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When Arsenal forgot their heritage and resorted just to kicking the opposition

The opposite of Arsenal anniversaries

You might be interested in a new website from the team that brings you the Arsenal Anniversaries each day.  Instead of looking back, it looks to the future.   Football Predictions.

And the Anniversaries themselves…

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.   You will also find links to the month by month listing of anniversaries in the right hand column of this page.

Our headline comes from 1976.


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.   We are now  preparing a more concise edition for publication as a book.


The Anniversaries for Today

15 December 1890, Luton offered five shillings (25p) per week to 3 players leading to the suggestion they pre-dated Arsenal as the first southern professional club.  Arsenal however was the first club in the south to go fully professional.

15 December 1917: Sir Henry Norris and Sir William Joynson-Hicks launched the Footballers’ Battalion at Fulham Town Hall with Norris funding the scheme.  Men from Fulham, Arsenal, Clapton Orient, Croydon Common, Brighton, Chelsea, Watford, Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Luton Town all signed up at this first meeting.  Tragically in the course of the war the battalion lost 900 men.

15 December 1919: The hated rationing of meat ended, although it appears many butchers did not have enough supplies to meet demand on that day.

15 December 1926: Harold Peel, a stop gap signing by Chapman, arrived at Arsenal from Bradford PA.  He played for the first time on 1 January 1927, and went on to play nine times that season at either number 10 or 11.  See also here

15 December 1934: Arsenal 8 Leicester 0.  This game included Drake’s 6th hat trick of the season.  Arsenal thus far had scored eight twice and seven once in 19 league games.  Hulme also got a hattrick, and Bastin the remaining two. For a review of Dec 1934 see here.

15 December 1966: Arsenal 4 Cardiff 2.  A fund raising game on behalf of the Aberfan Disaster Fund.  Tragically the fund was seized by the government and parents of the children killed received £500 each from the NCB and had to ‘prove’ that they were ‘close’ to their children before any payment for mental suffering were made.  Most government action involved covering up the incompetence of senior NCB officials.

15 December 1973:  After six unbeaten, Arsenal lost 1-2 to Burnley with 13,200 in the ground.  Chasing a ball Radford slid off the mud pitch and hit a concrete wall, injuring himself in the process. There was no floodlighting and the light was so bad the last goal was not seen by those at the opposite end of the ground.  

15 December 1976: For a game against Derby Terry Neill adopted a new approach for Arsenal: “let’s kick Derek Hales on his debut”.  It gained Arsenal a point, but whether it was quite the way Arsenal should play is another matter. Luckily only Storey, Macdonald and Nelson were booked for the offences

15 December 1979: West Brom 2 Arsenal 2 in front of just 18,280.  The main news was that Brady was leaving and Arsenal’s fans seriously wanted signs that this was not going to be another period of slippage.  But that is very much how it felt.

15 December 1995: The European Court ruled the 19th century retain and transfer system found legal in a court case involving Arsenal in 1893, was prohibited by Article 39(1) of the EC Treaty.  Bosman had arrived and the football world would never be the same again.

15 December 2000: Paolo Vernazza sold to Watford for £350,000 after just four league games for Arsenal.   He played 96 times for Watford before moving onto Rotherham, and then later played non-league football, before retiring in 2011.

15 December 2000: Christopher Wreh sold to Al-Hilal.  Although he kept Ian Wright out of the FA Cup Final, after playing for Arsenal he is reported to have been to seven clubs, but played rarely.  However Christopher himself has denied the many strange stories that have circulated about his life after Arsenal.

15 December 2001: West Ham 1 Arsenal 1.  League match 16 of the third Double season.  The result left Arsenal second, three points behind Liverpool, and having played a game more.

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