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Commemorating the tragic early death of Herbert Chapman

Everyone knows the name of Herbert Chapman, not least because he gave Arsenal its first trophies – two league titles and an FA Cup.  He is the only manager of the club who is commemorated outside the ground with a statue – thanks to the Arsenal History Society.

But his legacy was even greater than his initial success for Arsenal won the league in the season in which he died, with Joe Shaw taking over as manager.  And then in the rest of the 1930s George Allison took over and won two more league titles and one more FA Cup.

So having won nothing from the days of their formation as Royal Arsenal up to 1929 Arsenal then won the League five times and the FA Cup twice in the 1930s.   A remarkable achievement for Chapman and remarkable foundations built for the future.

Here are the anniversaries.

6 January 1903: Tommy Shanks signed from failing Southern League club Brentford.  He went on to be a star striker at Woolwich Arsenal, but then just as Arsenal got promotion to the first division he went back to Brentford, at the height of his fame for reasons I have never worked out.

6 January 1906: After losing 1-6 away to Bolton on Jan 1, Arsenal beat Sheffield U 5-1 at home in the next match.  Coleman (2), Fitchie, Garbutt, and Ducatt scored.

6 January 1912: A 10 game run up to a home draw with Villa on this day in front of a paltry crowd of 6,000 showed Arsenal having won two, drawn one, and lost seven.   Worse, the defeats included a 5-0 drubbing by Tottenham on Christmas Day in front of 47,000 at White Hart Lane although Arsenal won the return game on Boxing Day with 22,000 in the Manor Ground.

6 January 1912: As a result of cost cutting this was Jackie Chalmers last game for Arsenal having played 48 games and scored 21 goals.

6 January 1915: Birmingham beat Glossop North End 11-1, the highest score of the season.  Glossop were run by the Hill-Wood family and shortly after they closed down the club much to the local fans dismay, and went looking for a bigger club they could take over.  Eventually they moved in on Arsenal and destroyed Henry Norris’ notion of a club owned by its fans..

6 January 1919:  The Football League Management Committee started to debate the demands of the reformed Players’ Union over salaries, and to discuss the idea of amalgamating the Football League with the Southern League. These discussions led onto the idea of expanding the League by four clubs for the 1919/20 season and adding new divisions thereafter.

6 January 1934 – Herbert Chapman died of pneumonia aged 55 at his home in Hendon.  He had won the league twice with Arsenal and the FA Cup once, but more than that he set up the regime that would run Arsenal until 1953.  After lobbying by the Arsenal History Society a statue was erected to him at the Emirates in 2012. The club then also arranged for his grave to be cleaned and tidied.

6 January 1938: Joe Hulme transferred to Huddersfield town after 12 wonderful years at Highbury in which he played 333 games, scored 107 goals.  He won three championship medals, two Cup winners medals and was the only player to play in all of Arsenal’s first Cup finals.

6 January 1951: Arsenal 0 Carlisle 0.  FA Cup 3rd round. Crowd 57,932. Carlisle were in the third division north, and Arsenal were the Cup holders – it was quite a shock, although Arsenal won the replay.

6 January 1971: Yeovil 0 Arsenal 3.  FA Cup 3rd round in the first Double season.  The Yeovil chairman was reported in the papers saying prior to the match, “McLintock’s too old and Wilson’s too slow”.  It was not his finest hour.

6 January 1979: Arsenal played  Sheffield Wednesday away in a 1-1 draw.  Terry Neill described the Wednesday pitch as the worst he’d ever seen and matters were made worse by the refusal of the referee to call for action to be taken against the Wednesday fans who pelted Arsenal players with snowballs throughout the game.

6 January 1993: Scarborough Town 0 Arsenal 1.  Cup Match 6 of Arsenal’s Cup Double season, in the fourth round of the League Cup.  Scarborough were formed seven years before Arsenal, but went out of business on 20 June 2007 with debts of £2.5m.

6 January 2001: Carlisle 0 Arsenal 1; FA Cup round 3 as Arsenal started on the journey to the final.  Wiltord scored the goal on the ground in which Arsenal had been notoriously beaten 2-1 in December 1974, when the police entered the pitch to stop players fighting.

6 January 2006: Patrick Cregg sold to Falkirk.  He made just three league cup appearances for Arsenal.  He played 111 times for Falkirk and also played for Hibs, St Mirren and St Johnstone

6 January 2011: Wellington Silva bought from Fluminese.  He came with seemingly huge potential but in a long series of loan spells appeared to lose this way.  He finally got his work permit and was loaned to Bolton in 2015 but then returned to Fluminese having failing to make his European breakthrough. He nows plays for the Brazil club “Inter”.

6 January 2012: Thierry Henry returned for a short term loan.  He played four games and scored one classic Henryesque goal cutting in from the left in the match against Leeds.

6 January 2014: Walcott was confirmed as being out for at least six months following injury in the match against Tottenham.  It ended up being a year, but he came back to score the all-important opening goal in the 2015 cup final.

1 comment to Commemorating the tragic early death of Herbert Chapman

  • ON 7TH JANUARY 1956 ARSENAL PLATED BEDFORD TOWN AT HIGHBURY WE WERE 2 UP

    BUT BEDFORD CAME BACK AND DREW THE GAME 2 -2

    THE REPLAY WAS THE FIRST LIVE GAME SHOWN ON COMMERCIAL TV WE WERE 1 DOWN BUT MANAGED TO GET A

    LATE EQUALISER AND WON THE GAME IN EXTRA TIME. I BUNKED OFF SCHOOL TO WATCH IT

    NO FLOODLIGHTS IN THOSE DAYS

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