“One of the most appalling” the headline says, and it was only “one of”, of course, because beside the assault on Ramsey which happened on this day in 2010, we also recall the assault on Diaby that ultimately cost him his career.
Ramsey was ultimately lucky – he recovered from the assault, although not only was his assailant never properly punished but also, as is well recorded, a number of Stoke City fans booed Ramsey each time they saw him play, and Stoke City as a club did nothing meaningful to stop this.
There is rivalry in football of course, and yes it can be intense, but there is a limit and in both the Ramsey case and the Diaby case the limit was horribly exceeded, but football just carried on as if nothing at all had happened.
Here are the anniversaries for 27 February.
27 February 1897: Arsenal beat Millwall, their closest rivals, 3-1 in the United League. The crowd was 15,000, the highest recorded for a United League game.
27 February 1915: Arsenal lost at home to high flying Derby 1-2. At half time the Islington Recruiting Committee (with Arsenal directors’ compliance) were active looking for army volunteers. For Arsenal the only good news was the crowd: 18,000. On the same day a platoon of the Footballers’ Battalion that Henry Norris had funded, marched around the pitch at Craven Cottage, again as a recruiting exercise.
27 February 1926: First senior game for Andrew Neil. He had played for Kilmarnock, Galston, Stevenston United, and Brighton and Hove Albion before moving to Arsenal on March 13 for £3000. He played 54 times before Arsenal brought in Alex James.
27 February 1926: William Harper made his Scottish debut. Arsenal broke the record transfer fee for a goalkeeper to bring him in – paying £4000. Despite the fee Harper was dropped by Arsenal after 20 matches although he did get the minor consolation of a London Combination League Winner’s medal.
27 February 1932: Huddersfield’s largest ever crowd 67,037 saw Arsenal win in the FA Cup 6th round tie 1-0. Over 100 fans were treated for injuries due to poor to non-existent crowd control. Herbie Roberts scored.
27 February 1954: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 0. It was part of a four match sequence without a win as Arsenal slumped to 12th – although not below Tottenham who finished 16th.
27 February 1971: Derby 2 Arsenal 0. League match 29 of the first Double season. Three defeats in the last five games cast major doubts over Arsenal’s attempt to win the league with Arsenal seven points behind Leeds but two games in hand.
27 February 1986: Pat Beasley, one of Chapman’s signings, died. He played 79 times for Arsenal in the league, and then moved on to Huddersfield, Fulham and Bristol City. After finishing playing he had managed Bristol City, Birmingham City and Dover.
27 February 1991: Shrewsbury 0 Arsenal 1 in the FA Cup. Mickey Thomas scored the only goal of the game, with 12,536 in the crowd. It was Arsenal’s sixth FA Cup match of the season, but they were still only in the 5th round.
27 February 2002: Arsenal 4 Bayer Leverkusen 1, leaving Arsenal needing to win at least one of their last two group games to progress further. Pires, Henry, Vieira and Bergkamp scored.
27 February 2010: Ramsey was seriously assaulted by Shawcross on the pitch causing a double fracture of Ramsey’s lower right leg, breaking the tibia and fibula. He did not play against until a reserve game on 23 November. Shawcross on the other hand was immediately given a place in the England squad and at subsequent games large numbers of Stoke fans inanely booed Ramsey, something the club did nothing to denounce.
27 February 2010: Jay Emmanuel Thomas loaned to Doncaster but it was not until 2013 that he fully realised his goalscoring potential, playing for Bristol City before later moving on to QPR.
27 February 2011: Arsenal 1 Birmingham 2. League Cup final. The referee was Mike Dean. RVP scored Arsenal’s goal and Birmingham’s second came from a mix up between Szczęsny and Laurent Koscielny.