How one man’s tales can overturn the true history of a great club.

It is probably Bernard Joy’s negative comments upon George Allison, that has ensured that Allison has never received much recognition as one of the great Arsenal managers – despite the fact that he kept the club alive in the second world war virtually single handed, and won the same number of trophies as Whittaker and Chapman: two league titles and the FA Cup.

Joy however, although a player of distinction for Arsenal and England, was an absolute menace, and his book on Arsenal contained so many errors that it is more an insight into how little people knew about Arsenal in earlier times than anything else.

Indeed while Allison did nothing but support Arsenal’s cause, even when the club was sinking fast in the early part of the 20th century, Joy pretended to be all-knowing about the club, when in fact he knew very little and did absolutely no research making up facts as he went along.

Today we celebrate George Allison’s birthday, and remember one of the great Arsenal managers, and a great Arsenal publicist.

24 October 1883:  George Allison born in County Durham.  Bernard Joy said “he lacked the professional’s deep knowledge of the game”.  But he still managed to win the FA Cup and the League twice and from 1910 onwards had a continuous and deep engagement with the club up to 1947.

24 October 1896: Arsenal beat Gainsborough Town 6-1 away (Boyd 2, Brock 2, Haywood, Russell).  It was the biggest away win thus far for the club, and the club’s biggest in the 19th century.

24 October 1914: With the first battle of Ypres raging Arsenal lost 0-4 away to Derby – their heaviest defeat of the season.

24 October 1922: The Prorogation of Parliament meaning that this was the last day in his life  in which Sir Henry Norris had any duties as an elected politician.

24 October 1924: The Daily Mail published the fake “Zinoviev letter” which ordered the British Communist Party to engage in sedition.  As a result there was a major shift in power in the general election away from the left.

24 October 1925:  Arsenal now fourth, two points behind the leaders, played Sheffield United (bottom of the league).  During the match the Arsenal keeper, Baker was injured. With no subs Arsenal reshuffled and lost 4-0 to the bottom team in the league.

24 October 1931: Despite a series of drawn games, and a defeat to Grimsby, Chapman appeared certain that there was nothing wrong with his team and he stuck with the same XI for the game on this day and he was right; Arsenal beat Leicester away 2-1.

24 October 1931: Between this date and 1 January 1932 Jimmy Dunne scored in twelve successive games for Sheffield Utd and became a national phenomenon.  Sheffield Utd ended up 15th in the league and only scored 78 all season (the season Arsenal got 127). He became Chapman’s last major signing.

24 October 1936: The East Stand, Highbury opened for the game against Grimsby.  It cost £130,000. With the West Stand opened three years earlier, Chapman and Norris’ vision for the stadium neared completion, although sadly both had passed away and did not see their dream fulfilled.

24 October 1949: Len Wills signed as a professional.  Arsenal was his one and only club as a professional.

24 October 1956: Tom Whittaker died while manager of Arsenal.  In nine seasons as manager he won the league twice and the FA Cup once (exactly the same as Chapman and Allison, his predecessors).  .

24 October 1970: Coventry 1 Arsenal 3.  League match 14 of the first Double season.  Kennedy Radford and Graham scored meaning Kennedy had nine goals in the last seven games.

24 October 1974: Terry Mancini bought from QPR.  It was a surprise transfer, with Arsenal reportedly offering far more than it would have taken to prize Mancini out of west London

24 October 1979: Arsenal beat Magdeburg 2-1 in the CWC with 34,575 in the crowd.  The team was Jennings, Rice, Nelson, Talbot, O’Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Hollins, Rix.

24 October 1981 in a match that ended Ipswich 2 Arsenal 1, Willie Young bade farewell to the club.

24 October 1997: Glen Helder transferred to NEC Breda after 39 league games for Arsenal.  However he didn’t settle at any of his seven subsequent clubs, never managing more than ten games for any of them.

24 October 2004. The 49 match run ended.  After years of silence  Wenger finally spoke out and accused ref Riley of bias in this match.  He was fined £15k, but the silence could never be restored.  Someone hit Man U’s Ferguson with a pizza

24 October 2006: Armand Traore made his first appearance as a substitute for Adebayor.  Arsenal beat WBA 0-2 away in the League Cup. Aliadière scored both goals as Arsenal started the journey to the final.

24 October 2010: Arsenal beat Manchester City away 3-0 to move up to second.  Nasri, Song and Bendtner scored. City’s Boyata was sent off on five minutes.

24 October 2012: Arsenal lost at home to Schalke 04 – first home defeat (and as it turned out, the only defeat) in the group stage this season.

24 October 2015: Arsenal beat Everton 2-1 to go top of the league for the first time in the season.  It was the fourth successive win and achieved by goals from Giroud and Koscielny in a two minute spell in the first half.

24 October 2017: After being 1-0 down to Norwich City of the Championship at half time, Eddie Nketiah came on as the second substitute and scored two to take Arsenal through to the 5th round of the League Cup and eventually on to the final where Arsenal were beaten by Manchester City.

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