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September 2020
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When it comes to football and politics there are some people it is best not to argue with

by Tony Attwood

In studying the life and times of Sir Henry Norris, the man who rescued Arsenal in 1910 and became its chairman, we find a man who would work hard, give generously of his time and money, but not suffer fools gladly.   And looking back from nearly 100 years on we find that his local political association were being particularly foolish when they demanded that he give even more of his salary as an MP over to his local Conservative Party association than he had been doing.

And really he probably had a point: since he was the longest ever serving borough council mayor in London – a post that allowed him to draw no salary at all.

But in walking away from his party, we see the man’s temperament for this is what he did to Arsenal when the Hill-Wood clan started their bid for power – a bid that meant the reversal of Sir Henry’s desire to create a club owned by its fans.  A reversal that eventually led to the club being owned by one man, as it now is.

23 November 1889: Royal Arsenal 4 Foxes 1 in London Senior Cup; en route to the final.

23 November 1896: Kettering v Arsenal in the United League.  This was the game in which Joseph Powell was injured and subsequently tragically died of tetanus aged 23.  He was Woolwich Arsenal’s first captain.

23 November 1910: Suffragist Hugh Franklin attempted to whip Winston Churchill (the home secretary, and thus the person directly responsible for the government’s response to the suffragettes) on a train.  Elsewhere Dr Crippen was hanged.

23 November 1918: The British military government of Palestine began.  Meanwhile Arsenal played and lost again 1-4 to Brentford in front of 5000 fans, making it two defeats, one draw and one win in November.

23 November 1919: Jimmy Logie born.  Jimmy first played for Scottish junior side Lochore Welfare, who are still playing (home crowds are around 200 or so).  He signed for Arsenal just before the outbreak of the second world war, and then served in the Royal Navy playing occasional wartime matches for Southampton, Grimsby, Dunfermline and even one or two for Arsenal when on leave and at the end of the war.

23 November 1921: Fulham East Conservative Association had written to Sir Henry Norris to ask him to double his annual contribution to the party.   He wrote back on this day and not only said no, but he also resigned from the Fulham branch of the Conservative Party. The man who had been the longest ever serving London Mayor without any payment or expenses claim, had had enough.

23 November 1929: George Male joined Arsenal.  His first attempt at senior football was a trial with West Ham, who amazingly (in the light of what happened later) turned him down, thus ensuring that his first club was Clapton.

23 November 1935: Steve Burtenshaw born.  He was Arsenal caretaker manager between March and May 1986 following the resignation of Don Howe amidst rumours that he (Don) would be replaced.  Steve was himself replaced by George Graham. His record as a manager of Arsenal was a win rate of 27.27% winning 3, losing 6 and drawing 2.

23 November 1935: Arsenal played 12th placed Wolverhampton (who had in seven away games gained just one point).  Rogers scored, Drake got two, making it three games in a row in which he had scored, Hulme got the fourth.  It was the first time since the opening game of the season that Drake had scored more than one goal in a game.

23 November 1937: Jim Furnell born in Lancashire.  He moved to Arsenal for £15,000 or £16,000 (depending on the source you read) on November 22 1963, signed by Billy Wright.

23 November 1938: John Macleod born in Edinburgh.  He joined Hibernian the club he supported as a school boy playing first for Edinburgh Thistle, the feeder team of Hibs.    Then he went with Joe Baker to Armadale Thistle for what Scottish clubs liked to call “toughening up.”

23 November 1940: Northampton Town 1 Arsenal 8.  7000 turned up to see one of two Arsenal’s eight goal routs of the season – the other being a home win against Luton. There were five different goalscorers.

23 November 1959: Arsenal 4 Leicester 2 in Southern Floodlight Challenge Cup.   Arsenal had also won the cup the previous season.

23 November 1963: Jim Furnell’s first game (on his birthday)  – a 5-3 win against Blackpool. He had moved to Arsenal for about £15,000 the previous day.  Strong (2), Barnwell, Brown and Eastham scored.

23 November 1976: Pat Jennings Testimonial.  Tottenham 3 Arsenal 2.  He played 472 games for Tottenham and 327 games for Arsenal.  28,582 turned up.

23 November 1985: Last game for Chris Whyte, first game for Martin Keown.  WBA 0 Arsenal 0.  Chris Whyte played 90 league games for Arsenal before moving onto the American indoor league.

23 November 1994: Ian Wright scored against Leicester making it 12 appearances in a row in which he has scored.  Unfortunately only five of those games were league matches which Arsenal won, as Arsenal under Graham went on to end the season in 12th.

23 November 2002:  Arsenal lost 3–2 to Southampton, conceding three for the first time since May 2001.   Bergkamp and Pires scored but Campbell was sent off after which Southampton quickly scored two.

23 November 2006: Matthew Connolly went on his first loan period, to Bournemouth, playing five league games and two FA Cup matches, and scoring against Nottingham Forest.  He returned to Arsenal and played in the League Cup quarter final on 9 January 2007 in the amazing Liverpool 3 Arsenal 6 match.

23 November 2010: Arsenal lost 2-0 away to Braga of Portugal in one of the most notoriously odd referee displays of all time – so odd that even the press mentioned it although they put it down to foreign refs not understanding the rules of the game.

23 November 2011: Arsenal qualified for the Champions League knockout stages with a 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund.  Van Persie got both goals.

23 November 2011: Richard Wright returned to Ipswich and played in the reserves then went to Preston, then on to Colchester for a trial and finally Manchester City signing a one year contract extension on 10 July 2013.

23 November 2011: Sanchez Watt went to Sheffield Wednesday on loan.  It was the fourth of six loan spells before he signed permanently for Colchester.  He never played for Arsenal in the league.

23 November 2012.   Arsenal announced at £150m ground sponsorship deal with Emirates.

23 November 2017.  Arsenal played their 5th Europa League match, away to Germany’s bottom club, Kologne, and lost 1-0.  Although hardly of significance to Arsenal on this day the editor of these files spent an hour wandering the streets of a small Cyprus town trying to find a bar that was showing the match.  Eventually one was found, full of German supporters, who were awfully decent about events on the screen.

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