The Arsenal History Society is part of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association – a body which gives positive support to the club, and has regular meetings with directors and senior officials of the club to represent the views of its members to the club. You can read more about AISA on its website.
Below you will find today’s feature, and then the list of anniversaries for today.
Pre-seasons, and indeed the start of seasons, can be strange affairs. Take the pre-season of 2015/16. Arsenal played five games and… won the lot. We beat Singapore 4-0, Everton 3-1, Lyon 6-0 and then on 25 July we beat VfL Wolfsburg 1-0 before going on and winning the Community Shield, 1-0 against Chelsea. Thus a clean sweep of every pre-season game.
Then on 9 August the season started and Arsenal… lost at home 0-2 to West Ham. A disaster, but we did go on to finish second in the league. West Ham came seventh. Aston Villa, Norwich and Newcastle went down. Of course as I write this on 26 July 2020 I don’t know if Villa will accompany Norwich into the second tier, but it is possible history will repeat itself.
26 July 1887: James Maxwell, was born in Kilmarnock for whom he first played before moving to Sheffield Wednesday and then Arsenal. At Wednesday he competed with Harry Chapman (the brother of Herbert) for the right wing position.
26 July 1912: AGM of Woolwich Football and Athletic Company Limited. Henry Norris acted as chair and he took the opportunity to tell the audience that crowd figures were too low for the club to be sustainable.
26 July 1915: Members of the Football League and Southern League in the London region discussed keeping football running in and around the capital during the war and formed the London Combination, an independent league that would have no affiliation to the Football League. Henry Norris was elected as Chair.
26 July 1919: Henry White signed from Brentford. He was Arsenal’s top scorer with 15 and again in the 1921/2 season when he got 19. He also had a trial for England but was an extremely troublesome player who seemed to think “retain and transfer” did not apply to him.
26 July 1920: Ian McPherson born in Glasgow. He started with Rangers but left the club to serve with the RAF during the second world war where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was signed in August 1946 by George Allison.
26 July 1933: Battersea Power Station came on line supplying a more reliable electrical supply to London.
26 July 1947: Alf Calverley sold to Preston NE. Calverley played 10 of the last 11 games of the season for Arsenal, at outside left, starting with Arsenal 4 Preston North End 1 on 15 March 1947
26 July 1950: Dave Bowen joined from Northampton for £1000. He had been spotted as a player of potential by the son of the Arsenal manager of the day, as both he and Dave Bowen were doing their National Service.
26 July 1961: David Herd sold to Man U for £35,000. In total he scored 107 goals for Arsenal in 180 games and he became the club’s 15th best goalscorer. He won five caps for Scotland, scoring three goals.
26 July 1973: After all the hope and hype Peter Marinello was sold to Portsmouth for £80,000 having never reached the potential he was believed by Berie Mee to have.
26 July 1977: Last game for George Armstrong in a friendly v Red Star Belgrade. He retired from football in 1979 having become Arsenal’s top player for appearances – 621 – a record that was eventually beaten by O’Leary and Adams.
26 July 1978: Kaiserslautern 3 Arsenal 0. The first pre-season friendly, with the full first team playing the whole game.
26 July 1984: Paul Merson signed apprenticeship forms, and played his first games for the first team in 1986/7 (seven games and 3 goals) before moving on loan to Brentford.
26 July 1985: Gael Clichy born. He joined Gersoise as a child and then aged 11 moved on to Cugnaux, Muret, Tournefeuille and finally Cannes with whom he made the jump into the first team.
26 July 1994:First game for Stefan Schwarz in friendly v Lyn. He had played 77 games for Benfica across a three year period but only played one season for Arsenal before moving on to Fiorentina.
26 July 1996: John Lukic returned from his time at Leeds on a free transfer and played 15 games in his final five years as a pro. He then moved on to coaching and working as an after dinner speaker.
26 July 2004: Marc Overmars retired from football and became technical director of Go Ahead Eagles. He returned as a player and played 24 games in the 2008/9 season.
26 July 2008: Four years to the day after retiring, Overmars returned to play in the Jaap Stam testimonial and for his team. He became director of football at Ajax in June 2012.
26 July 2010: The Arsenal History Society expanded its campaign for statues around the Emirates Stadium by suggesting that there should be three statues to launch the programme – including in particular, one of Herbert Chapman looking up at the stadium as if to say “I did this.” Which is exactly what happened.
26 July 2013: Joel Campbell went on loan to Olympiakos during which time he scored in the Champions League against Man U. In 2014/15 he returned to Arsenal, but soon went out on loan again. In 2020 he signed for Leon in Mexico, having played 42 matches on loan for them. That 42 was more than he had played for any of the other 12 clubs he had played for since his first professional game in 2009.
26 July 2014: Arsenal played the club’s first game in the USA for 25 years at the Red Bull Arena, where Thierry Henry had played. New York won 1-0 through a goal by the son of Ian Wright.
26 July 2015: Arsenal beat Wolfsburg 1-0 with a goal by Walcott. It was the first time in the club’s entire history that Arsenal won every one of the club’s pre-season games.
26 July 2019, Mesut Özil and Sead Kolašinac were attacked in the street as armed robbers tried to hijack a car. Both escaped uninjured and the carjackers were later caught..
We currently have two books available.
“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” is the definitive history of Arsenal from its inception, and “Making the Arsenal” is a novel which tells the story of Arsenal in 1910.
Both books are now available on Kindle and in print. Please see here for more details.
On this site we have hundreds of series of articles on Arsenal history and a full list of the various series of articles on Arsenal’s history can be found here. Three particular highlights are…
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.