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Arsenal’s chief scout cycles by a playing field, and offers one player a contract


Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society

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

A new article will follow 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.


Today’s headline comes from 1943.

17 September 1894: Arsenal 0 WBA 1.  In 17 days at the start of the season Arsenal had played six games, three of them friendlies as was this one.  Arsenal had won two of the friendlies but lost all of the league games. 2500 were in the crowd on this day.

17 September 1896: Andrew Young born.  He played originally for Blyth Spartans and then Aston Villa before Leslie Knighton paid £2,000 for him – twice the maximum that manager Knighton claimed he was restricted to by Henry Norris.  See also here.

17 September 1910: Aston Villa 3 Arsenal 0.  It was the fourth match of the season and part of a run of three defeats and four draws from the opening game.  Arsenal scored just two goals in this run, but won the 8th match 4-1 with only a slightly changed side. See also here

17 September 1910: Last match for Frank Heppinstall.   In total he made 23 league appearances becoming a regular fixture in the latter half of his first season and the start of his second and final season.  He moved to Stalybridge Celtic and finally Hamilton Academical.

17 September 1919: Sir Henry Norris chaired a discussion of the Council’s was thinking of buying part of the Hurlingham Club’s large property in Fulham for its working-class housing programme.  The press were excluded because of their antipathy to the scheme. An indicator of Sir Henry’s concern for the disruption the war brought to working class families.

17 September 1924: After Knighton’s best ever start to a season which took Arsenal to 2nd with a game in hand, Arsenal went into free fall with six defeats in ten games between this day and 8 November.

17 September 1932: Arsenal beat Bolton 3-2.  Bolton were 10th before the game – the result took Arsenal up to 4th.  There was one change in the team as Roberts came back at centre half after four games out through injury.

17 September 1934: Arsenal were away to Blackburn who had won just one match up to this point, and scored just five goals.  Arsenal had already beaten them 4-0 in the third match of the season. It looked like an away banker but Arsenal lost 0-2.

17 September 1934: Dr James Marshall, claimed by the media to be the “next Alex James” played his first match for Arsenal.  He only managed three more.

17 September 1938: Reg Cumner first league appearance for Arsenal: Wolverhampton 0 Arsenal 1 – Arsenal’s goal being scored by…. Reg Cumner.    He was one of the players who came through the Margate academy to play for Arsenal  See also here.

17 September 1943: Wally Barnes joined Arsenal to play for them in the wartime league.  The story is that  Portsmouth’s scout in 1937 was on a cycling trip, stopped for a rest, saw a game going on in a local field and deciding to have a look noticed Wally asked if he wanted to turn pro.  Wally turned him down. See also 17 Sep 1955 below.

17 September 1955: Wally Barnes last appearance on anniversary of joining the club.  He played 267 league games, winning both the League and the FA Cup with the club.

17 September 1960.  League debut for Geoff Strong.  Arsenal 5 Newcastle 0. Goals from Herd (3), Strong and Clapton.  Geoff played 19 games in his first season and scored 10.  See also here

17 September 1966: Colin Addison made his Arsenal debut in Arsenal 1 Blackpool 1.  It was Bertie Mee’s first season and was Arsenal’s third consecutive 1-1 draw and the fifth game without a win, after winning the first three of the season.

17 September 1977: Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1 with a modest 27,371 in Highbury. The Sunday Times in their report suggested that Rix was about to overtake Brady in terms of vision and skill.

17 September 1988.  Arsenal 2 Southampton 2.  Paul Davis suffered trial by TV and was banned for nine matches for hitting Cockerill of Southampton who had dished out racial abuse in the 9 April game between the sides.

17 September 1996: The Guardian announced, “Arsenal get Wenger on £2m deal”.  The media had made Johan Cruyff the favourite to take over, but it was Wenger who got the job on 30 September 1996. He officially assumed the role on 1 October

17 September 2000: Nigel Winterburn joined West Ham.  He had played 440 league games for Arsenal and scored eight goals and went on to play 82 more for WHU, making an incredible career league total of 687 games.

17 September 2003: Arsenal lost 0-3 to Inter Milan in the Champions League, despite suffering no defeats in the league all season.

17 September 2006: For the fourth league match in a row Arsenal scored zero or one goal – in this game beating Man U 0-1 for their first win of the season.  Adebayor was the scorer. Henry and Gilberto had got the other two thus far this season.

17 September 2011: Arsenal lost to Blackburn 4-3 making it three defeats in five opening league games.   Gervinho, Arteta, Chamakh all scored.  See also the review from the ground.

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