The Arsenal chairman warns, “no alcohol just before the match”.

Here are the Anniversaries from 25 August – part of our regular daily look at Arsenal’s history.

Our most recent article on Arsenal’s history is Arsenal at the end of the world: May to August 1914.


25 August 1899.  Chairman and benefactor George Leavey warns his players about drinking before a match.  “No man with a skinful of whisky can play football.”

25 August 1923: Debut of Harry Woods v Newcastle.  It ended Arsenal 1 Newcastle 4 in front of 45,000.  The large crowd was probably caused by the fact that Arsenal were undefeated in the final nine league matches of the previous season.

25 August 1928.  For the first match of the new season Chapman introduced numbers on the players’ shirts.  The FA said subsequently said “no”, for no apparent reason other than it was new.

25 August 1934: Wilf Copping’s first game v Portsmouth away.  The 3-3 draw (Bowden, Drake and Bastin) suggested Arsenal might score goals, and they did.  Eight in the next match and  115 in the league winning the third successive title.

25 August 1954: Jimmy Bloomfield and Joe Haverty league debuts – a 0-1 away defeat to Everton.  In fact Arsenal lost all three of their opening games of the season.

25 August 1964: Arsenal played their first ever home match on a pitch with under soil heating.  It finished Arsenal 1 Sheffield W 1 in front of 35,590.  Simpson scored.  Arsenal went on to win only two of their first six games and finished 13th in the league.

25 August 1970: After what was reported as a long stalemate Bob McNab accepted a new pay offer.  He stayed until 1975 playing 278 league games.

25 August 1970: Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0.  Match 4 in the First Double season, making the tally thus far Won 2 drawn 2.   Kennedy scored in front of just 34,848.

25 August 1984: Arsenal League debut by Viv Anderson in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea.  He went on to play 120 league games for Arsenal over the next three years before moving to Manchester United.  The police demanded the match kick off at 11:30 but it was mostly just a rather silly flexing of muscles by the authorities; there was no significant trouble at Arsenal matches.

25 August 1990: Arsenal start with a 3-0 away win at Wimbledon in front of 13,733, eventually were docked two points but still won the league by 7 points, losing only one match during the whole league campaign.  Merson, Smith and Groves scored.

25 August 1999.  Luis Boa Morte transferred to Southampton after just six league starts and 19 appearances in the league as a sub since joining Arsenal two years earlier.

25 August 2001: Arsenal 4 Leicester 0.  League match 3 of the third Double season.  Ljungberg, Wiltord, Henry, and Kanu scored making it 9 goals in 3, but only two wins.

25 August 2004: Arsenal 3 Blackburn 0 – the game that broke Nottingham Forest’s 42 league games unbeaten record set in 1977/8 by Brian Clough’s team.  Arsenal of course went on to 49.

25 August 2005: Jérémie Aliadière loaned to West Ham but only played seven games for them – although that was better than his previous loan to Celtic where he failed to make an appearance.

Elsewhere on this day, on 25 August 1875, Matthew Webb, a 27 year old master mariner made history by becoming the first person to swim the English Channel.  He did it using breast stroke, rather than crawl.


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.

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