The tragic demise of Paul Vaessen and Arsenal History Soc celebrates 10 years

It’s the 10th anniversary of the Arsenal History Society today, after we were formed as part of the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association.  But on a much sadder note we share the day as an anniversary with the death of Paul Vaessen who died, unremembered, on this day in 2001.

There is a record of much of what we have done and the many histories we have written on the home page of this site.


8 August 1917:  it was formally announced that Captain Sir Henry Norris (chairman of Arsenal) had been promoted to Lt Colonel in the British Army, and had been made a Deputy Director of Recruiting in support of the war effort.  This promotion reveals the level of service he delivered to his country as he had risen from no rank to Lt Colonel in four years and been knighted just a couple of months earlier.

8 August 1919:  The third (and final) Anglo-Afghan war ended and Britain prepared to grant independence.

8 August 1923: The wonderful Jimmy Brain was signed.  Having had an unsuccessful trial with Cardiff, he became a miner playing part time for Ton Pentre.   The signing suggests that the manager’s network of scouts  had not been wound up by Sir Henry Norris as Knighton later suggested.  Brain was kept on by Chapman, playing 204 league games for the club.

8 August 1962: Bristol Select v Arsenal – Joe Baker’s first game having signed for £70,000 from Torino.  He stayed for four years and for three of these was Arsenal’s top scorer.

8 August 1977:  Jimmy Rimmer played his last game v Aldershot in pre-season friendly having played 124 leagues, before moving on to Aston Villa with whom he won the European Cup, for the second time (having won it with Man U)

8 August 1978: Returning to the UK after an overseas tour Arsenal played Celtic in Glasgow and won 3-0, Stapleton getting one goal, and the other two being own goals.

8 August 2001: Death of Paul Vaessen.  He had been a drug addict for several years and had a significant amount of drugs in his bloodstream at the time of his death.  His passing went unrecorded in the local paper.

8 August 2004: Arsenal 3 Man U 1 Charity Shield.  Gilberto Silva, Reyes, and Silvestre scored, and Reyes was awarded the “man of the match accolade”

8 August 2006: Tomas Rosicky first game v Dinamo Zagreb.  He transferred from Borussia Dortmund for whom he had played 149 league games.

8 August 2009.   At the AISA AGM, held in Highbury House, the Arsenal History Society was established as a body in its own right within AISA.  It quickly launched a series of books which transformed Arsenal’s history correcting numerous errors that had previously been taken as fact.

8 August 2011: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed from Southampton for £12m.  He had played 36 games for Southampton in the 2010/11 season.

8 August 2012: Park Chu Young given squad number 30.  In three years at Arsenal he only played one league game.

8 August 2013: Gervinho sold to AS Roma after merciless barracking by the anti-Wengerians – descendents of the detested boo-boys of the Chapman era.  He played 46 league games with Arsenal in two seasons.

8 August 2016: Mesut Özil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud returned to Arsenal long after the rest of the team, having played through to the final of Euro 2016.  It was announced that all three would be missing from the squad for the opening match of the season as would be Mertersacker who had been injured in the summer and would be ou


One Reply to “The tragic demise of Paul Vaessen and Arsenal History Soc celebrates 10 years”

  1. I remember Paul Vaessen, not only for his goal against Juventus but for having such a promising talent. It was so cruel, that injury ended his career at such a young age. Jimmy Rimmer ? What a great keeper. I can remember a save he made from Manchester City’s Dennis Tueart, that was the best I’ve ever seen and I include Bank’s save from Pele. If it hadn’t been for Jimmy, we’d have been relegated in the mid ’70s. Yes we were that dire !

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