Eddie Hapgood Football Legend, and the origin of humour in football journalism

While this web site does focus primarily on Arsenal and the football world 100 years ago, we do meander a bit to take in other eras – and in this case I am rushing forward 17 years from our regular 1910 haunt. Eddie Hapgood was a milkman who was signed by Herbert Chapman from the …

Woolwich Arsenal 100 years ago: Saturday 19th Feb 1910

Woolwich Arsenal had no match on February 19th 1910, this being designated Third Round day for the FA Cup. Arsenal had beaten Watford in round one, and lost to Everton in round 2, and that was that. By the third round there were 16 clubs left, and all were played on the same day.  No …

Arsenal Reserves in 1910 – we’ve found them

Thanks to Andy Kelly we now have information about Arsenal Reserves in the early years. A new article has appeared on Wikipedia, and this has allowed me to cross reference with other sources, and we seem to have a more clear idea of what happened to the reserves in the early years. Wiki says that …

Arsenal watched from a hot air balloon plus a really intriguing question

First, Jacko Jones’ review of Arsenal against Blackburn 100 years ago where the writer states that he watched from a hot air balloon…. Woolwich Arsenal met with Blackburn Rovers in the Football League Division I on Saturday,    It was too cold for standing on the terraces, with a fierce wind blowing across the pitch so …

Why did Arsenal move to Highbury (and not somewhere else)?

Read any of the basic football history books and you will find that Arsenal moved to Highbury because the crowds at Plumstead were too small. As far as it goes, that’s true, but in reality that simple statement doesn’t go very far. There are two separate issues… a) Why did we move at all? b) …

Doom and disaster at Arsenal

February 12th 1910. Woolwich Arsenal 0, Blackburn Rovers 1.  Attendance 7,500 It wasn’t just the defeat, it was the awfully low crowd.   With the club heading for administration, and no one other than Henry Norris flitting around the scene, survival as a club looked even more unlikely than survival in the First Division. After this …

Fear and trembling as Arsenal prepare to meet Blackburn on 12 February

And thus and so, 100 years ago, we prepare for Blackburn Rovers at home: 12th February 1910. Leading up to this match Blackburn were 5th on 30 points (two for a win of course) while Woolwich Arsenal were 16th on 18 points.   Blackburn had been top for a while, and despite the slip of late …

Arsenal v Liverpool: the future is just the past with a different sombrero

The future is just the past with a different sombrero “What do you know about the history of football?” I asked Billy the Dog McGraw with some nervousness when he announced that he intended to contribute to the “Making the Arsenal” blog rather than the contemporary “Untold Arsenal” where he usually resides. “The club was …

Preparing to meet Liverpool – the great match fixers

Apart from focusing on football one hundred years ago, this site looks back on the major events in history surrounding clubs we are about to play in the present day. So this obviously is the moment to take a peek at the history of the infamous Reds and one of their misadventures. On 2nd April, …

Heroes of the early Arsenal: Frank Heppinstall

Heroes of the early Arsenal: Frank Heppinstall Frank Heppinstall was an outside left who also played inside left for Woolwich Arsenal in the 1909/10 season and briefly in the following season.  In total he made 23 league appearance becoming a regular fixture in the latter half of his first season and the start of his …

Norway abandons Arsenal, and Everton beat us again

Here is a letter that appeared on Untold Arsenal on 6th February 2010 at 1036, from a Norwegian supporter… I love Arsenal since 1976. The beste team ever was with Henry, Vieira, Bergkamp and Pires. I dont see any of them todays Arsenal. I am finished with Arsenal now because i dont think they will …

Chelsea: the biggest con in the history of league football.

I wrote recently about the old story, still propagated by Tottenham supporters, that somehow Arsenal had stolen a place from Tottenham in Division I in 1919.  The article is on this web site if you want to find it – just scroll down after this piece. And then it struck me that since in the …

The year of 2 Evertons and a right of way through the middle of Anfield

Researching the history of football 100 years ago, there are some clubs that just seem to be boring, mundane and everyday, but some which sparkle with life.  Everton is one of the latter. Not that the life was all good and jolly – rather as we look at football 100 or more years ago life …

The “fixed” promotion, the corruption and the match fixing. How the Football League does business

There was a rather strange comment on our sister site Untold Arsenal this week in which an Aston Villa fan said that Arsenal supporters have no right to comment on Villa  when in fact Arsenal had bribed their way into the first division in 1919. I must admit I thought that the old Tiny Totts …

Henry Norris fixes Fulham’s promotion and gets ready to bid for Arsenal

By the end of January 1910 Henry Norris – owner of Fulham FC – was firmly established as a man who was talking an awful lot about Woolwich Arsenal FC and its impending demise. And as always happens in such circumstances journalists went a-digging. For those that were interested there were plenty of strange things …

100 years have gone by and we are still beating Bolton by two goals to nil

And so, just as we did twice this year, 100 years ago we beat Bolton 2-0.  Not the exact self-same scores of course, because this was the score at the Manor Ground, and we lost the game in Bolton (when Bolton actually did play in Bolton – unlike today) 0-3 back in September.  But it …

The gulf between the top 2 divisions 100 years ago was as big as today

Woolwich Arsenal v Bolton W, 29 January 1910 After the success last weekend with a victory against low-flying Middlesbrough Arsenal played bottom of the table Bolton for the next home match. Bolton were one of the original members of the League, having been formed 1874, 12 years before Arsenal.  While Arsenal started out as Dial …

100 years ago to the day, Norris expresses his first interest in Arsenal

On 22 January 1910 Arsenal won a league match (a rarity in itself in a rotten season), but events elsewhere overshadowed the win. However I have a real feeling that very few people actually realised just how desperate things were that weekend – and indeed if one didn’t go to either of the meetings on …

Will Arsenal be relegated? Arsenal v Boro, 100 years ago

There’s no indication that the Woolwich Arsenal players had anything to do with the two momentous meetings held in Woolwich Town Hall on 22 January 1910 – the meetings which set in train the events that ended up with the formation of the modern Arsenal.  After all they had a game to play, and they …

Without the events of 100 years ago today, there would be no Arsenal

22 January 1910 is a date that should be remembered by every Arsenal supporter, and yet somehow it is just another day.  I doubt that many other web sites will remember this day – and indeed even Arsenal FC seem to have forgotten it. But this was the day, 100 years ago, when when Woolwich …

Football 1.0 – what did it look like?

Football 1.0 is a shorthand way of defining the organisation of clubs at the start of the professional era. The defining moment was January 1884 when Preston NE played Upton Park in the FA Cup, and following a complaint from Upton Park that Preston paid their players, Preston were ejected. Other clubs were also informally …

Arsenal in the FA Cup – 100 years ago.

I have a special feeling about 16th January 1910, as it is the day on which Making the Arsenal (the novel) starts its story.  Jacko Jones has been sent off to wildest Plumstead (then part of Kent, not a part of London) to watch the FA Cup first round match, Woolwich Arsenal v Watford). Lacking …

Arsenal plan to drop white sleeves from their shirts – again

There is a story going around that Arsenal are going to come out with another special home shirt, in the same way that they did for the last season at Highbury. This time it is to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the start of the club in December 1886 as Dial Square. The story goes …

Arsenal take on Watford in the Cup 100 years ago

Next up for Arsenal – Watford in the First Round of the FA Cup, January 15th 1910. In 1910 there was only a First and Second Division of the Football League, and so the clubs in minor leagues (most prominently the Southern League which had two divisions) played out ties in the preliminary rounds, and …

Arsenal’s financial problems: we’re not the only ones in trouble.

The main news today (12 January 2010) concerns the further revelations about Manchester United and the way in which their owners have not only led them into unprecedented debt, but how simultaneously they have personally taken £20 million out of the club. If you have followed my ramblings on the subject of Arsenal 100 years …