Most Arsenal fans know the name of Chapman, and I suspect most also know that he was the manager who gave Arsenal their first trophies – the FA Cup, followed by two league titles.
His death at a tragically early age robbed him of a life that would undoubtedly have brought him ever more honours, although such was his ability that his sudden passing left the club in such a well-developed state that the trophies went on through the rest of the 1930s, and amounted to five league titles and two FA Cup wins. All from a club that had never won the league before.
But it was not always plain sailing for Chapman and he very nearly didn’t return to football after his ex-club Leeds City was thrown out of the league for war time irregularities, and the directors of their manager, Herbert Chapman, banned from football for life on this day in 1919.
13 October 1894: Henry Boyd, Arsenal’s most prolific scorer ever, scored his 8th goal in five games. The result was Newton Heath 3 Arsenal 3, part of a seven match unbeaten run.
13 October 1906: One of the first known press references to Arsenal supporters as “Gunners” appeared on this day. The name originally turns up in 1904, but this report in the Bristol Evening News also particularly mentioned the antics of the supporters who worked in the Torpedo Factory and the fireworks they let off. It was most likely this group who popularised the name.
13 October 1917: In an attempt to divert discontent and improve the nation’s spirit in wartime the government took over Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground on this day to celebrate the (largely imaginary) life of the great English heroine Boadicea.
13 October 1919: Leeds City FC of the second division were expelled from the Football League and their directors and their wartime manager, Herbert Chapman, were banned from football for life.
13 October 1919: The conviction of Mr James Matthew Littleboy, a former mayor of Fulham, for annoying ladies in Hyde Park, was quashed. The ex-Mayor, who said he was troubled by noises in his head, was supported by Sir Henry Norris who vouched for his good character.
13 October 1923: Arsenal 1 Manchester City 2. The Times described Arsenal as “tame” with City playing an offside trap and a counter-attacking game that thus far had not been common in the first division. Arsenal’s defeat meant that after a run of three wins they had now scored one goal and got one point in the last three games.
13 October 1928: Arsenal smashed the world transfer record with the purchase of David Jack by Herbert Chapman for £10,890. The tale is that Chapman got the negotiators from Bolton drunk to get the deal done.
13 October 1934: 68,000 turned up for the home game with Man City. Arsenal won 3-0 (Bowden 2, Bastin) and was part of a run of 15 goals in four games.
13 October 1959: First game for John Snedden in friendly v Grasshoppers. Arsenal won 8-2.
13 October 1960: Arsenal signed John McClelland from Glenavon for £7000. He had one major season with Arsenal – 1962/3 where he replaced McKechnie in goal and played 33 games.
13 October 1979: The 11th league game of the season and the difficult reality was that Arsenal had only won three of the previous ten, and matters didn’t improve much with a 0-0 away draw at Bolton in front of 17,032.
13 October 1990: Final game for Gus Caesar in the Graham Rix Testimonial match v Tottenham. Arsenal lost 2-5. He ended his career playing in Hong Kong in 2002, and has since worked in the finance industry in the Far East and the UK.
13 October 2001: Southampton 0 Arsenal 2. League match 8 of the third Double season. Pirès’ scored in the 5th minute and Henry wrapped it up with the second on 74 minutes. Arsenal were second in the league, having won five, drawn 2 and lost one.