The first ever league match and the record signing (until this year).

Here are the Anniversaries from 2 September  – part of our regular daily look at Arsenal’s history.

Might I particularly recommend “Also on this day” below, if you like a chuckle.

Our most recent article on Arsenal’s history is November 1914: The Times journalist goes to a reserve match without realising it..

2 September 1893: Woolwich Arsenal 2 Newcastle Utd 2.  This was the first ever league match of the club with the goals coming from Shaw and Elliott.  Also see this report   And the original reports in the press

2 September 1899: First league match under Harry Bradshaw.  It was also the first game for James Jackson who went on to play 183 league games for the club, and James Tennant who played 51 across two seasons before moving on to Middlesbrough.

2 September 1901: First appearance for Thomas Briercliffe, Arsenal 2 Barnsley 1.  He played in all 34 league games that season and scored 11 goals.

2 September 1905: First appearance for James Sharp who had transferred from Fulham and for Jimmy Blair who had been transferred from Kilmarnock.  The season marked the first serious drive towards promotion by Woolwich Arsenal.

2 September 1908: First game under George Morrell: Arsenal 0 Everton 4.  Although Arsenal lost four of their first five games under Morrell, they recovered to end a very creditable sixth in division 1.

2 September 1912: Start of final season at Plumstead: Arsenal 0 Manchester United 0.  The crowd was 8724 for this match played in the monday evening twilight.

2 September 1916: Debut for Arthur Hutchins in a wartime friendly.  He had played with Croydon Common, who were the only Southern League club that failed to return after the first world war – Hutchin’s registration passing to Arsenal.

2 September 1939: Arsenal 5 Sunderland 2 (Dark 4, Drury).  This was the final match before World War II, the season then being abandoned after 3 games.  The crowd was 17,141.  A barrage balloon rose from behind the ground at the final whistle.

2 September 1958: Stan Charlton’s last game: Burnley 3 Arsenal 1.  He had made 110 league appearances, scoring three goals.  In December he moved to Leyton Orient and helped them gain promotion to the first division where their first match was against…. Arsenal.

2 September 1958: Cliff Holton’s last game.  He moved on to Watford, and then to Northampton where he became the club’s highest ever scorer in a single season.  He then moved on to Palace, Charlton, Watford (again) and Orient.

2 September 1961: Chris Whyte born in Islington.  He played 90 games for Arsenal including playing alongside David O’Leary in the early 1980s.  He played for Arsenal from 1978 to 1986.

2 September 1964: Johnny MacLeod sold to Aston Villa after 130 league games for Arsenal.  He continued playing until 1975 although the last three years were on a part-time basis.

2 September 1976: Eddie Kelly sold to QPR.  He had played 222 times for Arsenal including 175 in the first division and stayed one year at QPR and then was signed by Frank McLintock at Leicester, leaving after three seasons as they were relegated and then promoted as champions.  

2 September 2009: Bendtner signed new long term contract.  He was at Arsenal from 2005 to 2014, and his longevity at the club drew much criticism both for his lack of goals (24 in 108 league games), his perceived arrogance and eccentric lifestyle.

2 September 2009: Denilson signed new long term contract.  There was hope for some time that he might become a replacement for Gilberto Silva, as a defensive midfielder, but although his positioning was excellent, his passing out lacked much of Gilberto’s simplicity and accuracy.

2 September 2012: Arsenal played their third league match after two without scoring and perhaps surprisingly beat Liverpool away 2-0.

2 September 2013: Arsenal announced that they had signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for £42m.  It was by some margin Arsenal’s record signing thus far.

2 September 2014: Arsenal confirmed the signing of Danny Welbeck from Man U.for about £16m in the last few hours of the transfer window.  It was a transfer that surprised and to some degree split the fanbase.

Elsewhere on this day, Lord George Brown was born in 1914.  The Foreign Secretary, as he became, was notorious for enjoying his alcohol, and there is a lovely tale told of him at a reception for foreign dignitaries in Uruguay in which he is supposed to have swanned up to another of the guests and said, “Beautiful lady in such a fine red dress, may I have this waltz.”  The reply was somewhat frosty, along these lines.

“No, Mr Brown you may not, and this for three reasons.  First, you are drunk.  Second it is not a waltz but the Uruguay national anthem.  And third I am not your beautiful lady in a fine red dress, but rather the Archbishop of Montevideo.”


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 *