By Tony Attwood
On February 29 1936 Arsenal beat Barnsley 4-1 at Highbury in the 6th round of the FA Cup. With other clubs playing League matches that day Arsenal now had a couple of games in hand, but clearly had little chance of winning the League. However being in the semi-final Arsenal had every chance of winning the cup.
From this point on, new names started to appear in the Arsenal team for league games – players who had not made a single appearance before, during the season. Players like Cartwright (left half and right half), Kirchen (outside right), Cox (centre forward), Tuckett (centre half), Westcott (centre forward) and Bernard Joy, (centre half). Additionally Dougall, who had made one earlier appearance got a a run of games at inside left.
These players notched up 30 games between them during the remainder of the season – but (not surprisingly) not one of them played either in the semi-final of the Cup on 21 March against Grimsby, nor in the final on 25 April against ~Sheffield United.
On 4 March 1936 Arsenal beat Derby County away 4-0 which given Derby’s position in the league (see above) was a fair vindication of the team selection by George Allison, especially as new men Dougall, Kirchen and Cox all scored. But then Arsenal only won one game in the League from the next ten, and that is what made the League see red (as it were).
Despite playing some reserves in the first team, and despite winning only two games in the last 14, Arsenal still came in 6th at the end of the season. But with three games to go before the end of the season Arsenal had won the cup on 25 April beating Sheffield U 1-0.
So 8 June 1936 at a hearing Arsenal were fined £250 for not putting out their strongest team.
But what of the players? I’ve never seen anyone do a report on them – so (probably for the first time ever) here’s a quick summary.
Sidney Cartwright continued to make occasional appearances for Arsenal after his 5 games in 1935/6, with two, six, and three appearances as a wing half during the next three seasons. However he did not return after the war, being by then 35, and did not play professionally again.
Alf Kirchen had played 7 games in 1934/5 and got six games in 1935/6. He went on to be a mainstream player for Arsenal and made 92 league appearances and scored 38 goals, before the war also stopped his career.
George Cox played five games in 1935/6, to add to his two in 1933/4, and then went on to play for Fulham and Luton.
Ernest Tuckett made two appearances in 1935/6 before moving on to Bradford City. He died in 1943.
Ronald Westcott’s two appearances and one goal in 1935/6 were the total of his first team appearances for Arsenal. His appearance was the tragedy of the affair – for he was a very promising centre forward, but he got a knee injury in his second match and never played professional football again.
Bernard Joy made his first two appearances in 1935/6, but went on to play 86 games as an amateur for Arsenal, and was captain of the British Olympic football team.
Peter Dougall played 21 games and scored four goals over the three seasons from 1933/4 to 1935/6, before moving on to Everton and Bury.
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