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August 2021
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We used to play on Christmas Eve, but no one recorded the game on film!

We’ve been publishing a video from a game on the day, each day across this season, but 24 December stumps us because the last such game was in 1955, and not surprisingly there was no recording made.

I suspect we’ll have the same problem tomorrow as well!  But I hope you have enjoyed at least some of the videos we have been putting up.

Contact Arsenal History Society at Tony@schools.co.uk



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.  Below are the anniversaries for today in Arsenal’s history…


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.

Here are the anniversaries

24 December 1892: Royal Arsenal 1 Burslem Port Vale 3.  This friendly was the first Royal Arsenal game to be played on Christmas Eve.

24 December 1894: New Brompton 5 Arsenal 0.  Despite playing 30 league games in the season, Arsenal also played 31 friendly games.  New Brompton played in Gillingham, and with the grounds just 28 miles apart this was something of a local derby between two Kent teams.  The crowd was 5,000, similar to many league game crowds at the time.

24 December 1904.  A 1-0 win over Sheffield U gave Arsenal three wins in a row in the first division for the first time, with the club playing five games in seven days.  The result left Arsenal in a very satisfactory 9th position in the league.

24 December 1927: Cliff Bastin’s first ever game, Exeter Reserves v Bath City in the Southern League.  He went on to play 17 times for Exeter’s first team in 1928/9 before moving on to Arsenal.

24 December 1932: Arsenal 9 Sheffield Wed 2.  This meant that thus far in the season Arsenal had in different games scored 6, 7, 8 and 9 goals.  (Lambert scored 5 – which turned out to be his final hatrick (plus 2!) It was his 12th hat trick – more than any other player in the club’s history).

24 December 1938: John Barnwell born.  After playing as an amateur for Bishop Auckland he moved to Arsenal in 1955 turned pro in 1956 and started playing for the first team in the match against Sunderland on 13 April 1957.  Arenal drew 0-0 with Portsmouth on this day.

24 December 1949: Arsenal 5 Sunderland 0.  Amazingly it was Arsenal’s only league win in a run of nine games.  Despite this poor run Arsenal ended the year in fourth position, but more importantly went on to win the FA Cup.

24 December 1955:  Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0.   This was the last league game Arsenal played on Christmas eve.  43,022 turned up.  

24 December 1958: Stan Charlton sold back to Leyton O from whence he had come, this being Arsenal’s only ever transfer on Xmas Eve!   He became the captain and was still with Orient when they made their one and only appearance in the first division.  Orient’s first match that season was at home to Arsenal and the editor of the Anniversary files was there to see it with his dad.

24 December 1995: Reg Stockill died.  Although now forgotten at Arsenal he achieved fame twice.  First as an England Schoolboy international aged 15 years 281 days he scored York City’s first-ever goal in the Football League.  Second on 27 August 1932 he scored the goal in Birmingham 0 Arsenal 1. This was the first match in the run in which Arsenal were champions three times running – under three different managers.  

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