This is our daily review of Arsenal anniversaries taken from the Arsenal day by day files prepared by the AISA Arsenal History Society.
Here are the stories from this day in history…
31 December 1898: Haywood and Hunt each got a hatrick in a game that ended Arsenal 6 Luton 2. It was also the start of a run of six goals in four consecutive matches for Haywood and concluded a run of five goals in three for Hunt.
31 December 1904: Arsenal 0 Newcastle Utd 2. The last of the five games in seven days which resulted in one victory and four defeats. The decline was all the more concerning in that it had come in the wake of Notts C 1 Arsenal 5 – the first time Arsenal had scored five in the first division.
31 December 1909: A miserable end to the year with Arsenal having lost their last three league games of the year (all at home) and with (truthful) stories circulating that Arsenal were in dire financial trouble. Arsenal were in 18th, just one point above the relegation spot.
31 December 1921: Arsenal played their eighth game of the month beating Chelsea 2-0 away to make it 2 wins, 3 draws, 3 defeats in the month. 40,000 turned up. The result left Arsenal one from bottom with only Manchester Utd behind them.
31 December 1960: Nottingham Forest 3 Arsenal 5. Herd got three, Eastham and Henderson the others. It was the 10th match in the 25 league games thus far in the season in which five or more goals had been scored and the sequence continued in the first five league matches of 1961.
31 December 1980: Death of Leslie Jones – the man fundamental to the league title win of 1938. He was released on a free transfer in 1946, and went to Swansea as a player coach signing on 22 May 1946. Shortly after he moved on again to be player manager at Barry Town. He then played for Brighton and later managed Scunthorpe.
31 December 1984: Brian McDermott sold to Oxford for £40,000. He had played 61 times for Arsenal in the league and scored 12 goals, as well as having two loan spells with Fulham and IFK Norrköping.
31 December 1984: Steve Williams, the most committed of players, signed from Southampton for £550,000. During his time at Southampton he played in a league cup final, became captain of the club, played in the FA cup semi-final and took the club to runners’ up in the first division in 1984 – their best ever performance.
31 December 1994: John Jensen scored his first ever goal for Arsenal – Arsenal 1 QPR 3. His failure to score before that point became a matter that was widely discussed and resulted in a number of fans thereafter proclaiming “I was there when Jensen scored”.
31 December 2008: Jay Simpson went on loan to WBA where he played 13 games. After a further loan spell with QPR he was sold to Hull City for whom he played 78 games. After a period in Thailand he returned to play for Leyton Orient.
31 December 2009: Abou Diaby signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2015. Sadly continuing injuries precluded him playing very much and the contract was allowed to expire.
The latest posts from our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal
What’s on the Arsenal History Society site