When the players fought at the meal table rather than on the pitch

These are the anniversary files of Arsenal FC

Today’s headline anniversary headline comes from 1970

Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society

April 1926: Arsenal come 2nd – the best performance yet – and the National Strike is called

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.


16 September 1893: Although Arsenal were now playing in the League they also continued to play a regular set of friendly games.  On this day the game was Arsenal 5 Chatham 0 (Shaw, Elliot, Heath 3).12,000 turned up – larger than for any of the league games thus far.

16 September 1912: Arsenal lost 0-3 at home to Villa, their fourth consecutive defeat from the start of the season.   With the word spreading that after waiting for three years to find local buyers from the club, Henry Norris was moving the club, it was not surprising that the crowd was just 6805, although that was not the lowest during this first and only relegation season in the club’s history.

16 September 1916: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Crystal Palace in the wartime league – and indeed failed to win any of their five games in the month.

16 September 1918: The USA rejected the Austrian peace offer as details began to emerge of new states being formed in Europe and quickly being recognised such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.  At home the mood changed. There was victory in the offing, demands for justice for the working men,

16 September 1922: After two 4-1 defeats in a row Arsenal beat Cardiff  2-1 with a very decent crowd of 40,000 inside Highbury.  Of note was the return of Dr Paterson at outside left for his first game of the campaign.

16 September 1931: Having sunk to 15th in the league Arsenal were now climbing back.  After two draws and a win, Arsenal now beat Portsmouth 3-0, Bastin getting two and Parkin the other.

16 September 1937: Arsenal v Arsenal Reserves was the first live game ever on TV.

16 September 1953: Paul Barron born in Woolwich, near Arsenal’s original ground in Plumstead, and as per Bob Wilson, qualified as a teacher before becoming a professional footballer.   He played non-league football for Welling United, Wycombe Wanderers and Slough Town, before turning pro and signing for Plymouth Argyle in July 1976

16 September 1966: Colin Addison signed from Nottingham Forest by Bertie Mee in his first season for £45,000 but was hampered by injury and was sold on in 1967.  He played in a variety of positions wearing the number 8, 10 and 11 shirt, playing 17 leagues in the first season and 10 in the second.

16 September 1969: Debut for goalkeeper Malcolm Webster against Tottenham following an injury to Bob Wilson.  Arsenal lost 3-2 and Webster was dropped in favour of Geoff Barnett, after conceding eight in three matches.

16 September 1970: Lazio 2 Arsenal 2.  (Radford 2). After the match the two teams were to have a meal together but a fight broke out, into which most of the players joined.  In 2016 at an AISA AGM Bob Wilson said much of the problem came from the fact that the Lazio team were given a banquet and the Arsenal players simply had scraps.   Arsenal won the return leg 2-0.

16 September 1972: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0.  Jimmy Hill who was part of the TV team filming the game, took over after one of the linesmen was injured during the match.

16 September 1978:  A 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at Highbury.  One Bolton player was a forward, the rest were the defence marshalled in two rows.  Brady was pulled, pushed, kicked and even on occasion punched – leading to Brady and Rix swapping their positions simply to try to confuse the thugs.

16 September 1981 saw first appearance and first goal for Raphael Meade in the opening match of the Uefa Cup in which Arsenal safely moved through against Panathinaikos 3-0 on aggregate.    The club was however knocked out in the second round by Winterslag of Belgium on 3 November.

16 September 1996:  The first game for Patrick Vieira coming on as a substitute as Arsenal beat Sheffield 4-1,  Wright scored three, to go to the 100 goals mark. He scored three more in the next three games.

16 September 1996: Pat Rice became the manager of Arsenal while awaiting the arrival of Arsène Wenger from Japan.  Upon the sacking of Rioch, Stewart Houston was put in temporary charge, but he then resigned to take over QPR, and Pat Rice stepped in.   

16 September 1997: First European game under Arsène Wenger.  Paok Salonika 1 Arsenal 0.

16 September 1998: Arsenal’s first match in Champions League away to Lens. A 1-1 draw.  Arsenal finish third in the league section.

16 September 1981: First appearance and first goal for Raphael Meade against Panathinaikos.  He had joined the club in 1977 as a schoolboy.

16 September 2014: Due to injuries to Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal, Bellerín made his Champions League debut for Arsenal against Borussia Dortmund.  He soon became established as a regular first teamer.

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