When Arsenal beating Stoke was considered an upset, and the man with 24 goals in 30 games.

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Today marks the anniversary of one of the games played as Arsenal moved to its first ever trophy – winning the Kent Junior Cup – in this case “junior” meaning for less established teams, rather than for under 18s or under 21s.

85 years later there was a shock on this day when Arsenal beat Stoke City away – a shock because at the time Stoke were top of the league and Arsenal were being tipped for relegation.

But perhaps we should really remember 1991, in which on this day Arsenal scored four with all four goals by Ian Wright who also scored two hat tricks in the season as he went on to score 24 goals in 30 league games.  That’s the way to do it.

Here are the anniversaries.


21 December 1889: Arsenal beat Cray Wanderers 2-0 on their way to the club’s first ever trophy, the Kent Junior cup.

21 December 1903: Arsenal beat Bristol Rovers in cup 2nd replay at Tottenham in the Final Supplementary Round – effectively the fifth round of the cup before the first division teams joined the competition in January.

21 December 1907: Death of Bob Buchanan  aged just 40 at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.  He had played for two seasons for Woolwich Arsenal, and twice been a Southern League title winner with Southampton St Mary’s.

21 December 1910: The nation learned of the Pretoria Pit disaster in which an underground explosion in Lancashire killed 344, making it the second worst mining accident in England of all time.

21 December 1929: Alf Haynes’ first league match – a 1-0 away defeat to Liverpool.  He went on to play 13 games that season – but it turned out to be his most prolific period with Arsenal.

21 December 1956: Jack Crayston became full time manager after 2 months as caretaker.  He had just managed five games undefeated, and went on to a further five without loss, winning his first match as permanent manager the following day 4-0 against Birmingham.

21 December 1963: Death of Andrew Kennedy.  He was sold to Everton in January 1928 but despite over 100 games for Arsenal, Everton played him only once, and he moved to Tranmere, where he stayed for two seasons, retiring in 1930.

21 December 1974:  It may be hard to believe now but Stoke City 0 Arsenal 2 was a total shock, since Stoke were top of the league and Arsenal facing relegation!   The gossip was that having spent £200,000 on Cropley, Arsenal were going to get their money back by selling George, Blockley and Ball. For this game Radford and Kidd played on the wings.

21 December 1985.  Gus Caesar played his first League match, a 1-0 away win of Man U.   He joined Arsenal in August 1982 becoming a pro in February 1984 playing in the heart of the defence or full back.

21 December 1991: Arsenal 4 Everton 2.  All four goals by Ian Wright who also scored two hat tricks in the season as he went on to score 24 goals in 30 league games.

21 December 1996: Andy Linighan’s final game away to Nottingham Forest.  He had played 118 league games and scored 5 goals.

21 December 2002: The Arsenal programme had Robert Pires on front cover in Emperor mode and he duly scored the second as Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 2-0 to stay top of the league, two ahead of Chelsea, four ahead of Man U and seven ahead of Newcastle in fourth.

21 December 2015: Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1, Giroud and Walcott getting the goals.  This was the last of six matches unbeaten and was followed by a 0-4 away defeat to Southampton.

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