Losing the first 4 games and “your boys took a hell of a beating”

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

Our most recent article on Arsenal’s history is


9 September 1893: Arsenal’s first defeat in the league: Notts County 3 Woolwich Arsenal 2.  Elliott and Shaw scored Arsenal’s goals making it one draw and one defeat in the opening two matches.

9 September 1911: First game for George Grant.  His career incorporated Woolwich Arsenal, The Arsenal and Arsenal, ending with the cessation of football for the first world war.   In all he made 57 appearances  and scored four goals.

9 September 1923.  Tim Williamson dropped as goalkeeper after a series of poor performances, with Arsenal having lost all four opening games conceding 10 scoring one.  It was the first time Arsenal had failed to get a single point in the opening four matches.

9 September 1969.  Arsenal 3 Glentoran 0.  Fairs Cup 1st round 1st leg.  The start to the first Euro trophy.  Graham got two of the goals and Gould the third, but only 24,292 turned up at Highbury.

9 September 1976: Pat Howard signed   Arsenal were using O’Leary and Simpson as their central defenders for the season, but with both out injured emergency cover was sought and Howard arrived from Newcastle.

9 September 1981: Steve Gatting sold to Brighton and Hove Albion.  Having only played 58 league games for Arsenal he went on to play 316 times for Brighton in the league, before ending his playing career with Charlton.

9 September 1981: Norway 2 England 1 in the World Cup stunned the nation leading Norwegian journalist Bjørge Lillelien to say, “Your boys took a hell of a beating” which became internationally famous.  Sadly Bjørge died in 1987 aged 60 from cancer.

9 September 1987: Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong was born in Cameroon.  One of 28 children, at 16 he moved to France and signed for Bastia becoming part of the team after one season, and was selected for France Under 16s.

Elsewhere on this day

1958: Neo fascists whip up a series of race riots in Notting Hill after a group of white youths beat up a group of black youths.  Petrol bombs were used and at times in the three day rioting there were considered to be well over 2000 people involved in the violence.


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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