When the going gets tough, up pops Pires

220+ historic videos and lots of anniversaries.

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.

Here are the anniversaries

9 April 1904: Arsenal and Preston NE battled it out for top spot in the league in front of 28,000.  It was the final game for Tommy Shanks who rather than lead Arsenal into the first division returned to failing Southern League team Brentford.

9 April 1906: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0; Southern Professional Charity Cup.  The Cup existed from 1901 to 1908 with seven or eight teams from London and the south competing each year for the trophy. 

9 April 1910: Woolwich Arsenal 0 Bury 0.  Arsenal were on the edge of relegation and also financial collapse.  Chelsea’s poor form however helped Arsenal avoid the former, Henry Norris saved them from destitution.  Also here

9 April 1910:  As the game above went on the group looking to buy out Woolwich Arsenal FC Ltd met and felt secure enough with their pledges of finance to make a bid for the club which the liquidator and George Levey (who had a say in such matters as he was lead creditor) accepted.  

9 April 1913: The first colour feature film was shown in Britain: “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.”  It was not quite as gory as the title suggests, dealing as it did with a botched attempt to switch children between parents immediately after they were born.

9 April 1915: George Marks born.  His second and final league appearance in goal for Arsenal was at home in the last match before the second world war which was filmed and used as the basis for The Arsenal Stadium Mystery movie.

9 April 1917: Spencer Bassett died in action.  He had played just one game for Arsenal in 1909 and moved on to Exeter City in 1910 followed by Swansea and Southend.

9 April 1919:  Sir Henry Norris asked if the government would pay for the new uniforms needed by subalterns (the lowest ranking officers) who had opted to stay on in the Army of Occupation.   The government refused.

9 April 1921: Arsenal 2 Bradford 1.  30,000 saw Toner and Rutherford score.  It was Bradford’s last season in the first division and they went into liquidation in 1974 re-emerging as Bradford PA. This was a very early example of a league match being nominated as a benefit game, in this case for Arsenal’s long serving quartet of Bradshaw, McKinnon, Hardinge and Rutherford with each player guaranteed a minimum of £500.

9 April 1924:  Arthur Shaw born.  He gained notoriety in the cigarette incident in which a reporter from the South Wales Football Echo and Express said several Arsenal players had come out for the second half of a reserve game against Cardiff, smoking.  The story proven to be untrue.

9 April 1927: Sunderland 5 Arsenal 1.  It was the sixth consecutive defeat during which run 26 goals were conceded and Arsenal sank from 11th to 19th.  However they then won five in a row and finished the season back in 11th.

9 April 1927: An article by Jack Humble, Woolwich Arsenal’s first chairman and a member of the club committee from the 19th century, called “A tale of 15 sixpences” appeared in The Evening Standard; an important source in recording the history of the club.

9 April 1930: Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 1.  Charles Preedy began his return as goalkeeper – a run that eventually led to his appearance in the Cup Final – and a winner’s medal

9 April 1943: James Ashcroft died.  He made 303 appearances and was the first goalkeeper to play for us in the first division, the first Arsenal player to play for England (he won three caps), the first Woolwich Arsenal player to get over 300 games, and the first player to play eight consecutive seasons getting over 30 league games a season. 

9 April 1938: John Milne’s first international appearance for Scotland v England.  Despite his international success he left the club “unexpectedly” and little is known about what happened thereafter.  This was the third ever televised game, and like the previous two was at Highbury.

9 April 1938: Gordon Bremmer who joined from Cartha Athletic made his debut and scored his first goal.   Arsenal approached the match with four wins and a draw in the last five. Arsenal beat Leeds away 1-0.

9 April 1980: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Juventus in the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final 1st leg, despite Tottenham refusing to reschedule their game with Arsenal and forcing Arsenal also to play two days earlier. (see 7 AprilAnd here

9 April 1988: Steve Williams final senior appearance in Southampton 4 Arsenal 2.  In July he moved on to Luton Town playing 40 times for them, and then 48 times for Exeter City.

9 April 1988: The start of the notorious racial abuse of Paul Davis by Glenn Cockerill of Southampton.  The issue boiled over on 17 September when Davis hit Cockerill and was banned for an unprecedented nine matches in an early case (possibly the first case) of using TV evidence.

9 April 2004: Arsenal came back from 2-1 down to beat Liverpool 4-2.  The 31st league game of the unbeaten season.  Henry scored a hat trick, Pires got the other.

9 April 2016: West Ham 3 Arsenal 3.  (Koscielny, Sanchez, Ozil getting the goals).  Part of a nine match run of six wins and three draws to the end of the season in which Arsenal scored 19 goals – a run which itself followed consecutive defeats which took Arsenal out of the Champions League and the FA Cup.

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