Arsenal anniversaries 8 August: the signing of the wonderful Jimmy Brain




Arsenal History Society: The Woolwich Walk and visiting the original stadium

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

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

Football Today:   The 56 players tipped to join Arsenal, and the 24 leaving.

And now on with the Arsenal anniversaries of today… (and as ever one or two others)

8 August 1917:  it was formally announced that Captain Sir Henry Norris (chairman of Arsenal) had been promoted to Lt Colonel in the British Army (thus by-passing the rank of major), and had been made Deputy Director of Recruiting in support of the war effort.  This promotion reveals the level of service he delivered to his country as he had risen from no rank to Lt Colonel in four years and been knighted just a couple of months earlier.

8 August 1919:  The third (and final) Anglo-Afghan war ended and Britain prepared to grant independence.

8 August 1923: The wonderful Jimmy Brain was signed.  Having had an unsuccessful trial with Cardiff, he became a miner playing part-time for Ton Pentre.  The signing suggests that the manager’s network of scouts had not been forcibly wound up by Sir Henry Norris as Knighton later suggested.  Brain was kept on by Chapman, playing 204 league games for the club.

8 August 1962: Bristol Select v Arsenal – Joe Baker’s first game having signed for £70,000 from Torino.  He stayed for four years and for three of these was Arsenal’s top scorer.

8 August 1977:  Jimmy Rimmer played his last game v Aldershot in a pre-season friendly having played 124 leagues, before moving on to Aston Villa with whom he won the European Cup, for the second time (having won it with Man U)

8 August 1978: Returning to the UK after an overseas tour Arsenal played Celtic in Glasgow and won 3-0, Stapleton getting one goal, and the other two being own goals.

8 August 2001: Death of Paul Vaessen.  He had been a drug addict for several years and had a significant amount of drugs in his bloodstream at the time of his death.  His passing went unrecorded in the local paper.

8 August 2004: Arsenal 3 Man U 1 Charity Shield.  Gilberto Silva, Reyes, and Silvestre scored, and Reyes was awarded the “man of the match accolade”

8 August 2006: Tomas Rosicky first game v Dinamo Zagreb.  He transferred from Borussia Dortmund for whom he had played 149 league games.

8 August 2009.   At the AISA AGM, held in Highbury House, the Arsenal History Society was established as a body in its own right within AISA.  It quickly launched a series of books which transformed our understanding of Arsenal’s history correcting numerous errors that had previously been taken as fact.  This page is an example of our ongoing work!

8 August 2011: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed from Southampton for £12m.  He had played 36 games for Southampton in the 2010/11 season.

8 August 2012: Park Chu Young given squad number 30.  In three years at Arsenal he only played one league game.

8 August 2013: Gervinho sold to AS Roma after merciless barracking by the anti-Wengerians – descendents of the detested boo-boys of the Chapman era.  He played 46 league games with Arsenal in two seasons.

8 August 2016: Mesut Özil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud returned to Arsenal long after the rest of the team, having played through to the final of Euro 2016.  It was announced that all three would be missing from the squad for the opening match of the season as would be Mertersacker who had been injured in the summer and would be out for “months”.  He did however return to play brilliantly in the cup final in May.

8 August 2019: Arsenal signed left-back Kieran Tierney from Celtic for £25 million fee and, three hours later, centre-back David Luiz from Chelsea for £8 million transfer fee.  Alex Iwobi joined Everton for £35 million, while Eddie Nketiah joined Leeds United on a season-long loan.

8 August 2021: Arsenal lost to Tottenham, having previously lost to Chelsea, to finish bottom of the pre-season MIND tournament.  This contrasted heavily with a 4-0 defeat of Chelsea in a pre-season tournament in July 2022, suggesting the fortunes of the clubs had changed somewhat.

8 August 2022: Torreira was transferred to Galatasaray for an undisclosed fee.

The Statues: Arsenal History Society and the Arsenal statues

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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