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Whatever happened to Kwame Ampadu?

Kwame Ampadu played just two games for Arsenal between 1988 and 1991, and had a six match loan spell at Plymouth Argyle during that time as well.  He then moved to West Bromwich Albion (49 games), Swansea City (144 games), Leyton Orient (72 games), Exeter City (162 games), Newport County (8 games) and finally Tiverton Town (30 games) for his final season of 2005/6.

So while some of the players we look at here managed only a handful of games in their careers Kwame knocked in a shedload (473 league games in fact, and 19 goals) and he played four times for Ireland’s under 21 side.

And then in 2008 he was manager of Exeter’s under 18 team, before returning to Arsenal as a youth coach (2012-16) and then under 18 coach (2016-18) before then becoming assistant manager of AS Monaco, working alongside Thierry Henry.  When Henry was sacked, Kwame Ampadu kept his job and is still at the club.

Here are the anniversaries.

24 March 1888 Cup Final Day.  Arsenal went on to play two more games before their own first complete season concluded at the end of the month.  The agreement at the time was that it was “cricket only” from 1 April to 31 August.

24 March 1911: Leslie Calder signed for Arsenal as an amateur.  He played only once, at centre forward away to Middlesbrough on 15 April in a 1-1 draw.  He then signed as a professional on 24 August 1912, but didn’t get another game and does not appear to have moved on to another team and so was perhaps seriously injured.

24 March 1914: John Butler joined Arsenal FC.  His first league game in first team was not until 1919 although it would have been much earlier had it not been for the war.  He continued with the club until April 1930.

24 March 1917: Arsenal played Portsmouth at Highbury in the wartime league, and returned to winning ways with a victory by 2-1 over Portsmouth with 4,500 in the crowd.

24 March 1919: Sir Henry Norris raised a question in the House of Commons concerning far right wing posters appearing on walls in London denouncing members of the government as traitors.  It was his first question as an MP.

24 March 1928: Arsenal’s fourth and Chapman’s second successive FA Cup semi-final – Arsenal lost to Blackburn 0-1 at Leicester.  Chapman went on to take Arsenal to three semi-finals in four years.

24 March 1934: Ted Drake played his first match for Arsenal.  Arsenal beat Wolverhampton 3-2 and Drake scored his first goal.  He went on to play 167 league games and scored 124 goals.

24 March 1945: Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 0 in the wartime Football League south.  Arsenal had suffered disappointment in the previous game by losing in the League Cup (South) semi-final to Millwall 1-0 in front of 49,513,  and only 9,619 turned up for this league game. There was probably a doubt in people’s minds as to what Arsenal could do as they then lost the next four games to finish the league in 8th.  It was a sign that Arsenal were now in serious decline.

24 March 1951: Dave Bowen made his first team début for Arsenal as Arsenal beat Wolverhampton 2-1 in front of 54,213 at Highbury.  Holton got both goals. This was one of three games in four days – a traditional Easter format at this time.

24 March 1956: Sheffield Utd 0 Arsenal 2.  It was the start of six consecutive wins without conceding a goal, but the poor start to the season (just one win in the first nine) removed any chance of a challenge for the title, and Arsenal ended 5th.

24 March 1973: Man City 1 Arsenal 2.  Arsenal’s 3rd successive win, with one defeat in 15. The result left Arsenal two points behind Liverpool having played the same number of games, but one win in the last six games of the season meant Arsenal never managed to catch Liverpool.

24 March 1979: Arsenal 1 Man City 1.  This game was part of a run of just one win in eight as Arsenal focussed on getting to a second successive cup final.  Sunderland got the goal, 35,014 in attendance.

24 March 1984: Arsenal 4 Wolverhampton 1.  Start of a nine match unbeaten run which ran until the end of the season; a run  which was all the more surprising since it started immediately after a 4-0 defeat to Man U. Robson, Woodcock, Nicholas (pen) and Rix scored.

24 March 1990: Derby 1 Arsenal 3.  Kwame Ampadu League debut as a sub.  He made one more appearance, again as a sub, and moved on to West Brom in the summer of 1991.   Hayes (2) Campbell got the goals.

24 March 1993: Manchester Utd 0 Arsenal 0.  The league’s best defence in terms of Man U against the League’s worst attack in terms of Arsenal.  37,301 turned up – a low crowd for Man U, but then they probably anticipated the result.

24 March 1994: George Graham sold Anders Limpar to Everton for £1.6m.  Limpar was subsequently very critical of Graham’s style of forcing players out by arranging transfers without telling the player that the offer was there until the last minute and then telling the player he had no choice.

24 March 2009: 16 Arsenal players appeared in World cup qualifiers leading to speculation as to how many would make it back uninjured.

24 March 2012: Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0.  7th consecutive win during which Arsenal scored 21 goals. Gibbs, Walcott and Arteta scored.  Villa won the yellow card race 4-0.

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