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The proposal of an army battalion of footballers

Here are the anniversaries for today; our headline comes from 1926. 


Below are the Arsenal (and for historical context, occasionally one or two non-Arsenal) anniversaries for today taken from the files of over 6000 Arsenal anniversaries which appear on the Arsenal History Society website. 
Today’s headline comes from 1914.An index to all the monthly Anniversary files can be found in the right column of this site under “Pages” on the right of the screen.

An index of all our main series can also be found on the home page.


The series “Henry Norris at the Arsenal” is now complete.  

The index to all the articles can be found at Henry Norris at the Arsenal.  The final article just published is Henry Norris at the Arsenal: 1928 to the end.

We are now working on adding to the articles information that has come to light since writing the articles, and preparing a more concise edition for publication as a book.


8 December 1863: First rules of football published following the presentation of a set of rules by J. C. Thring, head of Uppingham School, and famous educational reformer.  They allowed catching the ball and there was no rule on the maximum number of players per team!

8 December 1863: First rules of football published following the presentation of a set of rules by J. C. Thring, head of Uppingham School, and famous educational reformer.  They allowed catching the ball and there was no rule on the maximum number of players per team!

8 December 1888: Arsenal beat Old St Paul’s in London Senior Cup.  Apart from a reference to the club in the FA cup the following season, details of Old St Paul’s are hard to find.

8 December 1906: Birmingham 5 Arsenal 1, leaving Arsenal with just two wins in seven, but despite the poor run Arsenal were still fourth in the league, a position which was solidified by three wins and a draw during the rest of the month.

8 December 1914: The FA held a meeting to discuss the response of football as both a social and a commercial operation, to the war.   The idea was proposed of forming a battalion of volunteer footballers and Henry Norris was elected onto the organising committee.  Meanwhile the Battle of the Falklands ended in a decisive British victory.

8 December 1915: Henry Norris announced that 6210 men from the borough of Fulham where he was mayor had volunteered under the government’s new recruitment schemes.  The government had expected far more, but even this modest number was far above every other borough.

8 December 1917: With just one win in the last four Arsenal continued their losing ways, going down 0-2 to Palace at Highbury in the wartime London Combination, with the crowd now sinking to 3,500.

8 December 1923: Arsenal were away to Blackburn having gone four without a win, and the least that was hoped for was a draw against the middle of the table club.  Knighton brought back Voysey and Haden, but the result was a 2-0 defeat.

8 December 1925: John (“Jack”) Butler’s only appearance for England (against Belgium), despite him being born in Ceylon.  From 1935 to 1939 he managed the Belgium national team.

8 December 1926: Herbie Roberts joined Arsenal for £200 from Oswestry Town where he was a part time player at one of the oldest football clubs in the world. His “day job” was as a policeman.

8 December 1930: The premiere in London of “Black Coffee”, Agatha Christie’s first play.

8 December 1934: Derby beat 5th placed West Brom 9-3.  But while high scores were the order of the day Arsenal could only secure a 1-1 draw courtesy of a Huddersfield own goal.  On the same day Agatha Christie’s first play opened in London.

8 December 1953: Rangers 1 Arsenal 2.  The series of games created by Herbert Chapman continued until 1968/69.

8 December 1991: Jimmy Carter made his senior debut but he went on to make only 25 appearances.  The result was Nottingham Forest 3 Arsenal 2

8 December 1979: Arsenal beat Coventry City 3-1 at Highbury, with a modest crowd of 27,563.  Three goals at home for Arsenal was unusual and as 1979-80 played out in the league Arsenal never once repeated the four they got on the opening day.

8 December 1999: Ömer Rıza sold to West Ham.  He never played for them but was loaned to Barnet and eventually sold on to Cambridge, before moving to Turkey. However in 2009 he returned to English football with Shrewsbury and continued to play in non-league football in England until 2015.

8 December 2010: Braga 2 Arsenal 0.  Having won the home leg 6-0 Arsenal went down as a direct result of some very very strange refereeing decisions.

8 December 2012. If this were a movie it would be “How the season was saved by a seemingly insignificant win”.  The result was Arsenal 2 WBA 0 and Arsenal were in 10th position. It was followed by a period in which Arsenal beat Reading 2-5, Wigan 0-1 and Newcastle 7-3 and gradually climbed back up the table.

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