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Arsenal re-writes its own history: and gets it hopelessly wrong.

The Arsenal Anniversary Files

Arsenal are notorious for re-writing its own history, often getting much of the past wrong and the Arsenal handbook published on this day in 1968 was no exception.  Details below.


Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society

Arsenal in March 1925: The run of consecutive defeats ends, but recovery is slight


Below are the Arsenal (and for historical context, occasionally one or two non-Arsenal) anniversaries for today taken from the complete files of over 6000 Arsenal anniversaries which appear on the Arsenal History Society website.  An index to the monthly Anniversary files can be found in the right column of this site under “Pages”

The current historical series on this site is Henry Norris at the Arsenal.   An index of all our main series can be found on the home page.


13 August 1911: Rioting took place in Liverpool as police and soldiers broke up a peaceful meeting of striking transport works.  Two days later two men were shot dead in the city by the military drafted in to keep the peace.

13 August 1920: The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act was passed meaning that IRA activists could be tried by court martial rather than in the criminal courts, and three days later a new Firearms Act was passed in an attempt to restrict the use of weapons – particularly those that had been retained by soldiers returning from the first world war

13 August 1934: Ken Friar born.  He started with Arsenal aged 12 and rose through the club to rose become Company Secretary in 1973. During this time, he took part in discussions between Arsenal and Tottenham about a stadium share at Alexandra Palace.  Between 1983 and 2000 he was MD of Arsenal.

13 August 1938: A Reds v Blues game (Arsenal vs Arsenal Reserves) took place on 13 August at Highbury, but no record of the score is available.

13 August 1966: Arsenal v Huddersfield pre-season friendly; George Eastham’s last game.  He was Arsenal captain between 1963 and 1966 and scored 41 goals in 223 matches before joining Stoke for whom he played in the 1971 and 1972 cup semi-finals against Arsenal.

13 August 1968: Arsenal’s new handbook announced that the club was formed in 1884 but “the project failed” and that the club was elected to division 2 in 1894.  The second claim was certainly false and no evidence given to support the first.

13 August 1976: Rijeka (Yugoslavia) 2 Arsenal 2 (Ross, Brady).  In the few press reports there were Brady was particularly commended for his performance.

13 August 1980.  Clive Allen and Paul Barron sold to Crystal Palace, Kenny Sansom joining Arsenal.  Allen played three pre-season friendlies but no league games before moving on.

13 August 1983: Aberdeen 0 Arsenal 1 (Talbot).  Part of a pre-season tour in which Arsenal won two and lost two.

13 August 1986: Waterford 1 Arsenal 1 (Allinson).  This was a low key pre-season before George Graham’s first campaign with Arsenal as a manager including games against Shamrock Rovers and Southend United.

13 August 1988.  Arsenal beat Tottenham 4-0 in a pre-season tournament at Wembley with Merson, Marwood (2) and Smith scoring.  In the other match Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 3-0 with Smith getting two and Dixon the third.  Tottenham lost again in their second game.

13 August 1994: Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 3 (Dikov)  This was the Tony Adams testimonial and the end of the final pre-season for George Graham.

13 August 1996: Arsenal, instead of putting out a full first team, as Rioch had been doing, put out a mostly reserve team to play Northampton in the final friendly – and lost 3-1.

13 August 1998: Isaah Rankin transferred to Bradford C for £1.3m.  He played just one league game for Arsenal. He played in the league for ten years before moving into the non-league football, ending with Hendon in 2014.

13 August 2008: Arsenal defeated FC Twente 0-2 away in Third Round Qualifying Round of Champions League with goals from Gallas and Adebayor.  Aaron Ramsey made his debut as sub for Theo Walcott.

13 August 2010: Pedro Botelho loaned to Cartagena; Samuel Galindo loaned to Salamanca.  Neither player ever played for Arsenal, and Galindo had an amazing eight loan spells, and only played any league games in four of them.

13 August 2012: Ryo loaned to Wigan.  He played just four games for them, before later moving on loan again to FC Twente.


The AISA Arsenal History Society is part of the work of the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association.  If you want to join AISA contact them at membership@aisa.org  Alternatively you can join their new campaigns list and receive information on AISA’s work and campaigns by emailing campaigns@aisa.org

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