Although one likes to hope that the more serious newspapers might actually do a bit of research, this is sadly rarely the case, as witness the Guardian’s various attempts to smear the Arsenal with a totally fake account of Arsenal’s election to the first division in 1919. One of these pieces appeared on this day in 2009 but they of course gave no evidence. When it comes to knocking Arsenal, the Guardian seems to have an absolute dislike of evidence.
As we note below the series “100 years in the top division” gives a succinct review of what happened but if you really want to know what happened throughout Henry Norris’ time at the Arsenal then the complete series “Henry Norris at the Arsenal” tells it all. It is long, and we’re still working on updating and correcting it, but it is all there.
Here are the anniversaries.
30 October 1897: Woolwich Arsenal beat St Albans 9-0 in FA Cup. This time there was only one hat trick (Hunt) with the other goals coming from Brock, Haywood, Steven, McGeoch, Davis, and Farrell. The crowd was just 3,000.
30 October 1909: Man U 1 Arsenal 0; commentaries in the press focussed on the dangers of the pitch in terms of the health of players and spectators (it was placed beside a chemicals factory). It was the debut for Duncan McDonald. Man U moved to Old Trafford in 1910. See also here.
30 October 1915: 30 October as Arsenal lost 1-3 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In the Chelsea team, and rather strangely playing midfield, was the ex-Arsenal player Charles Buchan, who would of course one day return to the fold. 12,500 were present.
30 October 1920: Debut of Dr James Paterson: Arsenal 2 Derby 0. This was the 12th league match of the season, but only Arsenal’s 3rd win. Dr Paterson achieved the rank of major in the war and was awarded the Military Cross. He joined Arsenal from Rangers (with whom he had won the league) sharing house with his brother in law, who was Arsenal’s club doctor. His arrival was warmly welcomed by the Islington Gazette saying it was exactly what Arsenal needed (not as manager Knighton later said in his autobiography, that the club was reduced to playing the brother in law of the physio).
30 October 1937: Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 2 – a result that meant Arsenal had won only two of the last ten league games, despite winning the first three scoring 12 conceding two. As a result of the run, this game marked the final appearance of Ray Bowden and Bobby Davidson (see below). Also it was the final game for Herbie Roberts who broke his leg in this game. Despite two more games after this without a win, Arsenal recovered and went on to win the league.
30 October 1937: Ray Bowden’s final appearance. An ankle injury caused him to be sold to Second Division Newcastle United for £5,000. In all he played 138 matches for the Gunners, scoring 48 goals. Later playing for Newcastle he scored a hat-trick against Swansea on the day before England declared war on Germany in 1939.
30 October 1937: Bobby Davidson’s last appearance. The high point of his career at Arsenal was four goals in the 5-1 victory over Portsmouth in December 1936. He was transferred to Coventry City in exchange for Leslie Jones.
30 October 1937: Herbie Roberts last appearance, in a game in which he broke his leg. In all he made 335 starts for Arsenal including 297 in the league, and scored four league goals with one more in the FA Cup. But above all he is remembered as the centre half at the heart of Chapman’s revised WM system in 1925.
30 October 1941: Bob Wilson born. He went to Loughborough College (now university) to train as a teacher, played a few reserve games for Wolverhampton and made his début for Arsenal while still having the status of an amateur in 1963. It is said that the £6000 we paid for him was the first transfer fee paid for an amateur.
30 October 1971: Arsenal 2 Ipswich 1 in front of 39,065. The “professional foul” was the central attraction combined with a “no one shall pass” attitude from Ipswich which the ref seemed to find perfectly acceptable no matter what it entailed. Radford and George finally beat the Ipswich 10 man ruck.
30 October 1979: Brighton 0 Arsenal 0 (League cup round 4). It was the sixth goalless draw of the season – and there were still over six months to go!
30 October 1982: Arsenal 0 Birmingham 0, part of a run of just one win in seven. Danny O’Shea’s first game. He was born in Newington, came through the youth system at Arsenal and was captain of the youth team. The crowd was 20,699. By the end of the season crowds were down to 16,000.
30 October 1993: Arsenal 0 Norwich 0 – the fourth consecutive goalless draw. Arsenal only scored more than one goal in a league game at Highbury this season in six games.
30 October 1995: In 15 games from this date through to 3 February Arsenal gained just five wins – it was a major reason why Rioch had to go and a new manager had to be found.
30 October 2009: Possibly having been encouraged by Tottenham fans, or possibly just through an unwillingness to do proper research, The Guardian reprinted the story about Arsenal gaining promotion in 1919 through some corrupt means. As always there was no evidence presented to back up the case, and no serious presentation of the mass of evidence to the contrary. The series “100 years in the top division” gives a succinct review of what happened.
30 October 2012: Reading 5 Arsenal 7 in league cup. Arsenal went 4-0 down before fighting back to become the first team ever to score 6+ in consecutive league cup games. The goalscorers in order were Walcott, Giroud, Koscielny, Walcott, Chamakh, Walcott, Chamakh.