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October 2020
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Football’s blackest day and football’s most curious day.

If there were ever a black day recorded in English football’s history it was this, the day when Liverpool fans moved to attack Juventus fans in the European Cup Final in 1985.   If there were ever a curious day in English football’s history it was also this, when Chelsea, a club with no players, no supporters and having played no games applied for and was given a place in the Football League, having previously had their application to join the Southern League vetoed by Tottenham Hotspur.  That was in 1905.

More details under “Today in History” below.

Publications

We have a small number of copies of  “Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football”  and “Making the Arsenal” now available as printed books.  They are also available on Kindle.    Please see here for more details.

The series

Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here.

Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever

Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.

Today in history

29 May 1899: James Aston signed from Walsall.  He made 11 league and 4 cup appearances in the following season before being transferred to Small Heath in 1900.

29 May 1905: With no players, no supporters, having played no games, and having had an application for membership turned down by the Southern League following objections by Tottenham, Chelsea were granted a place in the Football League.

29 May 1912: Arsenal played their 8th and final post season tour game in 18 days against SpVgg Greuther Fürth .  Arsenal won 6-0.  In 2012/13 the club joined the Bundesliga for the first time.

29 May 1914: Matthew Thomson transferred to Swindon.  He had played 89 league games across six seasons including the first season at Highbury.  For the context see here.

29 May 1919: The astronomer and physicist Arthur Eddington made the observations of a solar eclipse which offered the first practical confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

29 May 1931: Arsenal beat AIK Sweden 5-0 away from home in a post-season friendly.  David Jack got a hat trick.  It was the sixth game of a seven match tour.

29 May 1949:  Arsenal friendly v Flamengo.  It was the first team début for Peter Goring and also the final appearance of Ronnie Rooke.  His final figures were 68 goals in 88 league games.

29 May 1949: Brian Kidd born.  He signed from Arsenal in 1974 after ten years with Manchester United, and played 77 league games across two seasons before moving on to Manchester City.

29 May 1950: Thomas Rippon (footballing brother of Willis) died.  His story is interesting as an example of how the world worked in the 19th century.  Within six months he moved from being a door to door fruit seller in Sheffield to playing for Woolwich Arsenal – albeit only for the reserves.

29 May 1959: Steve Gatting born in West London.  He signed for Arsenal as an amateur in 1974 and made 50 league starts across three seasons before moving on to Brighton and Hove Albion.

29 May 1968: Sammy Nelson’s first team debut in a 4-0 victory over Japan.  He was one of Bertie Mee’s first signings – and was employed initially in the reserves on the left wing before moving to left back.

29 May 1981: Andrey Arshavin born to a father who was both an amateur footballer and a writer, including among his works the gloriously titled ‘555 Questions and Answers on Women, Money, Politics and Football’.

29 May 1985:  39 people died as Liverpool fans moved to attack Juventus fans and trapped them against a concrete wall, while waiting for the start of the European Cup Final.  Although only Liverpool was involved in this all English clubs were subsequently banned from playing European football.  In 1989, after a 5-month trial in Belgium, 14 fans were given 3-year sentences for involuntary manslaughter

29 May 1990: Martin Hayes was transferred to Celtic for £625,000.  He only had one season as a regular in the Arsenal side but in that season scored 19 goals in league 31 starts.

29 May 2014: Arsenal announced that Lukasz Fabianski would leave the club in the summer.  He had just won an FA cup winners’ medal, and had played 78 games, 25 of them without conceding.  He moved to Swansea who were ultimately relegated in 2018.  He then joined West Ham.

For the complete Anniversaries Files with over 6000 entries listed, please see the right hand column under the heading Pages, where the files are listed in full in 12 monthly editions.

 

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