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September 2019
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Arsenal accept History Society’s plea for statues – but we don’t know who yet…

by Tony Attwood

About a year ago I met with Ivan Gazidis at a private meeting arranged by Arsenal Independent Supporters Association, and put forward my thoughts on what could be done to commemorate Arsenal’s history, both generally and in the coming 125 year anniversary.

One of the ideas I put forward both at that meeting and in a subsequent paper to Mr Gazidis was the erection of statues outside the ground – statues that commemorated some of the great names from Arsenal’s past.

I made my point by saying that although I could appreciate that the current directors of our club undoubtedly wanted to show the bust of Herbert Chapman to visiting directors, which was why it was in the directors’ lobby, we the regular supporters, also wanted to give thanks to the man who won the club our first trophy.

Therefore, I suggested (never knowing when to shut up) we ought to have a series of statues.  To Herbert Chapman I added Jack Humble (the man who helped found the club, and who was a committee member, director and chairman throughout most of the period from our foundation in 1886 to 1927.  He was also the only one of the founders who was there to see Arsenal win its first trophy).

I left the notion of the 3rd statue hanging in the air.

Mr Gazidis was extremely kind and patient, letting me ramble on with my thoughts on this, and other ways of commemorating Arsenal’s past, and we spoke for over an hour on the topic.

However matters were left that this was something that was going to take a lot of consideration, and had to be brought into line with other thinking about the development of the area around the club.

You might imagine my surprise when I heard a few days ago that three statues were being built and would be opened for the 125th anniversary proceedings.

I have had no further discussions with the club on this topic, and it is of course quite possible that Mr Gazidis already had all the plans in mind when we met.  But I like to think that maybe, just maybe, my plea on behalf of AISA Arsenal History Society for statues which would symbolise the club’s past, had a little bit to do with this decision.

Arsenal are currently running a competition on Twitter about the statues which reads…

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3 statues. 3 legends. Tweet your golden Arsenal moment from the last 125 years and you could be at the unveiling on 9 Dec with O2 #o2AFCgold
To enter, just include #o2AFCgold and #yourtwitterid in your tweet. Most retweeted entry wins. T&Cs:
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I’ve sent my entry in, but it is so obscure it won’t win – but you can have a go anyway.
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Whatever the cause of this development and whether  AISA Arsenal History Society actually influenced the development or not, on behalf of everyone in the AISA Arsenal History Society, I would like to welcome the development.
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AISA Arsenal History Society: www.arsenalhistory.info
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4 comments to Arsenal accept History Society’s plea for statues – but we don’t know who yet…

  • mike collins

    Tony

    Great idea and even if you only had a small amount of influence you should be congratulated. Should also have one when we get to 100 years without being relegated.

  • I think the three should be:
    Henry Norris
    Herbert Chapman
    Arsene Wenger

    My guess is that they will actually be:
    Herbert Chapman
    Arsene Wenger
    Tony Adams

  • walter

    Maybe a statue of Tony Attwood?? 😉 And if not we will erect one outside Untold Towers

  • John L

    good for you tony! i think this is a fantastic idea.

    jack humble
    herbert chapman
    henry norris

    and probably arsene wenger. but as he is still at the club thats maybe a bit premature. but i would very much like to see one go up of him when he retires.

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