15 January: the anniversary of the first ever north London league derby



Today’s headline comes from 1921

The 1919 Affair: How Arsenal were promoted to the first division – the only complete and detailed history of Arsenal’s election.

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The anniversaries

15 January 1866: Possible birthdate of Joseph Cooper who played 24 games for Wolverhampton Wanderers before coming to Arsenal in 1893.

15 January 1887: Royal Arsenal continued their winning streak since their foundation just a few months earlier, with an 11-0 win over Alexandra United.

15 January 1891: The Derby Post made some seriously disparaging remarks about the journey to Plumstead ahead of Derby County’s away game against Royal Arsenal in the FA Cup.  Although they related to just one day’s disruption on public transport they were re-used and oft-quoted, suggesting that the tram and train system did not work.  There is no supporting evidence beyond this one piece and yet the notion of Plumstead being impossible to get to, became commonplace.

15 January 1899: Woolwich Arsenal’s half-yearly AGM reported the manager as W.R. Elcoat (ie William Elcoat) not George Elcoat as most Arsenal histories subsequently erroneously stated (until the Arsenal History Society set matters aright).

15 January 1910: FA Cup 1st round.  Woolwich Arsenal 3 Watford 0.  It was hoped a good cup run could alleviate the club’s financial worries.  Sadly only 8668 turned up and Arsenal went out to Everton in the next round, although in front of 30,000.

15 January 1913: Woolwich Arsenal won their first home game of the season.   It was a 2-1 Cup victory over Southern League local rivals Croydon Common. Relegation was already a near certainty, and the club only won three league games all season.

15 January 1918: Over 20mm of rain fell on one day as the snow melted and pitches became quagmires.  On the same day 155 died in the Minnie Pit disaster in Staffordshire. Also the destroyers Narborough and Opan created a disaster of their own, as both ran aground and were wrecked off the coastline of Orkney in a severe storm.  Only one man survived.

15 January 1921: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1 – the first league derby following Arsenal’s move to north London (although there were previous friendlies).  The crowd was 39,221, but the return match at Highbury a week later got a crowd of 60,600.

15 January 1927:  The BBC undertook its first live sports broadcast, the rugby international between England and Wales.  The first football commentary happened one week later.  Arsenal meanwhile had an away game against Derby County.  Buchan and Parker got the goals to give Arsenal a 2-0 victory.

15 January 1966: Death of Arthur Biggs. He signed for Arsenal on 27 October 1933 as an amateur player aged 18, having not been registered with any club before that point, and became a professional on 14 December 1933, but only got two more games.

15 January 1969: John Radford’s England debut.  He only played once more for his country.

15 January 1970 saw Arsenal defeated away to Blackpool of the second division in a replay in the 3rd round of the FA Cup 2-3.  It was the last appearance as a player for Terry Neill (who of course later went on to be Arsenal manager), and for  Jimmy Robertson – the first man to score for Tottenham against Arsenal and for Arsenal against Tottenham.

15 January 1972: Swindon 0 Arsenal 2, on the way to another cup final, but it was to be the start of the end of Mee’s run of success.  In his remaining three seasons Mee’s Arsenal went out in the 3rd, 4th and 6th round.

15 January 1977, Arsenal beat Norwich City 1-0 in front of 30,537.  It was Arsenal’s last league win until April, in a sequence which included seven defeats in a row and four consecutive matches without a goal – one of our worst runs ever.  Pat Rice scored and after the match said, “I saw the keeper move off his line, so I bent the ball around him.  If Pele had done it, it would have been hailed as a great goal.”

15 January 1979: Arsenal 2 Sheffield W 2.  FA Cup 2nd replay – the saga continued and Arsenal eventually played 11 games to win the FA Cup.  Brady and Sunderland scored, in a game played at Leicester.

15 January 1999: Kanu signed for Arsenal from Inter for around £4m.  He was reportedly the only Premier League player ever to have won the Champions League, Uefa Cup, Premier League, the FA Cup and an Olympic Gold!  He now runs Kanu Sports TV

15 January 2010: Samuel Galindo signed from Real America.  Despite eight loan spells over the next five years, he never broke into the Arsenal first team for a league match and was reported not to have played a single game in his last four loan spells. By 2017 he was being loaned out by his club in Bolivia.

15 January 2010: Mark Randall loaned to MK Dons.  He played in Bergkamp’s testimonial but never made the breakthrough and drifted into lower league Italian football before joining MK Dons in 2014. In 2019 he signed for Larne in N Ireland

15 January 2010: Kerrea Gilbert loaned to Peterborough.  He got his chance in 2006 (the Year of the Seven Left Backs), and played in six league and cup games, but after his own injury never recovered. In 2014 he was reported to be playing for St Albans City and then appears to have retired from playing football.

15 January 2011: Arsenal beat West Ham United away 3-0 in the Premier League.  The result came after two draws and a defeat to Ipswich in the Legue Cup, but started a run 11 games unbeaten.

15 January 2022: Arsenal’s game with Tottenham postponed due to an outbreak of Covid in the Arsenal camp.

15 January 2023: In the Tottenham v Arsenal game Saka and Ødegaard scored in the first half, Ramsdale was man of the match with seven saves, and Arsenal got their the first clean sheet in North London derbies since Arteta took charge of Arsenal in December 2019

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