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David Danskin: an Arsenal founder but a man out of step with the majority in the club.

In 29 April 2019 a number of newspapers announced that “For years, the founder of Arsenal FC was buried in an unmarked grave in Coventry,” but that now that was finally put right when the man behind one of the world’s greatest football clubs was finally given the resting place he deserves.”

That man was David Danskin who was born on this day in 1863.

Of course Danskin deserved a commemorative grave as much as anyone, but whether he was the “man behind” Arsenal’s foundation is open to some dispute.  And certainly he quickly fell out with the majority of the club as he opposed the notion of paying the players for their labours.  For this reason he was not voted onto the committee that ran Arsenal’s affairs in the Royal Arsenal days, and was thus a man who was not part of the development of the club into being the first professional club in the south.

Thus although Danskin was a founder, he was effectively out of touch with the mainstream movement of the club that took the club into the Football League in 1893.

9 January 1863: David Danskin, reputed to be one of the founders of the Dial Square club, was born in Fife. He is thought to have been instrumental in arranging the first Arsenal match,and stayed with the club for several years.  However when he stood for election to the committee in 1892 he was not elected, almost certainly because he opposed the vote to turn professional in 1891.  

9 January 1883: William Garbutt – the Arsenal man who became the “father of Italian football” was born into a regular working class home Stockport. He was an outside right who played for Royal Artillery (while in the army), and Reading (of the Southern League), before coming to Woolwich Arsenal in December 1905.

9 January 1913: Ralph Birkett born in Torquay.  He joined Arsenal from Torquay in 1933 and played 19 games for Arsenal over two seasons.

9 January 1915: Harry King’s third hat trick in his record breaking run as Arsenal beat Merthyr in the FA Cup.  He scored 26 goals in 37 league games in the season.

9 January 1926: Wolverhampton 1 Arsenal 1.  Herbert Chapman’s first FA Cup match at Arsenal, the club finally going out in the sixth round to Swansea Town.  The following season the club went one better and got to the final for the first time.

9 January 1932: Arsenal 11 Darwen 1 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.  It was the first time since 1893 that Arsenal hit double figures in the Cup – this time en route to the final.  Bastin (3), Jack (3), Lambert (2) and Hulme (2) got the goals.

9 January 1937: Arsenal became the first team to take a point from Sunderland at Roker Park during the season.  The result and scores elsewhere meant Arsenal were now top of the league by one point.

9 January 1946: The final game for Leslie Jones and for Reg Cumner in second leg of an FA cup match as Arsenal beat West Ham but lost on aggregate. (With Highbury still under military command the game was played at Tottenham). The two players, both of whom started football in Aberdare, later met up again when Jones was manager of Scunthorpe, and signed Cumner.  This was also the first game for Jimmy Logie

9 January 1960:  Rotherham 2 Arsenal 2 (FA Cup) after Arsenal were 2-0 up with 20 mins to go through an own goal and a goal by Julians.   At Highbury the replay finished 1-1 after extra time and Rotherham won the toss in the boardroom to choose the neutral venue for the third match.  They chose Hillsborough and went through 2-0.  

9 January 1965: At this moment it looked at last as if Billy Wright was getting his Arsenal team together.  The 0-2 win over Darlington on this day in the Cup was routine – but it was one of four successive victories which gave hope to the club.

9 January 1971: Arsenal 2 WHU 0.  League match 24 of the first Double season.  The win left Arsenal just one point behind Leeds and with a better goal average.  Graham and Kennedy scored to make it 14 without defeat. See Arsenal in the 70s part 3   Better still for Arsenal, Leeds, their main rivals, lost to Tottenham 1-2.

9 January 1971: George Wood who later signed for Arsenal as understudy to Jennings was reported to have scored while playing in goal for East Stirlingshire v Queen of the South, kicking the ball out of his area and down the entire length of the pitch.

9 January 1993: Arsenal 1 Sheffield U 1. The eighth consecutive match without a victory during which run Arsenal scored just two goals.  Hiller got the goal. In all Arsenal went 15 league games without scoring more than one goal in any of them.

9 January 2005: Arsenal 2 Stoke City 1, starting another successful FA Cup run.  Stoke went ahead but Reyes and Van Persie scored in front of 36,579 at Highbury.

9 January 2007: Alex Song scored his first goal as Arsenal beat Liverpool 6-3 away in the league cup with Baptista getting four.  It was the first time in over 75 years that Liverpool conceded six at home. Having signed a new contract Touré captained Arsenal for first time.

9 January 2008: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1; League Cup semi-final played in front of just 53,136, one of the Emirates lowest crowds thus far reflecting the fact that it was Arsenal’s reserves against Tottenham’s first team.

9 January 2014: Akpom loaned to Brentford.  He was also loaned to Coventry, and started to make first team appearances by the end of the year. In 2015 he started to make regular appearances with Hull in the Championship.

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