By Tony Attwood
There are two reasons for choosing Arsenal v Bedford as the topic for January 7, apart from the fact that the result was remarkable.
First, we are obviously talking cup football at the moment, following our draw on January 6 2013 with Swansea. And second January 7 is not exactly Arsenal’s favourite day.
The records suggest that overall we have played 19 first team games and won merely five, drawn four and lost ten on January 7th.. Way below our average across all days.
Of all the games and near disasters on this least favourite of days, the most awful must be the meeting of Arsenal and the mighty Bedford Town.
To give you the run down: Bedford were a Southern League club, who were player-managed by Ronnie Rooke of Arsenal and indeed England fame.
Over time they became known as giant killers but nothing really prepared the public at large for their match on January 7 1956 when they drew 2-2 with Arsenal at Highbury. The crowd is put down at over 55,000.
In the replay Bedford nearly gained a victory, with two goals ruled offside, and leading 1-0 until four minutes from time. They only lost 1-2 in extra time. Rather wonderfully there is a brief film of the kick off available here.
Bedford Town under its original guise lasted until 1981/2 when the landlord of the ground ended the lease. No new ground could be found and the club was wound up, although subsequently a new ground was found and they started again in 1989.
Unfortunately at this moment I don’t have Arsenal’s team for the day, but I do have the information at home so I will in due course replace this paragraph with one that includes the team – unless you would like to write it out and send a note in.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- “The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal”: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Untold Arsenal
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The weight loss programme: The only guaranteed wayto stay fit
- Looking for a terraced house in Northamptonshire?
The main series
- Islington 100: celebrating 100 years of Arsenal in Islington
- Arsenal’s Anniversaries
- The Managers index with two managers that no one else includes!
- Arsenal’s Chronology