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November 2020
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The impossible Reg Lewis: 42 goals in 23 games for Arsenal

Arsenal won the 1941-2 London League; one of the leagues played during the second world war, and it seems appropriate that this league season ended on this day, while we are still thinking about VE Day.

This season he played 23 league games and scored 42 goals!  These included a run of seven games in September and October in which he scored 16 goals in seven games – and that run only stopped because he didn’t play in the next match (away to Watford – we lost 1-3).

In all he scored three or more goals in seven separate matches – his best game being the return game against Watford on 31 January when he clearly wanted to show Watford that he took that defeat personally; he knocked in five.  He also scored another three in the London war cup.

He was, obviously, our top scorer for the season.  The only other player to get into double figures was Cliff Bastin with ten goals from 30 games.

Overall in the League (which in 1941/2 Arsenal won) the club played 30 games and scored 108 goals.  An average of 3.6 goals a game.

Here are the anniversaries.

9 May 1891: Royal Arsenal FC voted at its AGM to turn itself into a professional side, making the club the first professional team in the south of England in a move proposed by Jack Humble. The club immediately tendered its resignation from both the Kent and London FA but this was turned down in both cases (although later reports suggested otherwise).  See also here

9 May 1891: Dr James Paterson born.  He was awarded the Military Cross in the first world war and his history at Arsenal is a major factor in exposing the mendacity of Leslie Knighton’s autobiography which misled historians of the club for years.

9 May 1921: Arsenal beat Southend United 4-0 for the Southend Hospital Cup which Arsenal won 4-0.  The cup donated by the Southend director, E T Smith.  The money raised was divided between hospitals in Southend and the Great Northern Hospital on Holloway Road, Hornsey.  Knighton later told a journalist he was very proud of the victory.

9 May 1922: Andrew Kennedy joined Arsenal from Crystal Palace.  He played 24  league games and two FA Cup games in his first season for the Arsenal, and in  the summer won two caps for Ireland.

9 May 1931: Dan Lewis transferred to Gillingham.  He is forever remembered as the Welsh goalkeeper who spilled the ball in Arsenal’s first FA Cup final, to allow Cardiff to score.

9 May 1931: Sidney Cartwright signed for Arsenal as an amateur in April 1931 and as a professional on 9 May.  He made his debut on 22 Feb 1936 against Portsmouth.

9 May 1935: Reg Lewis joined from Margate, but his debut was not to come until 1 January 1938.  During the war years he scored 143 goals in 130 games!

9 May 1936: Bernard Joy became the last amateur player to play for England in a full international.  His autobiography, Forward, Arsenal, reiterated and gave credibility to (and thus continued) the errors of previous Arsenal histories and misled Arsenal fans for many years over what happened in the history of the club.

9 May 1942: Crystal Palace 3 Arsenal 3 (all three for Lewis).  This led to the most incredible season goalscoring total ever (although it was in the wartime league).  Played 23, scored 42.

9 May 1954: Derek Tapscott played his first international for Wales.  In all he made 14 appearances for his country.

9 May 1962: Death of George Jobey, the man who scored the first Arsenal goal at Highbury.  After he retired as a player he had gone into management with considerable success, but was dogged by unproven “illegal payment” allegations.

9 May 1965: Peter Storey’s first appearance in a post-season friendly.  His league debut came in October.

9 May 1966: Arsenal won the youth cup for the first time, with Pat Rice and Sammy Nelson in the side.

9 May 1971: Half a million people are said to have lined the streets to see the Double Winners’ Parade.  Frank McLintock is also said to have fallen asleep on the town hall steps due to some energetic celebrating the night before.  See also here

9 May 1973: Leeds 6 Arsenal 1.  It was the last match of the season as Arsenal came runners up.  It was also the end of the last season in which Arsenal seriously challenged for the title under Mee and was also the league debut for David Price

9 May 1978: Derby 3 Arsenal 0, as Arsenal ended the league in fifth position.  The game marked the last appearance for Alan Hudson and for John MatthewsSee also here

9 May 1981: Arsenal 3 Eastern Athletic Association (Hong Kong) 0.  Last game for Frank Stapleton.  After 223 league games he signed for Man U – a move that was not surprisingly, poorly received by Arsenal supporters..

9 May 1987: Arsenal 1 Norwich City 2.  Last game for Viv Anderson.  He had played 120 league games, and moved on to Manchester United.  Arsenal finished the season 4th.

9 May 2004: Fulham 0 Arsenal 1.  After 3 draws in succession the 37th league game of the unbeaten season resulted in a win.  Reyes scored the goal, while Henry, Vieira and Parlour were all booked.  Just one game to go.

9 May 2010: Arsenal 4 Fulham 0 concluding an unbeaten run which started with Arsenal 2 Stoke 0 on 5 December 2009.  The Arsenal programme included a three page analysis of Henry Norris by Brian Glanville that repeated much of the misleading and utterly inaccurate  information written in the autobiography of Leslie Knighton, the manager Norris sacked for gross incompetence.

9 May 2013: Daily Mail reported that “Arsenal agree £30m-a-year deal with Puma in most lucrative kit contract in Britain”.

9 May 2014: Koscielny signed a new long term contract after frenzied speculation about him leaving.  Wenger later called him the best value for money player he had at the club.  In the 2015/16 season with both Arteta and Mertesacker out of the team he became captain.

9 May 2017: Arsenal announced they would travel to Australia as part of their pre-season schedule and play two matches against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.

9 May 2018: Leicester City 3 Arsenal 1.  It was Arsenal’s 7th consecutive away defeat.

9 May 2019: Valencia 2 Arsenal 4 meant Arsenal had made it to the Europa League final.  Aubameyang got a hattrick and Lacazette the other.

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