By Tony Attwood
After numerous delays and after months of being side-tracked by other issues I am finally finding the time to complete the book on Woolwich Arsenal.
The book is called WOOLWICH ARSENAL: THE CLUB THAT CHANGED FOOTBALL, we have a publisher, and I am hopeful it will be published at the end of the year to coincide with the 125th anniversary of Arsenal.
Apart from the 125th anniversary itself I have been re-motivated in this project by two recent developments. One is that the editor of the official Arsenal programme has kindly asked me to contribute a series in the programme this coming season on little known incidents in the history of the club. Of course these won’t just be on Woolwich Arsenal, but such interest in the history of the club does show the campaign to get a greater awareness of club history has had an effect.
Secondly, in an unrelated move, the club shops will be stocking my book about Woolwich Arsenal in 1910 (“Making the Arsenal“) in a few weeks time, both in the shops at the ground, and in the on-line store. Until now the book has only been available via this site and on Amazon.
During the course of discussions on this matter the executives at the club shop also enquired about “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” and expressed an interest in the project. Of course there is no guarantee that they will hold the book in stock, as they haven’t seen it yet (since it is not written) but I am hopeful that they will like it, and so the book will get further exposure by being sold by Arsenal.
And now onto the issue of help. I am open to all offers of help from anyone with specific information and insight that has not appeared anywhere else, on the subject of the Woolwich Arsenal club. For clarity let me add that the focus is very much on the professional club Woolwich Arsenal – rather than on the amateur clubs Royal Arsenal and Dial Square – although these will be mentioned of course.
I particularly want to hear from anyone who is a relative of a director, player, official, founder or manager of Woolwich Arsenal. Members of the Humble family have written to me before, and I will be going through my records to find email addresses and write back – I do particularly want to have contributions in the book from members of the Humble family. If you have been in touch before, and have read this before getting a further email from me, please do get back in touch (Tony.Attwood@aisa.org)
But this is not exclusively about the Humble family – I really would like to hear from anyone who has an association with the old club – including anyone whose ancestors went to the ground as supporters or were shareholders in the ground, or maybe who left any pictures or diary entries about Woolwich Arsenal.
I am sorry to say (and I want to make this clear from the start) the project doesn’t have any money to pay for contributions, since I’m funding the publishing project myself, so all contributions will be given as a labour of love, and with the desire to publish for all time information about those involved in the club. But I do hope that you won’t be put off by this.
Please do get in touch directly.