Who scored Arsenal’s first Premier League goal, and what was the final score?

The Arsenal Anniversary Files

Today’s headline anniversaries come from 1992, rather obviously.

Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society

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

Coming up shortly: Knighton’s final run

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.


15 August 1886: Charles Lewis born in Plumstead, (then a small town in Kent). He played for East Wickham, Eltham and Maidstone United before joining Arsenal in 1907 – making his debut on December 28.

15 August 1869: Charlie Booth born.  He played in Arsenal’s first ever league game and was one of three players to score a hattrick in the cup game against City Ramblers.

15 August 1894: John Caldwell (who later turned up at Brighton Utd) transferred to Arsenal from Hibernian.  During his time at Arsenal he had a brief period away at Third Lanark, but then returned and played on until April 1898.

15 August 1919: The Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act became law and allowed returning servicemen to get their old jobs back, if they wanted them, and if the jobs existed.  It gave employers the problem of dismissing the workers they had used during the war. Henry Norris campaigned for full pensions for all servicemen who returned unable to work.  His campaign was ignored.

15 August 1925: Following the news of the arrival of Herbert Chapman as manager a crowd of 11,406 came to Highbury for a pre-season practice match between the Arsenal first team and the Reserves (Reds v Blues): Chapman’s first game at Arsenal.

15 August 1970: The start of the first Double season.  Everton 2 Arsenal 2 (George and Graham scoring).  Charlie George broke his ankle, and the press called the game “trench warfare.”

15 August 1976: Arsenal played in Yugoslavia in a pre-season friendly.  Željezničar 1 Arsenal 1.  The local press said of the match, “In an even game  Željezničar and Arsenal didn’t offer much to the spectators”.  O’Leary scored. See also here.

15 August 1983.  Ian Allinson signed for Arsenal on a free transfer following an administrative error by Colchester in which they offered him a salary less than his previous level of payment, thus allowing him to leave without compensation.

15 August 1984: Twente 1 Arsenal 0 in the pre-season series of which Arsenal won two, lost two and drew one.  It was not an auspicious set of games considering the modest level of the opposition.

15 August 1986: Paul Merson’s first senior game – a friendly v Southend.  He went on to play 289 first division games for the club before leaving for Middlesbrough in 1997.  For the pre-season commentary see here.

15 August 1992: Steve Bould scored Arsenal’s first Premier League goal. Campbell got a second to make it 2-0 at half time, but the final score was  Arsenal 2 Norwich 4. The game was played in front of just 24,030 with the North Bank closed in order to become an all seater two tier stand.  However in this season Arsenal won unprecedented FA Cup, League Cup double.  

15 August 1993: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain born.  He was a youth player with Southampton, playing in their first team in 2010/11 before joining Arsenal.

15 August 2003: Arsenal 2 Everton 1.  The 1st league match of the unbeaten season.  Campbell was sent off on 25 minutes, but in a pattern that was to be followed all season, Henry and Pires got the goals.

15 August 2004: In what became a tradition in the early 21st century Arsenal beat Everton in their first match of the season.  Everton 1 Arsenal 4. Bergkamp, Reyes, Ljungberg and Pires scored.

15 August 2009.  Everton 1 Arsenal 6.  The result took Setanta TV who showed it live, by surprise as they had lined up an array of Evertonians to interview through the game and said how sad it was that these eminent ex-players should have to watch this defeat.  Denilson, Vermaelen, Gallas, Fàbregas (2) and Eduardo scored the goals.

15 August 2011: Cesc Fàbregas joined Barcelona for a fee estimated to be between £25m and £35 with a possible £5m of add ons plus a suggestion (unconfirmed) that Fàbregas would pay Arsenal €1 million a year from his wage for five years.

15 August 2012: Wellington Silva loaned to Ponferradina.  Difficulties with a work permit meant that he did not make the early appearance for Arsenal that had been hoped for.

15 August 2014: Jon Toral loaned to Brentford for the season.  He became a regular in the Championship side that just missed out on promotion.

15 August 2015: Nic Bendtner signed for Wolfsburg having been released by Arsenal earlier in the summer.  He had made 169 appearances and scored 47 goals across nine years.

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