When the Football League forced Manchester Utd out of the European Cup

When I first started to create the Arsenal anniversary files on a daily basis, I wondered if there was indeed an Arsenal anniversary for every day of the year, but time has shown that even in the summer there are anniversaries galore.

It was only later that I thought of adding a few dates of historical context to the files – and over time these have grown as well.  Today, in fact, the first four entries have nothing to do with football, but have been added across the years because they seem rather important to me.

The third and fourth of these particularly get mentioned because they came during the era of Henry Norris at the Arsenal – which as you may know – has been particularly researched by the Arsenal History Society – you can read our detailed review of the man who saved Arsenal from extinction in Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here.

But there is also a remembrance of how the Football League worked hard to stop Manchester United playing in the European Cup in the year after the Munich Air Disaster.  It reminds us that the management of the League was not only a curiously distorted affair in the early part of the 20th century when Henry Norris took them on, but that this approach continued right into the middle of the century.  It took a very long time for them to catch up with any sense of modernism, or indeed humanity.

Here are the anniversaries.

13 August 1888: John Logie Baird, the inventor of the television, was born

13 August 1910: Florence Nightingale died.

13 August 1911: Rioting took place in Liverpool as police and soldiers broke up a peaceful meeting of striking transport works.  Two days later two men were shot dead in the city by the military drafted in to keep the peace. 

13 August 1920: The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act was passed meaning that IRA activists could be tried by court martial rather than in the criminal courts, and three days later a new Firearms Act was passed in an attempt to restrict the use of weapons – particularly those that had been retained by soldiers returning from the first world war

13 August 1934: Ken Friar born.  He started with Arsenal aged 12 and rose through the club to become Company Secretary in 1973. During this time, he took part in discussions between Arsenal and Tottenham about a stadium share at Alexandra Palace.  Between 1983 and 2000 he was MD of Arsenal. 

13 August 1938: A Reds v Blues game (Arsenal vs Arsenal Reserves) took place at Highbury, but no record of the score is available. 

13 August 1945: Japan surrendered to the allies, thus ending world war II

13 August 1958: Arsenal beat Enschede Sportsclub in the Netherlands 2-1 in a pre-season game with Vic Groves and Jimmy Bloomfield scoring.

13 August 1958: The overtly racist Alan Hardaker, secretary of the Football League, refused to allow Manchester United to take part in the 1958/9 European Cup competition, despite an offer from Uefa that they could play, given as a mark of respect for the club that had lost eight of its team in the Munich air disaster the previous February.

13 August 1966: Arsenal v Huddersfield pre-season friendly; George Eastham’s last game.  He was Arsenal captain between 1963 and 1966 and scored 41 goals in 223 matches before joining Stoke for whom he played in the 1971 and 1972 cup semi-finals against Arsenal.

13 August 1968: Arsenal’s new handbook on sale for the first home game of the season, announced that the club was formed in 1884 but “the project failed” and that the club was elected to division 2 in 1894.  The second claim was certainly false and no evidence or source given to support the first.

13 August 1969: British troops moved into Londonderry. 

13 August 1976: Rijeka (Yugoslavia) 2 Arsenal 2 (Ross, Brady).  In the few press reports there were, Brady was particularly commended for his performance.

13 August 1980.  Clive Allen and Paul Barron sold to Crystal Palace, Kenny Sansom joining Arsenal.  Allen played three pre-season friendlies for Arsenal, but no league games before moving on.

13 August 1983: Aberdeen 0 Arsenal 1 (Talbot).  Part of a pre-season tour in which Arsenal won two and lost two.

13 August 1986: Waterford 1 Arsenal 1 (Allinson).  This was a low key pre-season match before George Graham’s first campaign with Arsenal as a manager, including games against Shamrock Rovers and Southend United.

13 August 1988.  Arsenal beat Tottenham 4-0 in a pre-season tournament at Wembley with Merson, Marwood (2) and Smith scoring.  In the other match Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 3-0 with Smith getting two and Dixon the third.  Tottenham lost again in their second game. 

13 August 1994: Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 3 (Dikov)  This was the Tony Adams’ testimonial and the end of the final pre-season for George Graham.

13 August 1996: Arsenal, instead of putting out a full first team, as Rioch had been doing through pre-season, put out a mostly reserve team to play Northampton in the final friendly – and lost 3-1.

13 August 1998: Isaah Rankin transferred to Bradford C for £1.3m.  He played just one league game for Arsenal.  He played in the league for ten years before moving into the non-league football, ending with Hendon in 2014.

13 August 2008: Arsenal defeated FC Twente 0-2 away in the Third Round Qualifying Round of Champions League with goals from Gallas and Adebayor.  Aaron Ramsey made his debut as sub for Theo Walcott.

13 August 2010: Pedro Botelho loaned to Cartagena; Samuel Galindo loaned to Salamanca.  Neither player ever played for Arsenal, and Galindo had an amazing eight loan spells, and only played any league games in four of them. In 2018/19 he played for a Bolivian club, once more on loan.

13 August 2012: Ryo loaned to Wigan.  He played just four games for them, before later moving on loan again to FC Twente.

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.

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