The latest post from our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal
February 1920: the press discuss Arsenal (and gets it totally wrong.) (Yes they really were just as inept in the 1920s as they are today).
Below is our daily review of Arsenal anniversaries taken from the Arsenal day by day files prepared by the AISA Arsenal History Society. We expect to add 1000 new anniversaries to our files this year. The headline is taken from 2009.
8 February 1902: First game for Thomas Tindal Fitchie – the man who signed five times for Arsenal. Known as the prince of dribblers he signed for clubs seventeen times in his career as he combined being a salesman with being a footballer.
8 February 1905: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Bristol City (away) in the FA Cup in front of 10,000. City were on the way up and in the latter part of the decade were league runners’ up and cup finalists.
8 February 1913: Debut for Stephen Stonley who was signed from Newcastle City, having never played a league game. The selling club was probably in Staffordshire, and his signing either shows that Arsenal’s scouting system was widespread or that the player travelled to Woolwich looking for work.
8 February 1913. First match for Joseph Fidler – one of the men who played the last game in Plumstead and the first game at Highbury. The game was a goalless draw; Arsenal’s first point after four defeats.
8 February 1919: Arsenal played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and won 2-1 in the final season of the London Combination wartime league. The crowd however was only 12,000 as the weather and the flu epidemic took their toll.
8 February 1929: Up to this point there was uncertainty whether Lambert or Halliday was Arsenal’s best centre forward but a hattrick against Everton, following one earlier in the season against Grimsby seemed to settle the issue for Chapman. Lambert finished the season with 18 goals in 20 games.
8 February 1936: Last game for Frank Moss v Blackburn. Frank took over from Charlie Preedy in goal and was nearly ever present for four years playing in the title winning teams of the triple years (1932/3, 1933/4, 1934/5).
8 February 1940. By this date all the games in the wartime Football League South “A” Division for 1939/40 were played, save one – which for some curious reason was left until 3 April!
8 February 1947: First team debut for George Curtis. He did play in two of the league matches in the abandoned 1938/9 season but those are discounted. He played 11 games in 1946/7 before transferring to Southampton on 11 August 1947.
8 February 1941: Arsenal 15 Clapton Orient 2 (London War Cup, 10 goals for Leslie Compton).
8 February 1956: Leyton Orient manager Alec Stock publicly announced his intention to join Arsenal as assistant to Tom Whittaker.
8 February 1979: Brian McDermott became full professional (for his life in management see here). After management ending at the chaos of Leeds he returned to Arsenal as a scout.
8 February 1980: Rhys Wilmot turned pro. He played eight league games for Arsenal in goal and then later played for Hereford, Leyton Orient, Swansea, Plymouth, Grimsby, Crystal Palace and Torquay Utd.
8 February 1987: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1; League Cup semi-final 1st leg. A defeat but the match became famous as the opening game in the sequence of one nil down, two one up games as Arsenal started to win things again.
8 February 1995: Milan 2 Arsenal 0 in Super Cup second leg after a goalless first leg.
8 February 2007: Mark Randall signed professional terms with Arsenal. He never hit the heights and drifted in the lower reaches of the Italian league before returning to England and playing with MK Dons.
8 February 2009: 350 days on from his horrific injury Eduardo was named as a sub for game v Tottenham. He did play again, but never reached his earlier standard.
8 February 2012: Johan Djourou signed a contract extension to 2015 but left before the end to go to Hanover, having played 86 games over a ten year period. He later moved on a permanent deal with Hamburg.
8 February 2014: The run of 6 wins and 2 draws in 8, since the 6-3 defeat to Man C ends with a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool. Arsenal were four down in 20 minutes. It was one of three big defeats (the third was the loss to Chelsea) which came to define the season.
What’s on the Arsenal History Society site
“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 see here for more details