Arsenal were 7th in the league after 7 games. And then what?


The Arsenal Anniversary Files

Today’s headline anniversaries come from 1988

Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society

Dec 1925: Arsenal’s winning run comes to an end but they stay top of the League.

The next article will be published later today.

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.


3 September 1898 John Dick played his first league game for Arsenal – a 1-0 away victory over Luton Town.  He was an ever present that season, playing in every league and cup match.

3 September 1904: First game in the first division; and the first under Phil Kelso.  As with Arsenal’s first game in the second division the match was against Newcastle away, and again Arsenal lost – 0-3 on this occasion.  Newcastle went on to win the league. This was also the first game for James Henry Bigden a stalwart of West Ham, and Archi Gray who came from Hibernian.

3 September 1904:  Jock Rutherford scored the first goal that Woolwich Arsenal conceded as a First Division team.  But at the start of 1913/14 he was in dispute with Newcastle over wages and was sold to Woolwich Arsenal.  He was still playing for Arsenal in Chapman’s first season in 1925/6.

3 September 1905: Jimmy Dunne born. He started with Shamrock Rovers, and then moved to New Brighton scoring six goals in his first eight league games. Then it was Sheffield United, who signed him in February 1926 – which is when he became a star.

3 September 1906: Final game for Jimmy Blair, a 4-1 away defeat to Bury.  He played 13 league games and scored three goals for Arsenal.

3 September 1910: Bury 1 Arsenal 1. It may seem strange to think of Bury in the first division, but they were – and indeed they won the FA Cup in 1900 and 1903, recording the highest score in a Cup Final.  It was the first game for Harry Logan.

3 September 1910: Duncan McDonald’s last game for Arsenal.  He transferred from Arsenal in the summer of 1911 reportedly to West Hartlepool – but that seems very unlikely and it was probably Hartlepools United.

3 September 1914: The FA attempted to head off some of the negative publicity gained through continuing professional football, by encouraging younger footballers to join up. However Charles Buchan wrote in his memoirs that when he told his employers at Sunderland FC of his intention to join up, they responded by threatening to sue him for breach of contract; so he didn’t volunteer until the summer of 1915.

3 September 1921.  Sheffield Utd 4 Arsenal 1 as Arsenal made it three defeats in succession at the start of the season for only the second time (the previous being 1894). Arsenal included 5 players who had not played the opening game one week before.

3 September 1932.  Arsenal 6 Sunderland 1 (Hulme 3, Coleman, Jack, Bastin) as Arsenal started an amazing 18 match run in which they won 15, drew 2 and suffered just one defeat scoring 66 goals in the process (3.66 a game)

3 September 1936: George Swindin played his first game for Arsenal as Arsenal lost 2-0 to Brentford.  He was signed by Allison after playing for Bradford City for two years.

3 September 1977: Ritchie Powling’s last game.  Arsenal 3 Nottingham Forest 0. He had played 55 league games in all and scored three goals before moving on to QPR.

3 September 1988: “Never take too much notice of the first home game” was etched in the minds of supporters as Arsenal lost the first home game of the season: Arsenal 2 (Marwood, Smith) Aston Villa 3.  After five games and two defeats Arsenal were 7th. We did however win the league.

3 September 1994: Billy Wright died aged 70 of stomach cancer.  After leaving Arsenal, he became a television pundit and Head of Sport for ATV and Central Television, before joining the board of directors at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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