Arsenal History Society: The Woolwich Walk and visiting Arsenal’s first ground
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.
And now on with the Arsenal anniversaries of today… (and as ever one or two others). The answer to our headline question comes on this day in 1996
15 August 1886: Charles Lewis born in Plumstead, (then a small town in Kent). He played for East Wickham, Eltham and Maidstone United before joining Arsenal in 1907 – making his debut on December 28.
15 August 1869: Charlie Booth born. He played in Arsenal’s first ever league game and was one of three players to score a hattrick in the cup game against City Ramblers.
15 August 1894: John Caldwell (who later turned up at Brighton Utd) transferred to Arsenal from Hibernian. During his time at Arsenal he had a brief period away at Third Lanark, but then returned and played on until April 1898.
15 August 1919: The Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act became law and allowed returning servicemen to get their old jobs back, if they wanted them, and if the jobs existed. It gave employers the problem of dismissing the workers they had used during the war. Henry Norris campaigned for full pensions for all servicemen who returned unable to work. His campaign was rejected. Disabled servicemen were left begging on the streets.
15 August 1925: Following the news of the arrival of Herbert Chapman as manager a crowd of 11,406 came to Highbury for a pre-season practice match between the Arsenal first team and the Reserves (Reds v Blues): Chapman’s first game at Arsenal.
15 August 1970: The start of the first Double season. Everton 2 Arsenal 2 (George and Graham scoring). Charlie George broke his ankle, and the press called the game “trench warfare.”
15 August 1976: Arsenal played in Yugoslavia in a pre-season friendly. Željezničar 1 Arsenal 1. The local press said of the match, “In an even game Željezničar and Arsenal didn’t offer much to the spectators”. O’Leary scored. See also here.
15 August 1983. Ian Allinson signed for Arsenal on a free transfer following an administrative error by Colchester in which they offered him a salary less than his previous level of payment, thus allowing him to leave without compensation.
15 August 1984: Twente 1 Arsenal 0 in the pre-season series of which Arsenal won two, lost two and drew one. It was not an auspicious set of games considering the modest level of the opposition.
15 August 1986: Paul Merson’s first senior game – a friendly v Southend. He went on to play 289 first division games for the club before leaving for Middlesbrough in 1997. For the pre-season commentary see here.
15 August 1992: Steve Bould scored Arsenal’s first Premier League goal. Campbell got a second to make it 2-0 at half time, but the final score was Arsenal 2 Norwich 4. The game was played in front of just 24,030 with the North Bank closed in order to become an all seater two tier stand. However in this season, Arsenal won the unprecedented FA Cup, and League Cup double.
15 August 1993: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain born. He was a youth player with Southampton, playing in their first team in 2010/11 before joining Arsenal.
15 August 2003: Arsenal 2 Everton 1. The 1st league match of the unbeaten season. Campbell was sent off on 25 minutes, but in a pattern that was to be followed all season, Henry and Pires got the goals.
15 August 2004: In what became a tradition in the early 21st century Arsenal beat Everton in their first match of the season. Everton 1 Arsenal 4. Bergkamp, Reyes, Ljungberg and Pires scored.
15 August 2009. Everton 1 Arsenal 6. The result took Setanta TV who showed it live, by surprise as they had lined up an array of ex-Evertonians to interview through the game and said how sad it was that these eminent ex-players should have to watch this defeat. Celebration of Arsenal’s stunning performance was there none. Denilson, Vermaelen, Gallas, Fàbregas (2) and Eduardo scored the goals.
15 August 2011: Cesc Fàbregas joined Barcelona for a fee estimated to be between £25m and £35 with a possible £5m of add ons plus a suggestion (unconfirmed) that Fàbregas would pay Arsenal €1 million a year from his wage for five years.
15 August 2012: Wellington Silva loaned to Ponferradina. Difficulties with a work permit meant that he did not make the early appearance for Arsenal that had been hoped for.
15 August 2014: Jon Toral loaned to Brentford for the season. He became a regular in the Championship side that just missed out on promotion. He signed for Hull City in 2017.
15 August 2015: Nic Bendtner signed for Wolfsburg having been released by Arsenal earlier in the summer. He had made 169 appearances and scored 47 goals across nine years. In November 2018 Bendtner was sentenced to 50 days in prison in Denmark for assaulting a taxi driver.
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.