Which Arsenal player had a particular interest in world war 2 battlefields?

One of the interesting things about running the Arsenal History Files is the odd bits of information one picks up about players from the past.   For example today is the anniversary of the signing of Manuel Almunia who played 109 games in goal for Arsenal.  Today I learned that he has a deep interest in the second world war, and a brother who works or worked for the UN peacekeeping forces.  There’s always something interesting lurking in the files if one goes and looks.

All of the history files are available on this site  – if you look on the right side of this page and scroll down to the “Pages” section, you’ll see the 12 monthly files.



14 July 1890: Tommy Winship born in Newcastle upon Tyne.  He was known as ‘Tiny’ being only five feet four inches tall.  He started out playing for Wallsend Park Villa in the Northern Football Alliance and joined Woolwich Arsenal in 1910.

14 July 1894: First “Woolwich Arsenal Football Company Day Excursion” to Hastings
patronised by 400 people, organised by the club’s great benefactor George Lawrence

14 July 1917: King George V declared that male descendants of the royal line would from henceforth be called Windsor instead of being noted as part of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  On the same day, Winston Churchill became Minister of Munitions

14 July 1947: Archie Macaulay signed from Brentford for £10,000 having played with Rangers and West Ham and served as a physical training instructor in the war.

14 July 1976: Tottenham assistant manager Wilf Dixon defected to Arsenal to work
alongside Terry Neill, who described Dixon as “my best friend”.  Dixon died in March 2014.

14 July 1989: Rhy Wilmot transferred to Plymouth after eight league games for Arsenal and three loan spells.  He played 133 times for Plymouth and retired from playing in 1997, after which he became a goalkeeper coach.

14 July 1992 John Jensen signed from Brondby.  The signing was, in 1995, shown to involve the agent of Jensen paying George Graham, a deal that led to Graham’s dismissal. Jensen played 132 games for Arsenal over four years before returning to his former club.

14 July 1995 David Platt joined from Sampdoria (also reported as 11 July in some quarters).  He played 88 times for Arsenal before being released one year before the end of his contract, and then went into management.

14 July 1998: Scott Marshall transferred to Southampton.  The move however was not a success and he quickly moved to Brentford.  He was caretaker manager of Aston Villa in December 2018, but a significant lack of success in that role led to him being moved on very quickly.

14 July 1999: Stefan Malz signed from TSV Munich for whom he had played 36 games, but only managed six league games in his two years at Arsenal. The last record we have of him was as co-coach of the women’s second-division club 1 FFC 08 Niederkirchen but he was released in November 2012

14 July 2004 Manuel Almunia signed from Celta Vigo.  (Different dates often quoted).  Almunia never played for Celta Vigo, having had three loan spells, but went on to play 109 times for Arsenal.  Wiki has this note: “Almunia, whose brother served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Kosovo, had a noted interest in the second world war and regularly visited sites associated with the conflict before European games with Arsenal”

14 July 2005, Arsenal sold Patrick Vieira to Juventus for €20 million.  Also reported as 21 July.  Juventus won the league that season but were stripped of the title for wholesale match fixing, and relegated, and Vieira quickly moved on to Inter.

14 July 2013: Arsenal beat Indonesia 7-0 at the start of a pre-season tour. Walcott, Akpom, Giroud (2), Podolski, Olsson, Eisfeld get the goals.

14 July 2015: Carl Jenkinson loaned to West Ham for the season.  He played 20 times having played 32 matches in the previous season before an injury forced him back to Arsenal for repairs.


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