By Tony Attwood
I appreciate that for the vast majority of people who attended last night’s AGM of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association meeting, the big event – indeed the reason for being there – was the appearance by Ivan Gazidis and his willingness to take open questions from fans.
It was an amazing occasion, and I’ll be dealing with it more in another article on Untold, but for now I wanted to speak here of a history matter.
Arsenal History began two years ago as an adjunct to AISA, and during those two years it has grown considerably in size. As a result the executive of AISA have decided that Arsenal History should become a society in its own right – but still very much associated with AISA.
In short, if you join AISA you are a member of the Arsenal History Society, and if you join the Arsenal History Society you are a member of AISA.
As members of AISA found last night there is a huge benefit of being a member, not least because all members will receive a copy of “From Dial Square to Woolwich Arsenal”, which is the publication that launches the AISA Arsenal History Society.
I am of course hopelessly biased in this matter because with Andy Kelly I co-wrote the publication, but I think this publication does mark the start of an era in Arsenal history. As I said at the meeting last night, there are at least 18 major and significant errors in Arsenal’s earliest history that are corrected in his publication.
I also outlined some of the things that Arsenal History has done thus far, and even though I say it myself I think it makes fairly impressive reading. The list includes
1: This web site of course – which now has nearly 400 articles on it, and which has led the way to investigations of the club’s past no one else has ever touched. Just take our revelations of the way the club’s name has changed – a totally different story from the official one put out by the club. Or the history of George Allison’s journalism…
2: Our own meeting with Mr Gazidis and the proposal for putting up the Humble and Chapman statues outside the ground.
3: The contact made through this site with members of the families of Arsenal players. I am really hopeful we will take this further.
4: Our contribution to the club programme that starts this season – there will be the series “Arsenal Uncovered” in every home programme, exploring other issues in Arsenal’s history.
5: The publication of Making the Arsenal, which is now for sale in the Arsenal shops at the ground and on line
6: The contribution to the book Arsenal Til I Die
7: The forthcoming book: WOOLWICH ARSENAL: THE CLUB THAT CHANGED FOOTBALL
That’s not bad (though I say it myself) for two years.
So now we have our own official base as the AISA Arsenal History Society. Join AISA and you will be a member, and will get subsequent publications following on the “Dial Square to Woolwich Arsenal” free of charge – and much more than that.
To everyone who has supported us in the past two years to make all this possible, very many thanks. A special thanks to Andy Kelly for tirelessly correcting all my errors in Arsenal’s past. And to the Executive of AISA, thanks for taking the society forward to the next level.
And to everyone at the AISA AGM last night, thank you for voting through the proposal to set up AISA Arsenal History Society.