The knighting of Henry Norris, the rioting at Wembley, the long serving Grimandi

Does anyone remember Gilles Grimandi at Arsenal?   I hope so because with us he won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups – in fact the two doubles under Mr Wenger.  He also won the French League with Monaco.

That might be enough for most people, but since then and playing 114 games for the club he has become Arsenal’s scout in France in 2006, and now has the title “chief scout”.  As such I imagine he was responsible for getting Guendouzi to leave Lorient for Arsenal.

There was also talk of him becoming director of football way back in 2007 but that has not happened, and he is still scouting in France.  He’s still only 48, so has quite a few years left in him, unearthing other gems and helping them find their way to Arsenal.

He signed for us on this day in 1997.

Here are the anniversaries.

4 June 1902: Joseph Williams born in Rotherham on 4 June 1902, He started playing for Rotherham County and in September 1929 moved to Arsenal making his Arsenal debut in the 5–2 defeat by Aston Villa on 25 September 1929.

4 June 1915: Henry Norris launched a recruitment campaign in the West London and Fulham Times gathering men for the new 177th (Fulham) Royal Field Artillery Brigade.  In all Norris was responsible for raising three separate brigades in this way all done at his own expense.

4 June 1917:  Henry Norris was knighted in the birthday honours list in recognition of his unstinting work in evolving and developing the idea for and then raising the first footballers battalion.  Other such battalions followed.

4 June 1920: In a seemingly unique event, Sir Henry Norris spoke about his source of income, this being rents from property he owned, and rented out, in Fulham.

4 June 1925: Herbert Chapman returned to England early from a tour with Huddersfield, ready for talks with Arsenal about becoming the club’s new manager.

4 June 1939: Dave Nelson and George Drury scored two each in friendly win against the wonderfully named Diables Rouges in Brussels.

4 June 1949: Last appearance of Bryn Jones.  He had been Arsenal’s record signing but only played 76 games and scored 8 goals (his career of course interrupted by the war).   He left Arsenal to become player-coach at Norwich City

4 June 1977: Alex Manninger born in Salzburg.  He first played for SV Austria Salzburg, moving into their first team squad in 1995 and came to Arsenal in 1997.

4 June 1977: Scotland beat England at Wembley, with Scots outnumbering English fans 10 to 1, in a match remembered for the pitch invasion at the end.  The inadequacy of ticketing and safety measures were on show for all to see, but the FA remained in total denial.

4 June 1983: Emmanuel Eboué born in Abidjan.  He started his career at ASEC Mimosas Academy before moving to KSK Beveren in 2002.  .

4 June 1985: Lukas Podolski was born in Gliwice.  He joined 1 FC Köln in 1995 where he broke into the first team in 2003 and made 81 appearances for the club before moving to Bayern Munich.

4 June 1992: David O’Leary played for Ireland in a 2-0 defeat by Italy.

4 June 1997: Gilles Grimandi signed by Arsenal from AS Monaco for £1.75m.  When his playing days were over he became the chief scout in France for Arsenal and also appeared for the Arsenal Legends team occasionally.

4 June 1996: Cliff Holton died.  He retired from football in 1968, and took up a new career in engineering.  Soon after his retirement from that career he died suddenly while on holiday, at the age of 67.

4 June 2008: Bac Sagna signed a new long term contract.  It turned out to be his last, and at the end of the contract in 2014 he rejected a new deal with Arsenal and instead moved on a free transfer to Manchester City.


The three main series on this site are

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.

However there are many others and these are detailed on the home page and on the Pages section on the right side of this page.

The books…

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” is now once more available both in print and on Kindle.

“Making the Arsenal”  is available on Kindle and in print.

Please  see here for more details


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