-0.  The cup donated by the Southend director, E T Smith.  The money raised was divided between hospitals in Southend and the Great Northern Hospital on Holloway Road, Hornsey.  Knighton later told a journalist he was very proud of the victory.

9 May 1922: Andrew Kennedy joined Arsenal from Crystal Palace.  He played 24  league games and two FA Cup games in his first season for the Arsenal, and in  the summer won two caps for Ireland.

9 May 1931: Dan Lewis transferred to Gillingham.  He is forever remembered as the Welsh goalkeeper who spilled the ball in Arsenal’s first FA Cup final, to allow Cardiff to score.

9 May 1931: Sidney Cartwright signed for Arsenal as an amateur in April 1931 and as a professional on 9 May.  He made his debut on 22 Feb 1936 against Portsmouth.

9 May 1935: Reg Lewis joined from Margate, but his debut was not to come until 1 January 1938.  During the war years he scored 143 goals in 130 games!

9 May 1936: Bernard Joy became the last amateur player to play for England in a full international.  His autobiography, Forward, Arsenal, reiterated and gave credibility to (and thus continued) the errors of previous Arsenal histories and misled Arsenal fans for many years over what happened in the history of the club. 

9 May 1942: Crystal Palace 3 Arsenal 3 (all three for Lewis).  This led to the most incredible season goalscoring total ever (although it was in the wartime league).  Played 23, scored 42.

9 May 1954: Derek Tapscott played his first international for Wales.  In all he made 14 appearances for his country.

9 May 1962: Death of George Jobey, the man who scored the first Arsenal goal at Highbury.  After he retired as a player he had gone into management with considerable success, but was dogged by unproven “illegal payment” allegations.

9 May 1965: Peter Storey’s first appearance in a post-season friendly.  His league debut came in October.

9 May 1966: Arsenal won the youth cup for the first time, with Pat Rice and Sammy Nelson in the side.

9 May 1971: Half a million people are said to have lined the streets to see the Double Winners’ Parade.  Frank McLintock is also said to have fallen asleep on the town hall steps due to some energetic celebrating the night before.  See also here

9 May 1973: Leeds 6 Arsenal 1.  It was the last match of the season as Arsenal came runners up.  It was also the end of the last season in which Arsenal seriously challenged for the title under Mee and was also the league debut for David Price

9 May 1978: Derby 3 Arsenal 0, as Arsenal ended the league in fifth position.  The game marked the last appearance for Alan Hudson and for John MatthewsSee also here

9 May 1981: Arsenal 3 Eastern Athletic Association (Hong Kong) 0.  Last game for Frank Stapleton.  After 223 league games he signed for Man U – a move that was not surprisingly, poorly received by Arsenal supporters..

9 May 1987: Arsenal 1 Norwich City 2.  Last game for Viv Anderson.  He had played 120 league games, and moved on to Manchester United.  Arsenal finished the season 4th.

9 May 2004: Fulham 0 Arsenal 1.  After 3 draws in succession the 37th league game of the unbeaten season resulted in a win.  Reyes scored the goal, while Henry, Vieira and Parlour were all booked.  Just one game to go.  

9 May 2010: Arsenal 4 Fulham 0 concluding an unbeaten run which started with Arsenal 2 Stoke 0 on 5 December 2009.  The Arsenal programme included a three page analysis of Henry Norris by Brian Glanville that repeated much of the misleading and utterly inaccurate  information written in the autobiography of Leslie Knighton, the manager Norris sacked for gross incompetence.

9 May 2013: Daily Mail reported that “Arsenal agree £30m-a-year deal with Puma in most lucrative kit contract in Britain”.

9 May 2014: Koscielny signed a new long term contract after frenzied speculation about him leaving.  Wenger later called him the best value for money player he had at the club.  In the 2015/16 season with both Arteta and Mertesacker out of the team he became captain.

9 May 2017: Arsenal announced they would travel to Australia as part of their pre-season schedule and play two matches against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.

9 May 2018: Leicester City 3 Arsenal 1.  It was Arsenal’s 7th consecutive away defeat.

9 May 2019: Valencia 2 Arsenal 4 meant Arsenal had made it to the Europa League final.  Aubameyang got a hattrick and Lacazette the other.

10 May 1890: Millwall Athletic 3 Arsenal 3.  A crowd of 800 turned up to see the local derby – the first since Millwall added “athletic” to their name. 

10 May 1899: James Jackson signed.  He made his debut at full back alongside Duncan McNichol and the pair became a renowned full back partnership.  Jackson played until 1905, making 204 appearances and scoring 1 goal.

10 May 1908 David Greenaway signed.  He was an outside right who between 1908 and 1920 played 161 league games and scored 13 goals.

10 May 1910: The sale period of shares in Arsenal FC finally came to an end and it was clear that not nearly enough had been sold to make the offer valid.  The club remained in the financial mire as local people refused to support the club.

10 May 1915: The board of directors at Arsenal formally approved the change of the name of the club (which had already happened the month before) to “The Arsenal” at a meeting on this day.  

10 May 1919.  Leslie Knighton took charge of his first Arsenal match at Highbury as Arsenal beat West Ham 3-2 with 8000 in the ground.  

10 May 1922: Andrew Kennedy, signed one day before, played in his first match – a friendly against Southend.

10 May 1923: Boldklubben Frem (Copenhagen) 2 Arsenal 4.  First appearance of  Samson Haden.

10 May 1932: Northampton 2 Arsenal 3.  The last of the Northampton/Arsenal friendlies which supported a local hospital and which may have also helped Chapman’s old club repair their ground after it had been destroyed by fire.

10 May 1941: Preston 1 Arsenal 1 in the Football League War Cup Final, at Wembley (60,000 in the crowd).  The match was replayed three weeks later at Ewood Park, Blackburn, when Arsenal lost 2-1.

10 May 1959: Death of Leslie Knighton, the first manager of Arsenal in north London.  He and George Allison published their autobiographies within weeks of each other in 1948, and Knighton’s book has regularly been used as a source of information concerning Arsenal and Henry Norris.  But subsequent investigation has shown virtually all of his allegations (although still oft repeated today) are utterly without foundation.  Allison’s volume, written immediately after his retirement, and drawing on a lifetime at Arsenal,  paints a totally different picture of Norris and the club, but is mostly ignored as it doesn’t fit the anti-Arsenal agenda of today’s media.

10 May1962: Danny Clapton’s last senior game.  He moved to Luton Town in September 1962 before playing for Corinthians of Sydney.   By 1970 he was running a pub in Hackney.

10 May 1966: Charlie George, who had been discovered by George Male, signed apprentice forms.  He played 133 league games before moving to Derby.

10 May 1969: Dennis Bergkamp born in Amsterdam, the son of an electrician.  He joined Ajax aged 12, and stayed there for 12 years before moving to Inter.  After two miserable years there where he was insulted by the media on a weekly basis, he moved to Arsenal.

10 May 1980: Arsenal lost the FA Cup final to West Ham.  It was Arsenal’s 3rd successive FA Cup final, and the last until the Cup Double season of 1993.

10 May 1995: Arsenal lost 1-2 to Real Zaragoza in injury time in the Cup Winners Cup final as Nayim spotted Seaman off his line and lobbed him from 50 yards out.

10 May 1997: Matthew Upson transferred to Arsenal from Luton for £1.2m.  (Also reported as 16 May in some quarters.)  He had played just once for Luton and went on to play 35 times for Arsenal before moving on to Birmingham City.

10 May 1998: With the league won on 3 May, Arsenal took life easy in the 38th and final match of the second Double season losing 1-0 to Aston Villa, knowing that the Cup Final was still to come. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

10 May 2009: Arsenal 1 Chelsea 4; Bendtner scored in what was the worst defeat thus far at the Emirates.  In the following home game two weeks later Arsenal defeated Stoke 4-1.

10 May 2012: Steve Bould, having been youth team coach, and head of the under 18s, stepped up to become Arsene Wenger’s assistant upon the retirement of Pat Rice.

10 May 2017: Southampton 0 Arsenal 2.  This game came in a run in which Arsenal won nine of their last ten games of the season, concluding with a 2-1 FA Cup final win over Chelsea.  This run contrasted with a run of six defeats in nine between the end of January and mid-March.

11 May 1910: George Leavey, the major shareholder in Woolwich Arsenal, admitted he had not got enough local people to buy shares in the club, and would search for others from outside the area to buy, or else put the club into administration.

11 May 1918: From this day throughout the summer Highbury was used to play baseball matches in a league containing troops from the USA and Canada who were stationed in London.

11 May 1925: An advertisement for a new Arsenal manager appeared in Athletics News after the sacking of Leslie Knighton.  The advert ended, Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exhorbitant [sic] transfer fees need not apply.  Herbert Chapman applied and immediately became the highest spending manager thus far in Arsenal’s history. Within six years Arsenal were known as the Bank of England club because of their high spending in the transfer market.

11 May 1940: Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 2 (Football League War Cup). Arsenal moved into the third round against Birmgham which was played as a straight knock out game.

11 May 1948: Arsenal 8 Grimsby 0.  Final game for George Male, the first ever player in the League to win the championship six times.  He then became a coach at Arsenal who worked with the youth and reserve teams, and as a scout, and he in turn discovered Charlie George.  He was also present to watch the double victories in 1971, before retiring in 1975.

11 May 1959: Jimmy Magill signed from Portadown.  He went on to play 116 league games before moving to Brighton.

11 May 1959: Dave Bacuzzi signed as a professional, having first signed as an amateur in March the previous year from Eastbourne Utd.  He made his first team debut in February 1961.

11 May 1960: Racing club de Paris 4 Arsenal 3, in the series of games created by Herbert Chapman to help survivors of the first world war.

11 May 1968: Arsenal 2 WBA 1 made it five straight wins at the end of the season with Gould scoring in each of the last four.  Arsenal finished 9th, with George Graham as the top league scorer with 16 goals.

11 May 1972: Quite amazingly for the 3rd year running Arsenal concluded their league season playing Tottenham.  This game was lost 0-2 at Highbury as Arsenal come in 5th.  The top league goalscorer for Arsenal was Kennedy with 12.

11 May 1982: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1.  Sunderland scored his 11th league goal of the season to make him top scorer.  Arsenal won their final game and ended the league in 5th.

11 May 1985: Brian Talbot’s last game. He then played for Watford, Stoke, WBA, Fulham and Aldershot, and was for four years chair of the PFA before having a 20 year career as a manager after which he became a scout for Fulham 2011.

11 May 1985: The Bradford Fire.  Ex-Arsenal man John Hawley showed extraordinary bravery in pulling people from the flames.

11 May 1988: Last game for Graham Rix.  He then played for Brentford on loan and Caen, Le Havre and Dundee.   After retiring from playing he went to Chelsea where he became youth team coach and later assistant manager before a scandal ended his high profile career.

11 May 1991: Arsenal beat Coventry 6-1 in the final match of the season, winning the league despite a two point penalty, having just one defeat, letting in just 18 goals and finishing seven points clear of Liverpool.  Limpar scored a hat trick.

11 May 1993: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 3 in the last match of the season.  Arsenal finished 10th and only 26,393 turned up.  It was also Pal Lydesen’s  final appearance.

11 May 1997: Paul Merson’s last appearance in Derby 1 Arsenal 3 – the last game at the Baseball ground.  Arsène Wenger ended his first season with Arsenal in 3rd on goal difference from Newcastle in second. Ian Wright scored two to make it 23 league goals in 30 starts and was of course top scorer for the sixth year running.

11 May 1998: Arsène Wenger named Manager of the Year for the first time.  

11 May 2002: Arsenal 4 Everton 3.  League game 38 of the 3rd Double season, completing a  13 match winning sequence and an unbeaten away season.  Richard Wright appeared as a sub for a few minutes near the end in order to get a league winners’ medal.

11 May 2003: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 4.  The second match in the unbeaten 49 and the 564th and last league game for David Seaman – by far the longest serving keeper in Arsenal’s history.

11 May 2005: Arsenal 7 Everton 0.  The last Highbury game in red and white, the conclusion of a 12 match unbeaten run in the league, and the largest Premier League win, equalled on 14 January 2006. 

11 May 2008: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 1 ended Arsenal’s season with four successive wins to come third.  Walcott scored the goal.

11 May 2014: Norwich 0 Arsenal 2, as Arsenal made it five straight wins scoring 12 and letting in two to finish fourth in the League. Ramsey and Jenkinson scored.   Also on this day Koscielny signed a new long term contract.

12 May 1910:  Woolwich Arsenal announced that talks with Fulham to rescue the club had come to nothing, and the directors of Woolwich Arsenal FC had opened discussions with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, to see if their boards wanted to buy all or part of the club.

12 May 1912: Arsenal were engaged in their first overseas tour since 1907 and on this day played Vicktoria 89 Tempelhof of Berlin.  The sides drew 2-2.  Vicktoria survived until 2013 when it merged with Lichterfelder FC to form a new club, FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin.

12 May 1937: Arsenal had played in the Coronation Cup on 19 April, and there was great excitement on this day as not only was King George VI married to Queen Elizabeth, but the BBC made the event the subject of its first multi-site outside broadcast on TV.

12 May 1945: Alan Ball born.  He played for Ashton, Blackpool and Everton before joining Arsenal as Mee sought to strengthen his Double winning team.

12 May 1978: Arsenal returned to Tottenham to round off the season with the John Pratt testimonial.  Arsenal lost 5-3 with all three Arsenal goals coming from Fuccillo (presumably the Luton player on loan).  McLintock also appeared for Arsenal.

12 May 1979:  Arsenal 3 Man United 2 in the FA Cup final.  Having been 2-0 up, Man U scored two late on, before Alan Sunderland scored the most dramatic of winners at the death.  We win the cup against Man U.  The game by game summary is here

12 May 2000: Having beaten Coventry 3-1 in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final, Arsenal completed the job winning 2-0 at Highbury.  Bothroyd and Sidwell scored, but not one of the players in either match went on to a first team career at Arsenal.

12 May 2001: Arsenal lost the cup final 2-1 to Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.  Ljungberg gave Arsenal the lead on 72 minutes:  the first cup final goal scored outside England.   

12 May 2019: Burnley 1 Arsenal 3 in the final match before the Europa League final.  Having had three successive defeats in the Premier League Arsenal had recovered and won both legs of the Europa semi-final and drawn a league game with Brighton.  This win suggested that the club was coming good in time for the final.

12 May 2022: Needing a win or at least a draw to help secure fourth place in the league Arsenal lost away to Tottenham 3-0, with the media taking the view that Arsenal were not a “top four” team but Tottenham most certainly were.   The results in 2022/3 suggested this view was somewhat misplaced.

13 May 1910: Representatives of the Football League had a discussion about Woolwich Arsenal’s financial problems and its future at its management committee meeting.

13 May 1904: Archibald Gray joined Woolwich Arsenal from Hibernian with whom he had won the Scottish League and Cup, playing 51 league games.  He played in Arsenal’s first ever first division game.

13 May 1926: To conclude Chapman’s first season as Arsenal manager the club went on a six match European tour with the first game on this day: MTK Vörös Meteor (Budapest) 2 Arsenal 2 (28,000).  Brain and Lee got the goals.

13 May 1933: Eddie Hapgood made his international début.  In all he played 30 times for England.  See also here

13 May 1939: England played away to Italy and drew 2-2 with Male and Hapgood in the team. 

13 May 1967: Sheffield W 1 Arsenal 1.  George Graham got the goal – his 11th league goal of the season to make him top scorer, as Arsenal finished unbeaten in the last 12 in Mee’s first season, and ended 7th in the league.

13 May 1970: Arsenal concluded their two match post-season tour of Cyprus with 13 Appollon (Cyprus) 0 Arsenal 2 (Marinello and George getting the goals).

13 May 1991: Birth of Francis Coquelin.  He played for AS du Bourny, and Stade Lavallois before moving to Arsenal in July 2008.  After loan spells with Lorient and Freiburg he returned to Arsenal and after a further five match loan to Charlton became the first choice defensive midfielder and was hailed by Thierry Henry as “the police officer”.   He left Arsenal in 2018.

13 May 1996: Jason Crowe joined as a trainee.  He played three times as a sub in cup games before moving to Portsmouth in 1999.

13 May 2005: Just two days after beating Everton 7-0, Arsenal finished the season with a 2-1 away defeat to Birmingham to come second in the league, 12 points behind Chelsea.

13 May 2007: Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 0.  The draw left Arsenal 4th in the league. A win would have taken them to third.   Portsmouth finished mid-table.  Seven years later they were in the fourth tier.

13 May 2012: WBA 2 Arsenal 3, and Arsenal secured Champions League football once again -for the 15th consecutive season.

13 May 2017: Arsenal beat Stoke away 1-4 as part of a run of six consecutive wins leading up to the FA Cup Final in which Arsenal beat Chelsea.

13 May 2018: Huddersfield Town 0 Arsenal 1.  Arsene Wenger’s last match as manager.  Arsenal ended the season in sixth, 37 points behind the champions.  Particularly concerning was the decline in away form in which only 4 matches were won all season.

14 May 1894: James Crozier signed from Partick Thistle.  He played just once for Woolwich Arsenal on 10 September 1894 against Grimsby and moved back to Partick in 1895.

14 May 1910 The Times reported that the new share issue in Woolwich Arsenal had failed leaving the club teetering on the edge of administration.

14 May 1918: Much of our understanding of the political thought of Sir Henry Norris comes from the way he voted in council and parliamentary debates.  On this day he voted with the minority to raise the salaries of women teachers in a London County Council meeting.

14 May 1922: Arsenal began a tour of Scandinavia with a game against IFK Göteborg – who finished their season in mid-table in the Swedish Division 1.  The team included Frank Townrow who joined Arsenal in November 1920, signing as a professional in April 1921.

14 May 1931: Danish XI 0 Arsenal 2 (15,000).  Williams and Thompson got games; Jack and Bastin got the goals.  

14 May 1935: Mel Charles born.  He started in football on the ground staff of Leeds before signing for Swansea for whom he played 223 league games.  He then signed for Arsenal which he called the worst decision of his life.

14 May 1937: Alf Kirchen scored on his international début, one of two goals in three games for England.

14 May 1938: Eddie Hapgood captained England in the notorious game against Germany in Berlin, where the players were ordered to give the Nazi salute before the game.  Bastin also played and Tom Whittaker was the trainer.  England won 6-3.

14 May 1952: Alex Forbes played his 14th and last game for Scotland.

14 May 1960: Anderlecht 1 Arsenal 4.  Bill Dodgin’s last senior appearance for Arsenal.  He moved to Fulham the following March before moving into management, and won the League Cup with QPR in 1967.

14 May 1964:  Arsenal 2 Transvaal Orange Free State 0.   Don Howe’s first game for Arsenal.  He moved to Arsenal having played 342 league games for WBA.

14 May 1971: Arsenal’s Cup Final record, “Good Old Arsenal” entered the charts.  It is perhaps best not to dwell on this for too long.  Jimmy Hill claimed to have written it, but contemporary reports show this is not true.

14 May 1975: Christopher Wreh born. He was a cousin of former superstar George Weah, and played for several Liberian clubs before signing for AS Monaco as a youth player in 1989.

14 May 1975: 14 May 1975: Malaysian Select XI 1 Arsenal 1 (Kidd).  Arsenal’s second game in the post season tour.

14 May 1977: Man U 3 Arsenal 2 left Arsenal without a win in the final three games as they finished the season in eighth position – a significant improvement on the 16th and 17th of the two previous seasons. Brady and Stapleton scored.

14 May 1979: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1.  Paul Vaessen’s league debut. He went on to play 32 times for Arsenal, in a career cut short by injury.  Having won the Cup two days before, this game ended with five league matches without a win.  Macdonald scored in what was his last league game, as Arsenal ended the season in 7th.

14 May 1980: Arsenal v Valencia, Cup winners cup final.  After a 0-0 draw the game went to penalties.  Rix was the man whose penalty was saved to lose the tie, but it was Brady’s miss at the start of the round that put Arsenal into that position.

14 May 1983:  Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 1  leaving Arsenal 10th at the end of Neill’s last complete season as manager.  Last appearance of Vladimir Petrovic

14 May 1986: George Graham became manager of Arsenal.  He managed more games than Chapman, but had a lower win percentage than Chapman.  Overall he won six major trophies.

14 May 1995: Following the dismissal of George Graham mid-season, Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1 concluded the season with Arsenal finishing 12th in the league.  It was the lowest finish since 1976, when Arsenal finished 17th.

14 May 1998: Aaron Ramsdale born

14 May 2000: Newcastle 4 Arsenal 2.  The season ended with Arsenal secure in second for the second season running, following eight straight wins from March to May.

14 May 2009: Darwen FC, the club that Arsenal beat 11-1 on 9 Jan 1932, was wound up in the courts, after 134 years of football.

14 May 2013: David Platt, the player who joined Arsenal along with Dennis Bergkamp, was sacked as assistant manager at Man City.  In 2015, Platt was announced as the head coach of FC Pune City of the Indian Super League.  He left the club after one season.  

14 May 2013: Arsenal 4 Wigan 1.  Wigan were relegated as a result, but had already won the FA Cup.  Podolski (2), Walcott and Ramsey scored, leaving Arsenal needing a win in the remaining game to secure fourth place.  It was part of a run of 11 unbeaten to the end of the season of which Arsenal won nine.

15 May 1916: The hated “entertainment tax” was introduced to help pay for the war, the tax raising the cost of entry to football matches by between 50% and 100%.  It was supposed to be withdrawn at the end of the war, but remained until replaced by VAT in 1973.

15 May 1926: SK Slavia Ips Praha (Prague) 1 Arsenal 5 (Buchan, Brain 2, Ramsey, Lee).  For the second consecutive season Arsenal went on a European tour.

15 May 1971: John Roberts made his international début.  He only made 56 league starts for Arsenal, but 18 of those were in the first Double season.

15 May 1979: Arsenal played their one post-season friendly against Lyngby Boldklub  of Denmark.  Macdonald once again played but was substituted, as Arsenal won 4-2.  Gatting, Brady, Price and Rix scored.

15 May 1990: David Seaman purchased from QPR for a record fee.  He went on to play 405 league games for Arsenal and continued playing until 2004.

15 May 1993: FA Cup Final, Arsenal 1 – Sheffield W 1.  The second of the season’s  three games against Sheff W at Wembley.  Cup match 17 of the Cup Double season.

15 May 1993: The single “Shouting for the gunners” entered the hit parade.  Remaining copies are not thought to get a high price on the antiques market.

15 May 2004: Arguably the greatest moment in the history of Arsenal.  Arsenal 2 Leicester 1.  The season was unbeaten.  See also the chronology  To their credit Leicester fans stayed to congratulate Arsenal as the team toured the pitch.  Dickov gave Leicester the lead, Henry scored a penalty on 47 minutes, Vieira got the winner on 66 mins.  Arsenal were 30 points ahead of Liverpool in fourth place.

15 May 2016: Arsenal sat third and Tottenham second in the league ahead of the final day’s games, with Tottenham needing just one point (at relegated Newcastle) to secure second and end above Arsenal for the first time since 1995.  Despite Newcastle having a man sent off, Tottenham lost 1-5, while Arsenal beat Villa 4-0 to secure second place, and achieve one of the most unlikely St Totteringham’s Day victories ever.

15 May 2018: The BBC ran the headline “Colin Lewin: Arsenal head of medical services loses job after 23 years at Gunners”  Subsequent reports showed that Colin Lewin had resigned and set up a clinic with his cousin Gary also a physio.  No apology from the BBC for this mis-reporting was ever noted.

16 May 1881: Teddy Bateup, Arsenal goalkeeper, born.  He is referred to in books as Edward and Edwin, and there is also disagreement about his earliest clubs.  Croydon Glenrose, the Dragoon Guards, and Faversham are all mentioned.  

16 May 1891, At its AGM Royal Arsenal voted against forming a Ltd company but in favour of professionalism, and offered to resign from the London FA and the Kent FA – but despite later reports in Arsenal handbooks to the contrary, neither FA took up the offer, with local clubs preferring to continue to play the most prestigious team in the region, and thus pull in the crowds.  It’s a perfect example of Arsenal history being written without any fact checking at all.

16 May 1910: Rumours circulated that Tottenham, Chelsea and Rangers FC were trying to buy shares in Woolwich Arsenal FC. See also here.    See here for the Rangers story.

16 May 1912: Arsenal 4 Deutscher Prague 1  This was the third of nine games in Arsenal’s 18 day European tour. 

16 May 1922: The final British troops left Ireland.

16 May 1925: Leslie Knighton, Arsenal’s first manager at Highbury, departed to make way for Chapman. It was 23 years before Knighton wrote his autobiography which remorselessly criticised Sir Henry Norris, using a range of allegations which have since been found to be utterly false, and yet are still propagated to this day.

16 May 1934: Jack Crayston joined from Bradford PA for £5250 with George Allison saying he was impressed by his sober lifestyle. He was an immediate success, scoring in his first league appearance and winning the league in his first season.

16 May 1942: Arsenal 1 Brentford 2 – London War Cup Semi-final replay.  37,000 turned up at White Hart Lane – a curious choice of venue since it was Arsenal’s home ground during the war.  However although defeated in the cup Arsenal had already won the London League.

16 May 1962: Jack Kelsey injured his back playing for Wales against Brazil.  As a result he had to retire.  Arsenal was his only senior club, and he played 327 times for the club in the League.  Jack received no compensation from Wales for his loss of his career.

16 May 1980: Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers away 2-1 to keep the dream of playing in Europe in the following season alive, despite having lost in both the FA and CWC finals. Walford and Stapleton scored.

16 May 1998: Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0.  FA Cup final.  The second double was completed.  (The story continues in part 2 and part 3.)  Without Bergkamp available Arsenal played Christopher Wreh as centre forward rather than Ian Wright.   

16 May 1999: Arsenal concluded the season with a 1-0 win over Villa to finish second just one point behind Man U.  More notably however Arsenal finished having conceded 17 goals – their lowest ever total. 

16 May 2009: A goalless draw with Manchester United attracted 75,458, celebrating Man U’s title.  Despite this meaning Arsenal had only won one game in five Arsenal were safe in fourth.  Denilson played in the last two games of the season and the first six of the following season but was unable to fully find his form.

16 May 2017: Arsenal 2 Sunderland 0; two goals from Sanchez.  It was one of six consecutive victories in the final games of the season which ended with Arsenal winning the FA Cup – again.

16 May 2022: Having won four games in a row in a push to end in the top four, Arsenal lost their second match in succession, 2-0 to Newcastle.  The result left Arsenal two points behind Tottenham with each club having one game left to play.

17 May 1901: Thomas Briercliffe signed from Stalybridge Rovers.  He came into the team at outside right for the first match of the season against Burnley which Arsenal won 2-1,  and scored his first goal in the second match of the season on 7 September 1901, a 2-0 defeat of Leicester Fosse.   It was the first time ever that Arsenal had won their first two matches of the season!

17 May 1918: To try and overcome the problems with conscription in Ireland (which Sir Henry Norris had argued strongly against in the War Office)  the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord French, invented the notion of a treasonous plot being hatched between Sinn Féin and Germany, and on this pretext ordered the arrest of seventy-three Sinn Féin leaders.  There being no evidence of such a plot, the inevitable happened: support for Sinn Féin grew.

17 May 1919:  With Arsenal and Chelsea now re-elected to the First Division for the 1919/20 season, Arsenal played their third post-season charity friendly.  A crowd of 5000 watched Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2, as thoughts moved on to re-starting the Football League which had been suspended for four years.

17 May 1929: Cliff Bastin signed from Exeter where he had been since 1926.  He was beyond any doubt one of the greatest players of all time for Arsenal, winning the league five times, the FA Cup twice, gaining 21 England caps and scoring 12 England goals.   He played 350 times for Arsenal in the league and scored 150 goals, and was reputed to be utterly ice cool when taking penalties.

17 May 1931: Danish XI 1 Arsenal 5 (10,000).  Haynes, who had played two league games in the season, got a run out, and Brain, Parkin, Thompson and Bastin got the goals, with one own goal.  

17 May 1959: Eddie Magill signed from Portadown and started playing for Arsenal in December.  In 1961 he also started playing for N Ireland for whom he got 26 caps.

17 May 1975: Singapore National XI  2 Arsenal 3 (40,000) (Kidd, Cropley, Radford).  The third of four matches in the post-season Far East tour.

17 May 1977: Rotenborg  0 Arsenal 4 (Macdonald 3 Stapleton) (7500).  It was the third of five games in the post-season European tour.

17 May 1983: Final appearance of John Devine. He moved to Norwich City and then Stoke but a broken leg finished his career at the higher levels.  He played later in Norway and India before working as a coach with Shelbourne and Sporting Fingal in Ireland.  This was also the final appearance of John Hollins.  He played 123 league games for Arsenal, across four seasons.  After playing 939 matches all told he moved into coaching with Chelsea, QPR, Swansea, Rochdale, Raith, Crawley and Weymouth.

17 May 1993: David O’Leary’s farewell game v Manchester United.  He played 622 games for Arsenal before going into management, where he was involved with Leeds, Villa and Al-Ahli.  For an example of his management style see this review of a Leeds game.  In 2011 he was sacked by Al-Ahli and with Fifa’s help he gained $5.2m compensation.   He does not appear to have worked in football since.

17 May 1993: “Shouting for the Gunners” entered the hit parade – a matter on which one should say as little as possible.

17 May 2000: Arsenal v Galatasaray Uefa cup final.  Arsenal lost on penalties (Suker and Vieira missing) exactly as the club did in the FA Cup and League cup that season.

17 May 2003: David Seaman’s last game for Arsenal, in the FA Cup Final victory.  Arsenal 1 Southampton 0.  The roof of the stadium was shut, thus making this the first “indoors” final.  He went on to play 19 games for Manchester City.

17 May 2006: Arsenal lost in the European Cup final to Barcelona 1-2.  Lehmann was sent off, but Arsenal still took the lead and were leading until near the end but ultimately the pressure of playing a lot of the match with 10 men showed.

17 May 2014: FA Cup Final – Arsenal v Hull.  Arsenal equalled the all time record for most final appearances, and Arsène Wenger made it five cup wins with Arsenal.  Hull took a 2-0 lead but Arsenal fought back to 3-2 with Ramsey scoring the winner.  See also the hour by hour blog of the day. 

17 May 2015: Manchester United 1 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal lost one, and drew three of the final 16 games of the season as they finished in third, and won the FA Cup.

18 May 1899: James Tennant joined from St Bernards.  Tennant was born in Parkhead, Glasgow in 1878, and his other early clubs are listed as Linton Villa and Parkhead.  He played 51 league games and scored 8 goals for Woolwich Arsenal.

18 May 1910:  Woolwich Arsenal met the Football League.  Henry Norris offered first to buy Woolwich Arsenal and pay off the creditors creating Fulham Arsenal, and then suggested Arsenal could play at Craven Cottage.  Both ideas were rejected – the latter by the Arsenal board.  Norris then agreed to fund Woolwich Arsenal at Plumstead for one more season – although in fact he actually funded the club in Plumstead for three more years and then took the huge risk of guaranteeing the funds to develop Highbury making him the largest benefactor in the history of Arsenal. 

18 May 1910: Bill Johnstone born in Fife.  He played in the Reading side that beat Swansea 3-1 away to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1927 and joined Arsenal in May 1929.  Ultimately he played just nine games and scored four through 1929/30 season and the first few weeks of the 1930/31 campaign.

18 May 1920 Sir Henry and Edith Norris attended a concert to raise money for Fulham’s ex-servicemen.  Sir Henry campaigned constantly for injured ex-servicemen to be given pensions by the state upon their return, and not left to beg on the streets.

18 May 1926: Rapid Vienna 3 Arsenal 3 (11,000) (Seddon, Buchan, Bowen).  The third of six games on the tour.

18 May 1928: Charlie Jones had left Cardiff City after one game, and moved to Stockport.  Then he moved to Oldham, who were subsequently relegated, and from there to Nottingham Forest also in the second division and started playing for Wales.  Yet despite this modest background, having signed Jones on this day, Allison put him straight into the first team for 1928/9.  

18 May 1930: Dennis Evans born in Ellesmere Port.  He was playing for his local side when Tom Whittaker signed him, marking him down as the successor to Wally Barnes. 

18 May 1939: Eddie Hapgood played his last game for England away to Yugoslavia.  He played 30 games for England including captaining England in the notorious game against Germany in Berlin on 14 May 1938, where the players were ordered to give the Nazi salute before the game.  Male also played in this game

18 May 1940: Colin Addison born in Taunton, Somerset.  He signed for York in 1957, moving to Nottingham Forest in 1961, and Arsenal in 1966 playing his first match on 17 August that year.

18 May 1963: Sheffield W 2 Arsenal 3.  Joe Baker made it six goals in the last four games of the season as Arsenal finished 7th.  It was a marginal improvement on the 11th and 10th of the previous two seasons, but not what the fans were hoping for.  And one of the latest ends to a season ever.

18 May 1969: Birth of Dennis Nicolaas Bergkamp, in Amsterdam.  He first played for Ajax and then for Inter, where the press regularly made fun of him, before his career was rescued by Arsenal for whom he signed in July 1995.

18 May 1969: Floriana  (Malta) 0 Arsenal 4 (9,000) (Robertson, Court, Gould, Roberts).  It was the third of four post season games.

18 May 1977:  Nessegoten  0 Arsenal 3 (Macdonald 2 Armstrong).  Eight of the players in the team had also played in the friendly the day before in the fourth of five post-season friendlies.  But only 2500 showed up to watch.

18 May 1982: Arsenal played ASL Club Trinidad in an away friendly, and lost 2-3.

18 May 1995. Arsenal played Tianjin Samsung of China away in a friendly and won 2-0.

18 May 2023: Aaron Ramsdale signed a contract extension to 2027.


19 May 1905: Edwin Bateup signed as a professional having joined from Faversham the previous month as an amateur.  He went on to play 34 games in two spells for the club, finally leaving in 1911.

19 May 1907: Budapest 0 Arsenal 9.  This was the 7th game in two weeks on Arsenal’s first overseas tour.  Curiously the club played Budapest again the following day, and  the result was a 2-2 draw.  Earlier in the tour Arsenal had played SK Slavia twice. The reasons for these arrangements are not known.

19 May 1910: Henry Norris started the hunt for new investors to save Arsenal.  He was offering a new company which would part-own the club along with himself and William Hall.   However although the local supporters made a lot of fuss about saving the club, when it came to putting hands in pockets, they were not that excited by the idea.

19 May 1931: Copenhagen Combination 1 Arsenal 1 (20,000).  Lambert got the goal.  Match three of a seven game 20 day tour of Scandinavia.

19 May 1932: Frank Tiger Hill bought from Aberdeen.  He had played 100 games for them as right half but was transferred after (unproven) allegations were made about players betting on the club’s results. Arsenal already had Bob John, Wilf Copping and Jack Crayston, but Tiger competed with them and always played enough games each season to get his medal.  

19 May 1940: John (Jack) McClelland was born in Lurgan and played initially for Genavon before moving to Arsenal where he played as a goalkeeper for four seasons.

19 May 1955: Joe Wade ended his Arsenal career. having played 91 league and cup games for Arsenal. He worked as a school football coach before returning to Hereford as player-manager where he won the Southern League and Cup double. 

19 May 1958:  Jack Crayston resigned as manager.  He managed 77 matches with a win percentage of 42.86, making him more successful than Swindin and Wright, but only 16th in our list of longer serving managers.  He managed Doncaster for three years thereafter, before leaving football totally.

19 May 1960: Arsenal played out a 5-5 draw away to Fortuna Geleen, a club based in Sittard, in the Netherlands. 

19 May 1977: Manuel Almunia born.  He played for Osasuna,  Cartagonova,  Sabadell,   Eibar,   Recreativo and Albacete – the last on loan from Celta de Vigo from whom he joined Arsenal on 14 July 2012 as a backup to Jens Lehmann.

19 May 1980: Liam Brady’s last match for Arsenal, a 0-5 defeat in Game 70 of the season.  The sadness of Brady’s time as an Arsenal player is that he was there during Mee’s declining years, and then the only moderately successful Terry Neill.

19 May 1999: Malaysia 0 Arsenal 2.  Anelka and Petit scored in front of 60,000 fans in a two match end of season visit to Asia.

19 May 2001: On 28 September 2002 Arsenal beat Leeds 4-1 away, to break the record by scoring in 47 consecutive games and making it 22 away games without defeat.The record run had begun on 19 May 2001 with a 3-2 away defeat at Southampton.

19 May 2006: Thierry Henry signed a four year contract at Arsenal, however he was transferred to Barcelona on 25 June 2007.

19 May 2013: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal ended the season with a 10 match unbeaten run . Koscielny scored and Arsenal retained their position in the Champions League while Tottenham fans celebrated an imaginary Newcastle equaliser which would have given them the European place.

19 May 2022, three days before the last game of the 2021–22 season, Arsenal announced that Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos joined  VfB Stuttgart in a permanent transfer.

20 May 1910: The funeral of King Edward VII.  Arsenal’s attempts to sell shares in the re-born club had been forced to stop during the period of mourning, but were allowed to re-start on the following day.  On this day the Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet 

20 May 1926: Amateure FK Austria 3 Arsenal 5 (Parker. Butler, Buchan, Brain, Ramsey).  Herbert Chapman revived the Woolwich Arsenal tradition of post-season European tours to boost the standing of the club in Europe.   This was the fourth of six games.

20 May 1928: Debut for Charlie Jones.  Danish XI 0 Arsenal 1.  Although he had only played with lower league clubs Chapman deemed him to be the man the club needed and he was pitched straight into the first team.

20 May 1936: George Marks, having transferred from Salisbury Corinthians, signed professional forms on this day.  He moved into Arsenal reserves for 1938/9 as an understudy for  George Swindin and Alex Wilson, and played his first major game on 17 April 1939 – a friendly against Tottenham.

20 May 1963: Arsenal 2 Rangers 2.  Jack Kelsey testimonial match.  He had been injured playing for Wales in Brazil and forced to retire.

20 May 1969: Hibernians (Malta) 0 Arsenal 0 (14,000).  The second of two post-season games in Malta.

20 May 1975: Thailand National XI 0 Arsenal 3  (Kidd 2, Cropley).  The fourth and final game of Arsenal’s Far East end of season tour.

20 May 1977: The third and final game of Arsenal’s post season tour ended Roros 0 Arsenal 6 (Rix, Macdonald 3, Price, Stapleton).

20 May 1982: Danny O’Shea made his first appearance in the friendly: Arsenal 3 Trinidad Representative XI 0.  He went on to play six league games for Arsenal.

20 May 1993: Arsenal 2 Sheffield W 1 (FA Cup final replay).  This was the third and final game against Sheff W at Wembley, and the 17th and last cup match of the Cup Double Season as Arsenal became the first ever team to win the League Cup and FA Cup in the same season.   When Linighan scored Jonathan Pearce commentating, pronounced, “The boy from Hartlepool is in the big pool of London football, and he’s become the biggest fish of them all.”  Ian Wright scored to make it 10 FA Cup goals, and five League Cup goals, in total an all time cup scoring record.

20 May 1995: Hong Kong Rangers 0 Arsenal 4.  Paul Davis’ final game for Arsenal.  He played for Brentford before returning to Arsenal as a member of the junior coaching team.

20 May 1997: Matthew Rose joined QPR.   He had played five league games for Arsenal, but played 243 for QPR.  He later became  Head coach of Arsenal’s European Elite Academy.

20 May 2013: Craig Eastmond left Arsenal for Colchester Utd.  He played 49 times for them before moving once again to Yeovil.

20 May 2015: Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0 was not a game to remember except that it was part of a run of 27 games starting on 4 January in which Arsenal only lost three and drew three.  As a result we won the FA Cup and retained our position as a top four club.

20 May 2023: Arsenal lost 1-0 away to Nottingham Forest.  The result meant that having led the league table for much of the year Arsenal had now won just two of their last eight Premier League matches.

21 May 1897: Fergus Hunt joined Arsenal after spells with Mexborough,  Middlesbrough Ironopolis and Darwen. He immediately became Arsenal’s top scorer, getting fifteen goals in each of the 1897-98 and 1898-99  seasons.

21 May 1906: Frank Hill was born in Forfar.  He started with the local league before going to Aberdeen and playing over 100 league games for them as a right defensive midfielder (right half in the parlance of the day) and became known as “Tiger”.

21 May 1915: Despite a news blackout, newspapers started to publish photographs of the chlorine attack by Germany at Ypres (Britain did not retaliate with gas until September).

21 May 1916:  Following concerns that because Germany had introduced “summer time” and were thus one hour ahead of the UK, they would be able to invade before we knew about it, (as was said in the House of Lords) summer time started for the first time ever in the UK.

21 May 1923: Ernest Williamson, Arsenal’s goalkeeper, won the first of two caps in three days becoming Arsenal’s first post war international.  But after conceding fourteen goals in five matches he had been dropped in favour of Dunn.

21 May 1925: Tom Parker won his solitary cap for England while at Southampton, but never gained a single cap while becoming an Arsenal record breaker

21 May 1925:  The day on which it was reported that the new rules about corners were changed.   But it wasn’t, for the rule was actually changed on 15 November 1924!   Curiously the press got it wrong!!  (What are the chances of that?) The issue related to whether a goal could be scored direct from a corner, or not.

21 May 1937:  5000 Basque children refugees from the Spanish Civil War arrived at Southampton seeking sanctuary.  There were no protests against immigration.

21 May 1938:  Hapgood and Bastin played for England with Tom Whittaker as physio against Switzerland.  England lost 2-1 with Bastin getting the England goal from a penalty.  According to the match report “The match was started in the novel way of dropping the ball from an aeroplane, which, after circling round, swooped down on the field. The pilot was a deadly shot, and the ball fell accurately in the centre of the field.”

21 May 1956: Ritchie Powling born in Barking.  He started at Arsenal as an apprentice in September 1971, turning pro in 1973.  He also picked up three England youth caps in the 1973/4 season.

21 May 1966: Henry Cooper fought Mohammed Ali at Highbury for the Heavyweight Championship of the world in front of 45,000.

21 May 2005: Arsenal won the FA Cup with Vieira’s last kick for Arsenal before leaving the club, which he apparently regretted soon after.  Reyes became only the second player ever to be sent off in a Final.

21 May 2015: Jeff Reine-Adelaide transferred from Lens for around £3m along with Yassin Fortune.

21 May 2017: Arsenal ended the league season with a 3-1 win over Everton to make it seven wins in the last eight league games – but it was not enough to retain their record of the second longest ever run in the Champions League.  Only Real Madrid have ever exceeded Arsenal’s record.  Arsenal had one more match however – the Cup Final against Chelsea.

21 May 2018: It is announced that Santi Cazorla is leaving Arsenal. 

22 May 1902: Jack Lambert born.  He played local football for Greasborough and Methley Perseverance, before being rejected by The Wednesday after a trial run.  He then played non-league with Rotherham County, and finally managed to get a run with Rotherham United in the 3rd Division North.  He then became one of our greatest players ever.

22 May 1912: Arsenal played Grazer AK winning 6-0 in the 5th game of a nine match tour of Germany and Austria.

22 May 1914:  Christopher Buckley signed.  He was a regular at centre half during much of that season. During the war he became a farmer, but continued to play wartime football for Arsenal, making 33 appearances.  He was later chairman of Aston Villa. 

22 May 1914: George Pike Weaver’s mineral company closed – significant because Weaver was the leader of the attempted coup at Arsenal in 1892, and the owner of the Invicta Ground from which Arsenal were evicted by Weaver in 1893 – a move that resulted in Arsenal joining the Football League and playing at the Manor Ground.

22 May 1931: After 3 games in Denmark Arsenal moved on and on this day we had Stockholm Combined XI 1 Arsenal 5 (6,000).  Williams, Parkin (2), Sidey and Bastin scored.  

22 May 1946: Leslie Jones transferred to Swansea as a player coach. He then played for Brighton and Hove Albion.  In June 1950 he was appointed manager of Scunthorpe United, their first League manager – and promptly recruited his home club and Arsenal friend Reg Cumner. 

22 May 1953: Paul Marriner born.   He started with Chorley, before turning professional at 20 with Plymouth.  He moved onto Ipswich, worked under Bobby Robson, and became an England international at that time.

22 May 1971: Frank McLintock played his ninth and last game for Scotland.  After retiring from playing, he joined his old club Leicester City as manager in 1977. However, City went through a spell where they had one win in 26 matches and Frank’s tenure was not a happy one.

22 May 1990:John Lukic sold back to Leeds.  In his second spell with Leeds he played 265 games, and won a second championship and a runners’ up medal in the League Cup with them.

22 May 1999: Thailand 4 Arsenal 3.  Kanu got two and Petit the third in this second and final match of a brief Far East tour.

22 May 2009: After Hull accused Fabregas of spitting, being improperly dressed, illegally entering the field of play after the match was over, and Arsène Wenger of not shaking hands, Arsenal were cleared on all counts at a hearing.

22 May 2009: Arsenal 4 Liverpool 1, FA Youth Cup Final first leg.  The team included Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere.  Goals from Sunu, Wilshere, Watt, and Emmanuel-Thomas. 

22 May 2011: Arsenal concluded the season with Fulham 2 Arsenal 2 after consecutive defeats at Stoke and home to Villa.  Arsenal finished 4th, three points off 2nd place.

22 May 2022: Arsenal beat Everton 5-1 in the last day of the season, but Tottenham also won, meaning Arsenal would finish fifth, and thus be without Champions League football in 2022/3 for the sixth year in succession.  Everton had already avoided relegation and had nothing to play for.

23 May 1891: The first press report emerged of the AGM of Royal Arsenal wherein professionalism was proposed.  This was to make Arsenal the first fully professional team in the south (although Luton paid a few of their team earlier in the year).

23 May 1918: Dennis Compton born.  Denis was a cricketer who played football, in contrast to his brother who was a footballer who played cricket.  Both played for Arsenal.

23 May 1923: SK Lyn Oslo 0 Arsenal 0.  Joe Shaw, one of the most important men in Arsenal’s history, who later won the league as Arsenal manager, made his final appearance as player, moving on to become manager of Arsenal Youth Team and then Arsenal Reserves.  He played 309 league and 17 cup games.

23 May 1948 Archie Macaulay won the last of seven caps for Scotland.  He continued to play for Arsenal until 1950 when he moved on to Fulham. 

23 May 1973: Having finished second in the league Arsenal played two overseas friendlies, of which this was the first. Toronto Select 0  Arsenal  1 (George scored).

23 May 1998: Arsenal recording of “Hot Stuff” entered the top 10.

23 May, 2006.  Tomas Rosicky transferred from Borussia Dortmund for £6.8m.  See also here.  Despite numerous injuries he went on to play over 160 times for Arsenal and become captain of his country.

23 May 2011: Ex Arsenal man John Jenson was given a new contract as assistant manager at Blackburn, a club that appeared to be in permanent turmoil after being taken over by a family that seemed to have little knowledge of football.  He was sacked after four months.

23 May 2018: Arsenal signed Karl Jakob Hein from Nõmme United as a goalkeeper in the Academy, on a free transfer.

23 May 2018: Arsenal post “Welcome Unai” notice on their website to welcome the new manager, announce that Asano is to join Hanover 96 on loan and announce partnership with Visit Rwanda.

23 May 2021: Arsenal v Brighton was the first ever league match played by Arsenal on this day.  Arsenal won it to make that five successive wins in the league after five games without a win to end the season.   Previously four friendlies had been played on 23 May, against SK Lyn in 1923 (0-0), the RAF in 1942 (1-1) Japan XI in 1968 (won 3-1) and Toronto Select (won 1-0) in 197.

23 May 2023: Arsenal confirm that Saka had signed a new contract extension.

24 May 1890: Ernest Williamson born.  He was signed by Arsenal from Croydon Common after that club became the only Southern League club that failed to return to football after the cessation of the first world war

24 May 1899: Horace Cope born near Sheffield.  He joined Arsenal in 1926 from Notts County and was a regular player for three seasons before dropping to the reserves as Chapman strengthened his squad.

24 May 1907: As part of their tour of Austria and Germany, Arsenal played Tottenham Hotspur in Vienna.  We won 4-0.

24 May 1912: Arsenal lost an end of season friendly away to Tottenham 0-4.  Although stories were circulating about Arsenal moving away from Plumstead there was no suggestion as yet that Islington would be the destination.

24 May 1919: Daniel Burgess signed from Goldenhill Wanderers and made his league debut on 1 September 1919 in a league match against Liverpool.

24 May 1919: Arsenal played a friendly at home against Tottenham.  This is of note for it has been suggested that bad feeling existed between the clubs due to Arsenal’s election to the first division in preference to Tottenham upon the expansion of the league.  In fact there was no bad feeling as indeed reports in the local newspapers and the playing of this game, show.

24 May 1919: Arsenal signed Daniel Burgess from Goldenhill Wanderers.  He made his league debut on 1 September 1919 in a league match against Liverpool.

24 May 1935: Bernard Joy joined Arsenal as an amateur from Fulham.  He started out with the reserves but played twice for the first team at the end of the 1935/6 season.  By 1937 he was a regular, but still an amateur.

24 May 1939George Male and Wilf Copping made final appearances for England in the 2-0 victory away to Romania.  It was England’s last full international for seven years.  Male finally ended with 19 caps and Copping 20. 

24 May 1941: Arsenal played their final London War Cup game of the season, beating Millwall 5-2.  However Arsenal did not qualify for the London War Cup final having only come fourth in the mini-league. 

24 May 1953: Last appearance for Ray Daniel in a post-season friendly – Arsenal 1 Rapid Vienna 6.  The rigours of the season with the win on the final day were clearly taking their toll.  

24 May 1975: Alan Ball played his 72nd and last game for England as England beat Scotland 5-1.  He was captain of England 30 times.

24 May 2009: Vito Mannone’s first team debut; it finished Arsenal 4 Stoke 1 and  Arsenal ended the season in 4th securing Champions League football once more. The crowd of  60,082 made the average league attendance 60,109 for the season – the highest average home crowd for Arsenal up to that point.

24 May 2010. After a considerable period of rumour Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote denied moving to buy a 15.9% stake in Arsenal.  The matter was dropped by the press within a day and it was all as if they had never made it up in the first place.

24 May 2015: Arsenal 4 WBA 1.  A stunning hattrick from Theo Walcott playing at centre forward and the goal of the season from Wilshere ensured his continuance in that position in the forthcoming cup final, as Arsenal ended the season third.

24 May 2022, Arsenal confirmed that Mohamed Elneny had signed a new contract.

24 May 2023: One year on from his last contract extension Arsenal announced that Mo Elneny had again signed a one year contract extension.

25 May 1914: Both the Football League and the Football Association held their AGMs in London. Henry Norris used the occasion to conclude the formalities of the move of Buckley from Aston Villa to Arsenal for £2500.

25 May 1917: The first daytime aircraft bombing raid on England.  It was an attack on Folkestone and 95 people were killed. 

25 May 1923: Arsenal played a Norwegian XI away as part of their end of season tour, winning 9-2.

25 May 1929: Billy Blyth transferred to Birmingham.  He had played 314 league games for Arsenal – a figure made all the more remarkable given that he started playing for the club in 1914/15 and so lost four seasons to the war.

25 May 1933: Charlie Jones played his last game for Wales in a 1-1 draw with France.  He played for his country four times in all and played one more season for Arsenal before retiring and becoming manager of Notts County.

25 May 1935: Dennis Compton signed professional forms with Arsenal, having joined as an amateur in 1932.  He made his debut in September 1936.

25 May 1937:  Arsenal drew with Gothenburg. 1-1 (Milne scoring) in the first of a five match tour of Scandinavia.

25 May 1944: Joe Wade joined Arsenal as an amateur from Hoxton Manor Boys Club.  He turned professional at the end of the war in June 1945, and played in the FA Cup tie against West Ham in 1946.

25 May 1948:  Charles Satterthwaite died.  He scored Arsenal’s first goal in the first division and was the club’s top scorer in that initial 1st division season.  He played 129 league games and scored 45 goals before retiring from football in 1910.

25 May 1949: Bryn Jones was hit by a policeman during a riot after a match in Brazil against Vasco de Gama, and the resultant injury curtailed his Arsenal career.  He moved on to be player manager of Norwich City.  

25 May 2009: Arsenal won the FA Youth Cup at Anfield with Coquelin and Wilshere in the team, but by 2015 four of the side were “free agents” unattached to any club, and of the others only Kyle Bartley made it to the premier league – with Swansea.

25 May 2016: Granit Xhaka signed for Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach.  He had played 108 times for the club and by the end of the 2018/19 season had played 99 games for Arsenal and 70 for Switzerland.

26 May 1871: Arsenal manager Phil Kelso born. Manager from 1904 to 1908 he was one of the great innovators, paving the way for the major changes of Chapman and Wenger in subsequent centuries, the “Mr Transformation” of the club in the Woolwich days. There is an index of articles about him here.

26 May 1912: Arsenal played Rapid Vienna in match seven of a nine match tour series.   Arsenal won every game (the match was won 8-2).

26 May 1913 Tottenham’s demand for an EGM of league clubs to stop Arsenal’s move from Plumstead to Highbury was defeated at League’s AGM, re-iterating the League’s position from the 1910 AGM that the league regulations gave them no say in where a club played, only what league they were in.

26 May 1915: Arthur Biggs born in Bedfordshire.  He signed for Arsenal as an amateur in October 1933 and played 3 games before moving on to Hearts in Scotland

26 May 1926: In the penultimate game of a six match tour at the end of Chapman’s first season the result was Rapid/Amateure All Stars 0 Arsenal 1 (15,000) (Parker)

26 May 1938 both Ted Drake and Cliff Bastin scored in their final England appearance which ended England 4 France 2.  Ted Drake’s two goals made it six goals in five England games.

26 May 1939: In what Joy described as the most successful tour Arsenal had ever undertaken, Arsenal beat Denmark 6-0 with goals from Kirchen (2) Crayston (2) Lewis and Drury.  It was match six of a seven game tour.

26 May 1957: The first ever assination occurred at a football match, as Ali Chekkal, the prominent Algerian politician who was in favour of the continuing French occupation of Algeria was shot as he left the ground after the French Cup Final.  Toulouse beat Angers 6-3.

26 May 1987: Nigel Winterburn signed from Wimbledon for £400,000.  He went on to be one of the famous back four, playing on the left with Dixon on the right, and with Adams and Bould in the centre.

26 May 1989 Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2.  Arsenal won the league.   Prior to the match the Daily Mail ran the headline “You don’t have a prayer Arsenal” and Brian Moore’s commentary of the game, which was shown live on TV, contained the famous line, “It’s up for grabs now”. Alan Smith’s goal gave him 23 goals in 36 league games.  Michael Thomas (who later played for Liverpool) scored the winner “right at the end”.

26 May 2009: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2.  FA Youth Cup Final second leg, Arsenal winning 6-2 overall.  Coquelin and Wilshere played in the team, Watt and Ayala scored.

26 May 2013: Arsenal Ladies won the FA Cup for the sixth time in eight years.  They won it again in 2014, but then found their days of dominance curtailed (at least until 2019) as other clubs started to invest heavily in their women’s teams.

27 May 1926: Innsbruck Select XI 2 Arsenal 4 (scorers not recorded).  The sixth and final game of Herbert Chapman’s first summer tour.

27 May 1926: Jack Lee signed as a professional from Horden Athletic – one of Chapman’s first signings.  He played his first Arsenal game the following September.

27 May 1931: Following a season in which he scored an amazing 38 goals in just 34 league games Jack Lambert scored four in a 6-1 win over Sweden in Stockholm.

27 May 1933: Alex Wilson purchased from Greenock Morton for £600. He made his league debut the following January for Arsenal and went on to play 89 league and cup games for the club.

27 May 1945: Ernie Tuckett died on active service in an airfield accident whilst serving in the RAF. He was just 31 at the time.  After Arsenal he had moved on to Bradford and Fulham.

27 May 1948: Doug Lishman signed from Walsall for £10,500.  Over the next eight seasons he scored 125 league goals for Arsenal in 226 games, plus another ten goals in the FA Cup.

27 May 1953: Grasshoppers 1 Arsenal 2.  Final game for Freddie Cox DFC and a debut for Dennis Evans as Cliff Holton scored twice.  Cox then moved on to be player coach of West Brom.

27 May 1970: Brian Hornsby joined Arsenal as an apprentice, having been a scholar from the year before.  He became a full professional in September 1971.

27 May 1973: Arsenal 4 Devonshire Colts (Bermuda) 0.  Final game for Peter Marinello.  In July he moved onto Portsmouth, having made just 32 starts in the 1st division.  Some sources quote this game as a week earlier, and others speak of a match in Toronto at this time.  See also here for the events around this game.

27 May 1987 Gervais Lombe Yao Kouassi (Gervinho) born.  He first played professionally for Beveren before moving on to Le Mans and Lille and then Arsenal in 2011.

27 May 1998: Ian Wright and Martin Keown played for England in a 1-0 away victory in a friendly against Morocco.  Wright was injured in the game and dropped out of World Cup squad.

27 May 1998: Despite having started only six games Remi Garde signed a one year extension contract.  John Lukic who had played no league games in the season did the same.  Scott Marshall and Chris Kiwomya however were released

27 May 2011: Robert Pires released by Aston Villa – concluding his final contract in the English football.  He later became an Arsenal ambassador and played in the Indian league.

27 May 2015: Working at the request of FBI agents, the Swiss authorities started to arrest Fifa executives over widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades.  The event was predicted in Untold following the change of the Swiss law the previous year to allow such action.

27 May 2017: Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 to win the FA Cup for a  record 13th time.  It also made Arsene Wenger the manager with the most FA Cup victories in history.  Alexis and Ramsey got the goals, while Moses was sent off for one of the most blatant and appalling dives in the history of the FA Cup.  It also made Arsenal the only team to win the FA Cup three times in four years, twice.  The results meant Arsenal won nine of their final ten games of the season.

28 May 1900: Frank Lloyd transferred to Aston Villa, after just one season with Arsenal in which he played 18 league games and scored three goals.  His transfer date is also quoted as 26 May in some quarters.

28 May 1914: Frank Bradshaw signed from Everton.  He played in the final pre-war season and then in the four seasons immediately after the war totalling 132 league games with 14 goals.

28 May 1928: Arsenal beat IFK Gothenburg away in a post-season friendly 3-1.

28 May 1934: George Allison became the manager of Arsenal.  Upon the sudden death of Herbert Chapman, Allison had acted as middleman between the board and temporary manager Jo Shaw in  the previous season.  Shaw now (seemingly happily) returned to his duties with the reserves at the end of his triumphal season, and Allison took on the role, ending his reign after the first post-war season having won the league twice and the FA Cup.

28 May 1937: Reg Lewis made first senior appearance in a friendly v Copenhagen and scored twice as Arsenal won 4-1.  His scoring knack continued through his time at Arsenal and he ended his career with 103 league goals in 154 games.

28 May 1956: Johnny Petts signed as a professional.  Although he stayed at the club for five years he only made 32 appearances before moving on to Reading.

28 May 1970: Napoli 0 Swindon Town 3.  Anglo Italian Cup Final.  Match abandoned on 79 minutes due to rioting with 100 people injured.

28 May 1976: Jimmy Rimmer made his only appearance for England, in a 3-2 win against Italy in New York. 

28 May 1977: Wimbledon, champions of the Southern League, were elected to the Fourth Division at the expense of Workington.  They went on to beat Liverpool in the cup final in 1988 and stopped Liverpool winning the double.

28 May 1999: Oleg Luzhny joined Arsenal for £1.8m from Dynamo Kyiv. He had been the captain of the side that got to the semi-finals of the 1999 Champions League, beating Real Madrid and Barcelona en route.

28 May 2013: Kyle Ebecilio moved to FC Twente on a free transfer.  He had come to Arsenal from Feyenoord and never played for the Arsenal first team but played for the Netherlands at every level from under 16 to under 21.

28 May 2023: After looking like title winners for much of the season, Arsenal ended the campaign second after a run of poor results near the end.  However on this day Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-0 and received a very powerful show of support as they ended the season with a walk round the pitch after the game was over.

29 May 1899: James Aston signed from Walsall.  He made 11 league and 4 cup appearances in the following season before being transferred to Small Heath in 1900.

29 May 1905: With no players, no supporters, having played no games, and having had an application for membership turned down by the Southern League following objections by Tottenham, Chelsea were granted a place in the Football League.

29 May 1912: Arsenal played their 8th and final post season tour game in 18 days against SpVgg Greuther Fürth .  Arsenal won 6-0.  In 2012/13 the club joined the Bundesliga for the first time.

29 May 1914: Matthew Thomson transferred to Swindon.  He had played 89 league games across six seasons including the first season at Highbury.  For the context see here.

29 May 1919: The astronomer and physicist Arthur Eddington made the observations of a solar eclipse which offered the first practical confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity giving proof that the only scientific understanding of the universe that we have, actually was right.

29 May 1931: Arsenal beat AIK Sweden 5-0 away from home in a post-season friendly.  David Jack got a hat trick.  It was the sixth game of a seven match tour.

29 May 1949:  Arsenal friendly v Flamengo.  It was the first team début for Peter Goring and also the final appearance of Ronnie Rooke.  His final figures were 68 goals in 88 league games. 

29 May 1949: Brian Kidd born.  He signed from Arsenal in 1974 after ten years with Manchester United, and played 77 league games across two seasons before moving on to Manchester City.

29 May 1950: Thomas Rippon (footballing brother of Willis) died.  His story is interesting as an example of how the world worked in the 19th century.  Within six months he moved from being a door to door fruit seller in Sheffield to playing for Woolwich Arsenal – albeit only for the reserves.

29 May 1959: Steve Gatting born in West London.  He signed for Arsenal as an amateur in 1974 and made 50 league starts across three seasons before moving on to Brighton and Hove Albion.

29 May 1968: Sammy Nelson’s first team debut in a 4-0 victory over Japan.  He was one of Bertie Mee’s first signings – and was employed initially in the reserves on the left wing before moving to left back.  

29 May 1981: Andrey Arshavin born to a father who was both an amateur footballer and a writer, including among his works the gloriously titled ‘555 Questions and Answers on Women, Money, Politics and Football’.

29 May 1985:  39 people died as Liverpool fans moved to attack Juventus fans and trapped them against a concrete wall, while waiting for the start of the European Cup Final.  Although only Liverpool was involved in this, all English clubs were subsequently banned from playing European football.  In 1989, after a 5-month trial in Belgium, 14 fans were given 3-year sentences for involuntary manslaughter

29 May 1990: Martin Hayes was transferred to Celtic for £625,000.  He only had one season as a regular in the Arsenal side but in that season scored 19 goals in league 31 starts.

29 May 2014: Arsenal announced that Lukasz Fabianski would leave the club in the summer.  He had just won an FA cup winners’ medal, and had played 78 games, 25 of them without conceding.  He moved to Swansea who were ultimately relegated in 2018.  He then joined West Ham.

29 May 2019: Chelsea 4 Arsenal 1 in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan.  Iwobi scored for Arsenal.  It was his last competitive match for Arsenal as in August he moved to Everton.

30 May 1921: The AGM of the Football Association was held in London.  During the course of the day it was proposed to explore the possibility of holding the cup final at Wembley.  This happened for the first time in 1923.

30 May 1952: Alex Forbes made his 14th and last international appearance.  The result was Sweden 3 Scotland 1.

30 May 1960: The Times published a long piece denouncing the inauguration of the Football League Cup which replaced the Southern Floodlit Cup, while praising the move towards European competitions.  Despite winning the SFC the previous season, Arsenal was one of a handful of clubs that declined to be part of the League Cup.

30 May 1983: George Wood transferred to Crystal Palace.  Having come from Everton he had played 60 games for Arsenal and played 192 for Palace after leaving Highbury.

30 May 1995: Death of Ted Drake – the Arsenal man who in one season scored 42 league goals in 41 games and who once scored seven goals in one league game.  In 1954/5 Chelsea won the league with Ted as manager – an amazing achievement considering that in 1951/2 and 1952/3 they had come 18th, thus just missing relegation. They sacked him in the 1961/2 season but it took them 50 years from Drake’s title, to get another.  

30 May 2000: Lauren Etame Mayer transferred from Mallorca for £7.2m, where he had played 63 league games.   He had started his career in Spain, playing for San Fernando, Sevilla, Levante before Mallorca.   

30 May 2006: Theo Walcott became the youngest England international by appearing in a 3–1 friendly victory over Hungary at Old Trafford aged 17 years and 75 days.

30 May 2013:  Arsenal announced a clearout of 10 players including Arshavin,  Squillaci, Denílson, Mannone, Gervinho and  Djourou.  Gervinho was the real tragedy – a brilliant player who was booed by some members of the Arsenal crowd and who had now had enough.

30 May 2014: Arsène Wenger signed a three year contract extension, presumed by experts to be his last contract with the club before retirement.

30 May 2015: Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0, FA Cup Final.  Walcott, Sanchez, Mertesacker and Giroud scored as Villa had five players booked to Arsenal’s nil. Arsenal became only the second team in the 20th/21st centuries twice to win the Cup two years running.  Arsenal also became the first team in those centuries to score seven in successive cup finals and the most successful FA Cup team of all time with 12 wins.  Arsene Wenger became the most successful FA Cup manager of the last 100 years with six wins but within two years would exceed even his own record.  

31 May 1884: Frank Bradshaw born. Frank was the youngest of eight children, and is recorded as playing for Oxford Street Sunday School, Sheffield Wednesday, Northampton Town, Everton before finally reaching Arsenal.

31 May 1890: Royal Arsenal won a five a side competition in Islington.  It is the first known link between Arsenal and their ultimate long-term home.

31 May 1893: Woolwich Arsenal elected to Division II of the Football League. As part of their attempts to fight those within the club who were opposed to the direction of Woolwich Arsenal, there had clearly been some private negotiations with the League, resulting in Arsenal being the first Football League club in the south.

31 May 1907 Norman Sidey born.  He  joined Arsenal as an amateur from Nunhead (in the Isthmian League) in March 1929 before turning professional two years later in February 1931.

31 May 1915: Zeppelins appeared over London for the first time.

31 May 1920: The Football League and the FA held their AGMs. Hilariously the League overturned their decision of the previous meeting and voted to take over the Southern League Division 1, re-creating it as Division Three.  They further agreed that they would also create a second Division Three for clubs in the north, as soon as enough clubs applied.

31 May 1935: Having re-introduced speed limits on British roads, the government now introduced the driving test for everyone who had not held a licence before this date.

31 May 1937: First appearance of Lawrie Scott.  George Allison changed him from a winger to a right back, and he played in the reserves for two years, until the outbreak of war, at which time he became a Physical Training instructor for the RAF.

31 May 1937: Arsenal beat Copenhagen 5-1 (Scorers Crayston, Davidson, Lewis, Biggs, Nelson).  This was the third match of a five match series taking in Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.

31 May 1941: The wartime season ended with a replay of the Football League War Cup final, at Edwood Park Blackburn.  Arsenal lost 2-1 to Preston in front of 45,000 fans.

31 May 1947: George Allison announced he would retire at the end of the season, ending a 37 year association with the club.  His final act was to write his autobiography: Allison Calling (a title which makes reference to his long-term work as a radio commentator). In the book Allison’s description of Henry Norris (who Allison knew from 1910 onwards) and his style of work contrasts starkly with that in Knighton’s autobiography, and calls into question many of Knighton’s assertions. Ludicrously it is Knighton’s book, written 22 years after he left the club but published within weeks of the Allison book, which is used as the prime source of history by many writers.  Allison, like Chapman before him and Whittaker after him, won two league titles and the FA Cup.   On this day Arsenal beat Everton 2-1

31 May 1961: Peter Storey joined Arsenal as an apprentice. He later wrote a most readable autobiography called “True Storey‘s;  My life and crimes as a football hatchet man,”  

31 May 1967: Don Howe’s final game as a player.  After 342 games for West Brom he had played 70 games for Arsenal and scored one goal.  He then became reserve team coach under Bertie Mee.

31 May 1972: Arsenal played away to Miami Gatos (USA) and won 3-2 in front of a crowd of 4,725.    George, Radford and Kennedy scored.  Quite what the point of this single post-season game, no one knew, but it was typical of the club at the time.

31 May 1980: Alan Sunderland played for England for the only time: Australia 1 England 2.   Brian Talbot won his final cap for England in the same game.

31 May 2013: Arsenal reported that Freddie Ljungberg had taken on an ambassadorial role with the club. 

31 May 2023: The BBC ran a “Who had the youngest average starting XI?”. report.  Arsenal were shown to be 19th, with only relegated Southampton having a younger average age to their starting teams in the season.


The index for each month can be reached through the links below


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