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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 anniversary files: our headline today comes from 1973.
20 October 1905: The earliest history of Royal Arsenal and Woolwich Arsenal known to have been written was published in the part-work, the Book of Football. It was written by the club’s vice-chairman, Arthur Kennedy.
20 October 1906: A 1-0 win over Notts C gave Arsenal seven wins in the first nine; the club’s best first division start thus far.
20 October 1915: Women were officially permitted for the first time to act as bus and tram conductors.
20 October 1917: Arsenal drew 2-2 at Highbury with West Ham with a crowd of just 6000. It meant that after their flying start to the season Arsenal had now gone four games without a win. Meanwhile the London Council Council accepted the new education system which would give free schooling to all children up to the age of 14.
20 October 1919: The replay of the London FA Cup 2nd round resulted in Fulham 3 Arsenal 1. The local paper bemoaned Arsenal’s lack of “firing power”, Arsenal having only scored 16 league goals so far – not ideal, but there were six clubs in the league which had scored less.
20 October 1920: Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst was charged with sedition after calling upon workers to loot the London Docks.
20 October 1923: Arsenal were 20th in the league and for their away game against Bolton (who were 3rd) played, perhaps for the first time, and offside game and surprisingly won won 2-1. According to reports the Bolton crowd got so fed up with Arsenal’s tactics they started chucking cinders from the track between the crowd and the pitch at Arsenal’s goalkeeper. The ref stopped the game and warned the crowd that he would abandon the match if this continued. Arsenal moved up to 17th.
20 October 1927: Eddie Hapgood signed from Kettering for £1000. See also here. It was reported that Chapman’s interview of Hapgood included questions about smoking and drinking. After the interview he offered Kettering the fee plus performance bonuses and a friendly match in which Arsenal guaranteed to bring some of their star players.
20 October 1928: David Jack’s debut. Newcastle 0 Arsenal 3. (Thompson 2 and Brain scored).
20 October 1934: Arsenal had only won two of the last 13 games v Tottenham before this match in which Ted Drake became first Arsenal player to score a hat trick against Tottenham. The crowd of 70,500 was a new Highbury record as Arsenal won 5-1. It was the third time Arsenal score 5+ in Allison’s opening 11 games. See also here And again here
20 October 1936: The UK’s Prime minister Stanley Baldwin confronted King Edward VIII about his relationship with the married (but soon to be divorced) Wallis Simpson. The nation was agog.
20 October 1954: Arsenal beat Racing Club de Paris in the Armistice series of games originally instituted by Herbert Chapman.
20 October 1956: Manchester United were beaten on this day ending a run of 26 consecutive first division games without defeat. It was heralded for many years as a feat that would probably never be equalled.
20 October 1958: Cliff Holton sold to Watford for £10,000. Graham Taylor who was with Watford when Cliff Holton died, is quoted as saying, on hearing the news of Holton’s death, that “He looked younger [than his 67 years], fitter and there was so much to him…: an aura, a presence.”
20 October 1973: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Ipswich at Highbury, the crowd, 28,344. Nine of the Arsenal starting 11 were lads who joined the club from school.
20 October 1979: A pattern was emerging of lesser teams coming to Highbury with an 11 man defence. Bolton had recently done it and on this day Stoke copied the idea. As a result three of Arsenal’s last four league games had ended goalless. Since these teams bought virtually no away support, no one minded it started to become the norm.
20 October 1984: Ian Allinson started a run of 8 goals in 9 games as Arsenal unveiled their the first ever ‘big screen’ at an English ground. Arsenal beat Sunderland 3-2 to retain top position in the league.
20 October 1987: Steve Morrow played his first senior game for the floodlight opening match at Barnet. He went out on loan to Reading, Watford and Barnet, playing his first Arsenal game proper on 8 April 1992.
20 October 1990: Man U 0 Arsenal 1 – Arsenal deducted two points, after all the players except Seaman got involved in two minutes worth of pushing and shoving. For reasons that were never made clear Man U were only reduced one point, and the punishment was not used again for this type of “offence”.
20 October 1993: Arsenal 3 Standard Liege 0; CWC 2nd round. Wright (2) and Merson got the goals in front of 25,248.
20 October 2001: Arsenal 3 Blackburn 3. League match 9 of the third Double season. Pirès, Bergkamp and Henry scored. It was the seventh consecutive match unbeaten as Arsenal regained top position.
20 October 2007: Arsenal’s seventh straight win in the league beating Bolton 2-0. Rosicky and Toure scored. The unbeaten run lasted 15 games in all.