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Ins and Outs for the start of the new season 100 years ago

If you have been reading this column over the last two weeks you’ll know that the position during the summer break was…

Players out

  • McDonald (goal) – 36 appearances in 1909/10
  • McGibbon (centre forward),- those four appearances with 3 goals
  • Lawrence (inside right)- 25 appearances, 5 goals

Players in for the first game of the season

  • Alf Common – a fading star but still a star, and a proven goal scorer from inside left or inside right.  Transferred from Middlesbrough who had paid the world record of £1000 for him.
  • Willis Rippon – much more of an unknown – widely travelled centre forward with no proven record at the higher levels.   He came from Bristol City.

But there were no transfer windows at all in those days – players could change clubs whenever and however they wanted, and Arsenal brought in a number of other players during the season:

  • Henry Logan from Sunderland
  • Jackie Chalmers from Clyde
  • James Quayle from Northfleet
  • Matthew Shortt from Dalbeattie Star
  • Wee Winship from Fulham
  • Pat Flanagan from Fulham
  • George Burdett from the Fusiliers
  • John Peart – moving up from the juniors and reserves
  • Leslie Calder – moving up from the juniors
  • Frederick Calvert – transferring from the Army

That’s ten new players, playing their first game for the club during the season – aside from the two profile signings during the summer who started the first game.

What’s more five players only lasted one season…

  • Rippon, Logan, Quayle, Shortt, Calder.

Here’s another oddity…

Quayle played 1 game, Shortt played 4, Calder played 1, and Calvert played 2 – one in 1910/11 and one in 1911/12.

What it looks like is a club doing a fair amount of patching up as it went along finding players with no proven record, in the desperate hope that they might actually turn out to be ok – which of course they weren’t.  The two transfers from Fulham look suspicious since Norris owned Fulham as well as Arsenal.

Indeed some gave up professional football after their Arsenal experience – Logan, Quayle, Calder and Calvert all left football after their brief moment of Arsenal history.  I haven’t started trying to find their stories yet, but I am not sure it is going to be easy.

But there’s one other interesting issue arising through this list of players – John Peart also played for Croydon Common – which if you have read “Making the Arsenal” you will know, Henry Norris also owned.

More of that later.

“Making the Arsenal” – the story of 1910 as seen through the eyes of a journalist of the day

“Untold Arsenal” – everything about Arsenal today

“Woolwich Arsenal” – the site index

1 comment to Ins and Outs for the start of the new season 100 years ago

  • kevin peart

    John Peart is my great great grandad. It would be good to now more. Could you give me some tips on where to look. Thanks

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