Arsenal anniversaries 15 March: in 1969 one of the darkest days in Arsenal’s history



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Day by Day the stories  a key moment in Arsenal and footballing history for each day of the year

Football today:The league table for the last 16 games has a few interesting surprises on offer

100+ Years: the complete story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919 which launched 100+ consecutive years in the top division.

The anniversaries

15 March 1884: Birth of Leslie Knighton – one of Arsenal’s least successful managers, and the man who for sixty years led historians astray through his stream of wholly inaccurate claims and false tales about Sir Henry Norris, in his autobiography.  It was only when the Arsenal History Society started investigating his stories that the falsehoods became clear.

15 March 1913: Woolwich Arsenal 1 WBA 0. It was Arsenal’s last win at Plumstead.  In the remaining eight matches Arsenal gained three draws and suffered five defeats.

15 March 1916:  Henry Norris resigned as the chair of the London Borough of Fulham military tribunal in readiness for the next phase of his work at the War Office co-ordinating recruitment.

15 March 1918: The London Borough of Fulham held a tank day in which a retired tank from the battlefront was driven through the streets of the borough as a fundraising plan.  Sir Henry Norris as with other London mayors co-ordinated the event.

15 March 1920: The first ever international was played at Highbury.  The result was England 1 Wales 2, and it was Wales’ first victory against England in 38 years.  England’s goal came from Charlie Buchan.

15 March 1924: First game for Andrew Neil – Nottingham Forest 2 Arsenal 1.  He played 54 games for Arsenal at inside left and inside right.  Neil returned to Brighton from whence he came in 1926 and later moved on to QPR and then retired from football in 1930 dying at the tragically early age of 48.

15 March 1932: The BBC moved into Broadcasting House and continued to expand its role, including taking more interest in football.

15 March 1935: Ralph Birkett sold to Middlesbrough.  He had played 19 league games and scored a very creditable seven goals.

15 March 1937: Reg Lewis turned professional, just in time to undertake the club’s summer tour.

15 March 1947: First match for Alf Calverly:  Arsenal 4 Preston North End 1. It started something of a revival for Arsenal, with the team winning seven and drawing two of the last 12.

15 March 1955: Arsenal 3 Rangers 3; part of the long-running series of games between the clubs which had been initiated by Herbert Chapman.

15 March 1958: Man City 2 Arsenal 4.  The fourth consecutive match in which one or both sides scored four.  These four games generated a total of 28 goals. In this game Bloomfield got three and Herd one.

15 March 1960  On transfer deadline day Arsenal’s number two, coach Ron Greenwood, submitted a failed bid for Huddersfield’s 20 years old starlet Denis Law. Unfortunately, Denis felt snubbed by Arsenal for not sending manager Swindin.

15 March 1969: Swindon 3 Arsenal 1.  League Cup Final. Arsenal were firm favourites but the bumpy nature of the pitch (following its use for an equestrian event the day before) didn’t help the Arsenal cause.  Bobby Gould got the Arsenal goal. For context see here

15 March 1971: Arsenal 1 Leicester 0. FA Cup 6th round, replay.  As in the games against Portsmouth and Man City in the cup, Charlie George scored.

15 March 1975: Arsenal 1 Birmingham 1. A draw after three defeats gave Arsenal some relief but erratic form continued to keep Arsenal near the wrong end of the table.  Kidd scored for Arsenal.

15 March 1976: Arsenal keeper Jack McClelland died of cancer aged 35.  He was our main keeper in 1962/3 when he made 36 appearances in league and cup.

15 March 1980: Man City 0 Arsenal 3, making it five wins one draw in the last six.  The run helped Arsenal climb the table but a defeat on the final day stopped them reaching the 3rd place spot they sought.

15 March 1990: Niall Quinn sold to Man City.  He had one season as the main striker (1986/7) when he played 35 league games but only scored eight goals.  He later went into club ownership and punditry.

15 March 1994: Arsenal 1 Torino 0  CWC quarter final 2nd leg.  Brief summary here

15 March 1997: Lee Harper’s one and only game.   He moved on to QPR in the summer and played over 100 games for QPR, Northampton and Kettering, managing the latter club for a while before vanishing from public view.

15 March 2001: Stuart Taylor’s third loan – a brief spell with Peterborough – came to an end.

15 March 2003: Blackburn 2 Arsenal 0.  It was the first defeat since 7 December and the result made it hard for Arsenal to challenge for the title even though Arsenal only lost only one more game in the rest of the season.

15 March 2010: Phil Brown, the man who accused Arsenal of a wide range of fiendish manoeuvres and impropriety such as having a non-playing captain improperly dressed, was dismissed by Hull City.  He later managed Southend.

15 March 2018: Arsenal beat Inter Milan 3-1 at home to win the Europa League tie 5-1 on aggregate and thus reach the quarter-finals.

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.

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