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Whatever happened to Nico Yennaris? You might be surprised.

Yennaris was born in Leytonstone,to a father of Greek Cypriot origin and a mother of Chinese origin.  In view of what happened later, those details are relevant.

He played just once for Arsenal and after a couple of unsuccesful loan spells he moved to Brentford and played 144 games between 2014 and 2019.  Then in 2019 he moved to Beijing Guoan in China.

Internationally he played for England at under 17, 18 and 19 level.

But then on 30 May 2019, Yennaris became the first ever naturalised player to be called up by China and he made his debut with a start in a 2–0 friendly victory over the Philippines on 7 June 2019.

Here are the annivesaries…

22 March 1888: The first recorded meeting of clubs that were to become the founders of the Football League took place.  Arsenal joined the League five and a half years later.

22 March 1899: Blackpool 1 Arsenal 1.  Cottrell made it five goals in 3 consecutive matches chasing Haywood’s record of six in four earlier in the season.

22 March 1919: Clem Voysey played his first match for Arsenal in a London Combination (the war time league) game against West Ham.  Arsenal won 3-2 in front of 20,000.

22 March 1920: In a public meeting Sir Henry Norris spoke in favour of reduced train fares for commuters and for football fans going to away games, and said that increased salaries for workers were a fact of life that should not be opposed.  He had earlier opposed the maximum wage for players, but his ideas were defeated.

22 March 1930: Hull City 2 Arsenal 2.  FA Cup semi final.  Hull were 2nd division strugglers at the time; Jack and Bastin got Arsenal’s goals.  47549 turned up for the game played at Leeds’ Elland Road ground.

22 March 1941: Arsenal beat Millwall in the London War Cup 6-1 with Leslie Compton getting three.    But this was considered a modest show by Arsenal, who in the same season beat Southend 7-1 and 7-01, Northamoton 8-1, Luton 8-1, Clapton Orient 15-2 (Compton got 10), Millwall 6-1.  Compton played 36 games and scored 42 goals. Yet the largest league crowd all season was a mere 8000, although 60,000 turned up for the cup final.

22 March 1950: Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final replay with both Compton brothers in the team.  The first game on 18 March had ended 2-2 and Freddie Cox scored in both games.

22 March 1972: Arsenal 0 Ajax 1.  European Cup quarter final.  A headed own goal by George Graham sent Arsenal out of the competition.

22 March 1975: Burnley 3 Arsenal 3.  Two from Hornsby and one from Rostrom.  It was the start of a three match run without a win as the press talked of Arsenal’s possible relegation for the first time since 1913.

22 March 1976: After a 6-1 defeat of West Ham two days before, Bertie Mee announced he would leave Arsenal at the end of the season  Thereafter Arsenal won one, drew one and lost five in the league to finish 17th.

22 March 1980: Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 1, which meant Arsenal were unbeaten in seven, being fourth, ten points off the leaders.  Liam Brady to got the goal.

22 March 1986: After reports circulated that the board were seeking to appoint Barcelona manager Terry Venables in his place, Don Howe resigned as manager 10 years to the day after Bertie Mee.  Steve Burtenshaw took over.

22 March 1994: Neil Heaney transferred to Southampton.  He made four league starts and three appearances as a sub in his three seasons with Arsenal.

22 March 2005: The start of Jens Lehmann’s record of 853 minutes without conceding a goal in the Champions League.

22 March 2012: Benik Afobe loaned to Reading, Chuks Aneke to Preston, Nico Yennaris to Notts C.  Of the three Afobe seemed to have the greatest potential going on to play for Bournemouth in the Premier League.

22 March 2014: Chelsea 6 Arsenal 0 in which the referee sent off completely the wrong player, by mistake, despite protests by both players.  In fact there should have been no sending off as the handball in the area was of a shot that was destined to miss the goal had it not been touched.

22 March 1994: Neil Heaney transferred to Southampton.  He made four league starts and three appearances as a sub in his three seasons with Arsenal.

 

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