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The days when Arsenal sold their best players: remembering Geoff Strong

Geoff Strong played for Arsenal from 1957 to 1964 and showed himself to be a singularly accomplished player.  Then he was transferred to Liverpool on this day in 1964 – an utterly ludicrous move given that he was performing well with Arsenal and was able to play in a whole variety of positions.

In his first season for Liverpool he helped them win the FA Cup, and played in the semi-final of the European Cup, moving on to play in virtually every position, winning the league in 1966. He scored the winner in the first Liverpool Euro Cup Final.

It shows just how poor was the judgement of the management at Arsenal at the time that such an excellent player should be let go so easily.

7 November 1896: Notts C 7 Arsenal 4.  Only 3000 witnessed Arsenal’s biggest league aggregate game thus far.  The game was part of an amazing 11 league game sequence in which 76 goals were scored – fractionally under 7 per game.  The run included the 0-8 defeat to Loughboro and two games in which Arsenal scored six.

7 November 1901: William Gooing signed from Chesterfield.  He played 25 games this season and 94 league games in all before being sold to Northampton in the 1904/5 season.

7 November 1913: Hugh McDonald sold to Fulham – possibly because Henry Norris was a director of both clubs at the time (as the rules did not prohibit this, and Norris wasn’t the only “two club” man.)  McDonald suffered from the effects of poison gas in the war, and after being a publican in the post-war period died from the after-effects of the gas in 1920.

7 November 1914: Arsenal lost 3-0 away to Birmingham in front of 15,000. The two stalwarts, wingers Rutherford and Winship, were now missing.  With Groves and Norman making their first appearances of the season the forward line posed far less threat than normal, and Birmingham were able to push their half backs and inside forwards further forward, with no fear of a counter-attack.

7 November 1917: The third battle of Gaza was fought as finally the British forces captured Gaza from the Ottoman Empire.

7 November 1918: Sir Henry Norris, Arsenal chairman, was appointed Chairman of the Ministry of Labour’s Advisory Committee on demobilisation.   Throughout his time in this office he argued for pensions for all injured soldiers, but the government would not relent.

7 November 1925: Final first-team game for John (Jock) Robson against Man City – the shortest ever Arsenal keeper at 5 feet 8 inches.  He played 101 times for Arsenal, including 9 games in Chapman’s first season in 1925/6,

7 November 1931: Arsenal lost to Newcastle 3-2; Parkin making a rare appearance stepping in for Jones. However both Roberts at centre half and Jones, playing at right half, sustained injuries which totally disrupted the team. Lambert and Jack scored, but the result was a real blow to retaining the title as the club dropped to 5th in the league.

7 November 1936:  Jackie Milne started a long run of games at outside left where Arsenal had already used Beasley and Compton.   He held the position until 13 February after which he got just one more game being replaced by Dennis Compton.

7 November 1964: Geoff Strong sold to Liverpool for just £40,000 – a ludicrous transfer if ever there was one.  He had scored 69 goals in 125 league games for Arsenal, and went on to become a legend at Liverpool where he is still remembered with much affection.

7 November 1970: Blackpool 0 Arsenal 1. This was League match 16 of the first Double season and Arsenal’s fourth consecutive win, but it still left Arsenal second, one point behind Leeds.  Radford scored in a game that was part of a sequence of four consecutive scoring matches for the centre forward.

7 November 1992: The six game winning run from 28 September ended with a 3-0 victory over Coventry in front of 27,693.  However it was followed by eight games without a win in which Arsenal only scored three goals.

7 November 2003: Arsenal youth player Marcus Artry was imprisoned for nine years for sex attacks.   He was never heard of again in football circles.

4 comments to The days when Arsenal sold their best players: remembering Geoff Strong

  • David Corne

    Geoff Strong’s debut was against Newcastle which Arsenal won 5-1.
    Geoff scored 2 of the goals, one of them being when he picked the ball up from a corner advanced to the edge of the area and smashed the ball in the net. I used to go to the Football Combination games and Stong’s performances in those games picked him out as a regular first team player which he shortly became. With Joe Baker, the pair formed a deadly and consistent duo in the First Divisions goalscorers. I was devastated when they sold him to Liverpool when he hadn’t even reached the peak of his powers, but as your article says, he was remembered fondly by Arsenal fans of that era. Sadly, Geoff passed away a few years ago and Liverpool remembered him for what a legend he became for them, when in actual fact he should, like Ray Kennedy, never been allowed to leave. A great player who mysteriously like Billy Bonds never got a solitary England cap when today they are handed out like confetti.

  • Masterstroke

    Strong could jump higher from a standing position than anyone I’ve ever seen and was so dangerous at dead ball situations.It seemed as though he had an invisible ladder.

  • Ken George

    Well remember this crazy transfer as it was announced on a Saturday morning which was very unusual . Sad loss for Arsenal as his partnership with Joe Baker was one of the few highlights of the barren 60,s

  • Geoff

    Remember my 1st 2 Arsenal games at Highbury 4-5 adainst Villa & 5-4 against Wolves,great games forward line of Mcloud,Strong,Baker,Eastham,Skirton brilliant attack pity about defence.

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