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Gaining enhanced odds with Arsenal FC through the ages

Arsenal FC has a long engagement with betting on football, going right the way back to the organisation of an archery tournament in November 1902. It raised about £1,200 – equivalent to a quarter of the club’s annual income from gate receipts at the time!

Now that might seem strange – the organisation of […]

When St Totteringham’s Day was simply an annual event

There must be some younger fans for whom St Totteringham’s Day was just simply a regular event, celebrated on slightly different days each year – but celebrated nonetheless. Because for 19 years up to 2016 it happened as Arsenal finished above Tottenham in the League. Then it all went wrong – on this day.

We […]

Cliff Bastin, the genius goal scorer gets 33 goals in 42 games

On this day in 1933 Bastin took his season total to 33 goals in 42 games. He played just 17 games for Exeter aged 16 before Chapman spotted him and signed him for Arsenal. Once signed he became both a regular player and scorer, and seemingly a man without nerves.

His goalscoring was all the […]

The first Arsenal trophy in 17 years, and 18 in a row

Until the publication of John Sowman’s “The Long Sleep” no one had ventured to write a proper history of Arsenal between 1953 and 1970, simply because Arsenal achieved nothing during that spell. After all the titles that had gone before, no one really saw this coming, but a series of disastrous decisions by the board […]

The crazy tales of Leslie Knighton

Leslie Knighton was Arsenal’s first manager after the first world war, who, 21 years after he was sacked, wrote an account of his time at Arsenal. It is a pack of make-believe stories which make the author look like a great hero, working under impossible conditions, and for the past 70 years his words have […]

The first Footballers Battalion, set up by Henry Norris, play their first match

By Tony Attwood

For anyone who has not read Henry Norris at the Arsenal the notion that Norris was something of a wartime hero must seem strange as he is portrayed elsewhere as a self-centred incompetent. But not only was this quite untrue, he was an extremely important part of Britain’s war effort, rising from […]

Winning the league at WHL for the second time, and playing our most bitter local rivals

By Tony Attwood

Think “bitter local rivals” and you might think of Tottenham Hotspur, but in the 1890s Arsenal had a very different bitter set of rivals who were even more local, for they played in a ground across the road from Arsenal.

This was Royal Ordnance Factories FC, the club formed after splitting from […]

When the referee was criticised by the FA for his handling of the game

By Tony Attwood

These days we don’t ever have referees criticised by the newspapers, but in the past even the FA would tell a referee off in public as was the case for the Arsenal v Tottenham game on this day in 1900. The crowd at Arsenal were known to be rowdy and were often […]

Tottenham 4 cups Arsenal 0, Arsenal’s last ever match & a video of our 1st cup final

By Tony Attwood

We should remember that in the early days of professional football, Tottenham were more successful than Arsenal, who struggled on the pitch, and financially. On this day in 1910 it was widely considered that the Arsenal game against Preston would be Arsenal’s last, as the club was heavily in debt, would be […]

The first St Totteringham Day, and Untold Arsenal’s banner gets on Match of the Day

by Tony Attwood

You probably know that in addition to editing these Anniversary files I also run Untold Arsenal – and a while back a number of supporters of that site paid for a banner to be made and erected at Arsenal Stadium.

It is still there for all to see with its Wengerian message, […]

Arsenal’s oldest player, most goals in a game, craziest tour

Three events on 21 April grab the attention. In 1908 Arsenal went on a post-season tour of eight matches in nine days in Scotland. Given that they only took a basic squad with them, and had to travel between each venue, the whole tour must have been tough on the players – but it seemed […]

Farewell Woolwich Arsenal, farewell Arsene Wenger

Anniversaries have a strange habit of coming together in odd ways. When Mr Wenger said he was resigning one year ago today, no one particularly remembered that also on this day in 1914, Woolwich Arsenal disappeared from the club’s name and was replaced by The Arsenal. There is more on this in our series “Henry […]

When Arsenal’s debts were dwarfed by others

Arsenal’s debts as a result of building their new stadium, later renamed the Emirates, were well documented, as was the effect they had on the plans of Arsene Wenger in the transfer market.

But what of Highbury; did the club have similar financial problems after moving there in 1913? In fact when Arsenal moved to […]

Supposing we’d never had the Emirates, but had gone to play at Wembley

The Arsenal anniversary files.

On this day in 2007 David Dein was sacked as director of Arsenal. He had argued consistently at board meetings for Arsenal not to build a new stadium to replace Highbury but instead to move to Wembley on a permanent basis. His crime was to continue to speak in favour of […]

Points for a win? That wasn’t how the League started.

by Tony Attwood

Some older members of the Arsenal fraternity will remember that before 1981 league tables in England were based on two points for a win, one for a draw. Indeed even after the League changed that to three for a win most of football stayed where it had been with two points for […]

Celebrating Freddie Ljungberg’s birthday and all he’s done for Arsenal.

There are many series of articles on this site about Arsenal’s history – you can see an index on the right side of this article under “Pages”. Three of the main series are

Henry Norris at the Arsenal: There is a full index to the series here.

Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series […]

When the northern clubs used their muscle to make life difficult for those in the south

In the years following the end of the first world war there was a long period of industrial action, as employers and employees fought it out to see who had the real control over British industry and commerce.

The rail strike of 1921 was thus one of many, but it took on an extra dimension […]

Two and a half years without failing to score at home

Arsenal anniversaries 14 April. Our headline comes from 2001.

All the Arsenal anniversaries can be found on this site – please see the indexes under “Pages” on the right hand side. Also please note we now have copies of “Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” back in stock – details on https://blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/

 

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When the press protested that TV was editing football matches for its own purposes.

Arsenal anniversaries 13 April

Our headline comes from 1974. Sadly the days of newspapers and now blogs actually criticising TV for its coverage are long gone, even thought the sanitising of football at the behest of the League, Fifa, Uefa and PGMO appears now to be far more extensive than it used to be.

All […]

How one man falsified Arsenal’s history, and has had most journalists fooled for over 70 years

On this day in 1919 Leslie Knighton joined Arsenal as their first post-war manager following the club’s election to the first division. He was a fairly decent if unspectacular manager, and kept Arsenal in the first division – although only just in his last two seasons as Arsenal came close to relegation, leading up to […]

Tottenham refuse to reschedule a game in order to help Arsenal

It has always been the case that when a club wants to have a match rescheduled it can seek to have this done if the League and the other team involved agree. And generally they do, if it incurs no hardship to the opposition and the problem is caused by a bottleneck of fixtures involving […]

Proving that referees can do anything and get away with it.

Publications

I’ve just discovered another box of copies of the book “Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” our store room, having previously said it was out of print. So both this book and “Making the Arsenal” are now available as printed books, and on Kindle. Please see here for more details.

Proving that referees […]

Arsenal 7 April anniversaries: the end of the road for the great 70s team

It is often forgotten just how short the success of the 1970s double team was – and with a FA Cup semi-final defeat to Sunderland on this day in 1973, the dream of a long term dominant team was just about over. The Double and the Uefa Cup were the trophies, but there were to […]

How the press said Arsenal’s season was in ruins, 39 days before completing the unbeaten campaign

Publications

I’ve just discovered another box of copies of the book “Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” our store room, having previously said it was out of print. So both this book and “Making the Arsenal” are now available as printed books, and on Kindle. Please see here for more details.

 

On this […]

Arsenal’s lost players: John William Anderson

We regularly receive requests for information about Arsenal’s lost players. Here’s the latest – please write in if you have any further information.

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I am trying to find any photos or MORE ABOUT John William Anderson was born in 1875 in Crook, Durham, Anderson started out at non-league Crook Town before turning professional and […]