Fifa getting the rules of football in a muddle – whoever would have thought it! But seemingly they did get the issue of whether a goal could be scored from a corner completely muddled up, and had to do some hasty re-writing in 1924. But even now they still can’t get their own story right (see 21 May 1925).
The ball to start a match was actually dropped from a plane in 1938 (no ‘elf and safety in those days) and Vieira’s last kick was in 2005.
Here are the anniversaries.
21 May 1897: Fergus Hunt joined Arsenal after spells with Mexborough, Middlesbrough Ironopolis and Darwen. He immediately became Arsenal’s top scorer, getting fifteen goals in each of the 1897-98 and 1898-99 seasons.
21 May 1906: Frank Hill was born in Forfar. He started with the local league before going to Aberdeen and playing over 100 league games for them as a right defensive midfielder (right half in the parlance of the day) and became known as “Tiger”.
21 May 1915: Despite a news blackout newspapers started to publish photographs of the chlorine attack by Germany at Ypres (Britain did not retaliate with gas until September).
21 May 1916: Following concerns that because Germany had introduced “summer time” and were thus one hour ahead of the UK, they would be able to invade before we knew about it, summer time started for the first time ever in the UK.
21 May 1923: Ernest Williamson, Arsenal’s goalkeeper, won the first of two caps in three days becoming Arsenal’s first post war international. But after conceding fourteen goals in five matches he had been dropped in favour of Dunn.
21 May 1925: Tom Parker won his solitary cap for England while at Southampton, but never gained a single cap while becoming an Arsenal record breaker
21 May 1925: The day on which it was reported that the new rules about corners were changed. But it wasn’t, for the rule was actually changed on 15 November 1924! Curiously the press got it wrong!! (What are the chances of that?) The issue related to whether a goal could be scored direct from a corner, or not.
21 May 1937: 5000 Basque children refugees from the Spanish Civil War arrived at Southampton seeking sanctuary. There were no protests against immigration.
21 May 1938: Hapgood and Bastin played for England with Tom Whittaker as physio against Switzerland. England lost 2-1 with Bastin getting the England goal from a penalty. According to the match report “The match was started in the novel way of dropping the ball from an aeroplane, which, after circling round, swooped down on the field. The pilot was a deadly shot, and the ball fell accurately in the centre of the field.”
21 May 1956: Ritchie Powling born in Barking. He started at Arsenal as an apprentice in September 1971, turning pro in 1973. He also picked up three England youth caps in the 1973/4 season.
21 May 1966: Henry Cooper fought Mohammed Ali at Highbury for the Heavyweight Championship of the world in front of 45,000.
21 May 2005: Arsenal won the FA Cup with Vieira’s last kick for Arsenal before leaving the club, which he apparently regretted soon after. Reyes became only the second player ever to be sent off in a Final.
21 May 2015: Jeff Reine-Adelaide transferred from Lens for around £3m along with Yassin Fortune.
21 May 2017: Arsenal ended the season with a 3-1 win over Everton to make it seven wins in the last eight league games – but it was not enough to retain their record of the second longest ever run in the Champions League. Only Real Madrid have ever exceeded Arsenal’s record.