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“Look at that, oh look at that”.

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 1978.


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

23 December 1893: Arsenal 7 Crusaders 0.  By modern standards it was a strange time to set up a friendly, with forthcoming games on Christmas and Boxing Day, but the club wanted every penny it could get and games were the only way to bring in money.

23 December 1905: Debut for William Garbutt v Preston – the man who later took football to Italy (and who is still honoured in that country for so doing).  He was part of the Arsenal side that reached two FA Cup semi-finals in successive seasons.

23 December 1906 – David Neave returned to Arsenal, having moved to Leyton FC (the non-league club, not the same as the Orient) earlier in the year.

23 December 1911: Last (and 200th) game for Archibald Gray, Fred Calvert and for David Neave.  It ended Notts County 3 Arsenal 1 in front of 6000 fans.

23 December 1915: The Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act 1915 came into effect maintaining rents at pre-war levels much to landlord’s dismay.

23 December 1916: Starting on this day Arsenal won 11, drew 3 and lost 3 in the wartime league, which was a total transformation in the team from the early part of the season.

23 December 1919: the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act removed all legal restrictions on women entering the secular professions.   This didn’t mean that it was illegal to discriminate on grounds of sex when an employer was offering a job, but that the restrictions in law from women doing certain jobs were removed.

23 December 1920: The Government of Ireland Act was finally granted the Royal Assent, partitioning the island into two segments each with its own Parliament, and each with a measure of home rule.

23 December 1921:  The split between Arsenal chairman Sir Henry Norris and his local Conservative Party broadened as the Fulham Chronicle reported that part of the local party wanted to de-select Sir Henry as its MP.

23 December 1922: Huddersfield 4 Arsenal 0.  Stephen Dunn lost his place as a result of this match after 44 games, before leaving football and moving into a career in business.  He remains one of Arsenal’s mystery players of whom little is known beyond his period at Arsenal.

23 December 1933: With Arsenal top of  the league but closely followed by Tottenham Huddersfield and Derby, everyone was watching the saturday afternoon results.  They ended Sheffield United 1 Arsenal 3 (Beasley (2) and Bowden), Sunderland 0 Derby 0, Tottenham 4 Blackburn 1, Huddersfield 0 Birmingham 0.  Only Tottenham seemed to be keeping up the chase.

23 December 1960: Terry Neill scored on his debut as a player – it ended Sheffield W 1 Arsenal 1.  He went on to score 8 goals in 241 league games. Articles on Terry Neill as a manager are here.

23 December 1976: Alan Ball sold to Southampton for £60,000, having played 177 league games and scored 45 goals.  In all he played 833 games, including spells in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Australia.

23 December 1978.  Tottenham H 0 Arsenal 5.  The Brady goal from this game has regularly been used as part of the pre-match entertainment at Arsenal Stadium.  John Motson’s commentary has also become famous as he said, “Look at that, oh look at that. What a goal by Brady!”  Sunderland got a hattrick, Stapleton the other. The result left Arsenal in 4th and Tottenham 11th.

23 December 1988: Kenny Sansom sold to Newcastle for £300,000.  He played 314 league games for Arsenal out of a career total of 636.  He also played 86 times for England between 1979 and 1988 – a record for a full back at the time.

23 December 1995: Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1 made it five games without a win.  Arsenal’s goal came from a penalty by Wright. Arsenal returned to winning ways on Boxing Day against QPR before suffering two more defeats.

23 December 2000: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0.  Arsène Wenger commented that the lack of goals for Arsenal was problematic.  “It has been our problem all season. We so very rarely score two in a match…”  Arsenal’s team included Parlour, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Henry, with Pires, Wiltord and Kanu on the bench.  

23 December 2001: 10 man Arsenal finally beat the Anfield jinx – Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2 in a month of five wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat.  League match 18 of the third Double season.

23 December 2006: Arsenal 6 Blackburn 2.  Arsenal made it 3 wins and 2 draws in December with two more games to go.  The goals came from Gilberto, Hleb, Adebayor, Van Persie (2) and Flamini.

23 December 2008: Fabregas ruled out for four months after injury in 1-1 draw with Liverpool.  He still managed to make 45 appearances in the season and score 13 goals.

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