By Tony Attwood
Despite the fact that for much of footballing history Arsenal have not been in the same division as Leicester we have had a number of events over the years in August that bring the clubs together.
Leicester City was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse, two years before Dial Square and Royal Arsenal, and entered the Football League ten years later, one year after Woolwich Arsenal.
They were league runners up in 1929, and have won the second division seven times, and the third division once – plus the league cup three times.
Over the years we have won 60 of the games against them drawn 43 and lost 28.
The first ever game was on 7 January 1895: Leicester Fosse 3 Woolwich Arsenal 1 in front of a crowd of 3000. It was Arsenal’s third successive defeat following an amazing 7-0 victory over Port Vale on December 25. The return match on 9 March 1895 was a 3-3 draw in front of 4000.
However this first home game against Leicester was actually played at New Brompton’s ground as Arsenal’s ground was shut following the fracas on 26 January in the home game against Burton. Arsenal’s crowds at the time when actually playing at the Manor Ground were normally around 6000 or 7000.
Leicester finished that season fourth in the second division while Arsenal finished 8th.
So what has brought the clubs together over the years?
1 August 1963: Our keeper Jack McClelland was injured in the game against Leicester and so Joe Baker went in goal. Arsenal lose 7-2.
17 August 1974: Arsenal beat Leicester 0-1 – it was the first of no less than seven matches against Leicester in league and cup during the season.
24 August 1996: David Hillier’s final game before his transfer to Leicester. He played 104 league games.
27 August 1997: The definitive Bergkamp hat trick at Leicester in 3-3 draw. 4th league game of the 2nd Double Season
7 August 1999: Thierry Henry’s first appearance – as a sub in Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1
25 August 2001: Arsenal 4 Leicester 0. League match 3 of the third Double season.
9 August 2013: Ignasi Miquel loaned to Leicester for the season
And although it is not an August anniversary, I really must extend the month by a bit and offer 6 September 1913
This was the first match at Highbury. Arsenal beat Leicester Fosse 2-1 with 20,000 present in a very much unfinished stadium.