Arsenal on 23 May: the anniversaries.

Watch now: Arsenal v Brighton – the video collection across the years

Welcome to the daily blog of the AISA Arsenal History Society.  You can read more about AISA at

The Videos…

Details of the video collections, where we focus on matches against just one club are on the home page while the complete list of all the 270+ videos we have gathered so far are here.

For details of other recent anniversary posts see the articles on the top left under “Recent posts”

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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100 Years in the First Division: the absolute complete story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.

Now that we are at the part of the year where there are no matches from the past to highlight (Arsenal v Brighton on 23 May 2021 being the first ever league match on 23 May) we are gathering together videos against specific clubs.  You can find a list of the collections so far on the “Historic Videos” page.  Today it is Aston Villa – which will appear here shortly.

Meanwhile here are …

… the anniversaries

23 May 1891: The first press report emerged of the AGM of Royal Arsenal wherein professionalism was proposed.  This was to make Arsenal the first fully professional team in the south (although Luton paid a few of their team earlier in the year).

23 May 1918: Dennis Compton born.  Denis was a cricketer who played football, in contrast to his brother who was a footballer who played cricket.  Both played for Arsenal.

23 May 1923: SK Lyn Oslo 0 Arsenal 0.  Joe Shaw, one of the most important men in Arsenal’s history, who later won the league as Arsenal manager, made his final appearance as player, moving on to become manager of Arsenal Youth Team and then Arsenal Reserves.  He played 309 league and 17 cup games.

23 May 1948 Archie Macaulay won the last of seven caps for Scotland.  He continued to play for Arsenal until 1950 when he moved on to Fulham. 

23 May 1973: Having finished second in the league Arsenal played two overseas friendlies, of which this was the first. Toronto Select 0  Arsenal  1 (George scored).

23 May 1998: Arsenal recording of “Hot Stuff” entered the top 10.

23 May, 2006.  Tomas Rosicky transferred from Borussia Dortmund for £6.8m.  See also here.  Despite numerous injuries he went on to play over 160 times for Arsenal and become captain of his country.

23 May 2011: Ex Arsenal man John Jenson was given a new contract as assistant manager at Blackburn, a club that appeared to be in permanent turmoil after being taken over by a family that seemed to have little knowledge of football.  He was sacked after four months.

23 May 2018: Arsenal signed Karl Jakob Hein from Nõmme United as a goalkeeper in the Academy, on a free transfer.

23 May 2018: Arsenal post “Welcome Unai” notice on their website to welcome the new manager, announce that Asano is to join Hanover 96 on loan and announce partnership with Visit Rwanda.

23 May 2021: Arsenal v Brighton was the first ever league match played by Arsenal on this day.  Previously four friendlies had been played on 23 May, against SK Lyn in 1923 (0-0), the RAF in 1942 (1-1) Japan XI in 1968 (won 3-1) and Toronto Select (won 1-0) in 1973


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