By Tony Attwood
On 7 February 2013, for the second year running Jeremy Corbyn, the MP for Islington North, sponsored Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (AISA) to use one of the committee rooms at the Houses of Parliament for its annual social event.
As last year, we used the occasion as one in which we could celebrate Arsenal’s history – and give recognition to the AISA Arsenal History Society. Our speakers were Sammy Nelson, Samir Singh, who works with Arsenal and the Community and who is co-ordinating the celebrations of 100 years in Islington, and Jeremy Corbyn himself.
Last year we celebrated 125 years of Arsenal. The occasion this year was the celebration of 100 years since the first revelations were made that Woolwich Arsenal were to move to Islington. The Arsenal History Society plans to carry on celebrating this event through the summer up to the 100th anniversary of the first game at Highbury, in September 1913.
Also at the meeting was Arsenal Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis, and I was really pleased to get 15 minutes with him, discussing the club, and the way it is handling its relationship with its own heritage and history. Hopefully I will be able to come back to the issues we talked about, in the near future.
I’d like to thank everyone who came to Westminster yesterday, and to thank Paul Matz for all his work in putting the event together. It really was a terrific evening, in a stunningly historic setting.
AISA also published for the occasion a full colour booklet, which has, on the cover the best reproduction I have ever seen of the team photo taken at the first match at Highbury, on 6 September 1913. It is a fabulous memento of a terrific evening.
If you would like to join AISA (which also automatically means being a member of the Arsenal History Society) then you can do so on the AISA website .
For now I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in arranging last night’s terrific event.
- 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