15 November: the day that Arsenal rarely play

There had to be one of them of course – a day when we can’t find a video of Arsenal winning a match.  The reason on 15 November is that since Uefa and Fifa started shutting down league football for 12 day spells in mid-season, mid-November has been one of those periods where games are hardly played.

Of course there are other such days and we have been able to find a video of Arsenal winning a game for each of them since we started the series of videos on this site, but today has beaten us.  In the era of filming games we have only found a couple of matches on this day, and Arsenal lost both – which is not something we really want to celebrate.  So we’ve taken the Liverpool theme to give us something to smile about.

You can find the latest video each day on the home page of this site.   You can also find videos for previous days by clicking the articles in the left column of this page under “Recent Posts” or by clicking on the mauve headline at the top of the screen on the right, which will take you to yesterday’s selected video – and so on back to the start of the series in August.  There is more about who we are and other things we do, at the foot of the page.

15 November 1912: Writing in the West London and Fulham Times Henry Norris had to admit that things were not going well for Woolwich Arsenal.  Maybe he admitted it because not even Fulham could provide him with any relief as they were near the foot of the second division.

15 November 1918: The first released British prisoners of war reached Calais.

15 November 1919: Jack Butler made his debut in a 2-2 away draw with Bolton..  He signed for Arsenal from Fulham Thursday in 1914, and served in France in the Royal Artillery in the war.  Subsequently he played over 250 league games.

15 November 1922:  The Conservatives won an easy victory in the general election, with the Liberals replaced by Labour as the official opposition in the Commons. 

15 November 1924: First game for Dan Lewis:  Everton 2 Arsenal 3.  In a Fifa commentary on the change of rules to allow goals to be scored direct from corners it is suggested that this game was the first in which this then happened but this not the whole truth.  The rules had been ambiguously written allowing players to take a corner and then touch the ball again and this happened on this day.  James Howie Ramsay scored two of Arsenal’s goals. The rule was subsequently changed.

15 November 1941: Arsenal beat Clapton Orient 5-2 in the wartime London League, starting a ten match run in which Arsenal won nine and lost just one.

15 November 1950: Leslie Compton won his first full cap for England, having won 12 war time caps.  He was the oldest player ever to win his first full cap – at the age of 38.

15 November 1951: Lionel Smith debut for England.  In all he won six caps – the last being in 1953.

15 November 1952: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 5 – as Arsenal continued en route for the title.  Cliff Holton got a hat trick, Ben Marden got two.  It was the second game in a seven match unbeaten run.

15 November 1975: Birmingham 3 Arsenal 1, 21,652 in the crowd.  It was Arsenal’s third successive defeat and it saw the club slip down to 16th in the league.

15 November 1976:  Refusing to cease football just because of an international break, Arsenal arranged two friendlies.  The second was played on this day with the result Dubai National Civil Service 0 Arsenal 3. (Macdonald, Rostron 2) 

15 November 2000: Rhys Weston sold to Cardiff for £50,000.  He only played once for Arsenal but went on to play 182 times for Cardiff, and later had a long spell with Walsall.  He also won seven caps for Wales.

15 November 2008: The first part of the 2008/9 season had been awash with Arsenal goals. 11 had been scored without reply in three consecutive games in late August / early September, there was a 6-0 win over Sheffield Utd, a 5-2 win over Fenerbache and a 4-4 draw with Tottenham.  Then it stopped and in seven games starting on this date with Arsenal 0 Aston Villa 2, Arsenal scored just four.


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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For all other issues please contact Arsenal History Society at Tony@schools.co.uk

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