The final farewell to Woolwich Arsenal: 26 April 1913

By Tony Attwood

The final Woolwich Arsenal game played in Kent took place on April 26th 1913.  Just over three months later Arsenal opened up at Highbury.

The match was a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough, and Woolwich Arsenal were relegated, having failed to win any of their previous eight games.  A crowd of 3,000 turned up for this Division I match.

The Arsenal team was

  • Goal: O Wilson
  • Right back: J Shaw
  • Left Back: J Fidler
  • Right Half: GM Grant
  • Centre Half: PR Sands
  • Left Half: A McKinnon
  • Outside Right: C H Lewis
  • Inside Right : W A Spittle
  • Centre Forward: S J Stonley
  • Inside Left: A Devine
  • Outside Left: G Burrell

I am now starting a new series on this match.  Having covered the first game in the league in Kent, it seems only fit and proper to cover the last game.  You will see two players already covered in relation to their careers at Arsenal.  Now I will fill in the rest.  Starting with…

Oliver Wilson, whose one and only game for Arsenal this was.  Born in London, and having previously played for Leyton, he was obviously the reserve given a trial run.  He didn’t make it and after the game no more was heard from him.  No transfer, no nothing, he didn’t even play for another club.

Not an auspicious start for the analysis of the last game ever at the Manor Ground.

But to round matters off, and to make this opening foray just a little more complete, here’s the first team that played at Highbury

  • Goal: J Lievelsey
  • Right back: J Shaw
  • Left Back: J Fidler
  • Right Half: GM Grant
  • Centre Half: PR Sands
  • Left Half: A McKinnon
  • Outside Right: D Greenaway
  • Inside Right : HTW Harding
  • Centre Forward: G Jobey
  • Inside Left: A Devine
  • Outside Left: T Winship

So over half the team survived the move and played in the last game in Kent and the first game in north London.  What’s more Stonely, Lewis and Spittle also stayed with the club and made appearances during the new season.

In the next piece I will move on to J Fidler

4 Replies to “The final farewell to Woolwich Arsenal: 26 April 1913”

  1. I’m struggling with Oliver Wilson. According to Tony Matthews’ Who’s Who he was born in London in 1885 and joined Waltham Forest in the summer of 1913. I can’t find any births registered in that name around that time.

    According to the Association of Football Statisticians website he was born in 1890 but it doesn’t say where. There are a couple of candidates – one born in Sheppey and one in Hackney.

    He played 21 reserve games in 1912-13 and just the 1 first team game.

  2. Believe Oliver Wilson was my Grandfather who was born under the name Wilson Hollingsworth in Woolwich although trying to find birth certiifcate.
    Only information we have is that he was dropped from the squad with the move to Highbury and then the 14-18 war got in the way of future football.

  3. Mike

    Drop me an e-mail

    I may have some information that may help you.


  4. Are there any plans to commemorate the centenary of the final game at The Manor Ground?

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