On 31 July 1972 Arsenal played a Champions Challenge match against Benfica, celebrating the two clubs’ positions as champions. What Arsenal did not know of course was that in terms of trophy winning it was all over for a long time to come. The only other trophy in the decade was an FA Cup victory in 1979, and after that there was the League Cup in 1987. But nothing else after the double of 1971 until the league title of 1989.
Here are the anniversaries for today.
31 July 1910: After the Metropolitan Police sent a telegraph message to the captain of the SS Montrose en route to Canada to say Dr Crippen was on the ship, he was arrested upon arrival. It was said to be the first use of the telegraph in this way.
31 July 1914: Germany declared war on Russia and invaded Luxembourg.
31 July 1919: There were police strikes in London and Liverpool over recognition of the police and prison officers trade union. Over 2000 of the strikers were dismissed from their jobs as a result of the strike
31 July 1931: A report of the Committee on National Expenditure recommended the slashing of government spending to try to salvage the economy.
31 July 1951: Ian McPherson sold back to Notts County. He had played 152 games for Arsenal, and won a league winners medal in 1958. After County he moved to Brentford and then into non-league football.
31 July 1961: Joe Haverty sold to Blackburn for about £25,000. Joe spent one year with Blackburn, before moving on to Millwall, Celtic and Bristol Rovers.
31 July 1970: Kungsbacka BI 0 Arsenal 5 (Sammels 2, Kennedy, George 2). The third of five pre-season games.
31 July 1971: Benfica 2 Arsenal 0; “Champions Challenge Match,” celebrating each club’s victory in their respective leagues.
31 July 1974: Cardiff 1 Arsenal 2. Brian Kidd’s debut, having signed from Manchester United. He went on to play 77 games for Arsenal before moving to Manchester City.
31 July 1979: Arsenal played out a second 1-1 draw with Duisburg, (Arsenal’s goal coming as an o.g.) in front of 5,000. Paul Vaessen who clearly looked like a player of the future, came on as a substitute.
31 July 1981: Colin Hill signed professional terms, having played for Hillingdon Borough before moving to Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1977. He made his debut in April 1983.
31 July 1994: Raufoss 0 Arsenal 9 (Wright 3, Merson 2, Campbell 2, Dikov, Carter). Having lost their first tour game against a local side, Arsenal got themselves back together in this game.
31 July 1995: Celtic 2 Arsenal 1. A pre-season game as speculation mounted that the manager was going to be sacked. There was talk of who might come in, but no one got anywhere near the correct prediction.
31 July 2005: Porto 1 Arsenal 2 (Ljungberg 2). The final game of the tour meaning Arsenal had won all of their pre-season games.
31 July 2006: Schwadorf 1 Arsenal 8. In the build up to the opening match at the Emirates.
31 July 2008: Gary Lewin left Arsenal to work as a physio for England. He later suffered a dislocation to his left ankle and a fractured fibula, back of the tibia and ligaments while celebrating a Sturridge goal in a world cup match England lost.
31 July 2008: Tottenham bought David Bentley from Blackburn for £15m of which £7m went to Arsenal. He played just 42 games for the club before going on a series of loans to Birmingham, WHU, Rostov, and Blackburn. He later opened a restaurant.
31 July 2011: An injury to Wilshere forced a total rethink in the way Arsenal lined up with Arteta moved to defensive midfield playing alongside Song, leaving Vermaelen more free to push upfield during attacks. The result in the Ems Cup was Arsenal 1 New York Red Bulls 1 (Van Persie)
31 July 2014: Carl Jenkinson loaned to West Ham for one season. He had played 37 league games for Arsenal, and became a regular in the WHU side playing to much acclaim and played on for two seasons, until injured.
31 July 2015: Daniel Crowley loaned to Barnsley until October during which time he played 11 league games for the club.
31 July 2015: Isaac Hayden loaned to Hull City for the season. He played 18 league games and scored one goal.