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A game so dull that it made potato picking seem like profound rapture. 

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

Arsenal March 1927: from regular turmoil to total turmoil and the edge of the cliff


Special features

Highbury: from start to end with previously unseen pictures of the end of the stadium.

Meeting a player you have admired can be such a very strange experience.: Brian Talbot comes to the Arsenal Independent Supporters AGM.

Adventurer, criminal, wife beater, drunk, reprobate; the most prolific Arsenal goal scorer of all time.

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.


The anniversary files: our headline today comes from 1975

25 October 1919: Arsenal 1 Bradford C 2.  League debut for Fred Pagnam, the man who refused to be corrupted by Liverpool’s match fixing exploits.  Arsenal then went the next six games unbeaten.

25 October 1924: Debut for Jimmy Brain v Tottenham  in front of 51,000 at Highbury.  He scored when the ball hit his head and knocked him out. He later became a player and coach at Tottenham but eventually ended up as an Arsenal scout.  This was the first post-war game in which Arsenal beat Tottenham.

25 October 1926: Denying the “WM” thesis the Times looked back on the first year of the new offside rule and concluded it had brought about a “greater looseness in the constructive art of the game,” arguing that “all the fresh formations which were tried last season were unnecessary.”  As a result “today every team is far more apprehensive in the matter of defence than used to be the case [with] a tendency to concentrate on defence by half backs and this has meant a weakening in attack.”

25 October 1930: Arsenal 1 West Ham 1 in Arsenal’s first title winning season. It was one of only two games all season at Highbury that kicked off at 3pm, thus giving the lie to the notion of 3pm being  the traditional time for Saturday football.

25 October 1952: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0.  The crowd of 63,744 meant that 186,104 paying fans had seen Arsenal’s three home games in October.  Of the 8 goals scored in the month Roper got five, Logie two and Lishman one.

25 October 1958: Mike Tiddy transferred to Brighton.  It was at Brighton that he became known as a Methodist lay-preacher and apparently because of his role as a preacher, he never played Christmas and Easter fixtures.

25 October 1969: Sammy Nelson debut in a 0-0 draw with Ipswich.  He went on to play 245 league games for the club plus 10 appearances as a sub, and scored 10 league goals

25 October 1975: Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 2-1 with just 23,591 in the crowd.  The press called the visitors’ approach “organisation” – resulting in “a game so dull that it made potato picking seem like profound rapture.”  18 year old Stapleton however brought much need relief.

25 October 1977: The third round of the League Cup and a surprising attendance of 40,749 witnessing Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0.  Southampton used the 10 man defence tactic which worked until on 75 minutes Rix floated in a cross, Holmes handled in the penalty area for no reason at all, and Brady took the penalty.

25 October 1980: Pat Rice’s last game in a 1-1 away draw with Sunderland.  In his time at Arsenal as a player he won the league and two FA Cups, plus further honours as subsequently he became assistant to Arsene Wenger.

25 October 1999: Bergkamp is reported as saying of Kanu, “The skills he has got, the moves he makes, are something you like to watch and learn from. I watch him in training and it is a joy.”

25 October 2011: Arshavin and Park score in the 2-1 league cup win over Bolton.  Muamba scored for Bolton. Arsenal lost in the next round to Manchester City.

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