Chapman’s first game, trench warfare and a sending off to launch the Invincibles

Here are the Anniversaries from 15 August – part of our regular daily look at Arsenal’s history.

Our most recent article is Arsenal’s first ever FA Cup match at Highbury and a challenge for promotion: Jan 1914

15 August 1886: Charles Lewis born in Plumstead, (then a small town in Kent). He played for East Wickham, Eltham and Maidstone United before joining Arsenal in 1907 – making his debut on December 28.

15 August 1869: Charlie Booth born.  He played in Arsenal’s first ever league game and was one of three players to score a hattrick in the cup game against City Ramblers.

15 August 1894: John Caldwell (who later turned up at Brighton Utd) transferred to Arsenal from Hibernian.  During his time at Arsenal he had a brief period away at Third Lanark, but then returned and played on until April 1898.

15 August 1925: Following the news of the arrival of Herbert Chapman as manager a crowd of 11,406 came to Highbury for a pre-season practice match between the Arsenal first team and the Reserves: Chapman’s first game at Arsenal.

15 August 1970: The start of the first Double season.  Everton 2 Arsenal 2 (George and Graham scoring).  Charlie George broke his ankle, and the press called the game “trench warfare.”

15 August 1976: Arsenal played in Yugoslavia in a pre-season friendly.  Željezničar 1 Arsenal 1.  The local press said of the match, “In an even game  Željezničar and Arsenal didn’t offer much to the spectators”

15 August 1983.  Ian Allinson signed for Arsenal on a free transfer following an administrative error by Colchester in which they offered him a salary less than his previous level of payment, thus allowing him to leave without compensation.

15 August 1986: Paul Merson’s first senior game – a friendly v Southend.  He went on to play 289 first division games for the club before leaving for Middlesbrough in 1997.

15 August 1992: Steve Bould scored Arsenal’s first Premier League goal. Campbell got a second to make it 2-0 at half time, but the final score was  Arsenal 2 Norwich 4.  The game was played in front of just 24,030 with the North Bank closed in order to become an all seater two tier stand.  However in this season Arsenal won unprecedented FA Cup, League Cup double.  

15 August 1993: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain born.  He was a youth player with Southampton, playing in their first team in 2010/11 before joining Arsenal.

15 August 2003: Arsenal 2 Everton 1.  The 1st league match of the unbeaten season.  Campbell was sent off on 25 minutes, but in a pattern that was to be followed all season, Henry and Pires got the goals.

15 August 2004: In what became a tradition in the early 21st century Arsenal beat Everton in their first match.  Everton 1 Arsenal 4. Bergkamp, Reyes, Ljungberg and Pires scored.

15 August 2009.  Everton 1 Arsenal 6.  The result took Setanta TV who showed it live, by surprise as they had lined up an array of Evertonians to interview through the game.  Denilson, Vermaelen, Gallas, Fàbregas (2) and Eduardo scored the goals.

15 August 2011: Cesc Fàbregas joined Barcelona for a fee estimated to be between £25m and £35 with a possible £5m of add ons plus a suggestion that Fàbregas would pay Arsenal €1 million a year from his wage for five years.

15 August 2012: Wellington Silva loaned to Ponferradina.  Difficulties with a work permit meant that he did not make the early appearance for Arsenal that had been hoped for.

15 August 2015: Nic Bendtner signed for Wolfsburg having been released by Arsenal earlier in the summer.  He had made 169 appearances and scored 47 goals across nine years.

15 August 2014: Jon Toral loaned to Brentford for the season.  He became a regular in the Championship side that just missed out on promotion.

Elsewhere on 15 August…

On this day in 1811 Joseph de Maistre said “Every country has the government it deserves”.  I suspect that this is as true today as it has ever been.


Details of the whole list of 5000 Arsenal anniversaries and other activities undertaken by the Arsenal History Society are below.

If you spot any errors please do write in and say, and we’ll correct them.  We think we’ve got up to about 97% accuracy, and anything you can do to help us weed out the final 3% of wrong-uns would be much appreciated.


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 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.

Leave a Reply

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