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When Arsenal played the last 8 minutes of a match 3 months later

The Anniversaries …

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 1944 and 1993.  The 1993 story is of interest as it prompted a number of interesting additional comments – just follow the link from the story.


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.

Arsenal in the 1930s: the complete history.  The most detailed review and analysis of Arsenal in the 1930s ever published.  The full index is here.

Arsenal in the 1970s: the complete history.  Every game reviewed and analysed.  The full index is here.


The Anniversaries for Today

18 December 1897: On 22 September 1897 Woolwich Arsenal had been playing Loughborough in a United League game when the game was abandoned with 8½ minutes remaining – probably due to failing light.  It was agreed that the remaining minutes be played on this day following the Football League fixture between the two clubs. Ten of the eleven players that played in the first fixture played in the second fixture, with Paddy Farrell playing in place of Frank McAvoy thus making Farrell Arsenal’s first substitute!

18 December 1909: After 3 wins in a row, in which they scored seven, Woolwich Arsenal started a run of three home games in a row but lost two and drew one.  This 1-2 home defeat to Notts C was the first of five without a win.

18 December 1914: Egypt became a British protectorate.

18 December 1920: Bradford City 3 Arsenal 1.  In this season both Bradford clubs were in the 1st division.  By 1927 both were in the Third Division North. Prior to the game Arsenal were showing in the tables as the sixth best performing team away from home while Bradford were 18th in effectiveness at home.  Everything pointed to an away win – or at least a draw. See also here

18 December 1926: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 4 – the defeat that moved Chapman to ring the changes.  Arsenal lost the next game, but after that just one of the next eight as newly purchased players were slowly bedded into the team.  But the result meant Arsenal had beaten Tottenham just once in the last eight meetings.

18 December 1931: Jack Humble, one of the founding fathers and the first ever chairman of Woolwich Arsenal FC,  died after a lifetime of service to the club. He played for Royal Arsenal, and worked continuously to save the club in 1910, and remained a director until 1927.  As such he was the director’s last connection with Royal Arsenal, but lived long enough to see Arsenal win the FA Cup, and sadly died halfway through the first title winning season.

18 December 1931: William Harper transferred to Plymouth.  He played 82 for Plymouth and was then given the honour of a testimonial match against Arsenal in 1972 and had the training ground of Argyle named after him: Harper’s Park.

18 December 1935: Samuel Hoare resigned as foreign secretary after his sell-out of Ethiopia which had been invaded by Italy.  It is said that when Eden had his audience with King George V, he remarked, “No more coals to Newcastle, no more Hoares to Paris.”

18 December 1937: Final game for Joe Hulme – Liverpool 2 Arsenal 0.  He won three league champions’ medals and two FA Cup winners’ medals and was the only player to play in all of the first four Arsenal Cup Finals of the 1930s.

18 December 1954: Newcastle 5 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal then rebounded from this defeat by going unbeaten in the next five games.  

18 December 1969: David Hillier born.  He played schoolboy football for Blackheath before joining Arsenal in January 1984 as an associated schoolboy turning professional in February 1988.

18 December 1970: The death penalty was abolished in the UK

18 December 1971: Arsenal beat bottom of the league WBA 2-0 with a low crowd of 28,177.   John Roberts (having been dropped for Peter Simpson the week before) spoke of the special feeling for Don Howe that everyone at Arsenal had and proved it by scoring twice – a remarkable achievement having scored the only goal of the game when the sides met in the Midlands in early September.

18 December 1976: A 3-1 win over Manchester United with a crowd of 39,572 at Highbury.  Even the Sunday papers were in effusive mood and Tommy Docherty, Man U’s manager, was quoted as saying Arsenal were a “very good side” who would “make the top five for sure.”

18 December 2001: League match 17 of the third Double season.  Arsenal’s final defeat of the season.  Arsenal 1 Newcastle 3.  All three defeats were at home – the other two being to Leeds and Charlton.  Arsenal won 18 and drew three of the remaining games.

18 December 2005: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2.  Arsenal’s third consecutive defeat.  In the run, Arsenal had scored nil and let in five, being beaten also by Bolton and Newcastle.  10 years on, Bolton, came bottom of the Championship while Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League.  

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