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The day Arsenal started a run of 23 games without a win

Latest article from the current series: Henry Norris at the Arsenal

Chaos at the Arsenal. The dramatic and bizarre story of February 1927.

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” on the right of the screen.

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 1912

12 October 1893: Arsenal beat London Caledonians in a friendly 10-3 with the Chairman of Woolwich Arsenal Jack Humble in the side.

12 October 1884: Jock Rutherford was born.  He won three league titles and an FA Cup winners medal with Newcastle, before moving to Arsenal in 1906.

12 October 1912:   Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1 in front of 20,000.  The result left Arsenal with only one win from the first eight, and the press report made particular mention of the jubilation of the visiting fans as Arsenal started a run of 23 without a win.  It was the first time Chelsea had beaten Arsenal since the very first match between the two.

12 October 1915: Patriotic fever grew as the news was released that British nurse Edith Cavell had been executed by a German firing squad for helping British soldiers escape from Belgium.

12 October 1918: With German forces in retreat US President Woodrow Wilson, began his efforts to broker a ceasefire in World War 1.  

12 October 1919: Arsenal had an attendance of 30,000 for the game against Tottenham – the first post-war attendance to reach this figure.   

12 October 1923: The Arsenal squad, manager and directors, went to the Alhambra theatre, in Charing Cross Road for a special showing of a movie which contained footage of Arsenal playing a match.   The story got large press coverage and Arsenal were portrayed as the team of today’s new technology. A typical, clever, piece of Sir Henry PR.

12 October 1925: Arsenal beat Fulham in the London FA Challenge Cup 4-0 with 3897 in the crowd at Highbury. This was the game with Bob John playing at left back. While Male is the example of Chapman changing a player’s position most commonly quoted, John was the first such experiment, and a friendly on 14 October was also arranged to test this further.

12 October 1935 Don Howe born; one of the men who both played for Arsenal and managed the team.

12 October 1940: Dave Bacuzzi born in Islington.  His Arsenal career took off with two promising seasons at right back, before he moved back to the Reserves with whom he won the Combination.

12 October 1946: Arsenal drew 2-2 with Brentford.  It meant that with 10 games played Arsenal had won just two, lost six and drawn two.

12 October 1953: Arsenal 3 Blackpool 1 at Highbury in the Charity Shield – making it the 7th time Arsenal had won the trophy.  It was however Arsenal’s last appearance in the Shield until 11 August 1979 (they didn’t play the 1971 game).

12 October 1965: Arsenal played Israel in a friendly.  The result was a 2-2 draw.

12 October 1974: Having played 10 of the 12 opening games of the season John Matthews was made the fall guy for poor results and is dropped.  Arsenal 2 Queen’s Park Rangers 2, with a crowd of 29,690.  Arsenal rose one place off the very foot of the table through this draw. See also here

12 October 1994: Northampton’s three sided ground closed after this final match; with their new ground ultimately incorporating the Dave Bowen stand, named after the ex-Arsenal player who became the most successful Northampton manager in the club’s history.

12 October 1996: Arsène Wenger’s first match, a 0-2 victory at Blackburn.  Up to this moment he had been seeing out his contract in Japan.  Ian Wright scored the first Wenger goal.

12 October 1999: Only 15,239 turn up for the league cup game v Preston.  Arsenal won 2-1. Kanu and Malz scored.

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