Celebrating today the anniversary of the final game of the magnificent 49


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 index to the current historical series on this site can be found at Henry Norris at the Arsenal.   An index of all our main series can be found on the home page.

Our headline today comes from 2004.  But you knew that!

Seven new articles added to this day’s anniversaries in the last year.

16 October 1909: Arsenal lost away to Sunderland 6-2; goalkeeper Hugh MacDonald returned but was probably still not fit.  However the keeper kept his place for the rest of the season and Arsenal won the next match 1-0.

16 October 1915: A surprisingly large crowd (for wartime) of 12,000 turned up at Highbury to see a 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Millwall Athletic of the Southern League.  Millwall had been the local rivals to Arsenal during the Woolwich Arsenal days, and it is interesting to see that the rivalry (at least as reflected in the crowd numbers) was still there.

16 October 1919 Frederick Pagnam signed from Liverpool, after standing out against the match fixing scandal that besieged Liverpool and Man U.  The transfer was one of the first episodes that disproved the “Knighton Thesis” that the manager had his scouting networks wound up by Sir Henry Norris.  See also here.

16 October 1920: Arsenal drew 1-1 away to Bolton in front of 35,000 and neighbours Clapton Orient went to the top of the second division.  But such matters were overshadowed by the start of a national coal miners strike.

16 October 1922: Occasionally, at this time, clubs would arrange friendlies in order to try out new combinations of players and to allow the manager to see the reserves in action (since they normally played at the same time as the first team).  On this day Arsenal played Southampton who had won the 3rd Div South last season, with a reserve side, Arsenal winning 5-3.  The game also saw Bob John get a match, as he edged ever closer to the start of his magnificent first team career with Arsenal.

16 October 1926 Arsenal 2 WHU 2 leaving Arsenal with just one win in nine, with Lambert and Brain scoring.  After coming second the season before there must have been disappointment, but the crowds kept on growing. 35,534 turned up for this game.

16 October 1935: The owners of the Nine Mile Point Colliery in South Wales announced that the mine was closing indefinitely after a day of fighting between police and striking miners.

16 October 1937: Jimmy McGrory played his last match for Celtic.  In playing this game he achieved a UK wide record of 550 goals scored during his senior career (395 in the league for Celtic plus another 13 league goals in the following season for Clydebank).

16 October 1954: Wally Barnes won his 22nd and final cap for Wales.  Ralph Guthrie played his second and final game in goal for Arsenal, a 0-1 home defeat to Portsmouth.

16 October 1965: Arsenal lost away to Blackpool 3-5 – the last five goal defeat until the 70/71 Double season when Arsenal lost 5-0 to Stoke.  Armstrong and Radford plus an o.g. were gave Arsenal their goals.

16 October 1961: Paul Vaessan born.  Arsenal was his only club, his sublime talent and promising career cut short by injury.

16 October 1971: Arsenal made it five in a row in the league with Chelsea 1 Arsenal 2 in front of 52,338.  This was Arsenal’s first league win at Stamford Bridge in 10 seasons, and there was no doubt Arsenal could have had a lot, lot more goals in the game.

16 October 1973: Arsenal lost 1-0 to Barcelona in a game for the benefit of Johan Cruyff who had transferred to Barcelona, but was not yet registered to play for the club.  No Spanish team would offer a game so Arsenal agreed, providing Barcelona would play a re-match at Highbury in March the following year, for George Armstrong’s testimonial.

16 October 1974: Manchester City 2 Arsenal 1, the crowd a paltry 26,658. Tottenham were 21st and Arsenal 22nd in the league.  On the same night Tottenham recorded their lowest post war crowd (12,813)

16 October 1976: Arsenal 2 Stoke 0.  The 353rd and final league game for John Radford v Stoke City.  Rice and Macdonald scored for Arsenal’s 5th win in nine. See also here.  

16 October 1976: The 1975 champions Derby County belatedly recorded their first League win of the season when they thrashed an awful Tottenham Hotspur side 8–2 at the Baseball Ground.  For Arsenal fans it was rather a fine weekend.

16 October 2004: The last of the great 49 unbeaten, a 3-1 home win over Aston Villa.  The victory made it eight wins and a draw so far in the season. Pires got two and Henry the other.

16 October 2012: Steve Gatting took over as under 18s coach having previously worked at Christ’s Hospital school in the same position.

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