By Tony Attwood
Arthur George Worrall was born on 8 Sept 1869 and played centre forward for Arsenal. It is also written that he played inside right on occasion for other teams.
He started with Goldthorne Villa, and then followed spells with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burton Swifts, and Leicester Fosse, before joining Woolwich Arsenal
Worrall seems to have moved on quickly quite often throughout the bits of his career we can trace – for example at Leicester he played four games between April and October 1893. One Leicester web site speaks of his being suspended by the club for poor behaviour – but it gives no further details.
With Arsenal he only played in the 1893/4 season before moving on to Nelson and finally Stockport County.
In all he played four league games and scored 1 goal in Arsenal’s inaugural season plus 11 friendlies and scoring 3 goals – including a remarkable run at the end of that campaign in April 1894 – more on that in a moment.
His first game was on 18 January 1894 in a friendly against Accrington which Arsenal won 2-0 in front of a crowd of 2,000. This was the start of three appearances in five friendly matches before on 3 February getting his League debut in a game away to Lincoln which Arsenal lost 3-0.
The game on 6 February away to Rotherham saw Worrall play again this time scoring in a 1-1 draw.
He was then not seen again in League matches until he played in two of a run of three away league games at the very end of the season, all of which Arsenal lost. The two he played in were on 24 March (Notts C 2 Arsenal 1) and 14 April (Burton Swifts 2 Arsenal 0).
The Burton match is of interest in that it was not only Worrall’s last game but also the final league appearances for Charles Williams, William Jeffrey, Joseph Cooper, and Thomas Bryan.
Additionally between 2 and 22 April Arsenal played nine friendlies and Worrall played in eight of these scoring three goals. In fact in the space of 32 days up to the final match of the season on 28 April, Arsenal played 10 friendlies and two league games and Worrall played in 10 of them (nine friendlies and one league game).
To be clear that means he played in ten games in 32 days in front of the paying public. Arsenal.com speak of his “impressive scoring in friendlies” but in reality he scored just three in 11 games.
This picture which I found on the internet without attribution is said to be of him.
After Arsenal Worrall played for Nelson and Stockport County before joining Distillery in the Irish League and the finally coming to Kettering in Northamptonshire.
There seems to be no connection between many of these clubs – one wonders how he happened to move to each club – but it is possible that his employment outside football determined where he played.
Finally I have also found this which appears to be his military service record.
More on all the series published by Arsenal History Society is here