3 May: the day of three incredible events in the history of Arsenal

Day by Day: the videos – An Arsenal video for (almost) every day of the year in order. 


3 May: It’s Arsenal Day

3 May really ought to be called Arsenal Day, and celebrated by Arsenal supporters everywhere.  For it is the day of three incredibly important moments in Arsenal’s history.

On 3 May 1893 George Lawrence signed the documents to turn Royal Arsenal formally into Woolwich Arsenal.  He then ensured the freehold of the Manor Field was obtained by arranging contracts and the deposit with the freeholder of the Manor Ground.

That was an incredibly important thing to do because a faction within Royal Arsenal were attempting to derail the plan by bribing the owner of the Manor Field with the purpose of getting him to increase the rent on the ground massively, and thus bankrupt Arsenal, allowing a second club (run by the rebels) to open up in the Invicta Stadium opposite.

Arsenal saw off the threat, but the second club did open up and survived for a few years in the Southern League as Royal Ordnance Factories FC before itself going bust mid-season.

On 3 May 1971, as you may have read elsewhere (!), Arsenal beat Tottenham 0-1 at WHL to win the league, with Kennedy scoring.  With much of north London blocked for most of the day tens of thousands entered the ground through broken turnstiles making much of the ground unsafe.  Two minutes from time Kennedy headed in an Armstrong cross.  In the final minutes of the final game, 78 years to the day after the formation of Woolwich Arsenal FC, Arsenal moved towards the Double for the first time.

On 3 May 1998, 105 years to the day after the formation of Woolwich Arsenal, and 27 years to the day after the winning the league as part of the first double, Arsenal beat Everton 4-0 and won the League in game 36 of the second Double season.  Tony Adams scored his most famous goal on 89 minutes in front of the north bank as Arsenal secured 10 successive wins, a new Premier League record.

Arsène Wenger became the first non-UK manager to win the English league, with an unbeaten run of 18 games starting on Boxing Day.   Even the commentary of the Arsenal v Everton game became famous as Martin Tyler said, “That sums it all up” as Adams scored and turned to the crowd, arms out wide.

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.

100 Years: 100 Years in the First Division

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