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October 2020
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Has Arsenal ever had a mascot, and other questions.

By Tony Attwood

This is one of those articles that really has nothing to say, other than the question in the headline.

Mascots these days are people dressed up in silly costumes.  We have Gunnersaurous, although I have probably not got the spelling right, and most clubs have those.

But in the past there were actual animals – real live creatures that were part of the club.  Tottenham had a parrot I think, and I seem to recall one club (presumably Derby) having a ram that was led around the pitch.

Did Arsenal?  It’s just a question that popped into my mind.  Do let me know if you have any insight – or come to that if you happen to be the world’s leading historian on club mascots.

Anyway, that’s that – and onto the next question…

What sort of crowds did the Southern League get in the early years of the 19th century.  I ask this one because I was just answering a question about Fulham in 1904, and noting that the Southern League Division 1 then had a load of London clubs therein, meaning there must have been lots of London derbies.

We know that when Arsenal played Chelsea and Tottenham in the first decade of the 20th century the crowds could be very big.  But what of the Southern League?   They had Tottenham, QPR, Reading, Millwall, Luton, Fulham, WHU, Brentford… all in the same division.

(Incidentally reading that list it shines a new light on Tottenham’s strong objections to Chelsea being given a place in the Southern League in 1905.  Was it that they were thinking there were just too many clubs in London in the League at that time?   Anyway, Tottenham were successful, and so Chelsea went straight into the Football League.)

Last question for today concerns the Manor Ground at which Woolwich Arsenal played.  After Arsenal moved out a small team played there, and then I think the ground became overgrown.   But when did property development start there – and was Henry Norris part of that?

Random questions – but sometimes that is just how it is.

Anyway, if you know anything about any of these, or come to that if you have a question about Arsenal’s history that you would like to pose, do write in.  If you want to join the Arsenal History Society you can do – for £10 you get two  colour publications a year on Arsenal’s history, and free membership of Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Assocation (AISA).  There are details on www.arsenalhistory.info

And just one other thing – I have just updated the index page on our articles about Tottenham Hotspur – which traces the rivalry between the clubs.  Quite a few articles have appeared here over the years – and I have tried to make a bit more sense of them.

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