What happens to Arsenal players after they leave?

The June entries for the Arsenal History Society anniversary files includes many players who have left the club – some of which come as a surprise to me.  For example I hadn’t caught up at all with Silvinho since he left Arsenal, and today I find he has had a significant managerial and coaching career both with national teams and clubs.  Contrast this with Nic Bendtner who was most recently heard of being arrested for assaulting a taxi driver, and accepting a prison sentence for his crime.  It can go either way.

Here are the anniversaries.   The books and series of articles are at the end.

27 June 1908: James Bigden sold to Bury after making 75 appearances in the league and 12 in the Cup for Woolwich Arsenal across four seasons.

27 June 1910: Athletic News carried an article saying Woolwich Arsenal did not yet have a full squad of players, and although this was not a total disaster (since pre-season training did not start until August) it meant that many of the most promising young players who might be available were being signed elsewhere.

27 June 1913: At the Fulham FC AGM on the shareholders passed a resolution to go to the Football League asking that Hall and Norris, now both directors at Woolwich Arsenal should be allowed to continue to serve as directors at Fulham.  The League agreed.

27 June 1914: Archduke Ferdinand von Hapsburg and his wife were shot dead by a Serbian nationalist in a Sarajevo side-street after their driver had taken a wrong turning.

27 June 1919: The London Combination held a meeting to ratify the decision to make the Combination the new reserve league.  This was a direct challenge to the reserve leagues that had existed before the war – the South Eastern League and the London League.

27 June 1932: Ernest Tuckett joined Arsenal as an amateur at the age of 18.  He first hit the headlines with six goals in a London Midweek League match in 1933 and then moved on to the nursery club Margate between 1934 and 1936 become a professional for Arsenal in 1936.

27 June 1978: Paul Davis joined Arsenal as a professional.  He had signed for Arsenal in 1977, and played for the first team for the first time against Tottenham on April 7 1980 at Tottenham.  We won 2-1.

27 June 1999: Silvinho signed for Arsenal from Corinthians of Sao Paulo for £4m (also quoted as 30 June 1999 in some places).  He had played 136 times for them, before moving to Arsenal where he played 55 games across two seasons.  Since retiring he has had a significant coaching and managerial career and in 2019 became the manager of Olympique Lyonnais.

27 June 2002: Arsenal played a pre-season friendly against Rapid Vienna, but the game was abandoned after the home crowd threw flares and stewards moved into the crowd.  After the game was restarted both sides colluded to get the ball down the far end of the ground away from the fighting.  The ref then blew and the players ran for the changing rooms.

27 June 2005: Stuart Taylor sold to Aston Villa, one week before Vito Mannone arrived.  In all he had made 30 appearances in all competitions winning a league title, an FA Cup winner’s medal and two Charity Shield winners’ medals.

27 June 2005: Alex Hleb signed for Arsenal.  Like many before and after him he was subsequently seduced and then abandoned by Barcelona – a move he described as the greatest mistake of his life.  His final club was BATE Borisov in 2018/19.

27 June 2014: Arsenal announced the departure of Nic Bendtner, Park Ju-young, loanees Kim Kallstrom and Emiliano Viviano, plus Chuks Aneke, Daniel Boateng, Zach Fagan and Leander Siemann.  In November 2018 Bendtner was sentenced to 50 days in prison in Denmark for assaulting a taxi driver.


“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.

Elsewhere on the site…

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.

A full index of our series can be found on the home page.

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