How Arsenal’s crowd dropped to 16,000 not long after winning the Double

These are the anniversary files of Arsenal FC

Today’s headline anniversaries come from 1979

Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society

Feb 1926: Injuries, shock team selections, Arsenal slip up

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.


8 September 1869: Arthur George Worrall born.  He played centre forward for Arsenal having started with Goldthorne Villa, and then followed spells with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burton Swifts, and Leicester Fosse, before joining Woolwich Arsenal

8 September 1888: The first Football League games were played – although without complete agreement on how the League table would be constructed.  The first ever League goal was an own goal by Aston Villa defender Gershom Cox.  Jerry Cooper was a member of Wolverhampton team vs Aston Villa and he joined Arsenal in 1893.

8 September 1894: Henry Boyd scored his first goal.  Of all the players who played 30+ games for the club he had the highest goals to games ratio scoring 32 goals in 41 league games between September 1894 and December 1896.

8 September 1915: The 177th (Fulham) Royal Field Artillery Brigade which was raised and paid for by Henry Norris and the 182nd (ditto) marched through the streets of Fulham for the first time as they waited to be amalgamated into a regiment.

8 September 1915: Arsenal beat Glossop North End winning 4-0 away with King getting another two goals.  For the third match running the crowd was small – again just 7000. But Arsenal had scored seven goals in the first three games: not a bad start.

8 September 1919:  Tottenham, who had been beaten to a place in Division 1 by Arsenal in the summer were already top of the 2nd Division, having won all three games scoring 13 and conceding one, seeming to justify their claim for a place in the first in the elections.  But Arsenal beat Liverpool 1-0 on this day to help establish their credentials in the 1st division.

8 September 1923: Jock Rutherford returned to Arsenal after a very brief period as manager of Stoke

8 September 1925: The fact that Bromley Council wanted changes to the plans for buildings proposed by Sir Henry Norris’ company suggests that Sir Henry was handing over more and more of his affairs to his staff in his building business as well as at Arsenal. It never happened when he was personally overseeing the applications.

8 September 1934:  Arsenal were away to Leeds who had already suffered two defeats, and gained a draw and one win.   The game ended 1-1 with Drake getting the goal. The result left the league with a top four of Sunderland, Sheffield W, Preston  and Arsenal.

8 September 1936:  Welsh nationalists set fire to RAF Penrhos bombing school, thus creating the Tân yn Llŷn (Fire in Llŷn) protests.  The UK government had been thwarted by local pressure for the site to be in Northumberland and Dorset, but then pushed through the development in Wales against enormous opposition.

8 September 1938: Arsenal were away to Brentford who last season had looked for a while as if they might be champions.  The 0-1 defeat for Arsenal was a disappointment as had been able to play the same line-up for the third league match running.  It was not a promising start to the season.

8 September 1954: First of just two games for goalkeeper Ralph Guthrie.  A 2-1 away defeat to Manchester City. He signed from Tow Law Town but after two seasons moved on to Hartlepools Utd.

8 September 1970.  Arsenal offered £125,000 for WBA midfielder Bobby Hope but the deal came to nothing and Hope stayed at Albion until 1972, when he moved to Birmingham City.

8 September 1971: Arsenal 1 Barnsley 0 in front of 27,294 in the league cup.  Marinello and Roberts made their first starts of the season.  Arsenal took an early lead through Kennedy and then played as if the whole game was a bit of a bore for such high calibre players forced to face third division opposition.

8 September 1979: A mere 16,429 bothering to pay to see Arsenal lose 2-3 to Derby who had previously only scored one goal in the season.  Meanwhile the national transfer record was broken for the second time in four days when Wolverhampton Wanderers paid Aston Villa £1.5m for Andy Gray.  Arsenal had made no big purchase to replace Macdonald, and still they made no move.

8 September 1984: Arsenal topped the league for first time in 12 years after beating Liverpool 3-1 at Highbury in front of 50,006.  Arsenal had won three, drawn one and lost one – but sadly slipped in the next match – a 2-1 defeat to Ipswich.

8 September 2001: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1.  League match 4 of the third Double season.  Henry scored, and after four games Arsenal had two wins one defeat and one draw.  But perhaps more interestingly, Arsenal had scored 10 and conceded 3.

8 September 2016: Crystal Palace signed Matt Flamini who had been released at the end of the 2015/16 season.  He thus made his final transfer move without once having been the subject of a transfer fee.

2 Replies to “How Arsenal’s crowd dropped to 16,000 not long after winning the Double”

  1. The 16,000 at the Derby game was away, not at Highbury. Arsenal’s crowd didn’t drop to 16,000… Derby’s did !

    Highbury attendance was actually less than 16,000 a couple of season after 71 double. 13,482 on 4/12/1973 against Wolverhampton Wanderers

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