Woolwich Arsenal launched their first division campaign 100 years ago, on September 1, 1910, with a match against Manchester United. And the team that was put out was quite remarkable.
Here it is
A Ducat P R Sands R J McEachrane
D Greenaway A Common W Rippon CH Lewis F Heppinstall
Manager: G Morrell
The team formation was the classic for the period – two full back (Gray and Shaw) who stayed back, with three “half-backs”. Sands in the centre would be the defending centre half – the equivalent of the central defender today.
Although the forward line of five looks overwhelming the line actually played in a W formation like this…
A Common CH Lewis
D Greenaway W Rippon F Heppinstall
Common and Lewis were inside right and inside left, while Greenaway and Heppinstall plied the wings. Rippon was the classic Number 9.
I’ve reported before on the remarkable set of players we had – but in case you missed it, here’s the run down again with an article on each. What we had in that squad 100 years ago on 1 September was the man who took over as manager after Chapman, the man who played for England at both football and cricket, a man who played 346 games for us, the man who became the first Arsenal captain at Highbury…
Quite a selection.
There’s an article on the Arsenal History site about each one of these players. Here’s the link and a brief summary in each case, plus a link to the manager.
Goal: – E Bateup The keeper we signed and lost
2: Right Back – A Gray 200 games but now forgotten
3: Left Back – J Shaw Pat Rice in disguise he eventually took over after Chapman
4: Right half – A Ducat Played for England at football and cricket!
5: Centre half – P R Sands The first captain of The Arsenal at Highbury
6: Left half – R J McEachrane 346 games in 14 years
7: Outside Right – D Greenaway Lost in the mists
8: Inside Right- A Common Our big name signing who joined in 1910
9: Centre forward – W Rippon A brief appearance but two records
10: Inside Left – CH Lewis Not quite as versatile as reports suggest
11: Outside Left – F Heppinstall Frank Heppinstall – one of the unknown heroes of the club
Manager: G Morrell the man who had to answer to Norris