This is the anniversary of Theo Walcott signing for Arsenal. So to celebrate, here’s his first goal for us…
20 January 1896: Debut for Adam Haywood. He was one of our early stars but was sold to Glossop for £50. Woolwich Arsenal was his first professional club and in all he played 91 times and scored 36 goals.
20 January 1896: Woolwich Arsenal 7 Cambridge University 1. One might almost say, the workers against the toffs.
20 January 1909. Arsenal 2 Croydon Common 0 in the FA Cup. Croydon’s ground was too small to hold the tie so it was played in the cup final stadium – the National Sports Centre. 20,000 turned up.
20 January 1917: A recent good run of form in the wartime league came to an end with a 0-1 away defeat to Millwall Athletic, and once again Millwall defied the decline in attendances elsewhere, with another crowd of 10,000 reminding Arsenal of their south of the river origins.
20 January 1923: Showing that the disassociation between football writers and the facts is not new, an article appeared in the Islington Gazette suggesting that Arsenal had an “inability to finish”. 13 goals in 3 games just three weeks before were forgotten and on this day Arsenal then beat championship contenders Man City 1-0 to make it four wins out of five league games. Journalists: what can you do with them eh?
20 January 1933: Thomas Black sold to Plymouth. His only Arsenal game was the cup defeat to Walsall after which he was immediately sold. He went on to play over 160 games for Plymouth.
20 January 1934: It was less than three weeks since the death of Chapman and everyone was still wondering how Arsenal would cope away to Manchester City, who were sitting fifth, but had only won one of their last six games. Arsenal lost 2-1, Beasley getting the goal. There were thoughts in the media that Arsenal, the champions, might not recover.
20 January 1936: King George V died. As the whispers and rumours about the new king’s behaviour circulated, Arsenal prepared to play Liverpool on 25 January with the players wearing armbands and the singing of the national anthem and Abide With Me before kick off.
20 January 1959: Alan Skirton arrived from Bath City for £5000. Having played 144 league games for Bath, he then played 145 league games for Arsenal. A crowd favourite and the first man to score a European goal at Highbury.
20 January 1973: Arsenal gained a 0-1 away win against Chelsea with Kennedy scoring for the third consecutive game. In fact he made it four in a row by scoring in the following league match. That the crowd was only 36,292 was noted and there was press talk of London football being in decline.
20 January 1982: Stoke 0 Arsenal 1 to make it six consecutive league wins, although a defeat to Tottenham in the cup on January 2 had spoiled the fun. Alan Sunderland scored. This was the first league match since December 5 and the first league game at Highbury in almost two months because of bad weather.
20 January 1984: Ernest Coleman, a first division title winner with Arsenal, died. A Chapman man he once scored 27 goals in 24 games. After Arsenal Coleman played for Middlesbrough and Norwich City and subsequently had a spell managing Notts County.
20 January 1988: Sheffield W 0 Arsenal 1 in League Cup, on the way to the Final. Winterburn scored making Arsenal’s cumulative goal scoring in the Cup 11 for, 0 against. The run without conceding continued to the first leg of the semi-final.
20 January 1996: Arsenal 1 Everton 2 in a run of just four wins in 15 games. Arsenal did recover however and ended up 5th in the league. Ian Wright scored, in what turned out to be the first of five consecutive games of Arsenal scoring just one goal.
20 January 1997, Anders Limpar transferred from Everton to Birmingham. His subsequent telling of the story revealed much about George Graham autocratic approach to being a manager.
20 January 2001 Leicester 0 Arsenal 0 left Arsenal third after one win in five and the club now had Liverpool and Ipswich only one point behind them. It was about to get worse as on 25 February there came a 6-1 defeat to Man U, emphasising the fact that there were now 16 points between Man U and Arsenal. Arsenal’s days with this Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira team were (it was said) numbered and the manager was under threat.
20 January 2002: Leeds 1 Arsenal 1. Almost 12 months since the 6-1 defeat to Man U, and we saw League match 22 of the third Double season. Fowler gave Leeds the league, Pires equalised. It was the second draw in a row after three victories, and it looked as if the momentum had stopped. The result left Arsenal 4th.
20 January 2003: Steve Sidwell sold to Reading. A double youth cup winner he never played for Arsenal in the league but had subsequent success with Reading and Fulham.
20 January 2005: Manu Petit, a classic Arsène Wenger signing, retired. With Patrick Vieira he formed the centre of midfield in the early Wenger years. After retiring he has been a football analyst, and an ambassador for the Homeless World Cup movement since the tournament was hosted by Paris in 2011.
20 January 2006: Theo Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton for £5m, aged 16. In 2015 he extended his contract with Arsenal, having started playing some games as centre forward and scoring the opening goal of the 2015 FA Cup Final, and having notched up over 200 league appearances for Arsenal. He moved to Everton two days before the 12th anniversary of his signing.
20 January 2010: Arsenal beat Bolton 4-2 at home to go top of the league. Arsenal were 2-0 down within half an hour but responded with goals by Rosicky, Fabregas, Vermaelen and Arshavin. It was the 9th game of a 10 match unbeaten run.
20 January 2018: After a nine match unbeaten run up to January 3, Arsenal entered a 13 match spell in which eight games were lost, four were won and one drawn. On this day however things seemed a bit brighter as we had a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, which was followed by a victory over Chelsea, but overall it was not the best of times.
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.