The Arsenal Anniversary Files
Today’s headline anniversaries come from 1914 – the answer to the question is six months and the game was a friendly.
Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society
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”
22 August 1914: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 5. This was the only pre-season friendly recorded for the season, although it is more than likely that a match between the first team and the reserves was also played. 13,564 turned up for the first match between the two after the move to north London, reflecting a certain thawing in relationships. On the same day 27,000 French soldiers died in the Battle of the Frontiers. Arsenal didn’t play Tottenham again in a friendly until 1938
22 August 1925: At the second pre-season game of Chapman’s reign 13,269 turned up for a “practice match” between the first team and the reserves
22 August 1932: The first experimental television broadcast by the BBC was conducted.
22 August 1937: Birth of Laurie Brown. He started as a centre forward with Bishop Auckland and then played briefly with Darlington before moving back to non-league football with Woking. He played in the 1960 Olympic Games side before signing for Northampton, and was the club’s top scorer in 1960-61 as they were promoted to the Third Division.
22 August 1953. Gerry Ward became the youngest ever Arsenal player in the League. Whittaker recorded in his memoirs that he was in serious need of new players but had no doubt about Ward being a player who would shine for Arsenal.
22 August 1953: Dennis Evans first league game a home 0-0 draw with Huddersfield with 54,000 turning up to celebrate last season’s championship winning team in their first home match of the new campaign.
22 August 1959: Mel Charles first league match. He played 60 league games and scored 26 goals before moving on to Cardiff.
22 August 1963 Ian Ure signed from Dundee for £62,500. He had been a member of their championship side and played in the side that reached the European Cup semi-finals. He was also in the Scotland team on 8 November 1961 that beat Spain 6-2 at the Bernabeu.
22 August 1964: BBC TV launched Match of the Day launched with one recorded game and chose Liverpool v Arsenal. It meant that Arsenal continued their run of being the first team with a radio commentary and the first televised team when Arsenal v Arsenal Reserves was shown.
22 August 1970: Arsenal 4 Manchester United 0. Match 3 in the first Double season, and the first win of the season after two draws. George and Graham scored but George was seriously injured and did not play again until 6 February.
22 August 1978: League debut for Paul Barron: a 1-1 draw away to Manchester City. Macdonald scored for Arsenal. Rice returned in defence, but there was still no Rix and so Walford came in as number 11. 39,506 were in the crowd. See also here.
22 August 1981: Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 1 (Nicholas). The final pre-season friendly. In all Arsenal won two by the odd goal, and drew the other two.
22 August 1987: Charlie Nicholas played his final game – a 0-2 away defeat to QPR. He scored just 34 goals in 151 league games – far fewer than was hoped for when he signed for the club in 1983.
22 August 1998: Champions Arsenal drew 0-0 with Liverpool, the first of four consecutive draws – the first three of which were goalless.
22 August 1999: Davor Suker league debut v Manchester U. Arsenal lost 2-1. Ljungberg scored in what was Arsenal’s first defeat of the season. Sky called this “the world’s first live interactive match”, as the new digital service gave alternative camera angles. It was Arsenal’s first home defeat since December 1997.
22 August 2002: West Ham 2 Arsenal 2. After creating the record for consecutive wins, in the first match of the season, Arsenal were finally held to a draw – although at one stage were 2-0 down.
22 August 2004: Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 5-3, one of four games in which Arsenal scored five or more that season. With Bergkamp captain Arsenal went 3-1 down. Dennis scored, and the comeback started. He said later, “I took it personally”.
22 August 2009: After beating Everton away 6-1 Arsenal followed up with a 4-1 defeat of Portsmouth. Diaby got two, Gallas and Ramsey the others.