Joe Haverty was one of those wingers who was loved by the crowd because of the excitement he generated running up and down the left, and when he left Arsenal in 1961 after seven years by the club (being replaced by Alan Skirton) there was some sadness among the fans.
He proved to be a much-travelled player, working his way through nine clubs before retiring in 1971. He played 114 times for Arsenal, but thereafter his most games for a club was 68 with Millwall between 1962 and 1964. Otherwise he never made it past 30 games for any team. His travels took in two years of playing in the US (for Chicago Spurs and Kansas City Spurs) and he ended his career back in Ireland playing for Drogheda in 1971/2.
After that he scouted for Arsenal in Ireland and in 2000, he was inaugurated into the Football Association of Ireland’s Hall of Fame having played for his country 32 times. He died on 7 February 2009, in Dublin, aged 72.
Here are the anniversaries
17 February 1902: 1000 spectators saw Arsenal beat QPR in the London League Premier Division. But even though crowds were always low for these games, any income was worth having.
17 February 1906: Jimmy Ashcroft became Arsenal’s first England international. He played over 270 league games for Arsenal and three games for England.
17 February 1906: Hugh McDonald’s first game. He became so highly rated for Arsenal that he was picked to play in goal even when so badly injured that he could not even jump for the ball.
17 February 1917: It was a measure of how rapidly football fortunes changed in the wartime London Combination that on this day Arsenal won against Chelsea 3-0; a year before Chelsea had been all-conquering. 7,500 turned up, which given the bad weather and the number of men now serving in the army, was a very decent turnout.
17 February 1932: There are few occasions when one could call Grimsby the 1st Division’s “in form” team but they had just had two wins and a draw, and their last match before facing Arsenal was a 5-1 win against Liverpool. But it is was Arsenal’s form that was maintained with a 4-0 victory which took the club up to third place.
17 February 1936: Joe Haverty born. He played for Home Farm FC and St Patrick’s Athletic in Ireland (reaching the country’s Cup final), and then signed for Arsenal in 1954. At 5 feet 3 inches he was one of the smallest players ever for Arsenal and “Use your height Joe” was shouted from the crowd in many matches he played.
17 February 1940: The movie based on the novel “The Arsenal Stadium Mystery” was released. The book remained the only Arsenal novel published until “Making the Arsenal” in 2010. George Allison, the man who had been the lead radio commentator for BBC football matches, says, in the movie, “One nil to the Arsenal” – the first time the phrase is used in public.
17 February 1999 : Arsenal conceded their first goal in two months (including six league games) in what was also Kanu’s first league match. The final score was Man U 1 Arsenal 1. Anelka scored Arsenal’s goal.
17 February 2010: With an extensive injury list, Arsene Wenger said Arsenal would need a special performance to beat Porto in the Champions League on this day in 2010, but Lukasz Fabianski replacing the injured Almunia in goal could not live up to the requirements and Arsenal lost 2-1, but recovered to win 5-0 in the return leg in March.