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October 2020
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Cliff Bastin, the genius goal scorer gets 33 goals in 42 games

On this day in 1933 Bastin took his season total to 33 goals in 42 games.   He played just 17 games for Exeter aged 16 before Chapman spotted him and signed him for Arsenal.   Once signed he became both a regular player and scorer, and seemingly a man without nerves.

His goalscoring was all the more amazing given that he played on the left wing, not as a centre forward, and for a time was supposedly a deep lying inside forward.

He won the FA Cup twice, and the league five times – and would have won more honours and scored more goals had not the second world war got in the way.   He remained the top scorer until Ian Wright overtook him, and his record of 150 league goals was not equalled until 14 January 2006 when Henry reached that total.

Here are the anniversaries…

29 April 1893.  The final game of Royal Arsenal: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Stoke.  The club had already plotted their route into the Football League but were now distracted by the split within the Committee and the threat of eviction from their ground.

29 April 1899: Final game for Adam Haywood; v Tottenham in United League. An offer of £50 from Glossop North End was accepted but then before he had a chance to play for Glossop he moved again to QPR in the Southern League, where he met up with four other ex-Woolwich men.

29 April 1911: Arsenal ended the season with Notts C 0 Arsenal 2, making it 11 unbeaten including six wins.  This was quite remarkable because Arsenal only won seven games in the 27 prior to this, but ended 10th.  Man U won the title.

29 April 1912: Arsenal 3  Tottenham 0 at White City, in a charity match to raise funds for the families of those who perished on the Titanic.  See also here

29 April 1916: The Easter Rebellion in Ireland, as republicans launched an uprising against British rule.  It was the most significant rebellion since 1798 and the British army put down the rebellion with absolute ferocity.

29 April 1922: Bradford C 0 Arsenal 2.  This was the 8th game in April which resulted in four wins, two draws, and two defeats.  The run took Arsenal to 17th and saved them from relegation.

29 April 1929: Cliff Holton born.  He joined Arsenal from Oxford City in October 1947 initially as a full back, but later became not just a centre forward but one of the most prolific goalscorers in the history of league football.

29 April 1933: Arsenal 2 Huddersfield 2.  Two goals for Bastin gave him 33 goals in 42 games to make him top scorer for the season as Arsenal won the league by four points from Aston Villa in second.  Bolton and Blackpool went down.

29 April 1939: Arsenal’s mysterious keeper E Bateup died.  Much of his life and career is uncertain, but it seems that after leaving Arsenal he played for Port Vale before retiring from football in 1918, having been playing in the war time leagues.

29 April 1950:  Arsenal won their 3rd FA Cup beating Liverpool 2-0 with both goals coming from Reg Lewis. It was Arsenal’s 5th cup final, their first in “old gold” shirts and the first ever Arsenal game in front of 100,000.

29 April 1961: Everton 4 Arsenal 1.  David Herd’s last game. He moved to Manchester United with whom he won the FA Cup, the championship twice and the European Cup although not playing in the final.  The game made it 12 goals conceded in the last three and two wins in the final 12 games.  Arsenal finish 11th.

29 April 1969: Although Bertie Mee’s third season ended Everton 1 Arsenal 0, Arsenal finish 4th, the club’s highest place in 10 years.

29 April 1978: Only 32,138 came along to see the last home game – a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.    The highlight was a live cockerel thrown into the Arsenal penalty area.  Unnecessary and cruel indeed, but the event was lightened (at least from a human perspective if not from a cockerel view of the world) when a groundsman dealt with the bird by chasing it into the crowd.  Symbolism indeed.

29 April 1995: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1.  An Ian Wright penalty gave him 18 for the season as top league scorer for the club.  But Arsenal were 10th, 36 points behind the leaders Blackburn.

29 April 1998: Arsenal 1 Derby 0.  Petit scored for Arsenal in the 35th league game of the 2nd Double season.   Arsenal were now four points ahead of Man U with a game in hand. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

29 April 2000: Arsenal beat Everton 0-1 to go second in the league.  It was the 6th consecutive win with Overmars scoring the winner on 34 minutes.  The run continued for two more games but Arsenal could only finish second to Man U.

29 April 2002: Bolton 0 Arsenal 2.  This was game the 11th of 13 consecutive wins and League match 36 of the 3rd Double season. Ljungberg and Wiltord scored.

29 April 2009: Man U 1 Arsenal 0.  Champions League semi-final first leg.  Although unbeaten in the League since November and having beaten Man U 2-1 in the League earlier in the year, Arsenal were unable to get an away goal, and also failed to win the second leg at home.

 

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