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December 2019
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When the High Court told the FA that it did not have God-like status

Throughout the 1920s the FA acted as if it were the law and could do anything.  So bad did matters get that in 1927 on this day the high court itself reminded the FA that it was not able to the law and could not eject people from positions they held, just because they didn’t like an individual.

But the FA continued to disregard the law, and ultimately told Arsenal that if they did not remove Sir Henry Norris as a director of the club, the club would be removed from the FA and thus would not be able to play any matches.

Once again such a move would have been totally illegal, but with the anti-Norris faction under Hill-Wood now in control of the club, Arsenal were complicit in according to the FA’s decision and removed Sir Henry.  It was a tragic way to treat the man who had rescued Arsenal from extinction in 1910, and turned it into the most profitable and one of the best supported clubs in the country.

The anniversaries for today are printed below.


The website

An index of many of the series of articles on Arsenal’s history that we have run on this site can be found on the Arsenal History Society home page.

The books

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” is the definitive history of Arsenal from its inception as a league club through to its first year at Highbury, and reveals dramatic elements of Arsenal’s early days that have never been revealed before.

“Making the Arsenal” is a journalist’s inside view of the events around Arsenal’s collapse in 1910 and the rescue that paved the way for the move to Highbury and the arrival of Herbert Chapman.

Both books are now available on Kindle and in print.    Please see here for more details.


The anniversaries…

16 November 1895: Harry Storer (Arsenal’s first representative player and their best keeper thus far), played his last match for Arsenal: it ended Woolwich Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2.     In the game Storer was involved in an altercation with Arsenal fans behind the goal, and he claimed that the home spectators had behaved in a “disgraceful” manner. The club first suspended, and then sold him.

16 November 1917: British troops occupied Tel Aviv.

16 November 1918:  Arsenal played Fulham at Highbury but lost 1-3.  8000 were in the crowd including Sir Henry Norris along with William Hall and Hall’s brother-in-law George Davis.  It was just like old times.

16 November 1927: Sir Henry Norris’ legal representatives wrote to Arsenal reminding them that the FA Commission of Inquiry was not a legal body and that Sir Henry was not accused of receiving any money illicitly.   On the same day the case of Peachey against Arsenal was found in Peachey’s favour, the high court ruling that the FA had no power to remove him as a director of a company that was a member of the FA.

16 November 1934: It was noted in the press that  that Alice Hargreaves, who, as Alice Liddell, was the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, had passed away.

16 November 1936: King Edward VIII informed the Prime Minister of his intention to marry the divorced Wallis Simpson. Baldwin dutifully told the King that any woman he married would have to become Queen, and the British public would not accept Wallis Simpson as Queen, what with her being divorced and not English.

16 November 1940.  Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1.  Ted Drake scored in front of just 1,477 at WHL.  After seven wins out of eight games in the wartime South Regional League this made it three draws in a row.  Although in 11 games Arsenal (playing all their games at Tottenham’s ground) had used 3 different keepers, reflecting the problem with war time selection.

16 November 1946: Arsenal beat Leeds 4-2 at home with Ted Platt making his first team debut.  However he never made it as the first choice keeper, playing only when Swindin was injured, and was eventually replaced by Jack Kelsey

16 November 1952: Roddy McEachrane – the original “Mr Arsenal” died.  He played under Bradshaw, Kelso and Morrell, the three key managers in the whole of the Woolwich Arsenal period, and his two final games placed him on the wall of honour at the Emirates as one of the Arsenal Highbury elite.

16 November 1962: Steve Bould born. He started out at his local club Stoke, went on loan to Torquay United during which time the manager was Bruce Rioch, who later had one season with Arsenal as manager. He then returned to Stoke and moved to Arsenal in June 1988

16 November 1965: Arsenal v Brazil – part of the world champions’ warm up for the 1966 world cup in England.  Jon Sammels scored in each half as Arsenal won 2-0.

16 November 1974: Arsenal 3 Derby County 1. Arsenal had two wins and a draw in the last three, which was the best form of the season.   Ball scored a stunner but most praise went to Mancini who now in his fourth game looked solid and consistent at number 5.

16 November 1996: Man U 1 Arsenal 0.  Arsène Wenger’s first defeat at the end of a ten match unbeaten run.  After the game he said, “Obviously, the way we lost was difficult to accept, but I’m happy with the way we played. Our organisation was excellent, we kept fighting and I am very optimistic for the future.”  The following season he won the Double.

16 November 2002: Arsenal beat Tottenham 3-0 to go back to top of the league. The game included the Premiership Goal of the Season by Henry.  He took the ball from inside his own half, beat all of the Tottenham defence, beat them a second time, scored from about two miles out and ran all the way back to the other end.  (Note: some of the details of this report may be slightly exaggerated).

16 November 2013: Wojciech Szczesny signed a new long term-contract with Arsenal.  However some poor performances in 2014/15 and allegations that he had been smoking led to him being replaced first by David Ospina and then by Petr Cech.

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