Whatever happened to Frank Stapleton?

Frank Stapleton played 225 league games for Arsenal and scored 75 goals between 1974 and 1981, before moving on the Manchester United where he played 223 games and scored 60 goals.

After that he played for nine more clubs, but only two (Blackburn Rovers and Bradford city saw him knock up more than 50 games.  His final club was Brighton and Hove Albion for whom he played a couple of games in 1994/5.

But by then he had tried his hand at management, including being player-manager at the aforementioned Bradford City.  In 1996 he was manager of New England Revolution and in 2014/15 he was assistant manager of Jordan.

Here are the anniversaries…


18 March 1893: Building towards entering the league Arsenal beat Middlesbrough Ironopolis 3-0.  The Irons joined the league at the same time as Arsenal, but left after one season despite coming a decent 11th, due to very poor crowds.

18 March 1898: Sunderland manager Bob Campbell accepted the post of manager of Arsenal but then changed his mind.

18 March 1899: Arsenal 6 Blackpool 0.  Cotterell got three goals in a run in which he scored eight in the last nine games of the season.

18 March 1910: Woolwich Arsenal went into liquidation.  Fortunately Henry Norris was on hand to bail the club out, and he eventually paid all the debts (including non-football debts and debts that were not disclosed at this moment).  Such behaviour is utterly unknown among football clubs today. See also here.

18 March 1922: Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 0.  5th consecutive defeat and 4th consecutive match without scoring.  Arsenal however then won the next four games and eventually finished 17th to help save Knighton from the sack.

18 March 1933: Ray Bowden’s first game within days of his signing: Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton 2.  This was one of a run of three defeats and a draw, but Arsenal then recovered with five consecutive wins, to take the League title again.

18 March 1950: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2; Arsenal’s 8th cup semi final. Cox and Leslie Compton scored as Arsenal continued their dominance of the Cup ultimately becoming the most successful FA Cup team ever, a title they later shared with Man U.

18 March 1970: Arsenal 7  Dinamo Baclu 1.  Fairs Cup 4th round. 35,342 attended.  Radford (2), George (2), Sammels (2) and Graham scored to give Arsenal a 9-1 aggregate win.

18 March 1972: Orient 0 Arsenal 1.  FA Cup 6th round. Ball got the goal as over 31,000 improbably (and unsafely) crammed into Orient’s ground.  It was not all ticket.

18 March 1975: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0.  After 32 league games that was our 9th win of the season.  Kidd, Ball and Rostron scored, but the game was followed by another three without a victory.  The win lifted Arsenal to 17th – and above Chelsea and Tottenham.

18 March 1978: Arsenal 4 Bristol City 1.  This game made it five without defeat – but three of those were draws.  Stapleton (2), Sunderland and Price got the goals. Arsenal were 4th – but still seven points behind Nottingham Forest.

18 March 2007: Everton 1 Arsenal 0  After a brilliant unbeaten run Arsenal’s next run was three  defeats and a draw.

18 March 2014: Cazorla, Ramsey and Zelalem all signed new contracts.

18 March 2017: A 3-1 away defeat to WBA meant Arsenal had lost four of their last five league games, conceding 11 and scoring six

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