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… Our headline story comes from 2 January 1903.
2 January 1886: The match Selby v Woolwich United is recorded in the press as having been played – seemingly proof that there was already football in the Woolwich area before Dial Square and Royal Arsenal (not least because there is only one town called Woolwich in the UK). Reference has also been made to “Woolwich Union” – but that was certainly not a football club.
2 January 1887: An advert appeared in “The Referee” by Dial Square F.C. seeking matches – proof that the club did not become Royal Arsenal on Christmas Day 1886 as is stated in many histories of the club.
2 January 1897: Arsenal played in the fifth qualifying round of the cup beating Chatham 4-0, but there was still yet one more round to go (the “Supplementary round”) before the competition proper. The number of entries showed the way in which the FA Cup had come to dominate football since its foundation 26 years before.
2 January 1903: Harry Bradshaw, was charged with “keeping the Manor Ground for the exercise of a lottery” found guilty and fined after Arsenal’s archery tournament was found to be a lottery, not a competition of skill. The fine was £5, but the tournament raised £1200 – almost a quarter of the annual income of the club. Even if you never click on a link from this site, do read this one. It is fascinating.
2 January 1911: The Sidney Street massacre, the backdrop to the football novel “Making the Arsenal” – the ending of the siege was an event that occupied the nation, which felt itself to be under threat from anarchists.
2 January 1912: Alexander Graham joined Arsenal. He played 179 games for Arsenal before and after the war. He was one of many players who left England during the war, working in the Scottish coal mines and playing football in the Scottish league which did not wind up during the war, as the English league did.
2 January 1915: Harry King scored four as Arsenal beat Wolverhampton 5-1, just one week after beating Leicester 6-0. It was the start of a run of four successive victories that made promotion a real possibility.
2 January 1927: Peter Goring born. A major star, he played over 200 games post war and won the league with Arsenal – his only league club. He played first to Cheltenham Town, and then after Arsenal for Boston Utd later managing Forest Green Rovers for 11 years.
2 January 1934: Herbert Chapman watched Sheffield W v Birmingham City shortly before his unexpected tragic early death.
2 January 1949: Sir Samuel Hill-Wood, chair of Arsenal, died in office, the first Arsenal chairman to do so. He had been a director of the club for 26 years and was instrumental in taking over Arsenal from Sir Henry Norris.
2 January 1965: John Radford became Arsenal’s youngest ever scorer of a hat-trick against Wolverhampton W aged 17 years and 315 days as Arsenal beat Wolverhampton 4-1. In all he played 13 games this season and scored seven.
2 January 1970: Arsenal paid £100k for the first time for a player – Peter Marinello. (The transfer date also quoted as Jan 6). Despite his awesome talent he only played 38 league games for Arsenal, partly due to his wayward lifestyle and party the intransigence of manager Bertie Mee.
2 January 1971: Arsenal were to play Yeovil in Cup for first time in 3rd round, in what was to be the start of the FA Cup element of the first Double, but the match was postponed.
2 January 1978: Peter Simpson made his final appearance in Arsenal 1 Ipswich 0. He had played 370 league games for Arsenal, and had two loan spells, rather unusually, in North America in the late 1960s. He was displaced by the Young/O’Leary centre back partnership.
2 January 1982: Stewart Robson became Arsenal’s youngest FA Cup player in the game: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 0. FA Cup 3rd round.
2 January 1989: Arsène Wenger made his first visit to Highbury, dropping in to watch a match while returning to Monaco from watching a game in Turkey in preparation for a European tie. Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-0. It launched his friendship with David Dein.
2 January 1993: For the second time in 22 years, Arsenal were drawn against Yeovil away in 3rd round of FA Cup, and once again went on to win the cup. Ian wright scored a hat trick in what was Cup Match 5 of Arsenal’s Cup Double season
2 January 1996: Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 making it one win in eight under Rioch. The run was finally ended with two successive 1-0 victories in February.
2 January 2007: Justin Hoyte scored the first Arsenal goal to be scored by an Englishman for Arsenal at the Emirates. It was his only Arsenal goal. It ended Arsenal 4 Charlton 0, the other goals coming from Henry and Van Persie (2).
2 January 2008 Matthew Connolly (who had played in the 6-3 win at Liverpool in Jan 2007 but never in a league match for Arsenal) was sold to QPR for £1m. He has since won the Championship three times.
“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” and “Making the Arsenal” are both available on Kindle, and we have a small number of copies of the printed edition available at £10 each + £2.00 postage and packing for delivery in UK. Please email Tony@schools.co.uk
The latest posts from our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal
What’s on the Arsenal History Society site