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31 May: the day one of Arsenal’s greatest managers retired from the club

Aside from the daily videos on days where there was an Arsenal game of note that we can commemorate we are also building the video collections, where we focus on matches against just one club.  We’ve just added Manchester United to the series: Arsenal v Manchester United: 11 brilliant videos – free to view

Details of the video collections where we gather together the videos relating to Arsenal games against one specific opponent are on the home page while the list of the 270+ videos we have gathered commemorating events on individual days are to be found via this link.

Today’s Arsenal anniversaries are published below.

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.


For advertising contact Snack Media at 0207 272 7582  or email Tom@Snack-media.com

For all other issues please contact Arsenal History Society at Tony@schools.co.uk


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

And here are …

 the anniversaries

31 May 1884: Frank Bradshaw born. Frank was the youngest of eight children, and is recorded as playing for Oxford Street Sunday School, Sheffield Wednesday, Northampton Town, Everton before finally reaching Arsenal.

31 May 1890: Royal Arsenal won a five a side competition in Islington.  It is the first known link between Arsenal and their ultimate long-term home.

31 May 1893: Woolwich Arsenal elected to Division II of the Football League. As part of their attempts to fight those within the club who were opposed to the direction of Woolwich Arsenal, there had clearly been some private negotiations with the League, resulting in Arsenal being the first Football League club in the south.

31 May 1907 Norman Sidey born.  He  joined Arsenal as an amateur from Nunhead (in the Isthmian League) in March 1929 before turning professional two years later in February 1931.

31 May 1915: Zeppelins appeared over London for the first time.

31 May 1920: The Football League and the FA held their AGMs. Hilariously the League overturned their decision of the previous meeting and voted to take over the Southern League Division 1, re-creating it as Division Three.  They further agreed that they would also create a second Division Three for clubs in the north, as soon as enough clubs applied.

31 May 1935: Having re-introduced speed limits on British roads, the government now introduced the driving test for everyone who had not held a licence before this date.

31 May 1937: First appearance of Lawrie Scott.  George Allison changed him from a winger to a right back, and he played in the reserves for two years, until the outbreak of war, at which time he became a Physical Training instructor for the RAF.

31 May 1937: Arsenal beat Copenhagen 5-1 (Scorers Crayston, Davidson, Lewis, Biggs, Nelson).  This was the third match of a five match series taking in Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.

31 May 1941: The wartime season ended with a replay of the Football League War Cup final, at Edwood Park Blackburn.  Arsenal lost 2-1 to Preston in front of 45,000 fans.

31 May 1947: George Allison announced he would retire at the end of the season, ending a 37 year association with the club.  His final act was to write his autobiography: Allison Calling (a title which makes reference to his long-term work as a radio commentator). In the book Allison’s description of Henry Norris (who Allison knew from 1910 onwards) and his style of work contrasts starkly with that in Knighton’s autobiography, and calls into question many of Knighton’s assertions. Ludicrously it is Knighton’s book, written 22 years after he left the club but published within weeks of the Allison book, which is used as the prime source of history by many writers.  Allison, like Chapman before him and Whittaker after him, won two league titles and the FA Cup.   On this day Arsenal beat Everton 2-1

31 May 1961: Peter Storey joined Arsenal as an apprentice. He later wrote a most readable autobiography called “True Storey‘s;  My life and crimes as a football hatchet man,”  

31 May 1967: Don Howe’s final game as a player.  After 342 games for West Brom he had played 70 games for Arsenal and scored one goal.  He then became reserve team coach under Bertie Mee.

31 May 1972: Arsenal played away to Miami Gatos (USA) and won 3-2 in front of a crowd of 4,725.    George, Radford and Kennedy scored.  Quite what the point of this single post-season game, no one knew, but it was typical of the club at the time.

31 May 1980: Alan Sunderland played for England for the only time: Australia 1 England 2.   Brian Talbot won his final cap for England in the same game.

31 May 2013: Arsenal reported that Freddie Ljungberg had taken on an ambassadorial role with the club. 

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