Those of us of a very distinctly senior vintage will probably agree that ITV never really liked Arsenal, preferring to show any other club on their TV programmes in preference to Arsenal. Indeed the fact that their football show from 1985 to 1992 was called “Saint and Greavsie” gives a clue as to just how deep this anti-Arsenal view was.
So it is no surprise that their TV programme about the 1970/1 season (above) contains very little Arsenal – indeed it is just extraordinary to see how little Arsenal there is in a season in which we won the first Double.
I mention this today because 16 January is one of those occasional curious days in which in modern times Arsenal has hardly played at all and even where we have, I can’t find a video. So should you have an hour to spare you can have a look at how ITV portrayed the 1970/1 season by virtually writing Arsenal out of it.
Here are the anniversaries…
16 January 1892: George Davie’s first FA Cup match for Arsenal (Small Heath 1 Arsenal 5). He subsequently took Arsenal to court over the issue of contracts and lost, and so enshrined in law the way transfers worked for the next sixty years, instituting the notorious retain and transfer system which was eventually overturned by George Eastham.
16 January 1897: FA Cup, Final Supplementary round. Millwall 4 Woolwich Arsenal 2. The crowd for this local derby was 14,000 – aided by the fact it was played on a Saturday, unlike most cup replays.
16 January 1904: Last game for Fred Coles. He later played for Nottingham Post Office, Notts C and Nottingham Forest and was subsequently a cricket and football coach in Sweden and the Netherlands.
16 January 1907: Arsenal 3 Grimsby Town 0 (FA Cup 1st round replay). Arsenal continued to the semi-final for the second successive year. Over 119,000 people came to the six cup games Arsenal played, helping the finances enormously.
16 January 1908: Hull City 4 Woolwich Arsenal 1 (FA Cup 1st round replay). Two years of reaching the semi-finals, Arsenal slipped out at the first game – an event which started the financial crisis of 1910. This was also the last game for William Garbutt – the Arsenal man who took football to Italy, winning the league there three times and doing the same in Spain.
16 January 1909: Croydon Common 1 Woolwich Arsenal 1 – the first Arsenal cup game where the ground at which it was played was changed by agreement. As a result 20,000 saw the match played at Crystal Palace.
16 January 1911. The first ever game between Arsenal and the team that would come to be one of their two near neighbours: Clapton Orient. It was in the FA Cup at the Clapton ground – Arsenal had won 2-1. The game actually started two days before, but was abandoned due to fog.
16 January 1912: The Manchester Courier carried notes about meetings of the English and Scottish League regarding claims of unpaid player transfer fees mentioning James Maxwell who had played for Woolwich Arsenal in 1908/9
16 January 1915: Fulham 0 The Arsenal 1. This was part of a four game run of consecutive victories, but due to the war the crowds continued to be modest, even for a London derby (just 10,000 turning up).
16 January 1920: Walley Barnes born in Brecon, Wales. A subsequent Arsenal star and a future captain of Wales, it is said that in 1937 Portsmouth’s scout was on a cycling trip, stopped for a rest, saw a game going on in a local field and decided to have a look. He then noticed Walley and approached him to ask if he wanted to turn pro. Wally turned him down at first, and then a little later moved on to accept.
16 January 1932: Following three successive defeats this 3-0 home win over Birmingham started a run of five victories scoring 16 letting in one. Overall the run stretched to nine wins and one defeat in the next ten.
16 January 1937: Chesterfield 1 Arsenal 5 (FA Cup) Drake got 2, Kirchen 2 and Davidson the other. In all Arsenal scored 17 goals in rounds 3, 4 and 5 before going out in the quarter final to West Brom.
16 January 1946: A series of FA Cup replays were played with 30 minutes of extra time and then if scores were still equal the game continued until someone scored. The Middlesbrough and Blackpool match played 31 minutes after extra time and similar situations were played out with Nottingham Forest v Watford,and QPR v Crystal Palace.
16 January 1954: A win against Wolverhampton ended the run of five without victory for the reigning league champions. But Arsenal won only five of the remaining 15 games and finished the season a disappointing 12th.
16 January 1957: Trevor Ross born. Recounting his early years at Arsenal he said, “I joined Arsenal at the age of 12 and was picked up by a guy called Harry Woodhouse. I was invited down there and loved every minute of it. I went there every school holiday and it was amazing. I signed schoolboy forms when I was 13 years of age and when I got to 15 that’s the time when you become an apprentice.”
16 January 1960: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 0, at the end of a run of six defeats, one draw and one victory. Goals scored: 11, goals conceded: 27. It was also the last game for Dennis Evans
16 January 1960: The first game for John Sneddon whose short career was blighted by injury. He had joined In October 1958 as an amateur from a junior Scottish club. Turning pro a few months after joining he started his career on 16 January 1960 in a game away to Tottenham, his only game of that season. Arsenal lost 0-3.
16 January 1976: Gavin McGowan born in Blackheath. He joined Arsenal aged 16 as a defender, and played seven times for Arsenal, six in the league and once in the FA Cup. In all he made four starts and three appearances as a sub before being injured in the 1999/2000 season.
16 January 1988: Nic Bendtner born. In nine years he made just over 100 appearances but never fulfilled his potential and gained the reputation of being a little too wild and erratic for the club. In 2019 he joined Copenhagen as a player.
16 January 2001: Edu signed from Corinthians for £6m, after an earlier attempt failed when it appeared that his Portuguese passport was a fake. He eventually gained an Italian passport because of his father’s place of birth. In 2019 he returned to Arsenal as Technical Director
16 January 2004: Moritz Volz sold to Fulham for whom he made 125 league appearances having failed to break into the first team at Arsenal. In 2012 he joined TSV 1860 München.
16 January 2010: Sol Campbell rejoined Arsenal, having left in 2006. He made 11 league appearances before moving on to Newcastle – his final club. In 2019 he became manager of Southend United who were sitting perilously close to relegation out of League Two.
16 January 2013: On this day Arsenal beat Swansea City 1-0 at home in the FA Cup. Arsenal had beaten Newcastle 7-3 in the final game in December 2012, but this was the only win in the next five games before Arsenal then beat West Ham 5-1 on 23 January. A fair definition of performances being “topsy-turvy!”
Contact Arsenal History Society at Tony@schools.co.uk
You can read extended details of one of today’s stories on “Today of All Days”
- 100 Years in the First Division: the absolute complete story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.
- 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.
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.