By Tony Attwood
If you are a member of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (AISA) you’ll know what happens around this time of year. You get a little package through the door.
If you are not a member of AISA, let me tell you what it is, in the hope that you might consider joining the Association.
What we are doing is publishing a series of highly illustrated booklets that trace the history of Arsenal from its origins onwards, and at this time of year a new one is due to come out.
Now I can tell you that it is one its way, because today I signed off the final copy of the text. The illustrations are being added, the book will shortly be printed, and then it will be in the post to all members.
This is the fifth book in the series, the previous editions being
1: Dial Square to Woolwich Arsenal
2: The Start of the Norris Era
3: Wartime, Promotion and the pre-Chapman years
4: Herbert Chapman Truth and Myth
Volume five in the series is called Arsenal After Chapman, and takes us through the management of Joe Shaw and George Allison, ending with Allison’s retirement at the end of the 1946/7 season.
One of the key issues that has guided us through the writing and publication of these booklets is that we should try in each one to reveal some elements of Arsenal’s history that have either been ignored in the past, or have been wrongly reported, and which are of major importance.
I think we have done that each time, and in this volume really does hit the mark again (although I would say that as I was closely involved in preparing the publication).
The new volume investigates exactly why Joe Shaw was made manager and then stepped aside for Allison, and reveals a lot of new information about Allison’s life and his approach to the club.
For non-members of AISA each publication costs £5, but since membership is only £15 it makes sense to join and be part of the Association – an Association which has very close links with the club.
If you click here you’ll go to the membership page where you can sign up – but if you don’t want to sign up but instead just want to buy one of more of the booklets, you can do that on the right of the page.
Publication is a couple of weeks away, and I’ll do a reminder about the time the book comes out – but if you do get a copy, I really do hope you enjoy it. I really do think the new perspective on Allison’s life and work gives a whole new vision of Arsenal in the 1930s.
Chair, AISA Arsenal History Society