The first time money from an Arsenal fund raising game did not go to those intended

This is our daily review of Arsenal anniversaries taken from the Arsenal day by day  files prepared by the AISA Arsenal History Society.

Our headline is taken from this day in 1966 – and how it relates to issues today

Here are the stories from this day in history…


15 December 1890, Luton offer five shillings (25p) per week offered to 3 players leading to the suggestion they pre-dated Arsenal as the first southern professional club.  Arsenal however was the first club in the south to go fully professional.

15 December 1926: Harold Peel, a stop gap signing by Chapman, arrived at Arsenal from Bradford PA.  He played for the first time on 1 January 1927, and went on to play nine times that season at either number 10 or 11.

15 December 1934: Arsenal 8 Leicester 0.  This game included Drake’s 6th hat trick of the season.  Arsenal thus far had scored eight twice and seven once in 19 league games.  Hulme also got a hattrick, and Bastin the remaining two.  For a review of Dec 1934 see here.

15 December 1966: Arsenal 4 Cardiff 2.  A fund raising game on behalf of the Aberfan Disaster Fund.  Tragically the fund was seized by the government and parents of the children killed received £500 each from the NCB and had to ‘prove’ that they were ‘close’ to their children before any payment for mental suffering were made.  Most government action involved covering up the incompetence of senior NCB officials.  Questions were raised again in 2017 when the FA failed to reveal what happened to money raised for at the Community Shield for Grenfell Tower victims.

15 December 1995 the European Court ruled the retain and transfer system introduced in 1893 following a court case involving Arsenal, was prohibited by Article 39(1) of the EC Treaty.  Bosman had arrived and the football world would never be the same again.

15 December 2000: Paolo Vernazza sold to Watford for £350,000 after just four league games for Arsenal.   He played 96 times for Watford before moving onto Rotherham, and then later played non-league football, before retiring in 2011.

15 December 2000: Christopher Wreh sold to Al-Hilal.  Although he kept Ian Wright out of the FA Cup Final, after playing for Arsenal he is reported to have been to seven clubs, but played rarely.  However Christopher himself has denied the many strange stories that have circulated about his life after Arsenal.

15 December 2001: West Ham 1 Arsenal 1.  League match 16 of the third Double season.  The result left Arsenal second, three points behind Liverpool, and having played a game more.

The latest post from our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal

Norris at the Arsenal. 1-10 December 1918; allegations of corruption heard in court.

Yesterday’s anniversaries: 

IWhen did Arsenal play two games at once, and who scored seven in one league game?

Special feature: 

Highbury: from start to end with previously unseen pictures of the end of the stadium.

What’s on the Arsenal History Society site

An index to the various series that contain over 1,700 articles on this site concerning the history of Arsenal appears on our home page.

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