The birth and death of Joe Mercer & the 2nd Double Season starts with a draw.

Here are the Anniversaries from 9 August – part of our regular daily look at Arsenal’s history.

Details of the whole list of 5000 Arsenal anniversaries and other activities undertaken by the Arsenal History Society are at the end of today’s list.

9 August 1914:  Joe Mercer born.  He first played for Ellesmere Port Town before going to Everton in 1932 where he won the League in 1938/9.  After the war he was captain of the 1948 title winning side.  

9 August 1944:  George Armstrong born.  He trained as an electrician, being rejected as a footballer both by Newcastle and Grimsby before joining Arsenal as a youth player in 1961 and made his first start aged 17.  

9 August 1939: Lionel Smith signed as a pro.  He had joined Arsenal in 1939 just before the outbreak of the Second World War as an amateur left back and signed professionally in August on the eve of the declaration of war.

9 August 1955: Leslie Compton benefit match: Arsenal played the MCC at cricket exactly as his brother had done.  In 1947/8 he was a near ever-present for the remainder of the season, as Arsenal won the First Division title and Compton finally earned a top-class honour.

9 August 1961: Terry Anderson signed as a professional.  He had come onto the groundstaff in 1959.  He made his debut in 1963 and played 25 league games for the club before moving to Norwich City in 1965.

9 August 1972: Alex Graham died aged 82. He finished his playing career and ended his career playing for Folkestone FC in the Southern League and later became Brentford assistant manager.

9 August 1977:  Mikael Silvestre born in Chambray-lès-Tours, and  started playing football with the Rennes Football Academy and began his league career with the French club in the 1995/96 season.

9 August 1990: Death of Joe Mercer, on his birthday.  His final managerial post was with Coventry City and as a stand in manager for England. He became an OBE in 1976, and sadly suffered from Alzheimer’s in later life.  

9 August 1997: Leeds Utd 1 Arsenal 1.  Ian Wright scored, Overmars, Petit and Grimandi all started their first game.  Game 1 of the 2nd Double Season    The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.  The start of a 12 game unbeaten run.

9 August 1998: Arsenal beat Man U 3-0 in Charity Shield, winning it for the ninth time.  Overmars, Wreh and Anelka scored.

9 August 2011: Ryo Miyaichi was granted a work permit, but only ever played one league game for Arsenal.  He went on loan to Feyenoord, Bolton, Wigan, and FC Twente,

9 August 2013: Ignasi Miquel loaned to Leicester for the season, and played seven league games for them before transferring to Norwich in 2014.

9 August 2014: Despite being injured Thomas Vermaelen sold to Barcelona for around £15m.  He was not fit to play for his new team until March 2015. In the end he played just one league game in his first season with Barcelona.


And beyond football, on this day in 1979

Brighton on the English south coast, opened the first naturist beach.  Those opposing the beach argued that it would bring undesirables to the area.   A sign put up at the approach to the beach read, “If God wanted us to walk around naked, we would have been born that way.”


The current series from the Arsenal History Series being developed on this site is Henry Norris at the Arsenal, covering all aspects off the life and work of the man who rescued Arsenal from extinction, secured the club’s future by moving it to Highbury, and then brought in Herbert Chapman as manager.

The most recent article is When Highbury opened, and “Victoria Concordia Crescit” was introduced

The previously untold tale of how it was that Norris came to choose Highbury as the suitable location for Arsenal’s new ground.

The series is being worked on daily, and the articles thus far are here.

Among the many other series we have run are…

There are details of many other series covered by this site on our home page.

One Reply to “The birth and death of Joe Mercer & the 2nd Double Season starts with a draw.”

  1. The authorised biography of Joe Mercer by Gary James ‘Football with a smile’ is a must read for any football fan, let alone us gooners!
    Despite his long association with Everton, and then his fantastic managerial career, (Uncle) Joe himself always acknowledged how proud he was to not only represent our club but also to have been captain of The Arsenal. A true footballing legend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *