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