The early Arsenal. From zero to 10,000 in five years.

By Tony Attwood

There are some days in the history of Arsenal that just ring out with historic importance – and 30 March is most certainly one of those.

For 30 March was the day that saw the club play for the very first time at the Manor Field, which became the Manor Ground – the ground that became the true Arsenal’s home as it swept aside the middle class take over attempt in 1892 and the split of the club in 1893.

30 March 1891, two years before Arsenal entered the league, and while still playing as an amateur side, saw the second 10,000 crowd at the Invicta Ground – an event which convinced the club committee of the need to go professional.  Arsenal were the working men’s club, while most clubs were run by the factory owners who looked down on the players, so paying the men was a strong statement of the club’s ethos.  But they needed to know they could bring in the cash.

Moving on 10 March was the day Arsenal played the club that would become Man U for the first first time, and two years after that to the day, Arsenal’s first manager took the job.

Curiously, exactly one year after that, to the day, Arsenal’s second manager took the job of running the club.   One suspects that in those days the main complainants were not supporters but the executive committee.

In 1929 as the true might of the Arsenal was about to be unleashed onto the world, Arsenal had a 7-1 victory and five years on from there over 69,000 turned up at Highbury for a league match.

And then just to finish it all off, on 30 March 2009 Stan Kronke increases his shareholding in Arsenal to over 20%.

Times change, but it is still the same club.

Here’s the full run down – and as always the day’s anniversaries are listed on the home page of this site, and of Untold Arsenal.


The Books

The anniversaries

The Anniversary files now have over 3000 entries, and are now divided into six sections:

  • Untold Arsenal

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