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70 goals for Arsenal in 94 games – all after the age of 35!

Ronnie Rooke, who transferred from Arsenal to Palace on this day in 1949, played for Fulham before the war, and was 35 years old when football resumed in 1946.  And yet despite this was still signed by Arsenal.

Amazingly the plan worked and not only did Ronnie get 21 goals in 24 League matches in his first season, in the championship season of 1947-8 he scored an unbelievable 33 League goals!

Perhaps even more amazingly Ronnie kept going for one more year, getting 14 goals in 1948-9 before moving to Crystal Palace, as player-manager on 20 June 1949. He scored 70 goals in just 94 matches for Arsenal – all after the age of 35.  What an inspired signing!

Here are the anniversaries…

20 June 1900: Jim Ashcroft signed from Gravesend Utd.  He played 273 games for Arsenal and was a member of the promotion winning side in 1904.  He also made three appearances for England in 1906.

20 June 1949:  Ronnie Rooke transferred to Crystal Palace to become player-manager.  After Palace Ronnie became player manager of Bedford Town, and later worked as a porter at Luton Airport, dying of lung cancer in 1985 aged 73.

20 June 1966: Bertie Mee became Arsenal manager.  After the experience of taking a very high profile ex-footballer as manager, Arsenal sought to repeat the success of Tom Whittaker by promoting their physiotherapist.

20 June 1984: Dave Madden was transferred to Charlton after making just two league appearances.  His career subsequently took him to Los Angeles, Reading, Crystal Palace and Maidstone.

20 June 1987: Ian Allinson released to Stoke City.  After further moves to Luton and Colchester, Ian has subsequently had a career managing in non-league football, including notably at Boreham Wood, where his connection with Arsenal continued.  In February 2019, he was inducted into the Colchester United Hall of Fame

20 June 1987: Frank Boulton died.  Having left Arsenal he played for Derby in 1938/9 but missed out on their Cup Final appearance due to injury. He played for Swindon Town from 1946 to 1950 before moving on to Crystal Palace and then Bedford Town.

20 June 1989: Goalkeeper Andrew Marriott sold to Nottingham Forest.  He never played a league match for Arsenal, but between 1989 and 2011 he played for 17 clubs, with Wrexham (255 games) being his one long term playing engagement.  He has since become part of the McLaren Formula 1 team and worked with WBA.

20 June 1998: Netherlands 5 South Korea 0 Marc Overmars scored the second goal on 42 minutes, and became the first Arsenal player to score in world cup final stages.  Bergkamp scored on 71 minutes.  Dennis also signed for Arsenal on this day but “arrived” on 21 June.   And later…

20 June 2007: Scarborough FC went out of business with debts of £2.5m.  The club was formed 7 years before Arsenal and the clubs met on January 1993 with the result Scarborough Town 0 Arsenal 1.  It was Cup Match 6 of Arsenal’s Cup Double season, in the fourth round of the League Cup.

20 June 2008: Gaël Clichy signed a new long term contract and went on to play 187 times for Arsenal in the league before moving to Manchester City in 2011. On 7 July 2017, İstanbul Başakşehir announced that Clichy had signed a 3-year contract to play for the Turkish club.

Publications

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” and “Making the Arsenal” are now available as printed books, and on Kindle.    Please see here for more details.


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.

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