Note: The anniversary file pages have over time been split and split again as they have grown. Please use the index at the end of the anniversary list to find the month you want. A note on sources appears at the end.
This file updated 31 July 2022.
1 August 1834: Slavery was abolished in all British territories
?1 August 1890 Royal Arsenal Committee representatives signed a three years lease on the Invicta Stadium. It was a major step forward for Arsenal, but it ended in near-disaster as the club split between those who wanted professionalism and those who did not, with the non-pro group using the worst type of skullduggery to try and defeat their opponents.
1 August 1956: Alex Forbes transferred to Leyton Orient. He won the title with Arsenal in 1947/8 and 1952/3, and the FA Cup in 1950. However in 1955/6 he had knee cartilage problems and he lost his place to Dave Bowen, moving to Orient before moving on to Fulham and finally and Gravesend & Northfleet.
1 August 1960: The first ever game in the Cup winners cup (which Arsenal won in 1994) was played. It ended ASK Vorwarts 2 Red Star Brno 1. Only ten clubs entered the competition, three of the countries that had promoted the idea of the competition, failing to take part in this first season (Belgium, France and Spain).
1 August 1976: European cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Kanu born. He started with Iwuanyanwu Nationale moving to Ajax and Inter before reaching Arsenal. See here for memorable incident. Here for first game
1 August 1977: Steve Walford signed from Tottenham. He signed with Tottenham in 1974 but he only played twice for them before Terry Neill, who of course himself was at been at Tottenham, signed him for £25,000.
1 August 1980: After 235 league games Liam Brady transferred to Juventus for £514,000. He later played for Sampdoria, Inter, and Ascoli before returning to London to play for West Ham.
1 August 1980: Arsenal revived the old tradition of playing friendlies against Rangers initiated by Rangers, but lost 0-2 It was the 18th game in the series and the first for seven years.
1 August 1982: Lee Chapman signed for Arsenal for £500,000 from Stoke City, for whom he played 99 league games. He lasted just one season, played 23 games and then had one season with Sunderland, the first of 12 post-Arsenal clubs.
1 August 1987: Arsenal beat Celtic 1-5 away in a friendly. Ex-Celtic player Charlie Nicholas scored the first, Samson, Davies, and Martin Hayes on top form got two.
1 August 1999: Arsenal 2 Man U 1. FA Charity Shield at Wembley Stadium. Kanu and Parlour scored. Man U were treble winners the previous season and the win for Arsenal suggested a change in the hierarchy might be at hand.
1 August 2002: Kapfenberg Tri-Team Pre-Season Tournament involved three sides (Arsenal, Panathinaikos and Roma) playing each other in 45 minute matches.
1 August 2003: Michal Papadopulos joined on loan from Banik Ostrava while Johan Djourou from Etoile Carouge arrived on a free. Papadopulos never played for Arsenal and eventually went to Bayer Leverkusen. Djourou played 86 times for Arsenal/
1 August 2006: Armand Traore joined Arsenal from Monaco as a youth player, and graduated to the first team squad the following season. He played in Bergkamp’s testimonial and went on to play 13 league games for Arsenal.
1 August 2008: Stewart Houston returned to Arsenal taking up the role of a scout and watching forthcoming opposition teams. He had worked with Graham at Tottenham at the turn of the century, and worked as first team coach of Walsall.
1 August 2009: Arsenal beat Atlético Madrid in the second Emirates Cup. The development of the concept of the cup coincided with the introduction of Arsenalisation in the stadium.
1 August 2019, Arsenal signed Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé from Ligue 1 club Lille for a club record £72 million.
1 August 2020: Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final, played without a crowd in attendance. Aubameyang got both goals, after Chelsea took the lead. The win extended Arsenal’s record of the most FA Cup wins of any club, and gave Arteta his first trophy as a manager.
2 August 1914, Henry Norris with family and friends continued their touring holiday by entering Belgium, while experiencing what one of the party later described as “a little difficulty”, (referring perhaps to the German invasion).
2 August 1917: Squadron Commander E. H. Dunning became the first pilot to land his aircraft on a ship although he died five days later undertaking the task again.
2 August 1934: Lt Col Sir Henry Norris, the man who rescued the club from bankruptcy, paid for Highbury, brought in Herbert Chapman and created the modern Arsenal was laid to rest in the cemetery at East Sheen.
2 August 1951: Arsenal beat Northern Polytechnic at cricket. George Swindin, the goalkeeper who was later to become manager, took nine wickets.
2 August 1956 Tony Biggs signed as a professional with Arsenal.. He played his first of four games for the club in April 1958, but was transferred to Leyton Orient in December of that year.
2 August 1975, Arsenal, on a low key Scottish tour, lost 2-1 to Dundee with 6950 in the crowd. Cropley, scored the Arsenal goal. But matters were redeemed two days later with the score Aberdeen 0 Arsenal 1, with 10,500 in the ground.
2 August 1994: Arsenal beat Stromsgodset 5-1 in Norway in a pre-season friendly.
2 August 1999: Davor Šuker arrived from Real Madrid for £3.5m; Nic Anelka sold to Real Madrid for around £25m. Davor Šuker scored two in his first game, but it took eight games for another summer arrival (Henry) to score.
2 August 2003: Arsenal drew with Celtic 1-1 away. The BBC report of the game said, “Arsenal also had an unfamiliar face in goal, new signing Jens Lehmann”.
2 August 2006: Kevin Campbell moved from WBA to Cardiff City. It was the final move of the player who made 166 league appearances for Arsenal. He later ran a security firm, was involved in the music industry, and commentated on football.
2 August 2011: Jamie Edge sold to WBA. Although spoken of as being supremely talented he never once played for Arsenal or WBA and during 2013/14 was registered with five separate non-league clubs. By 2018 he was playing for Swindon Supermarine. Interestingly, the Aylesbury United web site says, “To avoid confusion, this player is not currently registered, and has never played for, Aylesbury United FC.”
2 August 2013: Chuks Aneke signed for Crewe on loan for the second successive season. He played 70 league games and scored 20 goals over the two seasons.
2 August 2014: Arsenal played Benfica in the Emirates Cup including Sanogo in the team (who scored his first four Arsenal goals) along with Héctor Bellerín and Joel Campbell. 16 months later Sanogo’s Arsenal career seemed stalled while Bellerin and Campbell were first team regulars.
2 August 2015: Arsenal won the Charity/Community Shield for the 14th time by beating Chelsea 1-0, with a goal from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.
2 August 2022: Bernd Leno, who had made 125 appearances for the club in all competitions, joined Fulham on a permanent transfer.
3 August 1914: As Germany declared war on France, Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, made a speech in the House of Commons expounding the need for war with Germany, and subsequently made his remark that, “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
3 August 1920: While rioting continued in Belfast, there was growing talk about Britain declaring war on Russia in order to “rid Europe of the scourge of communism”
3 August 1965: Arsenal beat Trinidad 3-1 with Eastham, Joe Baker and Sammels scoring.
3 August 1968: Continuing the tradition of playing Rangers pre-season as initiated by Herbert Chapman, Arsenal drew 2-2 at Ibrox.
3 August 1979: Having won the FA Cup Arsenal lost 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw with Ajax in the Amsterdam Tournament
3 August 1998: Scott Marshall transferred to Southampton having played 26 games for Arsenal. He only played twice for Southampton, and one match on loan for Celtic before moving to Brentford, for whom he did play 75 games.
3 August 1991: Arsenal beat Panathinaikos with a David Rocastle goal in the Makita International Tournament at Highbury.
3 August 1998: Scott Marshall transferred to Southampton after playing 26 games for Arsenal as a central defender.
3 August 1999: Thierry Henry signed for Arsenal for the first time, from Juventus for £11m. He played 16 games for Juve and it is said that Arsene Wenger and Henry had regular phone chats in the season before Henry signed for Arsenal.
3 August 2010: Sanchez Watt loaned to Leeds for a season. He had six different loan spells, including two at Leeds, before signing for Colchester in 2013, but was released in 2015. In 2019 he was noted as playing for Wealdstone.
3 August 2012 Benik Afobe loaned to Bolton all season scoring two goals in 20 games. It was not until his sixth and final loan (to MK Dons in 2014) that he found national acclaim, and signed for Wolverhampton W. He most recently moved to Stoke City and from there loaned to Bristol City.
3 August 2013: Arsenal drew 2-2 with Napoli in Emirates Cup
3 August 2014: Arsenal beat Benfica 5-1 in the Emirates Cup with four from Sanogo. Following an anti-BT campaign by Untold Arsenal and others (after BT Sport had made fun of the competition’s points allocation system in 2013 and knocked Arsenal mercilessly in their pre-tournament ads) the corporation suddenly reversed their policy and praised the competition and Arsenal’s quality. It was also the moment when Bellerin shone as a star of the future.
3 August 2018: Chuba Akpom sold to PAOK and João Virgínia sold to Everton. In 2020 Akpom signed for Middlesbrough. Virginia played one game for Everton and then went on loan to Reading where he played twice.
3 August 2020: Alan Ramsdale awarded the No 1 shirt of Arsenal following the departure of Leno the day before.
3 August 2022: Folarin Balogun went on loan to Reims for a season that marked his breakthrough as a top goal scorer. On the same day Charlie Patino was loaned to Blackpool.
4 August 1853: Advertisement tax abolished in Britain.
4 August 1905: Billy Meredith of Manchester City was banned for 18 months for attempting to bribe at least one Aston Villa player to throw a game that City had to win to become champions. It was the first action against a player for match fixing, although when Henry Norris reported a fixed match it was he who was warned by the FA rather than the teams involved.
4 August 1914: The UK declared war on Germany. The FA took no action concerning the future of football but finally met on 1 September and agreed football should continue for the 1914-15 season as the war would be “over by Christmas”.
4 August 1923: At a farewell dinner for Jock Rutherford (who as it turned out, only left the club temporarily) Sir Henry Norris made a speech in which he criticised the press for their unfair commentaries on the club. Being the press they vowed revenge for what the Islington Gazette called the “great offence caused.”
4 August 1938: George Allison broke the UK transfer record, signing Bryn Jones from Wolverhampton for £14,000. Sadly the publicity this brought seemed to play on Bryn Jones’ mind and he never reached the heights expected. See also here.
4 August 1948: Death of David Danskin. Although oft reported as a founding father of Arsenal he was at the club only a short while and although he stood for election to the Committee in 1892 he was not elected because his views on the future of the club did not coincide with the majority, who favoured professionalism.
4 August 1956: The start of the modern style of pre-season games as Arsenal played Stuttgart away. It ended 1-1, and was the only-pre-season game recorded for that season that was open to the public.
4 August 1971: Arsenal 6 Benfica 1. After the match the ref reported Benfica for the behaviour of the entire team having been attacked by several Benfica players.
4 August 1978: Luis Boa Morte born in Lisbon. He signed for Arsenal on 25 June 1997 and went on to make six league starts but appeared 19 times as a sub before moving on to Southampton in 1999.
4 August 1984. Celtic 3 Arsenal 2. Debut for Viv Anderson. Charlie Nicholas was endlessly jeered by Celtic fans, and ended up scoring for Arsenal. Ian Allinson got the other.
4 August 1985: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1. Glenn Hoddle testimonial. Stuart Robson scored.
4 August 1988: Arsenal beat Anundsjo of Sweden 3-1 with two goals by Rocastle and one by O’Leary.
4 August 1991: Sampdoria beat Arsenal 3-2 on penalties to win the Makita Tournament at Highbury.
4 August 1997: Norwich 2 Arsenal 6 in the final friendly prior to the start of the 2nd Double Season. Wright got a hattrick, Grimandi two and Bergkamp one. Arsenal had won six and lost one of the pre-season games. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
4 August 1999: Nic Anelka transferred to Real Madrid for £23,500,000 – a profit of £23m which it is said, paid for the new training complex that Mr Wenger wanted built. Also quoted as 2 August in some reports.
4 August 2003: Gaël Clichy arrived from Cannes apparently after Arsène Wenger travelled to his home town and spent time convincing Clichy’s parents of their son’s potential and confirming he would be part of the first team squad.
4 August 2011: Samuel Galindo loaned to Gimnàstic de Tarragona. Although signed in 2010 he went out on a series of seemingly increasingly unsuccessful loans, with long spells of not playing club football, but twice playing for his country. By 2018 he was reported as playing for St Jose in Bolivia.
4 August 2013: Arsenal lost to Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup. BT Sport made much of their inability to do the maths to work out who wins the trophy and spent their coverage of the match making fun of Arsenal and the competition. After threats of a boycott by Arsenal fans the station suddenly reversed its stance but never regained its credibility.
4 August 2014: Benik Afobe joined MK Dons on a season long loan. However such was his success (including a highly publicised performance in knocking Man U out of the league cup) that he was sold to Wolverhampton before the end of the season. He joined Stoke in 2019.
4 August 2015: Chuba Akpom loaned to Hull City for the season. He played 35 times and scored three goals to help Hull to a play off place, having come fourth in the league. In 2018 he moved to PAOK.
4 August 2016: Wojciech Szczęsny loaned to Roma for the season. In 2017 he joined Juventus as their first choice keeper winning the league with them in 2018 and 2019, playing in the team alongside C. Ronaldo.
4 August 2019, Arsenal lost 2-1 to Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
4 August 2019: Takuma Asano left the club to join Serbian club Partizan for a £900,000 transfer fee. In his three years at the club, Asano did not play at all for Arsenal.
5 August 1914: The general mobilisation of troops was ordered. The final member Henry Norris’ touring party in Holland managed to get the party’s car on a boat and returned safely to England.
5 August 1946: Ian Buchanan McPherson joined from Notts County. He had never played for County, and had only been a youth player, and came in part exchange for Horace Cumner on the same day.
5 August 1961: Johnny MacLeod made his debut in a friendly v Middlesbrough, having played 101 games for Hibs. He had been signed for £40,000 – a record for a winger, and became a regular for the next three seasons.
5 August 1967: Continuing the tradition of playing the club that for many years owned shares in Arsenal (and at this point still did), a pre-season friendly was held between the two sides. Arsenal 3 Rangers 0.
5 August 1968: Oleg Luzhny born in Kiev. He started out playing for Torpedo Lutsk, and after a brief spell with SKA Karpaty Lviv moved to Dynamo Kyiv in 1989, captaining the side that got to the semi-finals of the 1999 Champions League, beating Real Madrid and Barcelona en route.
5 August 1970: First ever penalty shoot out to settle a match occurred in England. It was known as the “Settling rule” and occurred in Hull 1 Man Utd 1 in the Watney Mann Invitation Cup. The clubs involved were the two top scoring teams from each division of the previous season, excluding those who had qualified for Europe. The first player to miss a penalty in a penalty shoot out in England was Dennis Law.
5 August 1977: The ever backwards looking Football League backed the Football Association’s ban on sponsors’ advertising on player’s shirts. However, non-league clubs were permitted to show sponsor’s names on their players’ shirts
5 August 1978: Having just beaten Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal moved on to the Netherlands for a game against PSV on 5 August, which they lost 2-0.
5 August 1981: Last game for Sammy Nelson v AIK Stockholm. He was displaced by Kenny Sansom, and moved on to Brighton, having played 339 league games and scored 12 goals. It was a goalless draw and the start of a 4 match pre-season tour.
5 August 1983: Last game for Peter Nicholas. He had two full seasons as a regular for Arsenal but a series of injuries in the 1982/3 season reduced his potential and he left in October 1983 to re-join Crystal Palace for £150,000.
5 August 1986. David O’Leary Testimonial v Celtic. Arsenal lost 0-2. Quite remarkably he still had seven more seasons left in him at Arsenal.
5 August 1987: Brighton 2 Arsenal 7 Goalscorers included Nicholas (3) and Hayes (2).
5 August 1998: Nelson Vivas arrived from Lugano for £1.6m. However with Dixon and Winterburn (and later Silvinho and Luzhny) in the squad, Vivas’ main function was always to be a backup and 40 of his 69 appearances were as a substitute.
5 August 2003: In the final pre-season game Arsenal beat Rangers 3-0 at Ibrox to give 3 wins, 4 draws and 1 defeat in the series. Edu, Lauren and Campbell scored.
5 August 2011: Kyle Bartley loaned to Rangers playing 24 times for the club. During his time at Rangers the club came second in the Premier League, but were then demoted to the 3rd division as the club was wound up.
5 August 2012: A pre-season match in Abuja, Nigeria was planned then postponed, and eventually seemingly scrapped as a project.
5 August 2016: Kelechi Nwakali transferred to Arsenal from Diamond Football Academy for around £3m. After playing on loan for MVV Maastricht, VVV Venlo and Porto B (in 2018/19) he returned to Arsenal. In 2019 he played two games for Huesca in Spain who he had joined on a 3 year deal.
5 August 2016: Stefan O’Connor loaned to Maastricht for the season. In 2017 he signed for Newcastle but suffered a severe injury soon after. He was still with Newcastle in 2020 but has never played for them.
5 August 2016: Julio Pleguezuelo loaned to Mallorca for the season. In 2019 he signed for FC Twente.
5 August 2016: Arsenal beat Viking 8-0 in Stavanger as a warm up to the match against Manchester City in Norway two days later.
6 August 1923: Arsenal published its annual report showing a profit for the year of £5000. That would be over a quarter of a million pounds in today’s money just based on inflation. But £5000 in 1923 was also the world record for a transfer which by 2018 was £198m, so in reality Arsenal was doing incredibly well.
6 August 1926: Harry Woods transferred to Luton. Although he had played regularly under Knighton, Chapman did not use him at all, and he moved on after a season in the reserves.
6 August 1926: John Clack, who had transferred to Arsenal from Bo’ness was transferred to Luton after a total of six appearances.
6 August 1930: Leslie Compton signed as an amateur. Of the brothers he was the one who was a footballer who played cricket, as opposed to Dennis who was the reverse.
6 August 1936: An underground explosion at the Wharncliffe Woodmoore Colliery in South Yorkshire resulted in 58 men losing their lives.
6 August 1945: First atomic bomb was dropped.
6 August 1966: Rangers 2 Arsenal 0 – continuing the tradition started under Chapman of the club that held shares in Arsenal (Rangers) playing against Arsenal.
6 August 1977 Pat Jennings signed for £45,000. He had played 591 games for Tottenham but his club seemed to think that at 32 he was too old to continue. Also cited as several other dates up to 11 August.
6 August 1983: Robin van Persie born. According to Jonathan Northcroft, a Times journalist, Van Persie joined SBV Excelsior’s youth squad when he was five, but left at the age of 15, due to the relationship between the coach and his mother, and signed for Feyenoord.
6 August 1989: Arsenal beat Independiente in the Zenith Data Systems Challenge Trophy in Miami but had Gus Caesar and Gary Lewin sent off.
6 August 2007: Ryan Garry joined Bournemouth. He had won the youth cup in 2001 and played in the first game of the “49” but then got shin splints, and it was thought he would never play again. He did play for Bournemouth, and became under 13 coach for Arsenal.
6 August 2008: Arsenal beat Huddersfield 1-2 for the Chapman Cup with goals from Sanchez Watt and Nacer Barazite. Some reports suggest Chapman won triple league trophies with each club, but actually he achieved this with neither.
6 August 2010: Fàbregas announced he “will be 100% focused on playing for Arsenal” after a lot of transfer speculation. He did survive the season, playing 36 games all told, but on 15 August 2011 signed for Barcelona.
6 August 2016: Ilias Chatzitheodoridis released by Arsenal and joined Brentford on a free transfer. On 23 July 2018, Chatzitheodoridis returned to Greece to join Panathinaikos again on a free transfer.
6 August 2019: Laurent Koscielny left Arsenal to join Ligue 1 club Bordeaux for a reported £4.6 million transfer fee. Koscielny had spent nine years at Arsenal playing 255 times.
7 August 1898: James Ramsay born. He joined Arsenal from Kilmarnock (with whom he had won the Scottish cup) in February 1924 for £1775 – one of many examples of Leslie Knighton spending over £1000 on a player, despite saying in his autobiography Henry Norris forbade all such transfers.
7 August 1898: John Dick signed from Airdrieonians, and Woolwich Arsenal was his second and last club. He was just about the club’s first “stalwart”.
7 August 1898: Jim Devlin transferred to Airdrie as part of the John Dick deal. He only played one game for Arsenal but his transfers involving Arsenal, Tottenham, Millwall, Sunderland and Airdrie suggest some strange activities in the background.
7 August 1900: Frank Ransom joined Arsenal after a trial period. He played only one game for Woolwich Arsenal on 26 December 1903, away to Leicester Fosse in what was Arsenal’s promotion season from the second division. He stayed with Arsenal until 1905 when he moved to Southend United and then Crystal Palace. Although many say he was Irish, this seems not to be the case.
7 August 1910: Alf Common signed. The move can be seen as something of a publicity coup for chairman Henry Norris, as Common had been the first £1000 player and at the time of his signing he was famous throughout football.
7 August 1930: It was a time of significant doom and gloom as unemployment broke through the two million mark.
7 August 1968: Vince Bartram born in Birmingham; he started as a footballer with 4th division Wolverhampton Wanderers. After a series of loans he moved to Bournemouth in 1991, playing over 100 games under the management of Harry Redknapp.
7 August 1973: Freddie Cox died aged just 52 – he had won the cup with Arsenal in 1950. After retiring from playing he returned as a manager, winning promotion with Gillingham. After working with Bournemouth he retired from football in 1970.
7 August 1982: Tony Adams first appearance, a friendly away to Colchester. He had signed as a schoolboy and played his first league game on 5 November 1983 and went on to become “Mr Arsenal”.
7 August 1991: Arsenal beat Watford in a friendly; Ray Parlour’s first game. Siggi Jonnson’s last game. Ray played 339 league games, Siggi just 8.
7 August 1993: Eddie McGoldrick’s first game; the Charity Shield match v Man U (1-1). He had transferred from Crystal Palace and before that Kettering, Nuneaton and Northampton.
7 August 1997: Christopher Wreh joined from AS Monaco for £300,000 where he had played under Arsene Wenger. He played just 13 games for Monaco and 33 on loan with Guingamp.
7 August 1999: Thierry Henry’s first appearance – as a sub in Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1 on the opening day of the season. He had scored 3 goals in 16 for Juventus, and 20 in 105 for Monaco and did not consider himself a natural goalscorer.
7 August 2000: Guy Demel joined from Nîmes for whom he had played one game. He never played for Arsenal and moved to Borussia Dortmund winning the Bundesliga in his first season. He later played for WHU and totalled 302 games for six clubs after leaving Arsenal.
7 August 2000: After losing both games in the Ajax tournament Arsenal went to Scotland and beat Dunfermline 0-3, in front of 10,330 for the opening of the new stand at East End Park. Vieira, Henry and Kanu returned, Robert Pires was on show, but there was still no Dennis Bergkamp.
7 August 2002: Gilberto Silva joined from Atlético Mineiro for £4.5m despite Atlético Mineiro being placed on a transfer embargo because of unpaid wages and difficulties getting a work permit. Prior to coming he had twice given up football to work in a sweet factory due to financial difficulties at home.
7 August 2005 : Arsenal lost to Chelsea in the Community Shield at the Millennium Stadium in Arsenal’s 19th appearance. Fabregas scored for Arsenal and after the match Mr Wenger called Chelsea a long-ball team.
7 August 2009: Håvard Nordtveit loaned to Nuremberg for the season. At the end of the loan he moved on to Borussia Mönchengladbach where he became a considerable success, playing 120 games in his first four seasons with them.
7 August 2009: Arsenal TV on the Setanta network closed as the digital channel went out of business in the UK having failed to take on Sky.
7 August 2012: Santi Cazorla joined Arsenal from Málaga. On 3 August Untold Arsenal had written “This could be a player we’ll love and love again.” For once we got it right!
7 August 2014: Johan Djourou was sold to Hamburg for a fee of around £2.5m after 86 league games for Arsenal, and loan spells at Birmingham, Hanover and Hamburg.
7 August 2015: Serge Gnabry was loaned to WBA but bizarrely only made one start for them with the manager the eccentric Tony Pulis complaining the player was not fit. Eventually Arsenal withdrew him from the club. He later signed for Bayern Munich. Pulis was later ordered by the courts to pay £3.7m damages to Crystal Palace after he lied to the club about his future intentions.
7 August 2016: Arsenal concluded a pre-season without their major stars who had been involved in the Euros, with a 3-2 victory over Manchester City. Chuba Akpom scored for the fourth match in a row.
7 August 2018, Alisher Usmanov announced that he would accept an offer from Stan Kroenke to buy his 30% stake in Arsenal for £550 million, in a deal that would allow Kroenke to take full control of the club.
7 August 2018: Calum Chambers loaned to Fulham for a season.
7 August 2019: , Carl Jenkinson left Arsenal to join Nottingham Forest for a £2 million transfer fee.
8 August 1917: it was formally announced that Captain Sir Henry Norris (chairman of Arsenal) had been promoted to Lt Colonel in the British Army (thus by-passing the rank of major), and had been made Deputy Director of Recruiting in support of the war effort. This promotion reveals the level of service he delivered to his country as he had risen from no rank to Lt Colonel in four years and been knighted just a couple of months earlier.
8 August 1919: The third (and final) Anglo-Afghan war ended and Britain prepared to grant independence.
8 August 1923: The wonderful Jimmy Brain was signed. Having had an unsuccessful trial with Cardiff, he became a miner playing part time for Ton Pentre. The signing suggests that the manager’s network of scouts had not been forcibly wound up by Sir Henry Norris as Knighton later suggested. Brain was kept on by Chapman, playing 204 league games for the club.
8 August 1962: Bristol Select v Arsenal – Joe Baker’s first game having signed for £70,000 from Torino. He stayed for four years and for three of these was Arsenal’s top scorer.
8 August 1977: Jimmy Rimmer played his last game v Aldershot in a pre-season friendly having played 124 leagues, before moving on to Aston Villa with whom he won the European Cup, for the second time (having won it with Man U)
8 August 1978: Returning to the UK after an overseas tour Arsenal played Celtic in Glasgow and won 3-0, Stapleton getting one goal, and the other two being own goals.
8 August 2001: Death of Paul Vaessen. He had been a drug addict for several years and had a significant amount of drugs in his bloodstream at the time of his death. His passing went unrecorded in the local paper.
8 August 2004: Arsenal 3 Man U 1 Charity Shield. Gilberto Silva, Reyes, and Silvestre scored, and Reyes was awarded the “man of the match accolade”
8 August 2006: Tomas Rosicky first game v Dinamo Zagreb. He transferred from Borussia Dortmund for whom he had played 149 league games.
8 August 2009. At the AISA AGM, held in Highbury House, the Arsenal History Society was established as a body in its own right within AISA. It quickly launched a series of books which transformed our understanding of Arsenal’s history correcting numerous errors that had previously been taken as fact. This page is an example of our work!
8 August 2011: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed from Southampton for £12m. He had played 36 games for Southampton in the 2010/11 season.
8 August 2012: Park Chu Young given squad number 30. In three years at Arsenal he only played one league game.
8 August 2013: Gervinho sold to AS Roma after merciless barracking by the anti-Wengerians – descendents of the detested boo-boys of the Chapman era. He played 46 league games with Arsenal in two seasons.
8 August 2016: Mesut Özil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud returned to Arsenal long after the rest of the team, having played through to the final of Euro 2016. It was announced that all three would be missing from the squad for the opening match of the season as would be Mertersacker who had been injured in the summer and would be out for “months”. He did however return to play brilliantly in the cup final in May.
8 August 2019: Arsenal signed left-back Kieran Tierney from Celtic for £25 million fee and, three hours later, centre-back David Luiz from Chelsea for £8 million transfer fee. Alex Iwobi joined Everton for £35 million, while Eddie Nketiah joined Leeds United on a season-long loan.
8 August 2021: Arsenal lost to Tottenham, having previously lost to Chelsea, to finish bottom of the pre-season MIND tournament. This contrasted heavily with a 4-0 defeat of Chelsea in a pre-season tournament in July 2022, suggesting the fortunes of the clubs had changed somewhat.
8 August 2022: Torreira was transferred to Galatasaray for an undisclosed fee.
9 August 1757 Thomas Telford, after whom the town is named, and one of the greatest engineers in British history, was born.
9 August 1911: A temperature of 36.7°C was recorded in Northamptonshire – a UK record not beaten in the UK until 1990. By 25 July 2019 the record had risen to 38.7°C
9 August 1914: Joe Mercer born. He first played for Ellesmere Port Town before going to Everton in 1932 where he won the League in 1938/9. After the war he was captain of the 1948 title winning side.
9 August 1920: With the government and its media allies discussing and invasion of the USSR to take out the communist government, the Labour Party, empowered having made enormous gains in the post-war local elections, but also anxious not to lose supporters to the Communist Party, announced it would call for a general strike if war was declared.
9 August 1939: Lionel Smith signed for Arsenal, just before the outbreak of war. He did however play for the club 162 times after the war, and six times for England, later player seven games for Watford before managing Gravesend and Northfleet from 1955 to 1960.
9 August 1942: Start FC was a team made up primarily of ex-Dyanmo Kiev players during the second world war while Kiev was occupied by the Nazis. On this day Start beat Flakelf, a German team, 5-3. The team was sent to a labour camp and five were shot. A film of the episode was made later, but was not historically accurate.
9 August 1944: George Armstrong born. He trained as an electrician, being rejected as a footballer both by Newcastle and Grimsby before joining Arsenal as a youth player in 1961 and made his first start aged 17.
9 August 1955: Leslie Compton benefit match: Arsenal played the MCC at cricket exactly as his brother had done for his benefit. In 1947/8 he was a near ever-present for the remainder of the season, as Arsenal won the First Division title and Compton finally earned a top-class honour.
9 August 1961: Terry Anderson signed as a professional. He had come onto the groundstaff in 1959 and made his debut in 1963 and played 25 league games for the club before moving to Norwich City in 1965.
9 August 1972: Alex Graham died aged 82. He finished his playing career playing for Folkestone FC in the Southern League and later became Brentford assistant manager.
9 August 1977: Mikael Silvestre born in Chambray-lès-Tours, and started playing football with the Rennes Football Academy, launching his league career with the French club in the 1995/96 season.
9 August 1990: Death of Joe Mercer, on his birthday. His final managerial post was with Coventry City and as a stand-in manager for England. He became an OBE in 1976, and sadly suffered from Alzheimer’s in later life.
9 August 1997: Leeds Utd 1 Arsenal 1. Ian Wright scored, Overmars, Petit and Grimandi all started their first game. Game 1 of the 2nd Double Season The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3. The start of a 12 game unbeaten run. For pre-season see here
9 August 1998: Arsenal beat Man U 3-0 in Charity Shield, winning it for the ninth time. Overmars, Wreh and Anelka scored.
9 August 2017: Having left Arsenal in 2003 and then playing for Rangers, Charlton, Blackburn, Ipswich and Everton, Francis Jeffers signed for Sheffield Wednesday, played in a 1-4 defeat to Ipswich who must have been glad they hadn’t got him any more, and got injured.
9 August 2011: Ryo Miyaichi was granted a work permit, but only ever played one league game for Arsenal. He went on loan to Feyenoord, Bolton, Wigan, and FC Twente. In 2021 he moved to Yokohama F. Marinos
9 August 2013: Ignasi Miquel loaned to Leicester for the season, and played seven league games for them before transferring to Norwich in 2014.
9 August 2014: Despite being injured, Thomas Vermaelen was sold to Barcelona for around £15m. He was not fit to play for his new team until March 2015. In the end he played just one league game in his first season with Barcelona.
9 August 2018: Lucas Pérez sold to West Ham after playing just 11 games for Arsenal.and 35 for Deportivo La Coruña on loan. He went to West Ham for one season and then in 2019 moved again to Alavés.
10 August 1916: The official documentary propaganda film The Battle of the Somme was premièred in London. In the first six weeks of general release 20 million people viewed it. However it was withdrawn as the story began to circulate that the dead bodies in the film were not soldiers acting dead but actual dead soldiers. Protests were heard from relatives who had already had to suffer the news that the War Office no longer had the capability to return bodies home to their families, thus not allowing them to hold funerals.
10 August 1946: Japan surrendered to the allies to mark the effective end of the second world war.
10 August 1961: Colin Pates born. He started out at Chelsea in 1979, and eventually became their captain as they gained promotion from the second division in 1984.
10 August 1968: Arsenal’s League programme kicked off with an away fixture at Tottenham. Arsenal won 2-1. Radford scored, the other was an og. 56,280 in attendance.
10 Arsenal 1976: Malcolm MacDonald made his debut v Grasshoppers in a friendly. He had played 187 games for Newcastle scoring 95 goals in the league, having previously scored 49 in 88 games for Luton Town. On the same day Eddie Kelly left the training camp with a hamstring injury.
10 August 1977: Don Howe returned as coach under Terry Neill as manager, six years after leaving Arsenal as reserve team coach. He had been at WBA, Leeds and Galatasaray in the intervening years.
10 August 1980: Partizan Belgrade v Arsenal, last game for Paul Barron. He moved on to Crystal Palace and played under the management of Terry Venables but the club were relegated in 1980/1. He then joined West Bromwich Albion in December 1982.
10 August 1984: Iraklis Salonika 1 Arsenal 3 (Anderson, Davis, Allinson). The second of five pre-season friendly games.
10 August 1985: Arsenal 1 Portsmouth 0 (Allinson). The last friendly in a low key pre-season in which only the Glen Hoddle Testimonial against Tottenham had raised the temperature – and that by not much. After, Arsenal started the league programme with just one win in four.
10 August 1986: Tommy Caton’s last game away to Shamrock Rovers. With a new partnership of O’Leary and Adams there was no longer a place for him (or for Martin Keown) and he moved on.
10 August 1987: Tottenham Hotspur 3 Arsenal 1. (Adams). After scoring 19 in the four previous friendlies this final game of the pre-season was a let down and a warning as the season began with two defeats and a goalless draw in the first three matches and it was clear that more players (or a different coach) were needed.
10 August 1990: In the Makita Tournament (Wembley) the score was Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 2 (Limpar, Campbell). That made it five successive wins in the pre-season but Arsenal lost the next day to Sampdoria.
10 August 1991: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0 in Charity Shield at Wembley. Final appearance of Andy Cole. This was Arsenal’s twelfth Charity Shield appearance and Tottenham Hotspur’s sixth.
10 August 1992: Peterborough 2 Arsenal 4 (Campbell, Smith, Merson, Limpar). A bit of a relief after Arsenal had only scored five in the previous four games against very modest opposition.
10 August 1994: Vince Bartram signed from AFC Bournemouth. He had played 132 games for Bournemouth, but went on to play just 11 games for Arsenal.
10 August 1995: Arsenal 0 Internazionale 0. By the time of this game, arranged as part of the Bergkamp transfer there was talk of Arsenal being a title winning side. Which was followed by the same papers presenting comments such as “Arsenal look at least two players short of the finished article, especially in midfield where the old failing, a lack of creativity, was again apparent.” (The Independent).
10 August 1996: Ipswich Town 1 Arsenal 1. This meant five pre-season games without a victory. There was talk over Rioch not being happy with the transfer fund available (but would you give more money to a man who had failed to make any impact with the team available?)
10 August 1999: Fabian Cabellero on loan from Cerro Porteño of Paraguay moved on and eventually made his mark with Dundee for whom he played 128 games from 2000 to 2004.
10 August 2003: Arsenal 1 Man U 1 in Charity Shield. Arsenal returned 8,000 of their ticket allocation. Arsenal lost on penalties in what was Lehmann’s first competitive match. Thierry Henry scored.
10 August 2003: The Independent on Sunday predicted Arsenal would finish 5th, despite the club finishing in the top two for the last five years while the Observer had Arsenal to win the league. The Sunday Times predicted Arsenal to come third. But we all know what happened.
10 August 2004: Francis Jeffers was transferred to Charlton after 8 goals in 38 games for £2.6m (also cited as 12 August in some publications)
10 August 2008: Marc Overmars came out of retirement for one season with Go Ahead Eagles, the club with whom he had been technical director since retiring from playing in 2004.
10 August 2010: Kyle Bartley loaned to Sheffield U. He played 35 games for them in two separate loan spells through the season before moving on to a second loan period with Rangers.
10 August 2013: Marouane Chamakh sold to Crystal Palace. He had played 40 league games for Arsenal and scored eight goals.
10 August 2013: In a somewhat unexpected result Arsenal beat Man City 3-1 in a friendly. Perez appeared for Arsenal, and there was criticism of the fact that the player did not have a work permit – although he could not have applied for one prior to the game.
10 August 2014: Arsenal beat Man City 3-0 at Wembley to win the Community Shield. It was Arsenal’s 20th appearance in the Shield match and their 13th win. Cazorla (21), Ramsey (42), Giroud (61) scored for Arsenal.
10 August 2020: Under 23 players, Zech Medley loaned to Gillingham and Zak Swanson loaned to MVV Maastricht.
11 August 1923. It was common at this time to play just two warm up matches prior to the season – in Arsenal’s case the Reds against the Blues (primarily the expected first team against the reserves.) This was the first of these two for the 1923/4 season, with the second a week later. It was noted by the paper that Sir Henry Norris attended both, despite his recent illness. Arthur Bourke (“Norseman” in the Gazette, and a famous ex ref) reported the pitch looked in fine condition.
11 August 1947: Don Roper signed from Southampton (See background article here). He had played 40 games for Southampton who did not want to let him go. He went on to play 297 league games for Arsenal.
11 August 1952: Arsenal played the MCC at Cricket, at Highbury.
11 August 1953. Danny Clapton signed by Tom Whittaker as an amateur, having previously played for Leytonstone. His first game was on Christmas Day 1954, a 1-0 win over Chelsea.
11 August 1956: Arsenal played the reserves (Reds v Blues – see also 1923)) in a pre-season game. These games are not well recorded in Arsenal’s history, and it was probably soon after this that the habit of running this type of pre-season warm up (which dates back to the 19th century) was stopped.
11 August 1973: The first of a two game tour of Norway ended Brann 0 Arsenal 2 (Ball, Radford getting the goals)
11 August 1977: Jimmy Rimmer sold to Villa. He had been displaced in goal at Arsenal by Pat Jennings and stayed at Aston Villa until 1983 playing 229 games, and winning the league in 1981 and European Cup in 1982.
11 August 1979: Arsenal lost 3-1 to Liverpool in the Charity Shield. The crowd of 92,000 was Arsenal’s highest ever for a charity shield game. It was also Arsenal’s first appearance in the Shield since 12 October 1953. See here for the review of the season.
11 August 1982: A tribunal forced Arsenal to pay £500,000 for Lee Chapman after offering £100,000 for the player. It was widely reported that Arsenal were totally shocked by the adjudication, and by the fact they were not able to appeal.
11 August 1990: The second game in two days at Wembley Stadium in the Makita Tournament. Sampdoria 2 Arsenal 0
11 August 1993: Colin Pates transferred to Brighton after a loan move, having made just 16 league starts for Arsenal.
11 August 1997: Arsenal 2 Coventry 0. 2nd league game of the 2nd Double Season, and part of the 12 match opening unbeaten run. Wright scored the goals leaving him one short of Bastin’s goalscoring record. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
11 August 2001: Arsenal had started the pre-season playing Boreham Wood and seven games later on this day finished by playing Barnet. The result was Barnet 1 Arsenal 6 (Ljungberg, Cole, Bergkamp, Henry, Vieira, Wiltord)
11 August 2002: 23 years to the day after Arsenal played Liverpool in the Charity Shield, Gilberto Silva played his first competitive match for Arsenal (after the usual pre-season tour) against v Liverpool in Community Shield. Gilberto scored the only goal. For context see here.
11 August 2003: Ahead of the Unbeaten Season, Paul Merson on BBC TV said Arsenal were favourites because they had the “best players … If they all remain fit week-in week-out then they will not be beaten.” In those days it seems he knew something about football.
11 August 2005: Alex Song came to Arsenal on loan from Bastia for whom he had played 32 games. He played five goals during the loan spell, and then signed for the club later leaving for Barcelona in 2012.
11 August 2015: Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez loaned to Wolverhampton Wanderers for the season. He played 13 league games for the club in this, his fourth loan.
11 August 2022: Pablo Mari loaned to AC Monza.
12 August 1917: Frank Boulton born. He started out with Bristol City, before moving on to Bath City, from where he was transferred to Arsenal for £700 in October 1936. He then played in the 1937/8 title winning team
12 August 1933: Winston Churchill made his first speech warning of the dangers of German rearmament.
12 August 1949: In a fitting benefit match for Dennis Compton Arsenal played Middlesex county cricket club… at cricket… at Highbury. Exactly as his brother did in 1955.
12 August 1977: First appearance of Pat Jennings in a friendly v Luton. Reportedly he played for the under 18 team of Shamrock Rovers while aged 11, and then moved across to Gaelic football returning to Association Football with Newry Town before moving to Watford in the third division in 1963. And then Tottenham.
12 August 1978: In the final pre-season friendly Arsenal played a 1-1 home draw with Crystal Palace, Stapleton scoring.
12 August 1984: Armenia Bielefeld (West Germany) 0 Arsenal 1 (Anderson). The third of five pre-season games.
12 August 1989: Arsenal lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the Charity shield. Arsenal had won the league in the last couple of minutes of the season, but Liverpool got a tiny amount of revenge.
12 August 1994: Goalkeeper Alan Miller transferred to Middlesbrough for £500,000. He played just nine games for Arsenal and had three separate loan spells before going on to play 57 times for Middlesbrough.
12 August 1996: After four consecutive pre-season defeats against Birmingham, Celtic, Rangers and Fiorentina, Bruce Rioch was sacked as Arsenal manager. The only victory came in the opening game against St Albans City on 19 July – 6-0.
12 August 1996: Stewart Houston took over the management of Arsenal and immediately oversaw a 1-3 away defeat in a pre-season friendly against Northampton. He later left to be manager of QPR with Rioch as his assistant.
12 August 2002: Anyone who ever argued with the notion that the FA was made up of control freaks had their defence of the Association blown away as they demanded to see advance copies of Roy Keene’s autobiography on this day. They subsequently gave Keene a five match ban – probably the first player ban for writing – although Henry Norris had been threatened with a life ban over a match report he wrote suggesting a game had been fixed.
12 August 2004: Francis Jeffers transferred from Arsenal to Charlton after a period on loan to Everton. He had 11 clubs in all, retiring in 2014 before moving into coaching with Everton.
12 August 2007: Arsenal continued their unbeaten run from the end of the previous season by beating Fulham 2-1 in the opening day’s game; Van Persie and Hleb scoring. Arsenal played 19 more games before facing defeat – in the Champions League.
12 August 2012: Arsenal beat Koln 4-0 in the final pre-season friendly having lost to Man C and drawn with Kitchee with the match in Nigeria being cancelled.
12 August 2015: Following goalkeeper Josh Vickers’ release on 10 June 2015, he signed for Swansea City.
12 August 2018: Unai Emery’s first league game as Arsenal manager – against the reigning champions Manchester City. Arsenal lost 2-0.
12 August 2022: Academy player Brooke Norton-Cuffy was awarded a professional contract with Arsenal
13 August 1888: John Logie Baird, the inventor of the television, was born
13 August 1910: Florence Nightingale died.
13 August 1911: Rioting took place in Liverpool as police and soldiers broke up a peaceful meeting of striking transport works. Two days later two men were shot dead in the city by the military drafted in to keep the peace.
13 August 1920: The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act was passed meaning that IRA activists could be tried by court martial rather than in the criminal courts, and three days later a new Firearms Act was passed in an attempt to restrict the use of weapons – particularly those that had been retained by soldiers returning from the first world war
13 August 1934: Ken Friar born. He started with Arsenal aged 12 and rose through the club to become Company Secretary in 1973. During this time, he took part in discussions between Arsenal and Tottenham about a stadium share at Alexandra Palace. Between 1983 and 2000 he was MD of Arsenal.
13 August 1938: A Reds v Blues game (Arsenal vs Arsenal Reserves) took place at Highbury, but no record of the score is available.
13 August 1945: Japan surrendered to the allies, thus ending world war II
13 August 1958: Arsenal beat Enschede Sportsclub in the Netherlands 2-1 in a pre-season game with Vic Groves and Jimmy Bloomfield scoring.
13 August 1958: Alan Hardaker, secretary of the Football League, refused to allow Manchester United to take part in the 1958/9 European Cup competition, despite an offer from Uefa that they could play, given as a mark of respect for the club that had lost eight of its team in the Munich air disaster the previous February.
13 August 1966: Arsenal v Huddersfield pre-season friendly; George Eastham’s last game. He was Arsenal captain between 1963 and 1966 and scored 41 goals in 223 matches before joining Stoke for whom he played in the 1971 and 1972 cup semi-finals against Arsenal.
13 August 1968: Arsenal’s new handbook on sale for the first home game of the season, announced that the club was formed in 1884 but “the project failed” and that the club was elected to division 2 in 1894. The second claim was certainly false and no evidence or source given to support the first.
13 August 1969: British troops moved into Londonderry.
13 August 1976: Rijeka (Yugoslavia) 2 Arsenal 2 (Ross, Brady). In the few press reports there were, Brady was particularly commended for his performance.
13 August 1983: Aberdeen 0 Arsenal 1 (Talbot). Part of a pre-season tour in which Arsenal won two and lost two.
13 August 1986: Waterford 1 Arsenal 1 (Allinson). This was a low key pre-season match before George Graham’s first campaign with Arsenal as a manager, including games against Shamrock Rovers and Southend United.
13 August 1988. Arsenal beat Tottenham 4-0 in a pre-season tournament at Wembley with Merson, Marwood (2) and Smith scoring. In the other match Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 3-0 with Smith getting two and Dixon the third. Tottenham lost again in their second game.
13 August 1994: Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 3 (Dikov) This was the Tony Adams’ testimonial and the end of the final pre-season for George Graham.
13 August 1996: Arsenal, instead of putting out a full first team, as Rioch had been doing through pre-season, put out a mostly reserve team to play Northampton in the final friendly – and lost 3-1.
13 August 1998: Isaah Rankin transferred to Bradford C for £1.3m. He played just one league game for Arsenal. He played in the league for ten years before moving into the non-league football, ending with Hendon in 2014.
13 August 2008: Arsenal defeated FC Twente 0-2 away in the Third Round Qualifying Round of Champions League with goals from Gallas and Adebayor. Aaron Ramsey made his debut as sub for Theo Walcott.
13 August 2010: Pedro Botelho loaned to Cartagena; Samuel Galindo loaned to Salamanca. Neither player ever played for Arsenal, and Galindo had an amazing eight loan spells, and only played any league games in four of them. In 2018/19 he played for a Bolivian club, once more on loan. In 2020 he was recorded as being with Rio Branco, but does not seem to have played for them.
13 August 2012: Ryo loaned to Wigan. He played just four games for them, before later moving on loan again to FC Twente.
13 August 2020: Trae Coyle loaned to Gillingham until January
13 August 2021: Arsenal sold Joe Willock to Newcastle after a successful loan period in the previous season. He played 29 times for the club in his first season in the north east.
13 August 2021: Arsenal lost 2-0 away to Brentford in the opening league match of the season. Arsenal used a forward line of Balogun, Martinelli and Pepe due to illness with Aubameyang and Lacazette and appealed to the League for the game to be postponed but this was refused – in contrast to the situation when Liverpool made the same appeal later in the season.
13 August 2021: Joe Willock transferred to Newcastle where he had been on loan the previous season scoring eight goals in 14 games.
14 August 1894: Jack Butler born in Ceylon; he played 267 games for Arsenal and was the first Woolwich Arsenal player who was born outside of the British Isles.
14 August 1963: Bob Wilson’s first friendly game. Bob Wilson went to Loughborough College (now university) to train as a teacher. He didn’t play his first league game until October.
14 August 1971: After the Double at the end of the 70/71 season everyone expected more of the same, and got it with an opening match of Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0. Unfortunately two wins were followed by three consecutive defeats.
14 August 1973: The second of a two game Norwegian tour: Frigg 1 Arsenal 0. This was followed by a defeat against Wolverhampton. It was not the best of pre-seasons and was an early sign of a long and awful decline.
14 August 1980: George Wood signed from Everton as understudy to Jennings. He was reported to have scored while playing in goal for East Stirlingshire v Queen of the South on 9 January 1971 kicking the ball out of his area.
14 August 1982: Lee Chapman’s first game, in a friendly. He was top scorer with Stoke, but never made it at Arsenal, playing in the first eight matches of the season before being replaced after a sequence in which Arsenal won two, drew two and had four defeats
14 August 1991: Steve Morrow went on loan to Watford, and the following day Alan Miller went on loan to WBA, followed by Andy Cole on loan to Fulham on 5 September.
14 August 1993: A 0-3 home defeat to Coventry in the opening game of the season was followed by four consecutive wins and just two more defeats in the next 16 league games.
14 August 1996. The first Arsène Wenger signings, Remi Garde (on a free transfer) and Patrick Vieira (£3.5m) joined Arsenal. Wenger was still in Japan ending his contract and both players arrived carrying injuries.
14 August 1999: Last game for Luis Boa Morte (v Sunderland) before moving on to Southampton. He had played 25 league games for Arsenal across two seasons and went on to play 14 for Southampton.
14 August 2003: Igors Stepanovs transferred to Beveren on a one year loan. He played 21 times in Belgium before moving on to Grasshoppers where he played 50 games in two seasons.
14 August 2005: Start of the final season at Highbury with a game against Newcastle. A 2-0 victory against a parked bus defence which Henry and Van Persie breached in the last 10 minutes.
14 August 2008: Middlesbrough made a bid for Justin Hoyte. He was transferred two days later for £3m having played 34 league games for Arsenal and 27 while on loan at Sunderland.
14 August 2010: Arsène Wenger signed a contract extension until June 2014. Despite this being the era of Arsenal Austerity he kept the club in the top four and ready for a return to trophies with the FA Cup wins in 2014, 2015, 2017, making Arsenal the most successful FA Cup club of all time, and Mr Wenger the most successful FA Cup manager of all time.
14 August 2016: Arsenal lost the opening match of the season 3-4 to Liverpool. Three players including Koscielny were out because of prolonged international duty while Mertesacker and Gabriel were injured leaving Arsenal with a makeshift defence.
14 August 2020, Arsenal sign former Chelsea winger Willian on a three-year contract
15 August 1886: Charles Lewis born in Plumstead, (then a small town in Kent). He played for East Wickham, Eltham and Maidstone United before joining Arsenal in 1907 – making his debut on December 28.
15 August 1869: Charlie Booth born. He played in Arsenal’s first ever league game and was one of three players to score a hattrick in the cup game against City Ramblers.
15 August 1894: John Caldwell (who later turned up at Brighton Utd) transferred to Arsenal from Hibernian. During his time at Arsenal he had a brief period away at Third Lanark, but then returned and played on until April 1898.
15 August 1919: The Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act became law and allowed returning servicemen to get their old jobs back, if they wanted them, and if the jobs existed. It gave employers the problem of dismissing the workers they had used during the war. Henry Norris campaigned for full pensions for all servicemen who returned unable to work. His campaign was rejected. Disabled servicemen were left begging on the streets.
15 August 1925: Following the news of the arrival of Herbert Chapman as manager a crowd of 11,406 came to Highbury for a pre-season practice match between the Arsenal first team and the Reserves (Reds v Blues): Chapman’s first game at Arsenal.
15 August 1970: The start of the first Double season. Everton 2 Arsenal 2 (George and Graham scoring). Charlie George broke his ankle, and the press called the game “trench warfare.”
15 August 1976: Arsenal played in Yugoslavia in a pre-season friendly. Željezničar 1 Arsenal 1. The local press said of the match, “In an even game Željezničar and Arsenal didn’t offer much to the spectators”. O’Leary scored. See also here.
15 August 1983. Ian Allinson signed for Arsenal on a free transfer following an administrative error by Colchester in which they offered him a salary less than his previous level of payment, thus allowing him to leave without compensation.
15 August 1984: Twente 1 Arsenal 0 in the pre-season series of which Arsenal won two, lost two and drew one. It was not an auspicious set of games considering the modest level of the opposition.
15 August 1986: Paul Merson’s first senior game – a friendly v Southend. He went on to play 289 first division games for the club before leaving for Middlesbrough in 1997. For the pre-season commentary see here.
15 August 1992: Steve Bould scored Arsenal’s first Premier League goal. Campbell got a second to make it 2-0 at half time, but the final score was Arsenal 2 Norwich 4. The game was played in front of just 24,030 with the North Bank closed in order to become an all seater two tier stand. However in this season Arsenal won the unprecedented FA Cup, and League Cup double.
15 August 1993: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain born. He was a youth player with Southampton, playing in their first team in 2010/11 before joining Arsenal.
15 August 2003: Arsenal 2 Everton 1. The 1st league match of the unbeaten season. Campbell was sent off on 25 minutes, but in a pattern that was to be followed all season, Henry and Pires got the goals.
15 August 2004: In what became a tradition in the early 21st century Arsenal beat Everton in their first match of the season. Everton 1 Arsenal 4. Bergkamp, Reyes, Ljungberg and Pires scored.
15 August 2009. Everton 1 Arsenal 6. The result took Setanta TV who showed it live, by surprise as they had lined up an array of ex-Evertonians to interview through the game and said how sad it was that these eminent ex-players should have to watch this defeat. Celebration of Arsenal’s stunning performance was there none. Denilson, Vermaelen, Gallas, Fàbregas (2) and Eduardo scored the goals.
15 August 2011: Cesc Fàbregas joined Barcelona for a fee estimated to be between £25m and £35 with a possible £5m of add ons plus a suggestion (unconfirmed) that Fàbregas would pay Arsenal €1 million a year from his wage for five years.
15 August 2012: Wellington Silva loaned to Ponferradina. Difficulties with a work permit meant that he did not make the early appearance for Arsenal that had been hoped for.
15 August 2014: Jon Toral loaned to Brentford for the season. He became a regular in the Championship side that just missed out on promotion. He signed for Hull City in 2017.
15 August 2015: Nic Bendtner signed for Wolfsburg having been released by Arsenal earlier in the summer. He had made 169 appearances and scored 47 goals across nine years. In November 2018 Bendtner was sentenced to 50 days in prison in Denmark for assaulting a taxi driver.
16 August 1513: The Battle of the Spurs. It did not take place in Tottenham but at Thérouann, as part of Henry VIII attempt to fight holy wars. The “Battle of the Spurs” name came from the fact that the French ultimately rode away from the battle at high speed while facing certain defeat. The English won – although much of the English army died of dysentery.
16 August 1912. Ted Drake born. He started at Winchester City, and then went on to Southampton, Herbert Chapman quickly spotted him, but at first could not convince him to move. Drake was eventually signed in March 1934 for a fee of £6,500.
16 August 1920: Athletic News reported that several clubs within London were seeking to register the ex Rangers player who won the league with them and played for the Scottish League, Dr James Paterson. He chose Arsenal, as his brother-in-law worked for the club. Later Leslie Knighton, Arsenal’s manager, stated he was “reduced to playing the brother-in-law of the club’s physio,” even though Paterson was the club’s star player!
16 August 1925: Arsenal FC finally bought Highbury Stadium – which until that point had been leased. It meant that Sir Henry Norris was no longer under an obligation to return the ground to its previous state at the end of the lease.
16 August 1927: First reported use of numbers on players’ backs, over a year before Arsenal tried it out. Arsenal worked hard to popularise numbering, but, it seems, didn’t invent it.
16 August 1936: The end of the Berlin Olympics in which Britain entered an amateur football team including among its players, Bernard Joy, the Arsenal player.
16 August 1975: David O’Leary made his league debut for Arsenal – he went on to play 558 league games for the club.
16 August 1975: The awful decline of Mee’s ability as a manager was plain to see as Arsenal opened a new season with a goalless away draw to Burnley and went on to achieve just one win in the first ten league games.
16 August 1978: John Matthews sold to Sheffield United. He had played 43 league games for Arsenal but went on to over 100 games for Sheffield Utd before moving on to Mansfield.
16 August 1980. Kenny Sampson played for the first time for Arsenal v WBA and went on to play every game that season. Arsenal won 1-0 with Stapleton scoring.
16 August 1981: Steve Gatting played his last game for the first team v Olympiacos in a friendly. He moved to Brighton for whom he played over 300 league games before finishing his playing career at Charlton.
16 August 1992: Nottingham Forest 1 Liverpool 0, was the first PL match shown live on TV by Sky. ITV thought they had the deal sown up, having split from a match-sharing deal with the BBC, but Sky, under instruction from Alan Sugar whose company made satellite dishes put in a much higher bid, and ITV’s duplicity backfired.
16 August 2003: Arsenal 2 Everton 1: the first match of the unbeaten season. Campbell was sent off on 25 mins for a foul outside the area, Henry scored a penalty on 35, Vieira was yellow carded on 41m and Pires scored the winner on 58. Everton got a consolation on 84 before Li was sent off on 87. And so the greatest season ever began.
16 August 2008: Justin Hoyte signed for Middlesbrough from Arsenal. He had played 68 league games for Arsenal and went on to play 142 times for Middlesbrough before moving on to Millwall.
16 August 2011: Emmanuel Eboué joined Galatasaray for a fee of £4m. He had played 132 league games for Arsenal before leaving, having previously played 70 games for Beveren. In December 2017, Eboué was offered a job coaching the under-14 team at Galatasaray, when their manager was made aware of Eboué’s financial problems and the fact he was homeless. In June 2019, Eboué spoke about his ongoing difficulty with mental health. The Arsenal History Society wish him the very very best in his struggle with that awful illness.
16 August 2012: Jack Wilshere was given the number 10 shirt and said “Getting the No. 10 shirt again at the club means so much to me…It has a special place for all attacking or creative players. I feel proud to wear it now after some real club legends have worn it, such as Dennis Bergkamp.”
16 August 2012: Kyle Bartley sold to Swansea for £1m. In July 2014 he was given a further three year contract. In 2018 he moved onto West Brom.
16 August 2013: Wellington Silva loaned to Real Murcia for the season. He played 38 games for them and scored 3 goals, before moving on to Almería for 2014/15. In 2016 he joined Fluminense.
16 August 2018: Krystian Bielik loaned to Charlton for the season. Charlton gained promotion in 2019 to the Championship and Bielik was strongly praised for his contribution. In 2019 he joined Derby County.
17 August 1896: Andrew Young born. He was signed by Knighton in 1921 from Aston Villa. He played 68 games for the club up to 1926/7.
17 August 1909. Wilf Copping born. He became a miner while playing for local teams and tried for a place with Barnsley in 1929, but failed to get in the team. He kept on trying and later in the year he signed for Leeds United of the first division.
17 August 1911: A national railway workers strike started and in riots relating to this strike two men were shot dead by soldiers. Magistrates’ homes were attacked and four more people were killed.
17 August 1917: One of the most extraordinary meetings of literary geniuses of all time occurred at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh when Wilfred Owen introduced himself to Siegfried Sassoon.
17 August 1922: The regular pre-season friendly between Arsenal reserves and the first team was almost certainly played on this date. Meanwhile in Ireland Dublin Castle was handed over to the Irish Republican Army as the final British troops left Irish soil. It was a momentous occasion especially as many senior politicians objected strongly to the policy and it was arranged by the Conservative and Unionist Party.
17 August 1956: John Kosmina born. He played for Polonia and then West Adelaide, before signing for Arsenal in February 1978. He only played once for Arsenal, but then had a successful career back in Australia first as a player, then as a coach.
17 August 1970: Match 2 from the first Double season. WHU 0 Arsenal 0 thus making it played 2, drawn 2, showing that one should never draw too many conclusions from the opening games.
17 August 1971: Huddersfield 0 Arsenal 1. The attendance was a paltry 21,279. Arsenal took the route of efficiency rather than fine football to beat Huddersfield, dominating the game, but taking no risks. They could have won by three or four but it looked as if the side were under orders to hold the back line and wait.
17 August 1977: Thierry Henry born in Essonne, Paris and played for various local sides. He was then spotted by AS Monaco in 1990 and signed immediately. After retiring from playing he went into coaching and managed Monaco in 2018/19 although with very little success. On 14 November 2019, he joined Montreal Impact, signing a two year deal
17 August 1977: Pat Howard transferred to Birmingham City for £40,000. He had made 15 starts and 1 sub appearance for Arsenal during his one year in the club but had slipped down the order after the arrival of Willie Young. See also here
17 August 1984: Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Arsenal 1 (Allinson). The last game of a poor pre-season in which Arsenal won two games, lost two more and drew this one.
17 August 1990: Steve Gatting’s testimonial match. Brighton 2 Arsenal 2. He had played 58 games for Arsenal and by the time he left Brighton had played 316 games for them.
17 August 1991: Arsenal 1 QPR 1 (Merson scoring in the 90th minute) in the first game of the season. This was most disappointing as Arsenal were champions having won the league the previous season despite the ludicrous removal of two points for some argybargy at Old Trafford.
17 August 2009: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas loaned to Blackpool. He played 11 games for them before moving on to loan spells with Doncaster and Cardiff. His longest spell was with Bristol City and most recently was playing in Thailand.
17 August 2012: Thomas Vermaelen promoted to club captain and Mikel Arteta to vice-captaincy. Arteta took over as captain after Vermaelen’s departure, but both suffered significant injuries following their acceptance of the captaincy.
17 August 2013: Arsenal lost the first match of the season to Villa at home 1-3 amid referee decisions so odd that even the press started mentioning them. Arsenal won the next five to go top of the league where they remained apart from one week until 8 February.
17 August 2016: Tafari Moore loaned to Jong FC Utrecht for the season. He moved to Plymouth in 2018.
17 August 2018: Joel Campbell sold to Frosinone and Stephy Mavididi sold to Juventus. David Ospina was loaned to Napoli signing for them permanently in 2019.
17 August 2019: Arsenal beat Burnley 2-1 to make it two Premier League wins out of two at the start of the season.
17 August 2020: Arsenal under 23 player Matt Smith loaned to Swindon Town until February 2021
18 August 1917: George Morrell, the manager who walked out on Arsenal before the end of the 1914/15 season to return to Scotland and took over Third Lanark on this day and continued as their manager until April 30 1921. After that we have no knowledge of him, and cannot even offer a date of his passing.
18 August 1923: The second of two pre-season practice matches was played at Highbury. There is no report on the game, but it would be fascinating to know if anyone foresaw in this match the problems that Arsenal were going to face in the next two seasons.
18 August 1961: Laurie Brown purchased from Northampton Town. The following day he played against Tottenham, and then after being sold to Tottenham in 1964 played for Tottenham against Arsenal.
18 August 1973: Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton 3, FA Cup 3rd place play off. The notion of a third place play off was a short lived venture, played at the start of the following season, which picked up only modest public interest.
18 August 1979. Brighton lost their first ever first division game 4-0 to Arsenal as. Arsenal won an opening match under Neill for the first time after four attempts. Sunderland 2, Stapleton and Brady got the goals.
18 August 1983: Mickey Thomas signed as an apprentice. Thomas signed for us in 1982, became a pro aged 17 in 1984 and went on loan to Portsmouth. He made his first team début in February 1987.
18 August 1991: Alf Kirchen died. He finished playing before the war and then became a trainer at Norwich, then taking a break to become a farmer, returning to Norwich as a director of the club and as Honorary President of the Norfolk Arsenal Supporters Club. He died just before his 86th birthday. See also Tottenham 0 Arsenal 6
18 August 1992. Perry Groves last game v Blackburn (a 0-1 defeat). He had played 155 league games for Arsenal and scored 21 goals.
18 August 2001 Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 4 – the start of the great away games run. The run continued until 28 September 2002 when Arsenal beat Leeds 4-1 away, to break the record by scoring in 47 consecutive games and making it 22 away games without defeat Sol Campbell played his first league game for Arsenal and Henry said afterwards, “I saw something today I never saw last season – we played as a team. It’s the most important thing in football.”
18 August 2002: Following the retirement of Tony Adams, Vieira took over as captain for the game, Arsenal 2 Birmingham 0. This made 14 consecutive wins – a new record for the top division in England. Arsenal then played another 8 league games before finally being beaten.
18 August 2008: Emmanuel Adebayor signed a new “long-term” contract with Arsenal. However in 2009 he moved to Manchester City.
18 August 2009: Celtic 0 Arsenal 2, Champions League qualifier. This meant that the return match should have been straightforward but Celtic instead tried to get Eduardo a European ban.
18 August 2011: Joel Campbell loaned to L’Orient. It was the first of five loans during his period as an Arsenal player. In 2019 he was reported as playing in Mexico.
18 August 2018. Arsenal lost 3-2 to Chelsea making it two defeats in two games for the new manager Unai Emery. There was much speculation in the press about when Arsenal had lost the opening three games, and whether Emery would immediately be sacked. The club didn’t lose the third and he wasn’t sacked – at least not then..
18 August 2020: As part of a clearout of young players who were deemed unlikely to make the grade, George Lewis sold to Fram Larvik of Norway.
19 August 1904: Woolwich Gazette reported Archibald Leitch was engaged in work on the Manor Ground building refreshment bars utilising the back of the Abbey Wood End slope. It was probably the first job since the Ibrox disaster for the man who went on to design Highbury.
19 August 1939: On the eve of war Arsenal beat Tottenham 1-0 in a friendly. After three league games the season was abandoned and the league did not resume until 1946. In a reversal of the 1st world war, Arsenal spent most of the war years based at White Hart Lane
19 August 1946. Ray Daniel signed. Because of conscription he did not start playing for Arsenal until May 1949.
19 August 1956: Joe Wade left Arsenal to become player manager at Hereford. He had played 86 times for Arsenal, his only senior club.
19 August 1966. George Eastham transferred to Stoke for £35,000. He’d scored 41 in 223 games for Arsenal and transformed the legal basis of the retain and transfer system – which Woolwich Arsenal had originally established in a court case.
19 August 1969: Last appearance of Ian Ure in a 1-1 draw with Leeds. He had played 168 league matches for Arsenal, before moving on to Manchester Utd and then St Mirren.
19 August 1975: After a dire opening match against Burnley, Sheffield United 1 Arsenal 3 was much better although peppered with Sheffield appeals for penalties from the third minute onwards. Brady ignored the fuss and gave Arsenal the lead on the 34th minute with a shot from 30 yards. Sammy Nelson was sent off for handball in the 72nd minute, but Kidd made the game safe seconds from the end.
19 August 1978: John Kosmina played his first and last game for Arsenal as a substitute in the match against Leeds. He had transferred from Adelaide City earlier in the year and the following season left to play for West Adelaide Hellas. John Hawley, one of the brave heroic men of football, played in the game.
19 August 1989: In the first league match after winning the title in the last seconds at Anfield, Arsenal lost 4-1 away to Man U, but were undefeated in the next seven.
19 August 2000: Arsenal started their season at Sunderland with a 0-1 defeat. Arsène Wenger was falsely accused of violent and threatening behaviour towards the fourth official in a case that rumbled on and on for months to come. It was the start of a long continuing campaign by officialdom against Arsenal.
19 August 2006: Gilberto scored his first league goal for Arsenal and Arsenal’s first league goal at the new Emirates Stadium in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
19 August 2011: Joel Campbell signed from Saprissa for around £1m. He played only eight league matches before Arsenal signed him, and then loaned him to Lorient.
19 August 2011: Jay Simpson sold to Hull City. He never played for Arsenal but had successful loan spells with Millwall, WBA and QPR. In 2019 he left Orient to play for Nea Salamina in Greece
19 August 2012: Arsenal confirmed that Alex Song had been sold to Barcelona, amidst rumours of a dispute with the management over tactics. He played 39 times for Barcelona before being loaned to WHU. By 2018 he was playing for Swiss Club Sion II.
19 August 2014: Besiktas 0 Arsenal 0: the first Champions League play off match Arsenal had failed to win. Ramsey was sent off for a second yellow card.
19 August 2020: Time Akinola left for Huddersfield on a free transfer.
20 August 1904: George Morrell, the only manager who relegated Arsenal and who also was the first manager at Highbury, took up his first post prior to coming to Arsenal – as manager of Morton.
20 August 1913: Henry Norris used his influence as a director of both clubs to arrange for Arsenal to play a practice match at Fulham, prior to the start of the new season, as the Gillespie Road ground (Highbury) was still being built.
20 August 1916: The Battle of the Somme film went on general release and was seen by 20 million people. It was withdrawn after a story circulated that the dead bodies in the film were not soldiers acting dead for the movie but rather actual dead soldiers.
20 August 1921: The traditional Blues v Reds pre-season game was played at Arsenal, and the new roof on the grandstand was unveiled. 10,000 were recorded as present, including Sir Henry Norris, Charles Crisp and William Hall.
20 August 1923: Athletic News ran its preview of the season, including in the list for Arsenal players Midge Moffatt, who had played on the summer tour. But he had both Baker and Rutherford ahead of him and seemed unlikely to be getting a game.
20 August 1924: The annual report of Arsenal FC showed that the club had improved financially having debts which together were less than in previous years: an overdraft of £3423, and money owed to various creditors totalling £8106. Norris’ vision of a debt free Arsenal was coming to fruition.
20 August 1938: Debut of Bryn Jones in a friendly v Tottenham. Arsenal lost 0-2. The mantle of the world’s most expensive player did not sit easily on his shoulders, but it was ultimately the war that stopped him showing his promise. The attendance was 41,997.
20 August 1949: Arsenal’s two-times manager Stewart Houston born in Dunoon. He played for Chelsea, Brentford, Man U, Sheffield Utd and Colchester Utd before becoming assistant manager to George Graham in 1990.
20 August 1955: Having moved from Arsenal, Ben Marden played his first game for Watford and immediately scored two goals. He had played 42 games for Arsenal and went on to play 41 for Watford, scoring 11 for each club.
20 August 1960: Alan Skirton played his first Arsenal league game – a 3-2 away defeat to Burnley. It is said that he was offered the chance to play for both Arsenal and Chelsea but chose Arsenal because they had a reputation for helping to train players for their career after football.
20 August 1966: Bertie Mee’s first game in charge – Sunderland 1 Arsenal 3. Skirton scored two and Armstrong the third. Mee won his first three games, but then none of the next seven.
20 August 1968: Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia to put down a pro-democracy movement.
20 August 1971: Manchester Utd 3 Arsenal 1, in front of just 27,649. The game was played at Anfield with Man United banned from playing their first two home matches anywhere at all within Greater Manchester, after their fans had thrown objects, believed to be knives, into the away section at a match at the end of 1970/71 season.
20 August 1973: Continuing the long association of Arsenal and Rangers (who at this time still owned shares in Arsenal) – Rangers 1 Arsenal 2 in the Rangers centenary match. George and Radford scored.
20 August 1977: Pat Jennings first game for Arsenal – a 0-1 defeat to Ipswich. Arsenal won only four out of the first ten games, but Jennings kept his place and played all 55 league, league cup and FA Cup matches that season.
20 August 1995: Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 1. Bruce Rioch’s first game. Arsenal went seven games undefeated at the start of the season, but in the complete season won 17 of their 38 league games and scored just 49 league goals.
20 August 1995: The European Court of Justice ruled that in a case brought by Jean Marc Bosman players should be able to move freely within the European Union at the end of a contract without any fee needing to be paid. It took another five months for the EU to lay down the definitive statement that football transfer rules in general did not comply with EU freedom of movement.
20 August 1996: Totally caught off guard by the appointment of Arsenal’s new manager the Evening Standard ran the headline “Arsène who?”
20 August 2003: Jermaine Pennant loaned for the season to Leeds Utd. He played 36 times for Leeds and scored 2 goals. Also Dennis Bergkamp’s first match for Arsenal. He played 33 league games in this first season with the club, scoring 11 goals
20 August 2008: Arsenal signed Mikaël Silvestre from Manchester United. He was the first Man U player to join Arsenal since Brian Kidd in 1974 . At 31 he put the lie to the “Wenger never signs or keeps players over 30″ story, but despite all the constant evidence to the contrary from Bergkamp onwards the press still continued to run it.
20 August 2011: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2. All in all it was a very disappointing start to the season with two draws in the Emirates Cup, a defeat in a friendly to Benfica and then just two victories in the first seven games.
20 August 2012: Arsenal announced the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona. He had played 143 league games and scored seven goals. He later went on loan to West Ham.
20 August 2015: Wellington Silva loaned to Bolton Wanderers for the season. It was his sixth loan; he played 22 times and scored two goals.
20 August 2016: Having lost the opening match at home to Liverpool, Arsenal drew away to champions Leicester as anti-Wenger “fans” undertook a co-ordinated protest which gave Leicester renewed hope of snatching a victory close to the end.
20 August 2021: Martin Ødegaard, who had been on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid, joined on a permanent deal worth £34 million and within a year was permanent club captain. On the same day goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale joined from Sheffield United, for around £30 million
20 August 2022. Saliba scored his first goal for Arsenal away to Bournemouth. The win took Arsenal to the top of the Premier League for the first time since 17 January 2016.. Saka became the second-youngest player to play 100 times for the club in the Premier League, behind Cesc Fàbregas.
21 August 1914: Army Order No 324 authorised the formation of a ‘New Army’ of six Divisions, manned by volunteers. The Eastern Command formed what became the 18th (Eastern) Division in September 1914, and it was this that Henry Norris joined as a civilian volunteer. The Division fought in the Battle of the Somme – although by then Norris had started to work on army recruitment for the War Office.
21 August 1917: The Corn Production Act became law, guaranteeing minimum prices for wheat and oats and a minimum wage for agricultural workers. It was in fact virtually a socialist bill passed by a very anti-Labour government in order to secure bread supplies in wartime.
21 August 1937: If the traditions were kept, Arsenal played the Reds v Blues pre-season game on this day, although I have no direct evidence. However we do know that on 16 September such a match was also played; it was the first ever live TV broadcast of a game with the BBC looking at possibilities and checking that the technology worked.
21 August 1954: Last of 57 league appearances for Arthur Shaw. He later captained Gravesend to win the Southern League title in 1957/8 after being signed by manager and former gunner Lionel Smith. In 2015 an Arsenal fan living near Arthur, in California, found the Arsenal History Society page on Arthur’s life and passed it on to him, which I must say, seems to make all this research worthwhile
21 August 1962: Terry Neill took over as club captain of Arsenal for the match against Birmingham. He was 20 years and 102 days old, making him the youngest permanent captain of the club ever.
21 August 1965: The first ever substitute in a Football League match appeared on this day just 11 minutes into the game between Charlton and Bolton when the Charlton keeper was knocked out. In all 13 players were substituted on that day – the rule initially being that only injured players could be replaced. This rule was dropped after club doctors started to certify that players had “double vision”.
21 August 1969: Ian Ure sold to Manchester United for £80,000 having been replaced in the Arsenal team by the Terry Neill, Frank McLintock combination.
21 August 1976: Malcolm Macdonald made his league debut in Terry Neill’s first game as manager, against newly promoted Bristol City. Arsenal lost 0-1 at Highbury. The team however recovered losing just one of the subsequent eight.
21 August 1979: Having easily beaten Brighton away in the first game of the season, Arsenal took it easy at home to Ipswich and lost 0-2. Having been insulted by his manager (Robson) Allan Hunter scored the first on 22 minutes and set up the second in the second half.
21 August 1981. Frank Stapleton transferred to Manchester United for a ludicrous tribunal price of £900,000. He had played 225 games for Arsenal and went on to play 223 league games for Man U, but the tribunal never explained its decision.
21 August 1992: Perry Groves sold to Southampton for £750,000. Although he stayed there for two seasons he only played 15 games before moving on to Dagenham and Redbridge (4 games) and Canvey Island (1).
21 August 2001: Arsenal 1 Leeds 2. League Match 2 of the third double season – after a 4-0 away win on the opening day of the season as Arsenal went unbeaten away all season. Wiltord scored the Arsenal goal.
21 August 2009: Henri Lansbury loaned to Watford. He played 23 league games for the club and scored four goals before moving on to WHU for a further loan season. He eventually found success with Nottingham Forest playing 145 games with them before moving to Aston Villa in 2017.
21 August 2010: Arsenal beat Blackpool 6-0 after a new enlarged version of the Clock End clock was unveiled inside the Emirates Stadium, with the Highbury version placed outside the ground above the Chapman statue. Walcott scored a hattrick, Arshavin, Diaby and Chamakh got one each.
21 August 2013: Despite having lost their first league match at home, Arsenal beat Fenerbahçe 0-3 away in the first leg of the Champions League qualifier to make qualification certain and continue a remarkable series of away wins.
21 August 2016: Joel Campbell loaned to Sporting CP for the season. Although the season was a success, Joel then played in a 2017 summer international tournament for his country and was injured, taking him out of the side for at least the first half of the 2017/18 season.
22 August 1485 Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England was killed at the Battle of Bosworth.
22 August 1642: The English civil war began.
22 August 1914: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 5. This was the only pre-season friendly recorded for the season, although it is more than likely that a match between the first team and the reserves was also played. 13,564 turned up for the first match between the two after the move to north London, reflecting a certain thawing in relationships although Arsenal didn’t play Tottenham again in a friendly until 1938
22 August 1925: At the second pre-season game of Chapman’s reign 13,269 turned up for a “practice match” between the first team and the reserves
22 August 1932: The first experimental television broadcast by the BBC was conducted.
22 August 1937: Birth of Laurie Brown. He started as a centre forward with Bishop Auckland and then played briefly with Darlington before moving back to non-league football with Woking. He played in the 1960 Olympic Games side before signing for Northampton, and was the club’s top scorer in 1960-61 as they were promoted to the Third Division.
22 August 1953. Gerry Ward became the youngest ever Arsenal player in the League. Whittaker recorded in his memoirs that he was in serious need of new players at the time but had no doubt about Ward being a player who would shine for Arsenal.
22 August 1953: Dennis Evans first league game; a home 0-0 draw with Huddersfield with 54,000 turning up to celebrate last season’s championship winning team in their first home match of the new campaign.
22 August 1959: Mel Charles first league match. He played 60 league games and scored 26 goals before moving on to Cardiff.
22 August 1963 Ian Ure signed from Dundee for £62,500. He had been a member of their championship side and played in the side that reached the European Cup semi-finals. He was also in the Scotland team on 8 November 1961 that beat Spain 6-2 at the Bernabeu.
22 August 1964: BBC TV launched Match of the Day with one recorded game and chose Liverpool v Arsenal. It meant that Arsenal continued their run of broadcast firsts, being the first team with a radio commentary and the first televised team when Arsenal v Arsenal Reserves was shown.
22 August 1970: Arsenal 4 Manchester United 0. Match 3 in the first Double season, and the first win of the season after two draws. Radford (3) and Graham scored.
22 August 1978: League debut for Paul Barron: a 1-1 draw away to Manchester City. Macdonald scored for Arsenal. Rice returned in defence, but there was still no Rix and so Walford came in as number 11. 39,506 were in the crowd. See also here.
22 August 1981: Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 1 (Nicholas). The final pre-season friendly. In all Arsenal won two by the odd goal, and drew the other two.
22 August 1987: Charlie Nicholas played his final game – a 0-2 away defeat to QPR. He scored just 34 goals in 151 league games – far fewer than was hoped for when he signed for the club in 1983.
22 August 1998: Champions Arsenal drew 0-0 with Liverpool, the first of four consecutive draws – the first three of which were goalless.
22 August 1999: Davor Suker league debut v Manchester U. Arsenal lost 2-1. Ljungberg scored in what was Arsenal’s first defeat of the season. Sky called this “the world’s first live interactive match”, as the new digital service gave alternative camera angles. It was Arsenal’s first home defeat since December 1997.
22 August 2002: West Ham 2 Arsenal 2. After creating the record for consecutive wins, in the first match of the season, Arsenal were finally held to a draw – although at one stage were 2-0 down.
22 August 2004: Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 5-3, one of four games in which Arsenal scored five or more that season. With Bergkamp captain Arsenal went 3-1 down. Dennis scored, and the comeback started. He said later, “I took it personally”.
22 August 2009: After beating Everton away 6-1 Arsenal followed up with a 4-1 defeat of Portsmouth. Diaby got two, Gallas and Ramsey the others.
22 August 2020: Salah Oulad M’Hand transferred to Feyenoord
22 August 2022: Arsenal lost 2-0 to Chelsea and dropped to 19th in the league after two games.
23 August 1911: George Cox was born in Warnham near Horsham in Sussex. He signed for Arsenal as an amateur in November 1933 from Horsham, before turning professional the on 19 December.
23 August 1919: The pre-season match between the first team and the reserves (generally at this time called the Reds against the Blues) was played. Fans were allowed in, but there is no record I can find of the attendance numbers. The Reds won, as they were supposed to, 5-0.
23 August 1920: Lionel Smith born. He played for various local non-league clubs and signed for Arsenal as an amateur in April 1939, but his progress was stopped by the second world war.
23 August 1922: The seat that Sir Henry Norris represented in the Commons chose their next candidate: Sir Harry Greer. There were still stories circulating in the press that Sir Henry himself might move to another constituency, although it seems clear he had told his party that he was pulling out of politics totally and nothing ever came of this idea.
23 August 1947: League Debut for Archie Macauley and Don Roper. One year on from the worst Arsenal start since 1923, 58184 turned up to see McPherson, Logie and Rooke make it Arsenal 3 Sunderland 1 on the opening day of the season – a season which saw Arsenal open with six consecutive wins and go undefeated in the first 17 games. See also here.
23 August 1952: Arsenal 2 Villa 1 started the march to the First Division title for the last time until Mee won the double in 19 years later.
23 August 1952 Lycurgus Burrows died. By retaining an amateur status he had managed to be registered for both Tottenham and Arsenal at the same time – playing for Arsenal between 1893 and 1896.
23 August 1955: Arsenal 3 Cardiff 1. Tommy Lawton scored a hat trick but Arsenal then did not win another game until 1 October when they defeated Aston Villa 1-0.
23 August 1958: Tommy Docherty signed for £20,000 from Preston North End for whom he had played 323 league games. He went on to play 83 times for Arsenal before moving on to Chelsea.
23 August 1958: George Swindin’s first match as manager: Preston 2 Arsenal 1. Arsenal however then won five of the next six, scoring 24 goals in the process. But he never, as Arsenal manager, won a single opening day’s match.
23 August 1966: Arsenal 2 WHU 1. Radford and Baldwin scored in Alan Skirton’s final game for Arsenal. He scored 53 goals in 145 league games as a winger, including two in the previous game.
23 August 1971: Derby County 2 Arsenal 1. Brian Clough was already known as a manager who prepared his team differently for each individual game, and here he certainly proved the point. Derby attacked in waves giving Arsenal no chance to settle into their own routine or launch their own attack. Bertie Mee looked baffled.
23 August 1977: Having lost the opener of the season Arsenal needed to win the second game, and on 23 August they did that beating Everton 1-0 with 32,924 in Highbury. It was Everton’s second consecutive defeat, and Arsenal would have scored more had Everton’s new keeper Woods not been on top form.
23 August 1980: A 1-3 away defeat to Coventry in the third match looked to spell difficulty, but Arsenal won three and drew the other two games in the first six, including a 2-0 win over Tottenham. Not scintillating form, but a decent enough start
23 August 1986: Arsenal 1 Man U 0. George Graham started his career as Arsenal manager. Unfortunately this was one of only two wins in the first eight. Charlie Nicholas scored.
23 August 1986: Wimbledon played their first game in the 1st Division, having entered the League in 1976. They lost this match 3-1 to Man City but won the next three and went top of the first division.
23 August 1992: After two games in the first ever Premier League season had still had not points losing to Norwich and Blackburn, but on this day beat Liverpool away 2-0 with Wright and Limpar scoring to start a run of three successive victories.
23 August 1996: Paul Dikov sold to Manchester City for £1m. He had played 22 league games and scored four goals in his six years with Arsenal.
23 August 1997: Luis Boa Morte’s first league game as the press increased their criticism of “foreign imports”. Overmars scored his first goal for Arsenal. Southampton 1 Arsenal 3. The third league game of the 2nd Double Season
23 August 2000: Brian McGovern sold to Norwich. He played one game for Arsenal, and five games for QPR while on loan.
23 August 2006: Theo Walcott became the youngest Arsenal player to play a match in a European competition, playing against Dinamo Zagreb. He was 17 years 129 days old.
23 August 2008: Arsenal lost 1–0 to Fulham in the second game of the season but then went on to win the next three games to go top of the league.
24 August 1878: Believed date of birth of Archi Gray although there is considerable doubt. He joined Arsenal in 1904.
24 August 1907: James Quayle joined Woolwich Arsenal as an amateur player and although he re-signed for another year on 2 June 1908, he then received an offer from Northfleet, and so moved onto there, playing for two seasons before turning professional and rejoining Woolwich Arsenal on 19 October 1910.
24 August 1912: Les Calder signed as a professional having been an amateur at Arsenal since March 1911. However he only played one game for the club – as an amateur and none as a pro, probably due to injury.
24 August 1928: Tommy Docherty born in Glasgow. He started to play junior football but his career developed while he was doing his National Service.
24 August 1935: Arsenal Reds played Arsenal Blues (the first team v the reserves) in the traditional opener to the season – and for this game we actually have a photo!
24 August 1939: The Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939 was passed giving legal authority to the new ‘defence regulations’. Parliament was recalled to pass the bill and as a result of it, army reservists were called up and Civil Defence workers placed on alert. Two days later the 1939/40 football season began.
24 August 1949: Peter Goring’s first match – Chelsea 1 Arsenal 2 – in which Goring scored It was however the only game in the first five league games of the season that Arsenal did not lose.
24 August 1954: David Herd bought from Stockport for £10,000. His games for Stockport were restricted by his national service but he scored five goals in 12 games in 1953–54, thus attracting the attention of Arsenal.
24 August 1961: George Armstrong became a professional, having been turned down by Grimsby and Newcastle Utd. He went on to play 500 games for Arsenal.
24 August 1963: League debut for Ian Ure, a 3-1 home defeat to Wolverhampton. He had played 107 games for Dundee and went on to play 168 times for Arsenal.
24 August 1967: Michael Thomas, the man who scored in the last minute against Liverpool to win the league, was born in Lambeth. He was a Tottenham fan but signed for Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1982.
24 August 1971: Arsenal 0 Sheffield United 1 in front of 45,395. Newly promoted Sheffield United based their game on endless energy – everyone ran constantly looking for the best position, and it left Arsenal unsure who was where, and who should be marked by whom. Mee’s tactics looked askew, and there was no Don Howe to make suggestions.
24 August 1974: Arsenal 4 Manchester City 0, 27,143 coming along to seek an improvement on a very disappointing start to the season. Curiously for a 4-0 victory one main contender for the man of the match was Jimmy Rimmer, who seemed to be intent on showing everyone interested that Arsenal did not need Shilton, no matter what the papers made up.
24 August 1991: Aston Villa 3 Arsenal 1. Alan Smith scored. As league champions Arsenal had opened the season with two defeats and a draw – scoring three and letting in seven.
24 August 1996: David Hillier’s final game before his transfer to Leicester; he had played 104 league games. This 2-0 win over Leicester marked the start of a ten match unbeaten run during which Wright scored ten.
24 August 2000: Sylvain Wiltord signed from Bordeaux. He had scored 46 goals in 96 games for Bordeaux between 1997 and 2000. He went on to play 104 games for Arsenal.
24 August 2003: Three years to the day after signing Wiltord scored two as Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 4-0. Arsène Wenger said in the press, “I feel it is very important in our minds to do this and I know the hunger is strong to do it.” He named Newcastle, Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea as the main rivals for the Premier League. It was the 2nd league match of the unbeaten season
24 August 2007: Joe O’Cearuill sold to Barnet. He was a youth player for Watford but released after one year and signed by Arsenal. However he never played for Arsenal in his one season with the club. By 2017 he had been with 16 different clubs and was recorded then as playing for Haringey Borough.
24 August 2011: Samir Nasri joined Manchester City on a four-year deal for around £25m after 86 games for Arsenal scoring 18 goals.
24 August 2015: Gedion Zelalem was loaned to Rangers for the season. He played 20 games in Rangers promotion season to the Premier League, and on April 17, 2016 played against Celtic in the Scottish cup semi final, converting a penalty in the shootout. In 2019 he was transferred to Sporting Kansas City.
24 August 2020. Jonathan Dinzeyi released to Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer.
25 August 1867: Death of Michael Faraday, the first man to understand electromagnetism.
25 August 1899. The chairman and benefactor of Woolwich Arsenal George Leavey warned his players about drinking too much before a match. “No man with a skinful of whisky can play football,” he said.
25 August 1923: Debut of Harry Woods v Newcastle. It ended Arsenal 1 Newcastle 4 in front of 45,000. The large crowd was probably caused by the fact that Arsenal were undefeated in the final nine league matches of the previous season.
25 August 1924: J A H Catton, the most famous football journalist in the country, and active supporter of Arsenal’s election to the first Division in 1919, retired as editor of Athletic News. He was the man whose editorials had always been met with great respect.
25 August 1928. For the first match of the new season Chapman introduced numbers on the players’ shirts (1-22 across the two teams). Arsenal lost, and the FA said subsequently said “no”, for no apparent reason other than it was new.
25 August 1934: Wilf Copping’s first game v Portsmouth away. The 3-3 draw (Bowden, Drake and Bastin) suggested Arsenal might score goals, and they did. Eight in the next match and 115 in the league, the club winning the third successive title. It was also Allison’s first match as manager.
25 August 1939: After the institution of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939 the previous day the Irish Republican Army exploded a bomb in Coventry, killing 25.
25 August 1964: Arsenal played their first ever home match on a pitch with under soil heating. It finished Arsenal 1 Sheffield W 1 in front of 35,590. Simpson scored. Arsenal went on to win only two of their first six games and finished 13th in the league.
25 August 1965: Arsenal only played Northampton twice in the league – and both games were 1-1 draws – on this day in 1965 at Northampton and 28 August 1965 at Arsenal.
25 August 1970: After what was reported as a long stalemate Bob McNab accepted a new pay offer. He stayed until 1975 playing 278 league games.
25 August 1970: Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0. Match 4 in the First Double season, making the tally thus far Won 2 drawn 2. Kennedy scored in front of just 34,848.
25 August 1973: The season opened with Arsenal 3 Manchester United 0, in front of a very satisfactory crowd of 51,501
25 August 1979: Arsenal 0 Man U 0 in front of 44,380 fans. The press had slipped into the habit of calling Man U the “Great Entertainers” but admitted after this game the side was “deadly dull” as one report put it. The word was out, if you want a point against Arsenal, “don’t let Arsenal play”. It was an approach that lasted for months, and months.
25 August 1984: Arsenal League debut by Viv Anderson in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea. He went on to play 120 league games for Arsenal over the next three years before moving to Manchester United. The police demanded the match kick off at 11:30 but it was mostly just a rather silly flexing of muscles by the authorities; there was no significant trouble at Arsenal matches around this time.
25 August 1990: Arsenal started the season with a 3-0 away win at Wimbledon in front of 13,733, eventually were docked two points but still won the league by 7 points, losing only one match during the whole league campaign. Merson, Smith and Groves scored. See also here.
25 August 1999. Luis Boa Morte transferred to Southampton after just six league starts and 19 appearances in the league as a sub since joining Arsenal two years earlier.
25 August 2001: Arsenal 4 Leicester 0. League match 3 of the third Double season. Ljungberg, Wiltord, Henry, and Kanu scored making it 9 goals in 3, but only two wins.
25 August 2004: Arsenal 3 Blackburn 0 – the game that broke Nottingham Forest’s 42 league games unbeaten record set in 1977/8 by Brian Clough’s team. Arsenal of course went on to 49.
25 August 2005: Jérémie Aliadière loaned to West Ham but only played seven games for them – although that was better than his previous loan to Celtic where he failed to make an appearance.
25 August 2006: Nic Anelka signed a four year deal with Bolton, for their record fee of £8m. The fact that he was Bolton’s top scorer in 2006/7 with ten goals, says a lot about where his career had got to.
25 August 2007: Arsenal 1 Manchester City 0. It was part of a now largely forgotten run of 28 games unbeaten.
25 August 2009: Francis Jeffers was sent off for headbutting Tommy Fraser in a 2–0 League Cup defeat to Port Vale. He was placed on the transfer list.
25 August 2018: To the great disappointment of the media, having lost their first two games of the season, Arsenal now easily beat West Ham 3-1 after WHU went one up. Monreal, Welbeck and an own goal saw Arsenal rise up the league.
25 August 2020: Arsenal beat MK Dons 4-1 in a pre-season game including a goal from inside the centre circle by Elneny.
25 August 2020 Jordi Osei-Tutu went on loan to Cardiff until the end of the season.
25 August 2021: Arsenal loaned Torreira to ACF Fiorentina for the season, having won the league the previous season on loan with Atletico Madrid.
25 August 2022: Nicolas Pepe loaned to Nice for the season.
26 August 55BC. Troops from the Roman Empire invade England for the first time.
26 August 1893: The start of the infamous Tennant-Macfarlane Case in which James Tennant was tricked into signing for East Stirlingshire (against his wishes) when drunk. He later moved to Woolwich Arsenal and on 12 March 1900 Tennant scored two in the record win over Loughborough
26 August 1904: Joe Hulme born in Stafford. He played for York City and Blackburn before Herbert Chapman brought him to Arsenal in 1926 and he spent 12 years at Highbury, thus sharing in all the great moments of the Chapman and post-Chapman era.
26 August 1910: Henry Norris resumed his column in the West London and Fulham Times but made no mention of his interest in Woolwich Arsenal. George Allison was now Woolwich Arsenal programme editor and club historian of Arsenal. In the third chapter of his autobiography published in 1948 Allison calls Norris “one of the most far seeing men I have ever known.”
26 August 1913: Alf Kirchen born in Norfolk. In 1934 he was signed by Tom Parker (holder of Arsenal’s consecutive appearance record), then manager of Norwich City,. Arsenal paid £6000 for him in March 1935.
26 August 1922: The crowd of 43,000 attended the league opener at champions Liverpool and saw Arsenal 0-3 down by half time. In the end Boreham and Young got two back, but also in the second half Liverpool scored two more to make it 2-5.
26 August 1924: Dan Lewis joined from Clapton Orient. He played for Arsenal in goal for six seasons, despite Chapman trying out various other keepers, and despite his faux pas in the 1927 cup final. In October 1924 Arsenal played a friendly against the O’s possibly in part payment for the player.
26 August 1933: Arsenal started as Champions with a 1-1 draw at home to Birmingham with David Jack scoring. Despite winning only two in the first seven, and the tragic death of Herbert Chapman in mid-season, Arsenal ran out champions once again.
26 August 1958: Tommy Docherty debut. He scored in a 3-0 win against Burnley – his only ever goal for Arsenal. He played 83 times for Arsenal before moving on to Chelsea.
26 August 1968: Leonard Thompson died of a heart attack at the age of 67. He played 26 times for Arsenal between 1927 and 1933. He later played for Islington Corinthians who toured the world becoming famous for their huge fund-raising efforts.
26 August 1975: Arsenal 2 Norwich City 1. The first sign of promise for the season to come but the crowds were as poor as ever with just 22,613 turning up.
26 August 1978: Brady returned but there was still no Jennings and no Rix, and the outcome was Everton 1 Arsenal 0, with 41,179 in the crowd.
26 August 1987: Kevin Richardson signed from Watford. He had already won the league with Everton, and went on to win it again under George Graham, leaving the club in 1990 for Real Sociedad.
26 August 1993: Frank “Tiger” Hill died in California aged 87. He played just 81 games for Arsenal but won the league three seasons running. After injury curtailed his playing days he had an extensive career as a manager, and was one of the vanguard fighting against the oppressive retain and transfer system.
26 August 1999: Luís Boa Morte sold to Southampton. He had played 25 times for Arsenal and played just 14 with Southampton before getting an extended run with first Fulham and then West Ham, retiring from football in 2013.
26 August 2000: Sylvain Wiltord brought in from Bordeaux. He had played 99 games for Bordeaux before moving for a club record fee of £13m. He scored the goal at Old Trafford to win the league in 2002.
26 August 2003: Giovanni van Bronckhorst loaned to Barcelona for the season. At the end of the season the transfer was made permanent and he stayed there until 2007, ending his career in 2010 at Feyenoord where he was captain.
26 August 2009: Arsenal 3 Celtic1. After the match Massimo Donati demanded that Eduardo da Silva receive a European ban for diving in an incident in which the ref had given a penalty. The SFA chief agreed, the media whipped up a storm and by 29 August Eduardo was retrospectively charged with diving on no evidence at all!
26 August 2010: Sébastien Squillaci joined Arsenal from Sevilla FC, for whom he had played 49 times, on a three year contract for £3.5 million.
26 August 2012: Having opened the season for only the third time since entering the league in 1893, with a 0-0 draw, Arsenal’s season continued with a second 0-0 draw in a row. It was the first time this had ever happened.
26 August 2016 Takuma Asano loaned to Stuttgart for the season.
27 August 551BC: Birth of Confucius.
27 August 1908: Newspaper talk shows Arsenal manager Morrell very satisfied with his team’s progress as they prepared for the first game of the season on 2 September. Unfortunately Arsenal lost 0-4 at home to Everton.
27 August 1913 Arsenal played a practice match at The Den as the development work continued at Highbury getting the stadium ready for the first home game at the stadium on September 6.
27 August 1919: Joseph Toner joined from Belfast United for £200. He was an occasional player in each of the years under Knighton’s management, but was soon moved on after Chapman arrived.
27 August 1920: Death of Hugh MacDonald. He signed for Arsenal on three separate occasions (not a record but still remarkable) retiring from football finally in 1913.
27 August 1921: The Third Division (North) played its first matches. In the first minute on the first day of the first season ex-Arsenal man Tommy Winship crossed for Darlington to score the first ever goal in the League.
27 August 1921: Arsenal opened the season with a 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United. After the game four players were dropped for the second match – which Arsenal then lost to Preston North End.
27 August 1923: Samsen Haden made his Arsenal debut. He went on to play 88 games for the club in total..
27 August 1927: Not everything worked perfectly under Chapman as revealed by the score Bury 5 Arsenal 1 on the opening day of the 1927/8 first division campaign. However Arsenal won the next two games 4-1 and 6-1 and went on to play in the FA Cup final for the first time as the season drew to a close.
27 August 1928: The Monday newspapers deemed Arsenal’s numbered shirts experiment “a success” and predicted wider use.
27 August 1932: The run of three consecutive league championships began with Birmingham 0 Arsenal 1. The first goal of this unique Arsenal run was scored by Reg Stockill in his first match. He only played four games in the season – but scored three goals.
27 August 1974: Ipswich Town 3 Arsenal 0, with 28,036 in attendance. The press could not stop praising Ipswich who went to the top of the league after two games with this win. Arsenal were very much dismissed as “yesterday’s men”.
27 August 1938: Bryn Jones scored on his debut against Portsmouth. He scored three in his first four games, but then only scored one more during the whole season in which he played 30 games.
27 August 1950: The BBC broadcast a programme from continental Europe to the UK for the first time.
27 August 1988: Steve Bould’s league debut for Arsenal in 5-1 the away defeat of Wimbledon in the opening fixture of the campaign. Smith got 3 – the only hattrick all season.
27 August 1997: The definitive Bergkamp hat trick at Leicester in a 3-3 draw in the 4th league game of the 2nd Double Season It was the first hattrick under Arsène Wenger. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
27 August 1998: Kenny Dalgleish was sacked as manager by Newcastle United and replaced by Ruud Gullit, after two games of the new season – both draws.
27 August 2002: Arsenal beat WBA 5-2, continuing the average of five or more goals every 20 games under Arsene Wenger. Cole, Lauren, Wiltord (2) and Aliadière scored. But it was the first five goal match since Boxing Day 2000.
27 August 2003: Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 0. The 3rd league match of the unbeaten season and the third straight win. Campbell and Henry scored to make it 8 goals for 1 against thus far.
27 August 2008: Arsenal qualified for the Champions League group stages. Samir Nasri made his debut, marked with a goal in 4-0 win over Twente. Gallas, Walcott and Bendtner scored the others to make it 6-0 overall.
27 August 2009: Jay Simpson loaned to QPR. He went on to play 39 times for them and scored 12 goals.
27 August 2013. Arsenal beat Fenerbahçe in the Champions League play off in front of 56,271 – the lowest crowd of the season.
27 August 2014: Alexis Sanchez scored his first goal for Arsenal as the club beat Besitkas 1-0 in the play off round of the Champions League.
27 August 2016: Arsenal beat Watford 3-1 away to secure their first win of the season. It was the first of six consecutive league wins, and the start of a run of 10 wins and three draws in 13 consecutive league games during which Arsenal scored 30 goals.
28 August 1891: “Arsenal Football Notes” by Redshirt commenced its regular commentary on the club and its games in the Woolwich Gazette. By 30 September 1892 he was complaining about the negative way his comments were received.
28 August 1922: Arsenal 1 Burnley 1 in the second game of the season Arsenal director Charles Crisp had some guests at the game including Joan Gamper, founder of Barcelona FC, and other friends from Cataluña.
28 August 1926: Chapman’s second season began with a 2-1 victory over Derby County with Buchan and Parker scoring in front of 32,990.
28 August 1928: Some suggest the original Arsenal clock was installed on this date – but in fact it wasn’t. It was in fact installed in 1930. See here for the full story – but do read the corrections in the readers’ comments!
28 August 1932: The Times confirmed Charlie Jones had been appointed Arsenal captain. He went on to play 29 games in the title winning season.
28 August 1937: Everton 1 Arsenal 4 in the opening game. Alex James had now gone but Drake got a hattrick and Bastin the fourth.
28 August 1971: Arsenal 0 Stoke City 1 in front of 37,637. Having won the double Arsenal had started the next season with two wins and three defeats.
28 August 1973: John Matthews moved from being an apprentice to being a professional. He made his debut one year later, and went on to play in 45 league games before leaving in 1978.
28 August 1976: Sunderland 2 Arsenal 2 with 41,211 in Roker Park. But despite a win and a draw in successive away games the “news” was that Armstrong was going to leave the club.
28 August 1982: Lee Chapman made his Arsenal league debut against his old club Stoke City. Arsenal lost 1-2 and in fact lost three and drew one of their first four league games.
28 August 1993: Ian Wright’s single, “Do the Wright Thing” entered the charts!
28 August 1999: Nicolas Anelka transferred to Real Madrid after playing just 50 games and scoring 23 goals. It was said that the profit paid for the new training centre Mr Wenger wanted built.
28 August 2004: Robin van Persie arrived from Feyenoord for £3m. He had played 61 times for the club and scored 15 goals, but had gained a reputation as a difficult player to manage.
28 August 2011: Arsenal lost 2-8 to Man U. See also: Ref Review Arsenal’s goals came from Walcott and Van Persie, and the first Man U goal from Welbeck. It took Arsenal until October to recover when a run of seven wins and a draw in eight games restored the team’s self-belief.
28 August 2015: Manuel Almunia was forced to retire from football due to a heart condition. He had just signed for Cagliari Calcio but was unable to play for them. He played 405 games for all his clubs in all competitions. He then became Al Jazira’s goalkeeping coach,
28 August 2016: Arsenal signed Lucas Pérez for £17.1m from Deportivo de La Coruña by activating his release clause.
28 August 2021: Arsenal lost to Manchester City – their third straight defeat, leading to claims in the media of this being Arsenal’s worst start to the season since… The date chosen varied in different outlets, but it was always a long time. The club was described as being in a state of panic and disarray and thoughts of relegation were mentioned.
29 August 1920: Rioting in Northern Ireland continued with 11 dead and many more injured in street battles in Belfast. Meanwhile Great Britain played its one and only game in the football tournament of the Olympics in Antwerp. GB lost and thus were immediately knocked out of the tournament. The attendance was 5,000, compared with 50,000 at the Arsenal game the previous day.
29 August 1921: Dan Burgess (generally known as Dick) played his final game: a 2-3 away defeat to Preston. He then moved on to West Ham followed by Aberdare Athletic, QPR and Sittingbourne.
29 August 1925: Herbert Chapman’s first match as Arsenal manager, against Tottenham, in the first league match under the new offside rule. Arsenal lost 0-1. The outgoing manager Leslie Knighton alleged some 20 years later that he was promised the gate money from the game as a benefit payment, but no evidence of such an agreement was ever produced and almost all of Knighton’s anti-Norris statements were subsequently proven to be untrue. And why would a man who had only just avoided relegation two years running get a benefit?
29 August 1925: Charlie Buchan’s debut after signing for Arsenal for a second time. Part of his transfer arrangement was that Arsenal would pay a fee of £100 for every goal he scored in the season. He scored 20. Buchan’s first signing for Arsenal is here.
29 August 1931: As champions Arsenal slipped back, losing 0-1 to WBA at home on the opening day and failing to win any of the first four games.
29 August 1936: Arsenal beat Everton 3-2 with Alex James as captain; James, Bowden and Hapgood scored. Everton’s fall from grace had been dramatic and from having won the league in 1932 and the Cup in 1933 they had subsequently endured seasons with them ending in 14th, 8th and 16th. See also here.
29 August 1938: Rangers 0 Arsenal 1 – part of the Chapman inspired annual series of friendlies between the two sides.
29 August 1942: In a wartime game against Charlton Leslie Compton played in goal and Drake scored two. Bernard Joy writes of a game in which Drake played in goal but there’s no record of such a match, and he may have been (not for the first time) somewhat confused by events.
29 August 1944: George Armstrong born in County Durham, having previously been an apprentice electrician. Between 1962 and 1977 he played 490 league games, plus 10 appearances as sub, plus 58 (2) in the FA Cup, 35 in the League cup and 24 (2) in European games.
29 August 1949: Jack Kelsey joined from Winch Wen of the Swansea and District League. Arsenal was his only senior club and he played 327 games for the club before being injured playing for Wales, and being forced out of the game.
29 August 1951: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1. Final game for Lawrie Scott. He won league winners’ and cup winners’ medals with Arsenal, playing 115 games for Arsenal before moving on to Crystal Palace.
29 August 1956: Viv Anderson born. He came to the attention of the football world playing for Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough with whom he won promotion and then the League.
29 August 1959: Dennis Evans had his leg broken in a 3-3 draw with Wolverhampton – the team that turned him down before he came to Arsenal.
29 August 1959: John Milne died. He won the League with Arsenal in 1937/8 and played twice for Scotland. He left Arsenal for Middlesbrough in 1937.
29 August 1964: Johnny MacLeod’s 101st and last league game for Arsenal. He moved on to Aston Villa, before moving on to KV Mechelen in the Netherlands. He played over 100 league games for each of his first four clubs: Hibs, Arsenal, Villa, Mechelen.
29 August 1970: Arsenal lost 2-1 away to Chelsea – the first defeat of the 1st Double season in game 5 in front of 53,722 spectators.
29 August 1978: Arsenal lost 1-3 to Rotherham in the Football League cup, despite putting out the regular first team. The defeat came on top of two draws and a defeat in the opening matches in the league season.
29 August 1979: Arsenal were drawn in the League Cup against their cultural enemy, Leeds. It ended 1-1, 23,421 present.
29 August 1987: Kevin Richardson’s league debut with Arsenal after joining from Watford. He went on to play 96 times in the league – including in the championship winning game at Liverpool in 1989.
29 August 1987: Alan Smith scored three – his first goals for Arsenal as Arsenal beat Portsmouth 6-0 having failed to win any of the first three games of the season, the team scoring just one goal in them.
29 August 1997: The movie The Full Monty was released in the UK – the film refers to the Arsenal famous back fours’ offside tactics, as the men in the movie rehearse their dance routine.
29 August 2009: Uefa gave in to media pressure and that from Celtic FC as Eduardo retrospectively was charged with diving in the Arsenal v Celtic match. Eduardo should be banned, says SFA chief the Telegraph had screamed on 27 August, and so Uefa did what they were told. It was of course all nonsense and he was cleared at a hearing.
29 August 2013: Flamini arrived at Arsenal for the second time. He played 102 league games for Arsenal between 2004 and 2008, and then 97 in the next five years with Milan.
29 August 2020: Arsenal played Liverpool in the Community Shield. It was the 23rd time Arsenal had played in the game, this time winning on penalties after a 1-1 draw and that made it 16 wins, making Arsenal the second most successful club in the competition.
30 August 1797: Mary Shelly, author of Frankenstein, was born.
30 August 1913: The first ever match played at the Gillespie Road ground, later renamed Highbury. It was the third training match of the pre-season, with the previous two being played at Fulham and Millwall as the pitch was not ready. This game was played behind closed doors, and was probably between the first team and the reserves although no exact details are available.
30 August 1918: There was a strike of 20,000 London policemen with demands of increased pay and union recognition. With the country still at war, and the government feverishly aware that the return of the conscripted soldiers to a civilian life could prove the catalyst for uprising, there was a considerable amount of angst among political leaders.
30 August 1919: Arsenal started the longest run in the top division in the history of English football, by coincidence playing the same team that they played in their first league game. The match was lost 0-1 to Newcastle. It was also the first match as manager for Leslie Knighton plus the first appearance of Alfred Baker, Henry White and Ernie Williamson. Although Arsenal’s rise to the 1st Division is often told as being corrupt, it actually came about in part through revelation by Arsenal’s chairman of the match fixing of other teams and his demand for the corruption to be resolved. Stories told in books such as “Day of the Match” and “What you think you know about football is wrong” are completely wrong. For the facts see 100 Years in the First Division on this site
30 August 1920: Arsenal played their first home game of the season and beat Manchester United 2-0, using the same XI as played in the first match. 25,000 were at Highbury – not too bad for a Monday early evening. Pagnam and Smith got the goals.
30 August 1924: At the start of his last season, ironically Leslie Knighton started with a winning sequence of three games – his best start ever with Arsenal – with the result Nottingham Forest 0 Arsenal 2. Ramsay and Woods scored in front of a 20,000 crowd. The process of clubs playing each other twice in consecutive games was abandoned.
30 August 1930: Gerrit Keyser (sometimes spelled Keizer) debut in a 4-1 away win at Blackpool. Despite only playing in one defeat in the first 12 games of the season, he was dropped and never played for the club again. This game was the first of five consecutive wins and a nine game unbeaten sequence. See also here.
30 August 1930: The new Arsenal handbook for the season helpfully set out the kick off times of matches confirming that until October 11 games would kick off at 3.30pm. After that they started earlier to accommodate the reduced hours of daylight.
30 August 1939 – Arsenal were officially sanctioned to wear numbered shirts for the first time in a league match: Arsenal 1 Blackburn 0 in front of a 17137 crowd. After one more match the season was abandoned. The club had worn numbered shirts on 25 August 1928 but had been ordered to stop by the League. See also here.
30 August 1975. Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Arsenal 0 in front of another poor crowd, of 18,144.
30 August 1977: Arsenal 3 Manchester United 2 in the League Cup 2nd round, with 36,171 in Highbury.
30 August 2002: Rami Shaaban transferred to Arsenal from Djurgårdens. He played just five league games for Arsenal before moving on to Brighton and Hove Albion.
30 August 2011: Armand Traoré joined Queens Park Rangers for £1.5m. He had played 13 games for Arsenal, and had loan spells with Portsmouth and Juventus. After a spell at Nottingham Forest and on loan to Cardiff he joined Çaykur Rizespor in Turkey.
30 August 2011: Park Chu-Young joined Arsenal from Monaco for £1.8m. He only played one league game and was soon moved onto Celta Vigo on loan.
30 August 2011: On 23 January 2007, Nic Anelka said that he would leave Bolton for Arsenal. But on 30 August 2011 he signed another contract with Bolton.
30 August 2016: Lucas Pérez signed from Deportivo La Coruña for around £17m..
30 August 2016: Shkodran Mustafi signed from Valencia for £35m – making him the club’s joint second most expensive player, with him commanding the same fee as Sánchez three seasons before. However 3 years later the new manager is said to have told Mustafi he could leave.
30 August 2016: Calum Chambers given a season long loan with Middlesbrough, who were eventually relegated. After a loan to Fulham in 2018/9 he rejoined the first team squad at Arsenal.
31 August 1906: Percy Sands signed as a professional, although he had been playing with Arsenal as an amateur since 1902, while also working as a teacher. He played for the club for 17 years, playing 327 games.
31 August 1909: the FA agreed that professional players could be members of the Association Football Players Union and a dispute between players and the FA came to an end allowing the season to start on the following day.
31 August 1910: George Burdett signed from Tottenham as an amateur. He played 28 games for Arsenal across two seasons and was a musician with the Royal Artillery Band at Woolwich.
31 August 1925: Joseph Toner’s last game. It was Chapman’s second game with the club, but having seeing his side lose at home to Tottenham and draw 2-2 at home to Leicester on this day, he subsequently started to take dramatic action.
31 August 1925: Bob John was injured and out until October. By the time John returned to fitness Blyth was established in his position of left half and so Bob John became a very successful left back for the next 18 months before returning to his old position.
31 August 1929: Arsenal debut for Alex James, after playing 147 games for Preston – a 4-0 home win over Leeds in front of 41,885. Jack (2) Hulme and Parker scored.
31 August 1931: Last game for William Harper in his second spell at Arsenal. He won a league winners’ medal in 1930/1, and overall played 63 times for the club before moving on to Plymouth.
31 August 1935: First appearance for John Milne. He had previously played for Glasgow Ashfield, and Blackburn Rovers, and was a Scottish international, but little is known of his life. The game was between last season’s league winners – Arsenal, and the runner’s up Sunderland. Arsenal won 3-1: Drake got two and Bastin the third. 66,428 turned up – Arsenal’s biggest ever crowd for the opening day of the season.
31 August 1946: Numbered shirts were confirmed by the League as permissible for all clubs, as per a ruling just before football was abandoned for the duration of the war, in 1939. On 25 August 1928, Arsenal had worn numbered shirts for the first time, but the move was outlawed by the authorities.
31 August 1946: First appearance for Ian McPherson. He started with Rangers but left the club to serve with the RAF during the second world war and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was signed by Arsenal in August 1946.
31 August 1946: Arsenal’s worst ever start to a season, Wolverhampton 6 Arsenal 1. The season began with the same fixtures as the abandoned 1939/40 season. (See 26 August 1939:).
31 August 1949: First game for Arthur Shaw, in a 2-3 home defeat to Chelsea. He was born in London, and played initially for Brentford, as well as representing England as an amateur player.
31 August 1959: Dr Jimmy Patterson died. In the 1st world war he was a medical Officer to the 14th Battalion the London Regiment, the London Scottish with the rank of Major, and served on the front line. His manager at Arsenal, Leslie Knighton, in his autobiography, dismissed Patterson as merely the brother in law of the club’s physio who he was “forced to play” because of a lack of funds to buy other players.. In reality Patterson was an ex-Rangers league winner of high quality who was so good he was later brought out of retirement by Chapman.
31 August 1963: Leicester 7 Arsenal 2. Goalkeeper McClelland was injured and Joe Baker went in goal – commenting after that the club had no arrangements for who should take over if there were to be an injury to the keeper.
31 August 1976: Arsenal beat Carlisle 3-2 in front of 21,550, in the League Cup, Ross scoring two) and Macdonald very satisfactorily getting the third.
31 August 1991: Arsenal 2 Man C 1 (Smith, Limpar). It was Arsenal’s first victory after two defeats and a draw, and Arsenal lost the next game (to Coventry) as well.
31 August 2001: Sylvinho sold to Celta Vigo for £5m. He had played 55 times for Arsenal between 1999 and 2001, and after 84 games for Celta Vigo he played 89 times for Barcelona.
31 August 2003: The Times reported the league match against Man City as containing “the worst 45 minutes [by Arsenal] that any of their fans could remember”. It ended Man City 1 Arsenal 2 and was the 4th league match of the unbeaten season.
31 August 2005: David Bentley loaned to Blackburn. After 14 games on loan he moved to the club permanently and played 88 times before moving to Tottenham in 2008.
31 August 2005: Justin Hoyte loaned to Sunderland. He played 27 times for them before being sold to Middlesbrough for whom he played 142 league games between 2008 and 2013.
31 August 2006: M Poom brought in on loan from Sunderland. He later moved permanently to Arsenal for the 2006/7 season, and played one game before ending his career with Watford. He was Estonian player of the year six times.
31 August 2006: William Gallas transferred to Arsenal along with a £5m settlement fee after Ashley Cole had illegally negotiated with Chelsea. Cole claimed the salary Arsenal had offered him had made him feel sick thus creating the new medical condition of pure greed sickness.
31 August 2007: Lassana Diarra moved from Chelsea to Arsenal. He lasted just five months and sought a move in January 2008 claiming that he had been promised regular games, which he was not getting.
31 August 2011: André Santos, Thomas Eisfeld, Per Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun (loan) and Mikel Arteta, all joined Arsenal,
31 August 2011: Gilles Sunu left Arsenal to join Lorient. He had never played for Arsenal in the league but went on to play 67 games for Lorient before moving on to Evian.
31 August 2012: Goalkeeper Dejan Iliev transferred from Belasica. He was the first Macedonian to join Arsenal, and featured for Arsenal in NextGen and Youth Cup matches while playing for his country at under 21 level.
31 August 2012: Nicklas Bendtner went to Juventus on loan. He only played nine times for the club in the league and did not score. He later moved on to VfL Wolfsburg but only scored one goal in 18 games in his first season there. In 2017 he moved to Rosenburg.
31 August 2012 Park Chu-Young moved to Celta de Vigo. On 22 September 2012 he became the first Korean to score in the Spanish League
31 August 2014: After winning the Community Shield very easily against Manchester City, Arsenal had beaten Palace in the League 2-1, drawn 0-0 with Beşiktaş in the Champions League and now drew 1-1 away with Leicester..
31 August 2016: Serge Gnabry sold to Werder Bremen who soon sold him to Bayern Munich who then in July 2017 sent him out on loan. He returned to Bayern for the 2018/19 season to much acclaim.
31 August 2016: Jack Wilshere loaned to AFC Bournemouth for the season. He was due to go to Roma but reports suggested Bournemouth offered a £2m fee and Jack was happier staying in England. He transferred to WHU in the summer of 2018.
31 August 2016: Kelechi Nwakali loaned to Maastricht for the season.
31 August 2017: Sead Kolasinac voted Arsenal player of the month with 50% of the vote.
31 August 2018: Reiss Nelson loaned to Hoffenheim where he played 23 games during the course of the season, and was highly acclaimed.
31 August 2019: Nacho Monreal was sold to Real Sociedad, ending a six-and-a-half year association with the club.
31 August 2021: Reiss Nelson joined Feyenoord, Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson joined OH Leuven in the Belgian First Division, Héctor Bellerín joined Real Betis, all on loan, while Takehiro Tomiyasu joined from Bologna on a £16 million deal
31 August 2022: The 2-1 win over Aston villa was Arsenal’s 200th league win at the Emirates Stadium. It meant Arsenal had won the first five league games of the season scoring 13 goals. No team that has won the first give games of the Premier League season has gone on to win the title.
31 August 2023: Arteta awarded the “Manager of the Month.” He won it three more times during the season.
The Anniversary files now have over 7000 entries, and are divided into monthly sections.
- And for contemporary events: Untold Arsenal
The anniversaries file aims is the biggest database of Arsenal events ever produced. However in trying to build it I always openly acknowledge that some of the details recorded here will be wrong, and facts will be inaccurate and will need correcting, not least because information may be taken from inaccurate sources, or (in my specialist way) I may have made copying and typing errors. So far over 250 people have contributed to the articles that make up the anniversary files, and if you can help us improve the data, please do either comment on an article (and I’ll correct the file itself), or write a new article for us. A correction and a citation of sources would be good however, rather than just saying “you’re wrong”. A special mention as always must go to Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews, who helped with the early development of this site. But whether you can add original research or corrections with the right data, or articles on people we have not yet covered, that will be very welcome indeed.
The dates in this file are being added to all the time, and come from a whole variety of sources including the internet and a variety of printed volumes. If you notice an error please write to Tony@schools.co.uk – ideally with a correction and a note of your source.
I would particularly like to mention Richard Lerman and David Brown, and their wonderful (but now tragically out of print) volume “The Gunners: Day to Day Life at Highbury”, which is a mine of information. Also to “Arsenal On This Day” by Paul Donnelley (Pitch Publishing). Also where would any of us be without “Arsenal a complete record” by Fred Ollier (Breedon Books), and “Arsenal the football facts” by Dean Hayes (John Blake). If I have missed another sourcebook, please do let me know and I will correct this at once.
If you know of any anniversary dates not yet listed, please do write in and add them. Not only are new dates being added at the rate of about half a dozen a day, but so are links being added to articles on this site. It is intended to produce a book based on this site in due course – but the date gets put back as I find more and more info.