Our “Whatever happened to…” series preceding the day’s Arsenal anniversary files normally covers a player that we haven’t heard of for some time, but for a change (and because increasingly I’m finding we’ve already covered the players that might be remembered and thus whose life beyond Arsenal might be of interest), I thought I’d try a “whatever happened to” for a team we haven’t played in the league for some time. Not least because the anniversaries are thinner on the ground (only 13 today).
We played Sheffield Wednesday twice in cup finals in 1993, and on this day won the FA Cup against them.
Wednesday had indeed won the League Cup just two seasons before (1990/1), their first trophy since a hat-trick of 2nd division titles in the 1950s. They last won the top league in 1929 and 1930, and may well have hoped for more but found themselves pushed aside by the record-breaking Arsenal team of 1930/1.
After their double cup defeat of 1992/3, they faded into being a mid-table club before being relegated in 2000 to the second tier. 2003 saw a second drop into the third tier, from which they bounced back at the first attempt, before going down to what was then known as League One at the end of the 2009/10 season.
Thus the clubs have travelled in different directions since those two cup finals – as Arsenal picked up two doubles and the unbeaten season, Wednesday were going down again – only to return via the play offs the following year. They did the yo-yo trick again going down in 2010 coming back in 2012 since when they have remained a Championship club, their last trophy being the League Cup of 1991, the crowd numbers remaining in the mid to low 20,000s.
However despite the different directions travelled we’ve not had the best of things in recent games. Here are the last four matches between the two clubs…
|09 Mar 1999||Arsenal v Sheffield Wednesday||W||3-0||Premier League|
|03 Jan 2000||Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|09 May 2000||Arsenal v Sheffield Wednesday||D||3-3||Premier League|
|27 Oct 2015||Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal||L||3-0||League Cup|
Here are the anniversaries.
20 May 1910: The funeral of King Edward VII. Arsenal’s attempts to sell shares in the re-born club had been forced to stop during the period of mourning but were allowed to re-start on the following day. On this day the Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet
20 May 1926: Amateure FK Austria 3 Arsenal 5 (Parker. Butler, Buchan, Brain, Ramsey). Herbert Chapman revived the Woolwich Arsenal tradition of post-season European tours to boost the standing of the club in Europe. This was the fourth of six games.
20 May 1928: Debut for Charlie Jones. Danish XI 0 Arsenal 1. Although he had only played with lower league clubs Chapman deemed him to be the man the club needed and he was pitched straight into the first team.
20 May 1936: George Marks, having transferred from Salisbury Corinthians, signed professional forms on this day. He moved into Arsenal reserves for 1938/9 as an understudy for George Swindin and Alex Wilson, and played his first major game on 17 April 1939 – a friendly against Tottenham.
20 May 1969: Hibernians (Malta) 0 Arsenal 0 (14,000). The second of two post-season games in Malta.
20 May 1975: Thailand National XI 0 Arsenal 3 (Kidd 2, Cropley). The fourth and final game of Arsenal’s Far East end of season tour.
20 May 1977: The third and final game of Arsenal’s post season tour ended Roros 0 Arsenal 6 (Rix, Macdonald 3, Price, Stapleton).
20 May 1982: Danny O’Shea made his first appearance in the friendly: Arsenal 3 Trinidad Representative XI 0. He went on to play six league games for Arsenal.
20 May 1993: Arsenal 2 Sheffield W 1 (FA Cup final replay). This was the third and final game against Sheff W at Wembley, and the 17th and last cup match of the Cup Double Season as Arsenal became the first ever team to win the League Cup and FA Cup in the same season. When Linighan scored Jonathan Pearce commentating, pronounced, “The boy from Hartlepool is in the big pool of London football, and he’s become the biggest fish of them all.” Ian Wright scored to make it 10 FA Cup goals, and five League Cup goals, in total an all time cup scoring record.
20 May 1995: Hong Kong Rangers 0 Arsenal 4. Paul Davis’ final game for Arsenal. He played for Brentford before returning to Arsenal as a member of the junior coaching team.
20 May 1997: Matthew Rose joined QPR. He had played five league games for Arsenal, but played 243 for QPR. He later became Head coach of Arsenal’s European Elite Academy.
20 May 2013: Craig Eastmond left Arsenal for Colchester Utd. He played 49 times for them before moving once again to Yeovil.
Henry Norris at the Arsenal: There is a full index to the series here.
Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever
Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.
100 Years in the First Division: the absolute complete story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.