By Tony Attwood
As I’ve noted before, three of the regular players from the 1909/1910 season left Arsenal in the summer
First, McGibbon, the man who saved us with the vital goals at the end of the season.
Second, McDonald – the goal keeper, and only man to sign three times for Arsenal.
And finally, someone whose name should be carved on our hearts
Walter Henry Lawrence is one of those footballers whose fortune should be recorded for all to read, but who seems to have vanished from the record books. There is no date or place of birth, nor of his death.
But he should remain in our hearts for all time – he scored the first ever league goal for Woolwich Arsenal against Tottenham in 1909. We won 1-0.
We do know that Walter Lawrence was an inside left, that he was born in Lonon, and that he played from Summerstown (a south west London side who played in the Athenean League, and who are still around today), Crystal Palace, Woolwich Arsenal and Merthyr Town.
Lawrence played just one season for Woolwich Arsenal, 1909/1910, coming from Palace, and returning there after the season was over. He played 25 league games and scored five goals. He also played one FA Cup match – playing at number 10 throughout the season.
And that’s it. Nothing more. The man who scored the first goal against the Tiny Totts in a league match – a match which we won by that goal – and he is lost in history.
How can this be?