Andy Young, Bob Turnbull and the chaotic but amazing 1922/3 season

By Tony Attwood

Andrew Young, generally known as Andy was born in Darlington  on 17 September 1896 and died in 1964 (exact date unknown.)  He is now largely ignored by Arsenal historians and doesn’t currently merit even a page on Wiki.

He was a centre forward and half back and played originally for Blyth Spartans and then Aston Villa before moving to Arsenal.  ( have him listed – in September 2014 – as a full back, but this is incorrect).

Leslie Knighton paid £2,000 to bring him to London from Aston Villa, a high price at the time, and further proof if it were ever needed that Knighton was not prohibited from buying any player over £1000.   The problem was that although Andy Young was a decent player, he had only played 26 games for Villa.   He had scored 11 goals, but there was nothing to show that he could maintain that for a full season.

He survived two years under Chapman, but was not worth the £2000 that Knighton paid for him, when his team were in dire straits.

Andy Young’s first game was on 22 March 1922:  Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0.  It was particularly notable as Arsenal’s first victory after five consecutive defeats in which the club had scored one and let in 11.  Although Andy Young (who played at number 9) did not score,  one may presume that the re-arranged team at least got something right!
Andy joined a club that was bottom of the league, three points below Manchester United in 21st place and four points from safety.  He played nine of the 11 games from that point on, with Arsenal winning 7, drawing 2 and losing 2 – quite a turn around in form – a run that allowed Arsenal to climb up to 17th and survival in the first division.  It was however a huge drop from the ninth of the season before, and Lt Col Sir Henry Norris would not have been pleased.  But it is interesting that Leslie Knighton, the manager, mentioned nothing of any of this in his autobiography.
Young played the first 11 games of the 1922/3 season, but was then dropped, either through injury or replacement.  His last game was the 0-7 away defeat to West Brom, by which time Arsenal had won four, lost six and drawn 1 game.    His place was taken first by Roe, and then after three matches, by Bob Turnbull who had been playing at full back.
Turnball ended up with an astonishing 20 goals from the 26 games which he played in his new position.  However in April Young returned for two more games, in defence, once as centre half once as a wing half.
Arsenal’s turn around for the season started on 26 December 1922 when after one win in 12 games Turnball scored four for bottom of the table Arsenal in the 5-0 defeat of West Brom.  It was the start of a three match run in which Arsenal scored 13 and let in zero.  Nine of those 13 were scored by Turnball.
Obviously the stunning success of the full back as centre forward made it impossible for Young to come back as centre forward, however injuries restricted Turnbull to 18 games in 1923/4 and back came Young, playing first as centre forward, and then once again as a half back.
But in 1924/5 both Turnball and Young were unable to command a place.  Turnball played just one match, and Young 8, four as a half back and four as centre forward.  He managed two goals.
In Chapman’s first year Young played seven games, all as a half back, with a similar situation in his final season.  In all he played 71 games all told, 68 league and 3 FA Cup.
Young’s final game was on 6 April 1927 – it was Newcastle 6 Arsenal 1.  The Bob Turnbull story is covered in a separate article.  Here are his matches for Arsenal.
Season League Games Goals
1921/2 9 2
1922/3 13 3
1923/4 25 2
1924/5 8 2
1925/6 7 0
1926/7 8 0
Total 68 9


4 Replies to “Andy Young, Bob Turnbull and the chaotic but amazing 1922/3 season”

  1. Andrew young is my great uncle, His cousin Vera still lives at 96 and is my great Grandma, Andrew is now succeeded by my brother who hopes to one day be just like him.

  2. does anyone recollect anything about the player James (jimmy?) Kemp who played as an amateur for Arsenal in 1922 . he was my father in law and the family would love too have any information regarding his time with them.

  3. does anyone know of any information about James(Jimmy?) Kemp who-played for Arsenal as an amateur in1922? He was my father in Law and the family would love to know about his football history , if at all possible Thank you Beryl Kemp

  4. I can only say a negative – that he didn’t play for the first team in the league or cup, nor in any of the friendlies that season. If he just played for the reserves or third team it will be harder to trace.

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