17 March brings us the usual stream of anniversaries, the full list of which is given below. But among them are two birthdays: Pat Rice and Lee Dixon, plus two significant matches in Double Seasons:
- 17 March 1998: WHU 1 Arsenal 1, FA Cup 6 Replay. Anelka scored in the game, and Arsenal won on penalties on the way to the second double. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
- 17 March 2002 Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2. Part of a run of 13 consecutive wins. League match 30 of the 3rd Double season.
And of course it comes at a moment when we are thinking about the FA Cup once again, having seen Reading get through to the semi-final for only the second time in their existence.
By a strange coincidence Reading also made it through in 1927 when Arsenal reached the semi-final for the third time. On the day when Reading were getting knocked out of the semi by Cardiff we were playing Southampton on 26 March 1927 The result was Arsenal 2 Southampton 1 FA Cup with Hulme and Buchan scoring the goals that took Arsenal to the final for the first time. (See also here)
The full details are on that date link above but here are the matches in that run up to the final
|3||Jan 8||A||Sheffield U||W||3-2||28,137|
|4||Jan 29||A||Port Vale||D||2-2||18,000|
|4 Rep.||Feb 2||H||Port Vale||W||1-0||35,781|
|F||April 23||Wembley||Cardiff C||L||0-1||91,206|
Crowd figures taken from “Arsenal a complete record” by Fred Ollier.
And here’s the full list of anniversaries today…
17 March 1888: Royal Arsenal 5 Ascham 0. Part of the 11 match unbeaten run at the end of season 2 during which Royal Arsenal scored 43 goals.
17 March 1894: Arsenal 2 Millwall Athletic 2. After joining the league Arsenal continued the money spinning local derbies with Millwall.
17 March 1900: Last appearance of Roger Ord. He stayed with Arsenal until September at which time he was transferred to Luton.
17 March 1909: First game for Matthew Thompson. He had signed from Maryhill FC in Glasgow the previous summer.
17 March 1923: Bob John made his international debut and went on to play for Wales 15 times between 1923 and 1937.
17 March 1949: Pat Rice born. He went on to make 391 league starts across a 13 season career, became temporary manager while waiting for Arsene Wenger to arrive from Japan, and then Arsene Wenger’s long term assistant.
17 March 1958: Arsenal won the London Challenge Cup. It was one of 16 times Arsenal reached the final, and one off 11 times Arsenal won it.
17 March 1964: Lee Dixon born. He became part of one of the most famous defences in the history of English football between 1987 and 2000.
17 March 1973: Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2 (FA Cup 6th round). Ball and George scored.
17 March 1979: Ipswich 2 Arsenal 0 made it three defeats in the last four. Despite winning the FA Cup this season the league form remained erratic throughout.
17 March 2002 Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2. Part of a run of 13 consecutive wins. League match 30 of the 3rd Double season.
17 March 2009: Arsenal 2 Hull 1 FA Cup 6th round. Hull made their wild and allegations about assault and of Fabregas being wrongly dressed, after the game. All allegations were thrown out.
17 March 2009: Highbury Square awarded a prize for architectural excellence. The citation noted it preserved the nature and memory of the original arena while developing a new residential typology which contributes to the rich, local grain of streets, avenues and squares.
17 March 2010: Luke Ayling loaned to Yeovil. He was later transferred there and played 162 league games for them before moving on to Bristol City.
17 March 2010: Jens Lehmann re-signed by Arsenal, having been training at the club as he prepared for his coaching qualifications.