9 August: Arsenal beat Man U 3-0 to win Charity Shield

9 August 1998: Arsenal beat Man U 3-0 in Charity Shield, winning it for the ninth time

Overmars, Wreh and Anelka scored.

The Charity Shield (renamed the Community Shield after the Charity Commissioners sued the FA for failing to keep the records required by law for any organisation engaged in charitable work) has become something of a downgraded affair with clubs sometimes putting out weakened teams, as a result of international matches played through the summer.

But in 1998 it was something special for Arsenal fans with the club, at the end of last season, having gone on a 12 match winning streak to win the league and reach the cup final in which they beat Newcastle 2-0, thus winning the Double.

The Charity Shield match on 9 August was also a memorable affair, and we have two videos of it – a shortened highlights version of modest quality, and the full match starting with the walk from inside the tunnel and the two managers walking out side by side.  Both videos are available on our post for today on the History Society website at:  Arsenal smash Man U in the Community Shield 3-0 in 1998 – the videos

And perhaps we might look back to a few earlier Charity Shields starting on 8 October 1930 when Arsenal won the Charity Shield beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in front of a crowd of 25,000 at Stamford Bridge.  It was Arsenal’s first appearance in the annual match, and started a run of five wins in the 1930s.

The team for the first match was


Parker Hapgood

Seddon Roberts John

Hulme Brain Lambert Jack Bastin

Hulme and Jack were the scorers.

What is now the Community Shield came out of an earlier competition which started out in 1899 as the professionals vs amateurs annual cup.  After the amateurs had a falling out with the FA there was a change over to the winners of the Football League playing the winners of the Southern League.  As such Herbert Chapman got an early taste of the competition, when the Northampton Town team of which he was manager became champions of the Southern League for the first and only time in 1909 and so went on to the Charity Shield match.

The idea of Cup Winners v Champions started in 1921 but it was not consistently in this format until 1930.  But even since there have been times when it has not been played in this way.   In 1950 England played an “FA XI”, in 1961 Tottenham having won the double for their one and only time, played the FA XI again.

In 1971 after winning the double Arsenal had a real problem.  So unlikely had a cup or league win seemed earlier in the season, they had arranged a pre-season tour – and were unwilling to break the contract.  So Liverpool played Leicester!!!

This set a trend and the following year both Derby (league champions) and Leeds (FA Cup winners) refused to play so Man City played Villa for no apparent reason.

This meandering continued with the FA in its usual state of incompetence and disrepute until in 2002 the Charity Commission found that Football Association had failed to meet its fairly basic and obvious legal obligations under the Charities Act as it found itself completely unable to say where the money raised from the game was going and had regularly delayed paying out anything at all.  Instead of being honourable and sorting out the mess, the FA did what we might expect: it simply renamed the trophy the Community Shield.  Arsenal were the first winners.

The highest scoring game was Man U 8 Swindon 4 – and in that case, we do know where the money went – it went to the Titanic Disaster fund. Arsenal are currently the second most successful club in the competition equal with Liverpool and behind only Manchester United.

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