Arsenal on this day in history.
Note: The anniversary file pages have over time been split and split again as they have grown. Please use the index at the foot of the page to find the month you want. A note on sources also appears at the end.
Last major update 20 April 2023
1 April 1889: Debut of David Howat, Arsenal 6 – 2nd Rifle Brigade 1. He became a league regular in 1893/4 and 1894/5 but then suddenly moved to Third Lanark, and we know no more of him after that.
1 April 1897: Reflecting Woolwich Arsenal’s change of status within south east Kent they played the rest of Kent on this day and won 3-0
1 April 1901: The friendlies against local rivals Millwall continued into the new century with a 1-1 draw but the crowd of only 2000 showed that some of the rivalry had gone.
1 April 1918: Easter Monday; Arsenal played their return wartime league fixture against West Ham, in front of a crowd of 7000. Arsenal lost 1-3.
1 April 1921: A national coal strike began leading to concerns that clubs would not be able to complete their away fixtures due to a lack of trains. The London clubs were particularly fearful but were offered no support by the northern dominated League clubs.
1 April 1931: Arsenal wrote to the BBC banning all future radio broadcasts from Highbury. (Exact date uncertain, but certainly within two days either way). They rather bizarrely failed to let George Allison know – even though he was the BBC’s chief commentator and an Arsenal director.
1 April 1933: Joe Hulme got his 9th and last England cap, although even without him Arsenal still beat Aston Villa 5-0 as Sheffield Wednesday, the nearest challengers played out a 2-2 draw with lowly Chelsea. Lambert (2) Jack, Bowden and James, knocked in the goals, as Arsenal won 5-0 in front of 54,265. The third goal took Arsenal’s season total to 100,
1 April 1936: Bernard Joy’s first match in front of just 10,485 at home to Bolton. He was Arsenal’s most famous amateur player of the era and his book “Forward Arsenal!” became a central source of information for what life within Arsenal was like in the 30s. Despite its multiplicity of errors it remained unchallenged into the 21st century.
1 April 1937: George Curtis signed as a professional for Arsenal having previously been an amateur. He then played for the nursery club Margate until 28 Feb 1938 when he moved over to Arsenal. He only played 13 times for Arsenal with his career interrupted by the war.
1 April 1949: Sammy Nelson born. He was too young to make an impact on the 1971 Double season but he played in three FA Cup finals (1978, 1979 and 1980) and the Cup Winners’ Cup final against Valencia.
1 April 1955: Alfred Baker died. He played 351 league matches for Arsenal, including the first ever 1st division match at Highbury.
1 April 1966: Sammy Nelson joined Arsenal on his birthday. He went on to make 245 league starts for Arsenal between 1969 and 1981 before moving on to Brighton and Hove Albion.
1 April 1972: Arsenal 3 Nottingham Forest 0; in a season when Arsenal were riding high and Forest were heading for relegation. Kennedy, George and Graham scored, and worse for Forest, Derby County won the League.
1 April 1995: Arsenal beat Norwich 5-1. In the previous four games, Arsenal had scored just one goal, and lost both the subsequent games scoring just one more. Hartson got two, Dixon and Merson one apiece, and there was one own goal.
1 April 1998: Arsène Wenger won Premier Manager of the Month award, the first Arsenal manager ever to do so since it was set up in August 1993! Alan Ball won it when with Man C in 1995 and George Graham with Leeds in 1997.
1 April 2000: 10 man Arsenal beat Wimbledon 3-1. Kanu scored two and Henry got a penalty as Wimbledon sank towards relegation.
1 April 2002: Arsenal beat Charlton 3-0 away to go top of the league with two goals from Henry and one from Ljungberg. League match 32 of the 3rd Double season
1 April 2006: Arsenal beat Aston Villa 5-0 with goals from Adebayor, Henry (2), Van Persie and Diaby.
1 April 2018: Arsenal beat Stoke City 3-0; a revenge for a 0-1 defeat away to the club earlier in the season. Lacazette and Aubameyang each scored a penalty, Aubameyang getting the other from open play. It was one of five games in a row in which Arsenal scored three goals or more.
1 April 2019: Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0 in their 10th successive league win at home, the first time they had achieved such a run since its opening in 2006.
2 April 1887: Archibald Devine was born in Lochore, Fife. He won the FA Cup with Bradford and played a game for Scotland before playing in the last season in Plumstead and first at Highbury, after which he went back to Bradford.
2 April 1887: The date of the cup final defined the end to Arsenal’s first ever season during which the name Royal Arsenal FC was established, and the club was opened up to all employees of the ordnance factories on the south bank of the Thames.
2 April 1894: George Jaques, one of the 28 players who represented Woolwich Arsenal in their first ever League campaign, played his last match for the club: a home friendly against Nottingham Forest which Arsenal lost 1-3. He did not register for any other club, he just seems to have packed up and gone, and was lost to history.
2 April 1897: The Woolwich Herald reported that Thomas Mitchell the highly successful former Blackburn manager had arrived at Plumstead to take up his job as manager.
2 April 1910: Bristol City 0 Arsenal 1. It was the 7th game in a row in which neither side scored more than one goal. The run ended on the last day of the season after 11 consecutive matches. See also here
2 April 1911: Fred Calvert signed for Woolwich Arsenal as an amateur. He played just two games for the club after which we lose all sight of him.
2 April 1915: Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-0 in a match that was blatantly fixed. Liverpool had already previously been cited twice for match fixing in recent seasons but although both teams were found guilty neither club received any punishment – which had a major impact on the first post-war season
2 April 1915: Hull 1 Arsenal 0. Last game for George Grant. Born in Plumstead he came from Invicta in Dartford and moved on to Millwall. This was the last of a run of games which started on February 27 in which The Arsenal won one, and lost five, scoring one goal and conceding six.
2 April 1920: Arsenal had no fewer than seven league games scheduled for April 1920, but still took on two additional friendly games including against Bolton on this day as well as having three games on the next four days! 14,700 turned up and Arsenal used the match to give a game to Williamson (who had been first choice keeper but had now lost his place to Dunn).
2 April 1921: Most football history books record Stockport County v Sheffield Wednesday as having the lowest crowd in league history. But as so often with football, the story has been mashed up over time. It actually all started on this day.
2 April 1921: Amidst growing industrial confrontation, and threats of a coal strike which would disrupt the railways, and make life very difficult for the London clubs to get to away games, Arsenal drew 1-1 away to Sheffield United with Rutherford scoring Arsenal’s goal in front of 35,000.
2 April 1926: Last Arsenal game (in the reserves) for Clem Voysey. He was one of the most controversial figures in Arsenal’s history but quite what happened is forever shrouded in mystery.
2 April 1926: A bad defeat for Arsenal (3-0 away to Aston Villa) meant Bill Harper was dropped but he was back for another 23 league games in the following season.
2 April 1927: Joe Hulme made his England debut v Scotland in Glasgow. England won 2-1 in front of over 111,000 fans.
2 April 1927: Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 2. An injury to Horace Cope kept him out of the team for the rest of the season, and the cup final. It was the third of six consecutive defeats. It was also the last game for Billy Milne
2 April 1932: Bob John broke the club appearance record held by Percy Sands of 327 games. He went on to play 421 league games and 46 FA Cup games. The result was a 1-1 draw with Chelsea – part of a run of five without a win.
2 April 1934: Arsenal beat Derby 4-2 as expected, to continue their push for the title, wherein they were equal on points with Huddersfield who played the following day against Liverpool. Huddersfield had an excellent home record, Liverpool were appalling away and yet it ended second placed Huddersfield Town 0, 19th placed Liverpool 2. It was one of the great upsets of the season.
2 April 1945: Brentford 3 Arsenal 1 in the Football League South (the wartime league). The match had started on Christmas Day but been abandoned at 1-1. 7000 attended the abandoned match but 12,700 turned up in April, although Arsenal were in a poor run of form losing four league games in a row.
2 April 1951: A trial match using the new floodlights at Highbury was played: The Boxers v The Jockeys. It was a regular event that raised money for charity.
2 April 1974: Jimmy Rimmer signed from Manchester Utd. In the following three seasons he was Arsenal’s first choice keeper and played 124 league games.
2 April 1977: Graham Rix’ first game – a 3-0 victory over Leicester in which Rix scored one of the goals. As unlikely as it seems O’Leary got the other two! After seven consecutive defeats followed by a draw with Stoke this was the start of a run of winning six out of seven.
2 April 1989: Tony Adams scored to put Arsenal ahead, but then put into his own net in a 1-1 away draw with Man U. It was a run of seven without defeat which took Arsenal so close to Liverpool in the league table the season was ultimately decided in its final seconds.
2 April 2005: Arsenal 4 Norwich 1. Gilberto Silva returned after his long layoff with the back injury which it was feared might end his career. He went on to play over 80 more league games for the club.
2 April 2011: Almunia’s last match – a 0-0 home draw with Blackburn Rovers. On 30 September he signed a loan deal with West Ham, and did not play for Arsenal again. His contract ended on 30 June 2012. He later played for Watford for two years but then as he prepared to move to Cagliari a serious heart condition was revealed and he immediately retired from playing.
2 April 2016: Arsenal beat Watford 4-0 at home. It was part of a run of nine games unbeaten to the end of the season – two of which games were 4-0 wins. Alexis, Iwobi, Bellerin and Walcott shared the goals.
2 April 2017: A 2-2 draw with Manchester City meant that Arsenal had won just one game in the last six in the league. According to Wiki. “After the game there was an outbreak of violence between supporters who wanted Wenger to remain as manager and supporters who wanted him to leave.”
3 April 1897: Arsenal 0 Newton Heath 2. Gavin Crawford became the first player to play 100 league games for Woolwich Arsenal. He played 83 times for Royal Arsenal and 122 league games in total.
3 April 1899: David Jack born. He scored the first ever FA Cup final goal at Wembley and was the first Arsenal player to captain England. He played 181 league games for Arsenal and won the league three times.
3 April 1902: Albert Humpish was born, and became one of eight players to make his debut for Arsenal in the 1929/30 season as Chapman gave the squad his final shuffle in order to win the illusive first trophy, which of course he did.
3 April 1909. Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0. Arsenal’s second home league game v Chelsea. Both ended 0-0 with attendances of 30,000 each time.
3 April 1915: Last game for Thomas Winship. Bristol C 1 Arsenal 1. The game followed a run of three defeats and just one win in six. After the war Winship played for Darlington and put over the cross for the first ever goal scored in the third division north.
3 April 1920: A 2-1 defeat to second in the table Burnley left Arsenal 15th in the league out of 22 and possible relegation candidates if they did not win their games in hand. But despite just two wins in eight games in the month they actually climbed up the table, rather than sinking lower.
3 April 1926: Tom Parker’s first game. It was the start of a continuous 172 game sequence. Arsenal 4 Blackburn 2. Baker, Blyth, Lawson and Buchan got the goals.
3 April 1931: Arsenal were top of the League by 3 points with a game in hand over their only rivals – Aston Villa – and a far better goal average Arsenal caught up that game in hand on this day – Good Friday – with a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth. The first ever League title drew closer.
3 April 1934: Percy Shaw patented the cat’s eye road-safety device for the middle of (and later the side of) roads – with lights that shine back when car headlights point at them. He had started work as a labourer in a cloth mill at the age of 13 and got the OBE in 1965.
3 April 1940: The wartime League in 1939/40, like the first wartime League of the first world war, was a half season affair, finishing in February. Except for one match between Arsenal and Southend which was played on this day, two months late.
3 April 1948: Arsenal 2 Blackburn 0. Logie and Rooke got the goals. Arsenal followed this game with three draws and a defeat but were already so far ahead they still won the league easily. And also here
3 April 1953: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1, making it six without a win. But Arsenal played 8 games in April including five straight wins, and won the league on goal average on the last day.
3 April 1961: Arsenal v Fulham attracted only 20,142 on this day and the League President Joe Richards spoke of ‘cutting down the number of clubs in each division… and even giving more consideration to the system of four up and four down’. Arsenal, a very conservative club at the time, wanted none of that.
3 April 1966: Remi Garde born. He joined Lyon in 1982, when they were a league 2 side, became captain, and was a part of their promotion winning team. He joined Arsenal from Strasbourg in 1996 as the first transfer of Arsène Wenger – made while he was still in Japan. See also here
3 April 1971: 62,087 – the highest of the season – watched Kennedy get both goals in Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0. This was League match 33 of the first Double season and started the run of 10 games in one month.
3 April 1976: Tottenham having climbed up the table to 8th (while Arsenal were 15th) saw their opportunity to get one over the old enemy and did so with the result Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2 with 42,134 in the crowd – a much higher percentage than usual being Tottenham fans.
3 April 1979: Arsenal 1 Coventry 1 was not exactly a game to remember except for one thing. Sammy Nelson scored both goals.
3 April 1983: Jimmy Bloomfield died. He came to Arsenal from Brentford in 1954 and went on to play 210 league games scoring 54 goals. He later managed Leicester and then Orient – taking the Os to the FA Cup semi final in 1978 where they played Arsenal.
3 April 1991: Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0. David Platt took over in goal for Villa with Nigel Spink injured. Campbell (2), Smith (2) and Davis showed no mercy.
3 April 2004: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final and the media as one rose up with talk of Arsenal’s “pretentiousness” of thinking they could win the league without losing a game.
3 April 2008: Almunia signed a contract extension saying “hopefully I can finish my career here.” It wasn’t to be however and he left in 2011 after playing 109 league games for Arsenal.
3 April 2010: Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton 0 (Bendtner). It was the last of a nine game unbeaten run, but was followed by four defeats and a draw, before the final game of the season, a 4-0 home victory over Fulham.
4 April 1896: Grimsby 1 Woolwich Arsenal 1. A goal for Boyd gave him 13 for the season and made him top league scorer as Arsenal moved towards 7th position in the final league table in the club’s third league season. He became our most prolific goal scorer ever.
4 April 1903: Woolwich Arsenal 6 Small Heath 1. It was a remarkable result as Small Heath ended the season above Arsenal and gained promotion to the 1st Division, as Arsenal secured third place in the league.
4 April 1904: Woolwich Arsenal 2 Glossop NE 1. Shanks scored to make it 24 goals (he played 30 league games in the season) and become (with Coleman) one of the two first men to score over 20 league goals in a season for the club. He scored three hat tricks and four goals in one other game.
4 April 1907: Alf Haynes born, although other sources quote 1906 or 1910. He started with Oxford City, and later played 29 league games in all for Arsenal, and went on to be a scout for the club.
4 April 1912: Archie Gray transferred to Fulham for £250 (at a time when Henry Norris had a major influence on both clubs). He had come from Hibernian and played 184 league games and 16 FA Cup games between 1904 and 1912.
4 April 1913: Spurred on by Tottenham Hotspur’s objections, the Highbury Defence Committee persuaded Islington Council to push through a vote protesting against Arsenal moving to the Gillespie Road ground. Also here
4 April 1914: Last game for George Jobey the man who scored the first Arsenal goal at Highbury. It was a 1-1 draw with Bristol City and Jobey went on to play with Bradford for the final season of league football before football was suspended.
4 April 1917: Records of War Office meetings at this time were destroyed in the second world war but judging by important meetings Henry Norris missed and from his promotions it is clear that by this date he was taking on significant new work in relation to the organisation of army recruitment.
4 April 1919: The complaint against Fulham by Sir Henry Norris over their playing unregistered players in the post-war knock out cup was heard by the Committee of the London Combination. The dispute led to Sir Henry resigning as a Fulham director.
4 April 1922: Joe Toner won his first cap (of eight) for N Ireland. He played 89 league games for Arsenal before moving on to St Johnstone.
4 April 1929: Mike Tiddy born in Helston. He started out with Torquay, and then Cardiff before making 48 league appearances for Arsenal. He was one of the few Arsenal players to have been a lay preacher.
4 April 1931: For once in the early 1930s it wasn’t an Arsenal result which dominated the headlines. Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 (Hulme and Bastin getting the goals), but there was utter disbelief as the score from their rivals for the title, Villa, came through: Portsmouth 5 Aston Villa 0.
4 April 1933: Derby Daily Telegraph published a report on Arsenal’s new shirts with the white sleeves – showing just how much fascination there was with the idea across the whole country. No club had different coloured sleeves from its shirt, at this time.
4 April 1936: Having gone 15 games unbeaten Arsenal had begun to fall apart, not winning any of the previous six. On this day they played Brentford with four first team regulars absent on England duty. The 1-1 draw was Arsenal’s fourth in a row and seventh game without a win, with Dougall getting the goal.
4 April 1953: Arsenal 5 Liverpool 3. It was the start of five straight victories in the League in which Arsenal scored 18 goals. The run took Arsenal to top of the league, equal on points with Wolverhampton, but with two games in hand and a much better goal average. With three games to go Arsenal had scored 94 goals.
4 April 1983: Tottenham 5 Arsenal 0. It was the first time since Christmas Day 1911 that Tottenham had scored five against Arsenal. It was also the last time that Tottenham scored five against Arsenal in a league match.
4 April 1988: Arsenal 2 Norwich 0. Only 19,341 turned up at Highbury following four uninspiring draws. Smith and Groves scored.
4 April 1992: Coventry City 0 Arsenal 1. Match 11 of a 17 match unbeaten run which took Arsenal from 8th to 4th where Arsenal ended the season. The run involved 10 wins, scoring 41 goals in the 17 games.
4 April 1997: Fever Pitch, the movie about supporting Arsenal, based on the novel of the same name, was released.
4 April 2001: Arsenal beat Valencia 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Valencia took the lead but Henry and Parlour scored in the 58th and 60th minute. Valencia won the second leg 1-0 to go through on the away goals rule.
4 April 2002: Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 1. FA Cup semi final. Part of the 3rd Double. Arsenal got through thanks to an own goal from Festa. Two days later Arsenal played Tottenham in the league, winning 2-1.
4 April 2009: Arsenal made it 17 unbeaten by beating Man City 2-0. Adebayor scored both upon his return from injury.
4 April 2015: In the most stunning league performance of the season Arsenal destroyed Liverpool 4-1 with goals from Bellerin, Ozil, Sanchez and Giroud. It left pundits who had predicted Liverpool would push for honours this season, struggling for excuses.
4 April 2022: Arsenal began a run of three successive defeats in the league with a 3-0 away loss to Crystal Palace. Although Arsenal recovered with four straight victories between 20 April and 8 May the damage had been done and eventually Tottenham overtook Arsenal and gained fourth place.
5 April 1890: Royal Arsenal beat Old Westminsters 3-1 in the London Charity Cup Final. Although the competition continued until the 1970s Arsenal only entered it twice, in 1890 and 1891.
5 April 1902: Arsenal 2 Lincoln 0 made it two defeats in 13 but with two games left after this it was clear Arsenal would not get promotion. They did end up 4th however, their highest ever position thus far.
5 April 1902: The Ibrox Stadium disaster in which part of the terracing collapsed. The architect Leitch was implicated, but ultimately found not responsible. However the disaster tainted his reputation and he subsequently sought work in London, including with Arsenal, Fulham and Chelsea.
5 April 1915: Last game for Tommy Winship in the 1-0 home win against Barnsley. He had left Arsenal for a few months in 1913 to join Fulham, but then returned.
5 April 1917: The government introduced the Food Hoarding Order aimed to prevent households from hoarding food that was designated as being in short supply.
5 April 1920: Arsenal 1 WBA 0. It was the fifth time 40,000+ attended a game at Highbury as crowds came to see the champions elect. Only the game against Chelsea got a higher crowd. Despite winning only 3 in the last 9, and smoke obscuring the pitch during the game, Arsenal won 1-0
5 April 1929: Herbert Chapman resigned as Arsenal manager after a 1-2 home defeat to Newcastle. In his four seasons thus far Arsenal had been league runners’ up and defeated FA Cup finalists, both previously unachieved, but he felt this was not enough. His resignation was rejected. The following season Arsenal won the Cup and the season after, the League, with a record number of points.
5 April 1930: David Jack was the first Arsenal player to captain England. He made nine appearances for England at a time when England only played three games a season, and scored three goals.
5 April 1941: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1. Football League War Cup 4th round, (22,107 present). The War Cup was played on a home/away basis and Arsenal had won all seven games thus far. They drew the return game, beat Leicester in the semi-final but lost to Preston in the final after a 1-1 draw at Wembley.
5 April 1952: Arsenal 1 Chelsea 1. Arsenal’s ninth FA Cup semi final. Cox scored – one of five FA Cup goals he scored – which is surprising as he only scored three goals in 25 league games during the season.
5 April 1966: 8,738 turned up at Highbury for Arsenal 1 WBA 1. Aside from the 1914/15 season (where crowds were very low due to the start of the war) this was the lowest crowd at Highbury until the match just one month later which 4,554 attended.
5 April 1975: John Hartson born. He was brought in from Luton Town and played 43 league games scoring just 10 goals, before moving on to West Ham.
5 April 1980: Arsenal 1 Southampton 1. One of five games in 12 days, caused by the FA cup semi final being replayed three times, and Arsenal’s involvement in the Cup winners Cup. Alan Sunderland got the goal.
5 April 1987: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1. League Cup Final. Until this moment every commentator would say, “Liverpool never lose if Rush scores…” He scored, but two goals from Charlie Nicholas gave Arsenal the League Cup for the first time.
5 April 1997: Chelsea 0 Arsenal 3. Last game for Ian Selly. He won the Cup Winners Cup with Arsenal. Wright, Platt and Bergkamp scored as Arsenal fought with Newcastle and Liverpool for third place.
5 April 1998: Wolverhampton 0 Arsenal 1. FA Cup semi final no 19. Christopher Wreh scored – it was his only cup goal of the season, as Arsenal moved towards the second Double. (For a quick guide to season see here)
5 April 2003: The longest unbeaten away sequence in league football of 27 games begins with an own goal by Kolo Toure in the match against Aston Villa, balanced by a goal at the right end by Ljungburg.
5 April 2007: ITV sold its 10% shareholding in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke. It had paid £50m for the shares in 2004, and sold for £38m. ITV also started the process of selling its stake in Arsenal Broadband which was completed a year later.
5 April 2008: Traore league début in the match Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1. He went on to play 13 times for Arsenal before moving on to QPR. The game left Arsenal with just one win in seven, and Arsenal lost the next game as well, before recovering their form.
5 April 2017: Arsenal 3 West Ham 0. As West Ham fans launched a series of attempts to break into the Arsenal fans section of the ground, referee Atkinson gave probably the worst and most inept display of refereeing that had thus far been seen at the Emirates Stadium. And that’s saying something!
5 April 2018: Arsenal beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the Europa League first leg match as part of a run of six consecutive wins in Arsene Wenger’s last season in which 18 goals were scored. Ramsey and Lacazette got two goals each.
6 April 1895: For the second time in one season Arsenal scored seven beating Crewe 7-0. The club then beat Walsall 6-1 just six days later. By the end of the season Arsenal had scored 75 goals in 30 league games. In only three games did they fail to score.
6 April 1896: Encouraged by the scoring of seven goals in the previous home match, a record crowd of 14,000 turned out to see Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-1.
6 April 1907: Sunderland 2 Arsenal 3 made it four wins in a row as Arsenal headed for their highest end of the season position thus far: seventh in the first division.
6 April 1910: First meeting of the group that wanted to buy out Woolwich Arsenal FC They made their bid on 9 April, and the liquidator and George Levey (who had a say in such matters as he was lead creditor) accepted the deal.
6 April 1914: The Islington Gazette reported (not completely accurately) that “Woolwich Arsenal” had become “The Arsenal”. The club publically changed its name on 23 April, but the board did not formally approve the change until 10 May 1915.
6 April 1917: Arsenal played Tottenham “away”. With Tottenham’s ground taken over by the War Office Tottenham normally played at Highbury. However clearly not wanting to give Arsenal too much of an advantage this game was played at Clapton Orient’s ground. 9,000 were present which was not bad given the continuance of the very bad weather.
6 April 1917: USA declared war on Germany
6 April 1918: Arsenal played their final match of a disappointing wartime season losing 1-2 away to Fulham in front of 2000. Arsenal finished fifth in the league of 10, having won 16 and lost 15 games.
6 April 1920: Tom Whittaker’s debut. He joined Arsenal (his only club) after being demobbed in 1919, and played 64 league games over six seasons. It was Chapman who saw in him the ability to become a powerful trainer and coach – and ultimately a league winning manager. He also achieved fame across Europe as a healer of injuries that others could not resolve. For the context of the match click here.
6 April 1927: Distracted by the thought of the forthcoming FA Cup final Arsenal lost 6-1 to Newcastle, followed three days later with a 5-1 defeat to Sunderland. It was only the subsequent six wins in the last seven games that saved Arsenal from relegation. See also here
6 April 1927: Andy Young’s final game. He was a centre forward and half back who had joined from Aston Villa and played 68 games and scored nine goals. We have no details as to what happened to him after he left Arsenal.
6 April 1928: Arsenal 3 Cardiff 0. Arsenal won for the last time in the 1927/8 season. After this the club played 8 drawing 6 and losing 2.
6 April 1929: Final game for Billy Blyth – Arsenal’s first film star. He survived the change from Knighton to Chapman playing 314 league games and 29 cup games for the club. After this game he moved on to Birmingham
6 April 1932: Sunderland 2 Arsenal 0. Last game for Ted Pat Beasley after 79 league games and 19 league goals, before moving on to Huddersfield.
6 April 1946: Arsenal 1 Southampton 1 (Football League South). VE Day had been 11 months earlier, but the wartime league continued, not least because Japan did not surrender until September 1945. Arsenal played seven more games in the League but only won one of them, and only scored more than one goal once. It sent a warning to the club that next season when the League proper returned, Arsenal would struggle – which they did.
6 April 1965: Tommy Baldwin’s first Arsenal game. He played just 17 league games for Arsenal before being transferred to Chelsea in 1966.
6 April 1971: Arsenal 1 Coventry 0. Ray Kennedy’s 25th of the season. Leeds drew with Newcastle meaning Arsenal were just four points behind with two games in hand – the first time Arsenal were in this position since mid-January. Arsenal’s goal difference was 0.03 goals better than Leeds’.
6 April 1993: Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 0 symbolised the plight of Arsenal. Middlesbrough were relegated but Arsenal could not manage a goal as they headed to just 40 league goals all season in 42 games – fewer than any other club in the division.
6 April 1995: Arsenal 3 Sampdoria 2; Cup Winners Cup semi final 1st leg. Two from Bould (rather extraordinarily) and one from Wright gave Arsenal a narrow win.
6 April 2000: Arsenal 1 Lens 0; Uefa cup semi final. Arsenal won this first leg through a goal from Bergkamp in the 2nd minute and the opinion from the media was that this was nowhere near enough. (See 20 April).
6 April 2002: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1. League match 33 of the 3rd Double season, the 8th game of 13 consecutive wins to the end of the season. Ljungberg and Lauren scored.
6 April 2004: Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2: Champions League Quarter Final second leg. Reyes gave Arsenal the lead, but Lehmann gifted the equaliser and Bridge scored with three minutes to go. The press headlines were “It’s all Gun wrong” and “Arsenal season in ruins”. The ruins included winning the Premier League unbeaten just 39 days later.
6 April 2013: West Bromwich 1 Arsenal 2. This was one of an 11 match unbeaten run to the end of the season which included a 2-0 away win at Bayern Munich. The run enabled Arsenal to finish the season in fourth, one point above Tottenham.
6 April 2014: Everton 3 Arsenal 0. It was one of five games without a win – during which Arsenal conceded 13 goals. Although to be fair in the 5th game Arsenal won the FA Cup semi-final on penalties. After that Arsenal recorded six straight wins scoring 15 goals – and winning the FA Cup.
7 April 1900: Arsenal 5 New Brighton Tower 0. New Brighton Tower were one of the clubs created to fill a stadium (like Chelsea and Thames Association). Crowds of 4000 or less were common in the stadium that held 80,000. See also here
7 April 1902: Arsenal 2 Portsmouth 1. Southern Professional Charity Cup. Arsenal reached the semi-final but were knocked out by Tottenham.
7 April 1919: I know it’s not Arsenal but – on this day the Original Dixieland Jazz Band brought a completely new form of music to England. So successful were they that their three month tour was extended and extended. In the end they stayed for 15 months and transformed the entire music scene in England.
7 April 1928: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 0. A most disappointing result given that Tottenham were relegated at the end of the season. In the remaining seven games of the season Arsenal drew six and lost one.
7 April 1934: Arsenal 3 Huddersfield Town 1. With the league championship clearly between the last two teams of Chapman’s career, 55,930 packed Highbury to see Shaw’s team take a major step to the second consecutive league title.
7 April 1952: Arsenal reached the F.A. Cup Final by beating Chelsea 3-0 in the semi-final replay, at White Hart Lane. Cox got two of the goals making it five cup goals in three games.
7 April 1967: First game for Pat Rice. He could not have imagined that 50 years later he’d be parking his car below a 60,000 stadium for each home game as an honoured guest of the club.
7 April 1973: FA Cup semi-final no 12: 2-1 to Sunderland. This and coming runners up in the league was the final serious attempt of the 1971 Double side to achieve further success. A year on they were 10th in the league and out of the cup in the 4th round.
7 April 1979: Steve Brignall became the Arsenal player with the shortest ever career at the time. Liverpool 3 Arsenal 0 was his only game (as a sub) and his contract was cancelled the following December.
7 April 1980: Arsenal asked Tottenham to rearrange the derby at WHL as Arsenal had five games in 12 days, including a Cup Winners Cup match against Juventus scheduled two days after this. Tottenham declined and despite resting numerous players Arsenal won 2-1. It was also the Arsenal début for Paul Davis. He won the League, the League Cup twice, plus the FA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup in a 16 year career.
7 April 1994: Death of Albert Sigurður Guðmundsson, the man who played for Arsenal and later became Icelandic Minister of Finance.
7 April 2008: Having pulled out of shareholdings with Liverpool and Man U, ITV sold its 50% shareholding in Arsenal Broadband to Stan Kroenke for £22.7m
7 April 2009: Robert Pires played for Villareal against Arsenal in the Champions League quarter final. It was a 1-1 draw.
8 April 1891: Arsenal 2 Old Carthusians 2 in the replay of the London Charity Cup semi-final. It was in effect the County Cup for London teams, for which Arsenal had made it to the final the previous season.
8 April 1898: With Arsenal in the Football League and Tottenham in the Southern League the only place the clubs could meet was in the United League and on this day a United League game at White Hart Lane attracted 14,500 fans.
8 April 1899: Arsenal 4 New Brighton Tower 0; the first win in five, after a promising season. A goal from Hunt gave him 15 for the season, and secured the position of being top league scorer.for the club.
8 April 1910: Arsenal revealed the club’s debt to be £6200 including £1630 to Mr Leavey, who had kept Arsenal going with his loans, and £1347 to Archie Leitch the architect and ground developer who had designed the Manor Ground’s grandstand years earlier. Even though this latter debt had been hidden from earlier accounts Henry Norris settled it.
8 April 1911: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 0. Division 1. 24,583 turned up for the game which was part of an 11 match unbeaten run lasting to the end of the season. Chalmers and Common got the goals.
8 April 1922: Last senior game for Angus McKinnon. He played 211 games for Arsenal – his only senior club. He spent some of his post-playing years as trainer and coach for New Brighton FC.
8 April 1933: Arsenal beat lowly Middlesbrough 3-4. Hulme got three and Bastin the other. Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal’s rivals at the top of the league however had a catastrophe of a day losing 4-0 at Huddersfield.
8 April 1939: Last senior game for Alex Wilson. He was signed as cover for Frank Moss and won the FA Cup with Arsenal, but was ultimately replaced by George Swindin. He later worked as a trainer and physio in England and America.
8 April 1944: Arsenal 5 Crystal Palace 2 in the Football League South. It was part of a seven match unbeaten run (which included 5 wins) as the season approached its conclusion. In these seven games Arsenal introduced 7 players who had not played at all earlier in the season, and Arsenal’s form improved against that shown when the regular first-teamers were playing.
8 April 1947: George Curtis played his last game for Arsenal. He spent time playing for the nursery club Margate but after 13 games for Arsenal moved to Southampton, later managing teams across the world including the Norway national side.
8 April 1961: Brian McDermott born. He played 61 league games for Arsenal, and played for 10 other clubs before managing Reading and Leeds, later returning to Arsenal as chief scout.
8 April 1970: Arsenal 3 Ajax 0. Fairs Cup semi final first leg. (George 2, Sammels) on the road to the first trophy since 1953. 46,271 came to Highbury
8 April 1972: George Graham nodded in two headers to give Arsenal a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton who having taken the lead on the half hour then played a 10 man defense for the rest of the game until Graham scored on 78 and 80 minutes.
8 April 1975: With six games to go Arsenal could still be drawn into the relegation mix but a 2-0 win over Coventry City eased the worries, although the accountants would have been unhappy with only 17,291 in the ground.
8 April 1978: Arsenal 3 Orient 0. 13th FA Cup semi final, played at Stamford Bridge. Macdonald scored two, continuing his run of scoring in each round. Rix got the other.
8 April 1986: Last senior game for Paul Mariner – Arsenal 1 Nottm Forest 1. In his final season he made just five starts and seven sub appearances in league and cup but failed to score.
8 April 1987: In Graham’s first season WHU 3 Arsenal 1 made it 10 without a victory. It did however end the even worse run of six games without scoring. Arsenal’s goal was a penalty from Martin Hayes.
8 April 1992: Stephen Morrow’s first game: Arsenal 3 Norwich 1. He had joined from Bangor and went on to make 39 starts in the League scoring one goal.
8 April 2001: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1. FA Cup semi final. Tottenham had just sacked George Graham as their manager, and brought in Glen Hoddle, but it did them no good in this game at Old Trafford. Tottenham took the lead on 14 mins but Vieira and Pires gave Arsenal the victory.
8 April 2008: Liverpool knocked Arsenal out of Champions League winning 4-2 (5-3 on aggregate). After a 1-1 draw at Highbury, Diaby’s goal on 13 minutes gave everyone hope, but Liverpool got two and when Adebayor got Arsenal’s second, Liverpool immediately restored their lead.
8 April 2009: Luke Freeman, the youngest ever player to play in the FA Cup (on 10 November 2007) signed professionally for Arsenal. After Arsenal he played over 100 games for Stevenage before joining Bristol City.
8 April 2018: Mohamed Elneny was shown one of the most ludicrous red cards ever seen at Arsenal, by the referee in the match against Southampton. It was immediately jettisoned on appeal but seemingly no action was taken against the referee for making an error of such ludicrous proportions.
8 April 2018: After three straight defeats in February and March, Arsenal made it three straight wins with victories over Watford, Stoke and on this day Southampton. Arsenal then won three and lost three of the remaining six games.
9 April 1904: Arsenal and Preston NE battled it out for top spot in the league in front of 28,000. It was the final game for Tommy Shanks who rather than lead Arsenal into the first division returned to failing Southern League team Brentford.
9 April 1906: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0; Southern Professional Charity Cup. The Cup existed from 1901 to 1908 with seven or eight teams from London and the south competing each year for the trophy.
9 April 1910: Woolwich Arsenal 0 Bury 0. Arsenal were on the edge of relegation and also financial collapse. Chelsea’s poor form however helped Arsenal avoid the former, Henry Norris saved them from destitution. Also here
9 April 1910: As the game above went on the group looking to buy out Woolwich Arsenal FC Ltd met and felt secure enough with their pledges of finance to make a bid for the club which the liquidator and George Levey (who had a say in such matters as he was lead creditor) accepted.
9 April 1913: The first colour feature film was shown in Britain: “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.” It was not quite as gory as the title suggests, dealing as it did with a botched attempt to switch children between parents immediately after they were born.
9 April 1915: George Marks born. His second and final league appearance in goal for Arsenal was at home in the last match before the second world war which was filmed and used as the basis for The Arsenal Stadium Mystery movie.
9 April 1917: Spencer Bassett died in action. He had played just one game for Arsenal in 1909 and moved on to Exeter City in 1910 followed by Swansea and Southend.
9 April 1919: Sir Henry Norris asked if the government would pay for the new uniforms needed by subalterns (the lowest ranking officers) who had opted to stay on in the Army of Occupation. The government refused.
9 April 1921: Arsenal 2 Bradford 1. 30,000 saw Toner and Rutherford score. It was Bradford’s last season in the first division and they went into liquidation in 1974 re-emerging as Bradford PA. This was a very early example of a league match being nominated as a benefit game, in this case for Arsenal’s long serving quartet of Bradshaw, McKinnon, Hardinge and Rutherford with each player guaranteed a minimum of £500.
9 April 1924: Arthur Shaw born. He gained notoriety in the cigarette incident in which a reporter from the South Wales Football Echo and Express said several Arsenal players had come out for the second half of a reserve game against Cardiff, smoking. The story proven to be untrue.
9 April 1927: Sunderland 5 Arsenal 1. It was the sixth consecutive defeat during which run 26 goals were conceded and Arsenal sank from 11th to 19th. However they then won five in a row and finished the season back in 11th.
9 April 1927: An article by Jack Humble, Woolwich Arsenal’s first chairman and a member of the club committee from the 19th century, called “A tale of 15 sixpences” appeared in The Evening Standard; an important source in recording the history of the club.
9 April 1930: Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 1. Charles Preedy began his return as goalkeeper – a run that eventually led to his appearance in the Cup Final – and a winner’s medal
9 April 1943: James Ashcroft died. He made 303 appearances and was the first goalkeeper to play for us in the first division, the first Arsenal player to play for England (he won three caps), the first Woolwich Arsenal player to get over 300 games, and the first player to play eight consecutive seasons getting over 30 league games a season.
9 April 1938: John Milne’s first international appearance for Scotland v England. Despite his international success he left the club “unexpectedly” and little is known about what happened thereafter. This was the third ever televised game, and like the previous two was at Highbury.
9 April 1938: Gordon Bremmer who joined from Cartha Athletic made his debut and scored his first goal. Arsenal approached the match with four wins and a draw in the last five. Arsenal beat Leeds away 1-0.
9 April 1980: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Juventus in the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final 1st leg, despite Tottenham refusing to reschedule their game with Arsenal and forcing Arsenal also to play two days earlier. (see 7 April) And here
9 April 1988: Steve Williams final senior appearance in Southampton 4 Arsenal 2. In July he moved on to Luton Town playing 40 times for them, and then 48 times for Exeter City.
9 April 1988: The start of the notorious racial abuse of Paul Davis by Glenn Cockerill of Southampton. The issue boiled over on 17 September when Davis hit Cockerill and was banned for an unprecedented nine matches in an early case (possibly the first case) of using TV evidence.
9 April 2004: Arsenal came back from 2-1 down to beat Liverpool 4-2. The 31st league game of the unbeaten season. Henry scored a hat trick, Pires got the other.
9 April 2016: West Ham 3 Arsenal 3. (Koscielny, Sanchez, Ozil getting the goals). Part of a nine match run of six wins and three draws to the end of the season in which Arsenal scored 19 goals – a run which itself followed consecutive defeats which took Arsenal out of the Champions League and the FA Cup.
10 April 1897: Arsenal 1 Arsenal Reserves 2. Such games (often called Reds v Blues) were common for many years at the start of the season, and occasionally near the end of the season, and the reserves were not supposed to win!
10 April 1903. For some reason Arsenal liked being in Chesterfield. On this day they beat Chesterfield Town 3-0 and then on 25 April the result was Chesterfield Municipal 0 Arsenal 1 (Shanks).
10 April 1915: Arsenal beat Bury 3-1 with 12,000 at Highbury: the first time that Arsenal had won two games in a row since February 6. The day saw the start of a new London-wide recruitment campaign in football grounds to convince yet more young men to sign up.
10 April 1919: The Committee of the London Combination ordered the game between Fulham and Arsenal to be replayed on this day. However a set of appeals and counter appeals resulted in a final Fulham appeal being heard without Henry Norris (representing Arsenal) being told about it – which resulted in Norris breaking off all ties with Fulham, of whom he had been a director up to this point.
10 April 1919: Leslie Knighton joined Arsenal as the club’s first post-war manager. Towards the end of his tenure Arsenal struggled against relegation and he was relieved of his duties in 1925 to be replaced by Chapman. His autobiography and Sunday newspaper “revelations” written 20 years later made numerous serious allegations against Henry Norris, which have since been shown to be totally unfounded although which are still reprinted as with the Mirror in 2020.
10 April 1920: Arsenal beat title chasing Burnley 2-0 meaning that WBA had won the league for the first, and as it turned out only, time. 20,000 turned up to Highbury to see Bradshaw and Pagnam get the goals. Arsenal went up to 12th and had seven points and nine teams separating them from Blackburn in 21st.
10 April 1925 Sunderland 2 Arsenal 1. First game for Bill Seddon. He was signed 18 months before from Gillingham and made 69 league appearances. He got his first run in the side in November.
10 April 1936: Arsenal beat West Brom 4-0 after seven games without a win. It was the first home win since 1 February and only the second since beating Middlesbrough on 9 December.
10 April 1937: Man City v Arsenal – the biggest game of the season. City were one point behind with one game in hand. Herbie Roberts was forced to drop out to be replaced by the inexperienced Bernard Joy at centre half and City won 2-0, to go top of the league in front of 75,000.
10 April 1939: George Curtis played his first match for Arsenal having served his apprenticeship with Margate, and left after 11 league games in 1946/7. He went on to become manager of numerous clubs and the Norwegian team. He died in 2004.
10 April 1943: Arsenal 3 WHU 1 in the Football League Cup South. This wartime Cup was played on a league basis up to the semi-final, where Arsenal beat QPR in the semi-final and Charlton at Wembley in the Final to win the trophy.
10 April 1948: Arsenal won the First Division Championship by drawing with Huddersfield 1-1 with four games to go. Arsenal lost one and drew two of the remaining games before winning the final match 8-0.
10 April 1954: Final appearance for Joe Mercer, aged 39. He won the league twice with Arsenal, and was also Footballer of the Year in 1950. And yet Everton refused to pay for an operation he needed, Villa sacked him after he had a minor stroke, and Manchester City sacked him appallingly after he brought them major triumphs… Only Arsenal it seems, offered him any sense of class and stability.
10 April 1954: League debut for Derek Tapscott; Arsenal 3 Liverpool 0 – with Tapscott scoring two of the goals. He had come from Barry Town on 1 October 1953 and went on to play 119 times for Arsenal.
10 April 1971: Southampton 1 Arsenal 2. League match 35 of the first Double Season. Arsenal were now three points behind Leeds with two games in hand. Radford and McLintock scored.
10 April 1976: Everton 0 Arsenal 0, 20,774 in the crowd. The Daily Mirror said that Everton were so uninspired and ordinary that they managed to make Arsenal look average, and summarised the game as “90 of the dreariest minutes imaginable.”
10 April 2011: Jens Lehmann played against Blackpool after Almunia was injured in the warm up. It was his 200th Arsenal game, and he had been brought in as an emergency sub while doing his coaching badges. Arsenal won 3-1 – it was one of only two wins in the final 13 games of the season. The other was a victory over Man U.
10 April 2017: Arsenal lost 3-0 away to Crystal Palace making the record just two wins and one draw in the last seven league games. However Arsenal won nine and lost just one of the remaining ten games – including winning the FA Cup.
11 April 1885: Luton Town formed. They later claimed to be the first professional team in the south, but only offered professional contracts to two players. Royal Arsenal were the first club to go professional en masse in 1891.
11 April 1891: Arsenal 1 Old Carthusians 2. London Charity Cup semi-final replay. Arsenal played again in this competition in the 1960s, but by then it seems to have been a competition for the reserves.
11 April 1896: Arsenal 2 Millwall Athletic 2. 9,000 turned up for the friendly against the rivals from across the water.
11 April 1898: William Elcoat took up the post as Arsenal manager. He totally changed the team, but after one season only two of them survived for the next manager (Bradshaw’s) first game: Ord the goalkeeper and Dick, the centre half.
11 April 1910: Arsenal beat champions Aston Villa 1-0, and thus gave the Reds valuable points in their battle with relegation. However Villa, having already won the league, put out a reserve side, and subsequently Chelsea and Middlesbrough protested vigorously but to no avail.
11 April 1914: Leeds City 0 Arsenal 0. Henry Norris met Leeds’ manager Herbert Chapman for the second time. Leeds were wound up after the war and Chapman banned from football for life – but he later appealed and joined Huddersfield.
11 April 1919 Sir Henry Norris wrote an open letter complaining about the behaviour of the London Combination’s committee, in relation to their holding an appeal hearing concerning the match v Fulham, without Arsenal being informed and thus without Norris present to represent Arsenal’s position.
11 April 1931: Arsenal beat Grimsby 0-1 away with Lambert scoring for the first time in four games. Aston Villa were at home to Sheffield United and won 4-0 leaving Arsenal 5 points clear with a better goal average at the top of the table.
11 April 1936: Last appearance for Frank “Tiger” Hill. He went on to manage five different league teams over a 20 year period post-war.
11 April 1942: Arsenal beat Brighton 3-0 away with Dennis Compton getting two and Drake the third, in the London War Cup. This was part of a four team preliminary round with each club playing the other home and away, Arsenal winning five of their six games to top the group. However they lost to Brentford in the semi-final, after a goalless draw.
11 April 1959: Tommy Docherty gained his 25th and last Scottish cap. He played 83 league games for Arsenal between 1958 and 1961.
11 April 1961: Bob Dylan made his first live appearance. You might not be aware that the editor of this chronology also runs the website Untold Dylan. Just thought you’d like to know!
11 April 1962. Fulham 5 Arsenal 2. The result came just two weeks after a 4-5 home defeat to Aston Villa. During the run of six games of which these were part Skirton scored five and Strong scored six.
11 April 1964: Arsenal 0 Blackburn 0. Arsenal had brought forward their final home game in order to install undersoil heating in the summer. The matchday programme included a note saying that a meeting among London clubs had agreed to fix next season’s ground entry price at 4 shillings (20p) with an enclosure for schoolchildren added (admission 10p).
11 April 1977: Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0. The result edged Tottenham closer to the second division and took Macdonald, who scored, a little closer to the Daily Express’ prize of £10,000 to the first player to get 30 goals in the season. He needed 8 more goals from 7 more games.
11 April 1978: Arsenal’s hopes of a runners’ up spot dropped as relegation threatened QPR beat Arsenal 2-1. Brady got Arsenal’s goal (a penalty) right at the end.
11 April 1992: Paul Merson got a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 4-1. It was the start of a five match run to the end of the season in which Arsenal scored 15 goals.
11 April 1998: Arsenal 3 Newcastle Utd 1. Manninger’s record of 8 consecutive games without conceding ended on the 31st league game of the 2nd Double season. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
11 April 1999: Arsenal 0 Man U 0 FA Cup semi final. It was a pivotal moment at which point either Arsenal or Man U (or of course neither) could win the Double.
11 April 2004: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0. The 32nd league game of the unbeaten season. It was the third of four 0-0 draws during the season.
11 April 2009: Alex Song scored his first premier league goal. Wigan 1 Arsenal 4 was Arsenal’s fifth successive win during which the club scored 16 goals, after having scored none in the previous four, and just four in the previous eight. Silvestre, Walcott and Arshavin scored the other goals – all coming in the last half hour.
11 April 2015: Burnley 0 Arsenal 1. Ramsey’s goal in 12 minutes gave Arsenal their 8th consecutive Premier League win. The unbeaten run continued for two more games.
11 April 2019: Arsenal beat Napoli 2-0 at home in the quarter finals of the Europa League on the way to the final. Ramsey scored and there was an own goal.
12 April 1895: Arsenal beat Walsall TS 6-1 to make it 13 goals in two games. Buchanan made it 4 goals scored in 3 games, but Mortimer’s two goals made him top league scorer for the season with 14.
12 April 1910: After Arsenal had played out their (previously abandoned) match of 6 September against Aston Villa George Leavey met with the group Dr Clarke had put together to buyout the company from the liquidators.
12 April 1913 – Woolwich Arsenal 1 Derby 2, and so Arsenal were relegated for the only time in their entire history in front of a crowd of 4,000. In fact they drew their final two games (including one away to Tottenham) but by then it was too late. However the news was overshadowed by the allegations of match fixing.
12 April 1919: With Leslie Knighton now the manager he had his first chance to watch his new club as Clapton Orient drew 2-2 with Arsenal in front of 10,000. Meanwhile at Highbury Tottenham played QPR (losing 2-3) while the result Brentford 5 Fulham 0 secured the last London Combination of the war era for Brentford.
12 April 1920: Despite having 7 league games to play in the month Arsenal also fitted in two friendlies – one on this day against near neighbours Clapton Orient. Arsenal lost 5-1 but Tom Whittaker scored his first goal for Arsenal.
12 April 1930: Arsenal played eight games in April 1930 and ended up a poor 14th in the league, but had the compensation of winning the FA cup. On this day however they beat Sheffield U 8-1. Lambert got a hat trick
12 April 1937: Frank Whittle ground-tested the world’s first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at Rugby.
12 April 1941:Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1 (Football World Cup). Arsenal played 10 games to get them through to the final (against Preston), and won each one except this game. 25,258 were in the ground, Leslie Compton scored his 9th game in the competition thus far.
12 April 1947: Alexander Rooney Forbes got his first Scotland cap. He went on to play 217 league games for Arsenal between 1948 and 1956.
12 April 1948: Arthur Shaw signed from Brentford. He was involved in the cigarette allegation story, and played 57 league games for Arsenal. Despite being a league winner with Arsenal little is known of him other than that he also played for Watford and later for Southall, Hayes and Gravesend & Northfleet.
12 April 1980: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0; FA Cup Semifinal number 15. It was the second season running that Arsenal needed four or more games to win an FA Cup tie, but after this it didn’t happen again until Leeds in 1991.
12 April 1982: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 3. This came in a run of just one win in 6 as Arsenal slipped to 10th, the club’s worst position since 1976. Hawley got the goal, 48,897 were in the crowd.
12 April 1994: Arsenal reached the final of the Cup Winners Cup by beating PSG 1-0 in the semi-final 2nd leg at Highbury, having drawn the first match 1-1. Campbell got the goal on seven minutes.
12 April 1995: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 1 made it one win and six defeats in seven in the league as Arsenal sank to 12th in the table, after 37 matches. They were at this moment 39 points behind the league leaders and five points off relegation.
12 April 2013: Ex-Arsenal man Brian McDermott took over as manager of Leeds United, but the chaotic nature of the ownership of the club eventually saw him leave and return to the more stable Arsenal.
12 April 2014: In beating Wigan 4-2 on penalties in the FA Cup semi-final Arsenal equalled the all time record for Cup semi-final success. One year later they beat the record. Mertesacker got the goal in normal time, Arteta, Kallstrom, Giroud and Cazorla scored their penalties.
12 April 2018: Arsenal drew 2-2 away with CSKA Moscow to go through to the semi-final of the Europa League.
13 April 1895: Harry Storer played on this day for Football League XI and became the first Arsenal player to get representative honours playing for Arsenal but was booed at home, He was suspended following an “altercation” with supporters and then sold to Liverpool.
13 April 1889: The final game against local rivals Millwall Rovers; Arsenal won 3-0. After this Millwall Rovers became Millwall Athletic, but the games against the biggest local rivals of the era continued.
13 April 1903: Arsenal 0 Leicester 0, as Arsenal finished the season in 3rd – their highest ever position thus far, missing promotion by just three points. 12,000 attended this game, but 28,000 turned up a year later when Arsenal were promoted.
13 April 1906: Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 1. The match was played on Good Friday and resulted in the first 30,000 crowd for a league game at the Manor Ground.
13 April 1918: Arsenal began a series of games for the National War Fund Cup – playing Millwall and Brentford home and away. Chelsea also played four games but details of how the competition was organised remain elusive.
13 April 1935: Top of the league Arsenal drew 1-1 away to Wolverhampton who were 17th. Hill scored Arsenal’s 100th league goal of the season. The media considered the result not good enough for a club with championship pretensions.
13 April 1936: Last game for Ehud “Tim” Rogers. West Bromwich 1 Arsenal 0. Tim had played 16 league games and scored five goals, and moved on to Newcastle.
13 April 1940: Arsenal played the second half of the season in the League South “C” Division, made up of Southampton, Portsmouth and the London clubs, on this day beating Portsmouth 3-2 at Highbury. Bastin, Crayston and Drake got the goals. Arsenal ended the league in June coming third.
13 April 1946: Southampton 1 Arsenal 1, one of the last seven matches of the final wartime league, in the course of which Arsenal won just one. It was an omen for the return of professional football which was now just four months away.
13 April 1957: John Barnwell’s league debut – a 1-0 defeat away to Sunderland. He later went on to become a manager (winning the league cup with Wolverhampton) and the Chief Executive of the League Managers’ Association.
13 April 1957: It is stated in some quarters that the FA Amateur Cup final was held at Highbury on this day, but this is not so. However the Amateur Cup final was held 3 times at Highbury: 1929, 1931, and 1947.
13 April 1962: Peter Simpson signed a professional contract. A member of the first Double team, he played 353 league games for Arsenal and later spent time playing in America before dropping off the radar completely.
13 April 1971: Following Leeds’ draw with Huddersfield the day before, the result in game 36 of the first Double season was everything Arsenal needed: Nottm Forest 0 Arsenal 3. This left Arsenal two points behind Leeds, with two games in hand. McLintock, Kennedy and George scored.
13 April 1974: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 3. Arsenal crept up to 12th in the league and the press reported for the first time that through skillful editing of such matches the games looked attractive on TV while in fact they were mind-numbingly dull. Kennedy got two and Radford the other goal. 29,152 turned up at Stamford Bridge (capacity at the time 80,000).
13 April 1976: Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers at Highbury 2-1 on 13 April. A crowd of 19,518 was par for the course.
13 April 1998…Arsenal won 4-1 at Blackburn Rovers. 32nd league game of the 2nd Double season. Bergkamp, Parlour (2) and Anelka got the goals. It was the 14th game unbeaten. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
13 April 2009, Kolo Touré demanded a transfer, claiming he could not get on with William Gallas. Although Mr Hill Wood turned down the request, Toure moved to Man City for £14m on 28 July. It was a profit of £13,850,000 seven years after he was bought.
13 April 2013: Arsenal 3 Norwich City 1. Part of an 11 match unbeaten run to the end of the season including nine wins which secured Arsenal 4th place in the league, knocking Tottenham down to 5th. “It’s happened again” was the song of the day.
14 April 1894: Tommy Bryan played his last league game of the season against Burton Swifts a 0-2 home defeat. At the end of the season he left the club and later played for New Brompton and Dartford. There’s no evidence he played for the breakaway club Royal Ordnance Factories as suggested in some reports. This was also the last game for Joseph Cooper.
14 April 1900: Ex Arsenal goalkeeper Charlie Williams scored for Manchester City against Sunderland – the first ever league goal recorded as being direct from a goal kick.
14 April 1903: Arsenal started a run of four post-season friendlies to round off the season – this one against Northampton Town. Arsenal won 1-0.
14 April 1914: The Times reported that Arsenal had changed its name although this did not happen until the club became “The Arsenal Football And Athletic Company Limited” sometime between 20 and 23 April. The Board publicly changed the name on 23 April, but did not formally approve the change until 10 May 1915.
14 April 1917: Arsenal again won, this time 1-3 against Clapton Orient as the unseasonal snow storms turned to rain. However results elsewhere meant that with three games left to play for most teams, West Ham had won the London Combination
14 April 1919. Athletic News published the Sir Henry Norris complaint about the London Combination handling of the Victory Cup match. Norris resigned from Fulham as a director for the second and final time (date unclear but certainly between 11 April and 21 April 1919).
14 April 1919: Arthur Hutchins and Ernie Williamson signed from Croydon Common. CC were the only Southern League team not to return after the first world war, and although the details are unclear it seems Henry Norris may have had some informal involvement with attempts to help the club.
14 April 1923: John “Alex” Mackie played his first international for Ireland at the age of just 20. He was however forever condemned to be known for the false story about demanding a monkey as a signing on fee. He was actually very talented and played over 100 games for Arsenal.
14 April 1933: Despite winning the league Arsenal only got one 60,000 crowd in the season – on this day for Arsenal 4 Sheffield W 2 (Hulme 2, Lambert and Bastin). Arsenal scored 13 goals in the first three league games of April.
14 April 1934: Arsenal Reserves v Watford Reserves was advertised as “Admission 7d (including tax).” Less than half a penny in 2021 prices and money.
14 April 1934: Frank Moss made his international debut. When Arsenal bought him he was a reserve goalkeeper for second division Preston, yet he went on to play in the three consecutive title winning seasons.
14 April 1934: Cliff Bastin scored for England against Scotland – six years after playing his first game ever – for Exeter Reserves against Bath City
14 April 1936: George Swindin signed by George Allison for £4000 from Bradford City. He won the league with Arsenal in 1938, 1948 and 1953 and subsequently went on to be Arsenal’s manager.
14 April 1937: Manchester City played their game in hand and beat Sunderland 3-1. For Arsenal to win the league, City who had not been defeated since Christmas now had to lose two games out of the last three, while Arsenal had to win the lot.
14 April 1945: Charlton 5 Arsenal 0 (Football League south). This was one of four consecutive defeats. Arsenal were finding it very hard to raise a team at this time and in addition to the usual guest players included three men (Kelly, Ratcliffe and Hodges) who made their one and only appearance for the club in this game. All told Arsenal used 59 players in the 30 match season including seven different goalkeepers.
14 April 1958: Geoff Strong turned pro with Arsenal. He started playing with the first team in 1960/1 scoring ten in 19 games in his first season. He played 125 games before being transferred to Liverpool where he became a focal point in their team.
14 April 1959: Birmingham 4 Arsenal 1. With seven without a win, all thought of the championship had gone, although by winning the remaining three games Arsenal came third. They would not come higher until 1971. DR Clapton scored the goal.
14 April 1964: John McClelland’s final appearance before moving on to Fulham. He was replaced by McKechnie and Furnell. John tragically died of a brain tumour aged 35. In all he played 46 league games for Arsenal.
14 April 1973: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1. Peter Storey scored and the result left Arsenal in second two points behind Liverpool. But draws in the next two games saw Arsenal slip away from the title and ultimately they won only one of their last six of the season.
14 April 1979: West Bromwich Albion 1 Arsenal 1. Attendance: 28,353. This was part of a run of nine games in 34 days as Arsenal approached the FA Cup final, Only two of those games were won – against Tottenham and Chelsea.
14 April 1991: Arsenal lost to Tottenham in the FA Cup Semi-final at Wembley 1-3 with Gascoigne and Lineker doing the damage. Smith scored for Arsenal. But most attention was on winning the League while losing only one game all season – a record which stood until the Invincibles season.
14 April 1999: Man U 2 Arsenal 1. FA Cup semi-final replay. Bergkamp scored but at the end Schmeichel saved a Bergkamp penalty and Man U raced to the other end to score the winner.
14 April 2001 Arsenal 0 Middlesbrough 3. The last match until 30 November 2003 in which Arsenal failed to score at Highbury. However on this day both Silvinho and Edu scored own goals!
14 April 2002: Exactly one year to the day after a disastrous 0-3 defeat at home to Middlesbrough Arsenal beat the same team 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford. The tie was settled by an own goal.
14 April 2007: Arsenal beat Bolton 2-1. Rosicky and Fabregas scored for Arsenal and Anelka scored for Bolton. It was part of a seven match unbeaten run through to the end of the season which saw Arsenal come in fourth, six points ahead of fifth placed Tottenham. It happened again.
14 April 2010: Arsenal lost 2-1 away to Tottenham – a run of five games without a win, although Bendtner scored for the third game running. However Arsenal still ended the season in third, five points ahead of Tottenham who came in fourth.
15 April 1894: Patrick O’Brien, having travelled from Glasgow, signed for Woolwich Arsenal. He made his debut on 10 September 1894 in the second match of the second league season playing inside left – it was a 1-3 home defeat to Grimsby.
15 April 1899: Jack Robson born. At 5 feet 8 inches he was Arsenal’s smallest ever keeper, and was signed by Arsenal from Innerleithen in 1921 to be third choice keeper, for reputedly just £5. But he was a success, for in 1923/4 he was an ever present for the club.
15 April 1905: Last game for Thomas Briercliffe. He had been a vital part of the promotion winning team, but after 28 games in his fourth season he was sold on to Plymouth in the Southern League.
15 April 1910: George Leavey, the Arsenal chairman, went to see Archibald Leitch, the architect who oversaw the development of the Manor Ground around the turn of the century. It is most likely that the reason for the visit was that Leitch had not been paid for that work. (He was eventually paid however, by Henry Norris, although he was under no legal obligation to pay him.)
15 April 1911: Leslie Calder played his one and only game for Arsenal at centre forward away to Middlesbrough. There are few details of the player and in the days when Arsenal.com had a listing of supposedly all Arsenal players, he was not included.
15 April 1912: George Leavey resigned from the board of Woolwich Arsenal after 14 years with the club. He ran a chain of gentleman’s outfitters across London and the south east and he was a major force in Arsenal’s survival until the arrival of Henry Norris.
15 April 1916: Despite Arsenal having moved north and despite this being the wartime league over 9000 still turned up at Highbury for Arsenal v Millwall.
15 April 1921: With national mining strikes called it was anticipated that trains would not run. The northern clubs which dominated the League pushed through a regulation saying that matches could not be postponed because of travel difficulties, leaving the London clubs with major problems. Arsenal set off for Burnley by horse drawn coach a day early. And the roads in 1921 were certainly not good.
15 April 1934: David Herd born. He was one of the players along with Jimmy Bloomfield, Jo Haverty, and Danny Clapton who came in to rebuild the side after the championship team of 1953 slipped badly in 1954.
15 April 1938: Top of the league Arsenal were on a roll and Drake and Bastin were back in the team for the “home banker” with Brentford. But Arsenal were beaten at home for only the second time in the season, 0-2. Wolverhampton in 3rd beat Leicester 10-1 at the same time.
15 April 1939: Arsenal beat a Man U team who were currently 19th in the league and had gone nine without a win, 2-1. Crayston and Drake scored.
15 April 1950: Arsenal 4 Newcastle 2. 103rd and last League game for Archie Macaulay. He later became a successful manager at Norwich (replacing Tom Parker) taking them to a promotion and an FA Cup semi-final.
15 April 1953: Arsenal 4 Bolton 1, as Arsenal headed for the title. Bill Dodgin’s first game for Arsenal. Bill had been signed by his father both at Southampton and Fulham and joined Arsenal in December 1952.
15 April 1970: Arsenal lost to Ajax 0-1 in the second leg of the Fairs Cup semi-final but having won the first match at Highbury 3-0 reached their first Euro final. In the other semi-final Anderlecht beat Internazionale 2-1 on aggregate having lost 0-1 at home in the first leg.
15 April 1972: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Stoke in the FA Cup Semi-Final with Radford taking over in goal replacing the injured Bob Wilson. Armstrong scored the goal.
15 April 1978: Arsenal were 5th in the league but with no chance of catching Nottingham Forest at the top. Thus only 33,353 turned up for Arsenal 2 Newcastle United 1. Steve Walford played his first game
15 April 2006: The match nominated as “Bergkamp Day”. Bergkamp himself was a sub. The score was Arsenal 3 WBA 1. Hleb got the first, Bergkamp set up Pirès for the second and the third was scored by… Dennis Bergkamp on 89 minutes.
15 April 2014: Arsenal beat WHU 3-1 with Podolski getting two goals and Giroud the third. It was one of seven consecutive victories which ended with the 3-2 FA Cup final victory over Hull City.
15 April 2018: After six successive wins, and then a draw with CSKA Moscow Arsenal lost away 2-1 to Newcastle as Mr Wenger’s tenure as manager moved to its conclusion.
15 April 2019: Arsenal beat Watford 1-0 away as a result of a mistake by the Watford keeper with Aubameyang scoring. A minute later, Troy Deeney was sent off for elbowing Lucas Torreira.
15 April 2021: Arsenal beat Slavia Prague 0-4 away to go through to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
16 April 1894: Having finished their first League season Woolwich Arsenal embarked on a series of friendlies – and curiously the friendlies got bigger crowds than the league games! On this day the score was Luton 3 Arsenal 3 with 3000 present.
16 April 1900: Arsenal signed right back Archie Cross from New Brompton. He later played at left back in over 100 games for the club before moving back to Dartford – his first ever club – in 1909.
16 April 1910: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1 in front of 39,000. The first ever Tottenham v Arsenal league match at Tottenham. Despite five games unbeaten Arsenal’s problems continued. This was the 16th consecutive Arsenal match in which neither side scored more than one goal.
16 April 1912: Ted Drake was born. He started playing for Winchester City, and then went on to Southampton, playing for them for the first time on 14 November 1931. Herbert Chapman quickly spotted him, but tragically passed on before he was able to sign him. See also Ted Drake Day
16 April 1912: One of the club’s pivotal days. George Leavey wrote to the Kentish Independent explaining that he could no longer spend the time nor provide adequate support for the club, wished Norris and Hall success in the venture, and resigned. Leavey was Arsenal’s second great benefactor – the first being George Lawrence. See also here.
16 April 1921: Bradford PA 0 Arsenal 1. It was the last league meeting of the clubs. 14,000 were at the game, and Toner scored the only goal of the match. Arsenal’s victory came despite travelling to Bradford by coach due to possible train disruption
16 April 1932: With one week before the Cup Final 4th placed Arsenal played 3rd placed Sheffield Wed. Arsenal won 3-1 and moved up to 2nd.
16 April 1949: Everton 0 Arsenal 0. This made it six draws and one defeat in the last seven. The crowd was 58,987 despite Everton’s lowly league position and Arsenal’s poor form. The season represented the height of post-war league attendances.
16 April 1960: With just one win in eight and 10 goals conceded in the last four games, Arsenal sank to below mid table with a 3-0 away defeat to Birmingham and managed just one win against three defeats in the last four games of the season.
16 April 1962: Arsenal recorded their first win at Old Trafford since 1930. George Eastham scored the first in a 3-2 win, Noel Cantwell o.g for the second and Alan Skirton got the third and winning goal.
16 April 1966: WHU 2 Arsenal 1. Baldwin scored for Arsenal but it was 10 without a win. Billy Wright’s days came to an ignominious end as Arsenal sank to 16th in the table just three points above the relegation spot.
16 April 1977: Freddie Ljungberg born. He made his debut for Halmstads on 23 October 1994 and was signed by Arsenal in 1998 for £3m. It is said that Arsène Wenger claimed he had never seen him play when he signed him – but just saw him on TV, although this seems very unlikely and I can’t find a record of Wenger saying this.
16 April 1979: Arsenal 5 Chelsea 2. Arsenal scored five in three different games all against London clubs during the season, but didn’t win any of the remaining five games after this derby. Stapleton (2) O’Leary, Sunderland and Price got the goals.
16 April 1980: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1. FA Cup Semi final 1st replay. Sunderland scored. Arsenal were involved in the FA Cup, the Cup Winners’ Cup and a desire to get into the top three (for European inclusion next season). There is a more detailed account here.
16 April 1983. Arsenal lost 1-2 to Man U in their 16th Cup semi-final appearance, played at Villa Park. Woodcock scored for Arsenal. Arsenal had beaten Bolton, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa to reach the semi. Man U beat Brighton in the final after a replay.
16 April 2000: Before the game Arsène Wenger and the players presented bouquets of flowers to their counterparts to honour the Leeds fans murdered in Istanbul. Arsenal beat Leeds 4-0 away as Henry scored his 20th of the season. Arsenal went above Leeds having been 10 points behind, last time they met.
16 April 2004: Arsenal 5 Leeds 0. Henry got four after Pires had scored the opener. The 33rd league game of the unbeaten season and the third defeat of Leeds after two 1-4 away victories, one in the League, one if the FA Cup.
16 April 2005: Arsenal beat Blackburn 3-0 in the FA Cup, setting up a win against Man U in the final. Pires and van Persie (2) got the goals, but the abiding memory was the huge banks for empty seats on the Blackburn side of the Millenium Stadium. It was part of a 16 game run with just one defeat – that in the final league match before the Cup final.
16 April 2012: After a disappointing defeat against QPR in March there was another disappointment with Arsenal 1 Wigan 2 – both Wigan’s goals coming in first 8 minutes. The result left Arsenal in 3rd, 18 points behind the leaders, 13 behind the second place team.
16 April 2013: A goalless draw with Everon at home continued Arsenal’s unbeaten run to six games – it eventually lasted to the end of the season making it 11 unbeaten, although Arsenal lost the first match of the 2013/14 season. The run allowed Arsenal to secure 4th place and push Tottenham into 5th.
16 April 2022: Arsenal’ bad run of three defeats concluded with a 1-0 away loss to Southampton.Although Arsenal subsequently had four successive wins two further defeats in May meant the club could not make the Champions League positions, while Tottenham could.
17 April 1888: The Football League was created, although the teams involved were unable to agree how to measure who was top of the league until much later in the season! The initial proposal was that clubs would just count the number of wins. Another that they would count just goals scored.
17 April 1892: Bert White born in Watford. Bert played for Brentford as an amateur before the war, and then served with the Royal Fusiliers before coming to Arsenal playing in the first post-war league match. He played 29 league games and scored 16 goals, making him the top league scorer for the club that season. He later played for Thames Association.
17 April 1894: Arsenal played their 8th game against Millwall Athletic, with a crowd of 10,000 recorded
17 April 1907. Archie Low’s last game, away to Notts County. He had the misfortune that all three games he played were defeats, although at the same time Arsenal achieved their highest league position thus far in the first division in that season (7th), and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup for the second season running.
17 April 1913: The suffragettes undertook an arson attack on the pier at Great Yarmouth.
17 April 1915: Arsenal’s final season in division 2 was disrupted by the sudden departure of the manager George Morrell; a sad act given the way the club had stood by him through thick and thin. It appears he may have left just before the match on this day which ended Preston 3 Arsenal 0 or it may have been immediately after.
17 April 1926. Arsenal beat Huddersfield Town 3-1. The match marked the sudden awareness (at least among newspaper journalists) of Arsenal’s rise in terms of power and tactical ability. Huddersfield still went on to win the league but Chapman was edging Arsenal towards the unthinkable: runners’ up in the league for the first time.
17 April 1936: Tony Biggs born in Greenford. He signed for Arsenal in 1956 and went on to play four times for the club before moving on to Leyton Orient.
17 April 1937: As it became clear that for the first time since 1930 Arsenal would win neither of the major trophies, nor even be runners up, Arsenal beat Portsmouth 4-0 at Highbury. Both the Compton brothers played, and Dennis got two. Nelson scored again to make him look an interesting prospect, while Kirchen, playing at centre forward in the absence of both Drake and Bowden, got the fourth.
17 April 1939. Having introduced the novel notion of starting the season with a friendly against Tottenham at Highbury, the return match was organised at WHL which Arsenal won 2-1. George Marks the keeper in the “Arsenal Stadium Mystery” film, played.
17 April 1942: Death of Sam Hollis, Woolwich Arsenal’s trainer between 1894 and 1897, and as near to being a manager as the club had in the period..
17 April 1954: Newcastle 5 Arsenal 2. By 12 September 1953 Arsenal were bottom of the league, two points adrift from the clubs above, having suffered the sort of defeat (that 1-7 to Sunderland) that Arsenal had in the past become more used to dishing out than receiving. Although Arsenal climbed up the table and ended the season 12th, it was a season of bad news, as Arsenal also lost to Norwich City of the Third Division South in front of 55767 at Highbury in the fourth round of the cup.
17 April 1971. Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0 with Charlie George scoring in the 71st minute. Just as interesting was the fact that Leeds lost to WBA.
17 April 1976. Mee ended his tenure as manager with three defeats, of which this was the first – a home loss to Ipswich Town 1-2.
17 April 2007. Arsenal beat Manchester City 3-1 at home, part of a 7 match unbeaten run to take us to the end of the season and a fourth place finish, equal on points with third placed Liverpool, eight points above Tottenham in fifth.
17 April 2008: Ian Wright left Match of the Day saying he was fed up with being used as the comedy jester.
17 April 2016: Zelalem played for Rangers against Celtic in the Scottish cup semi final. Zelalem converted a penalty in the shootout to help Rangers progress to the final. He had been on loan to Rangers from 24 August 2015.
17 April 2017: Arsenal beat Middlesbrough away 2-1 with goals from Ozil and Sanchez to offer a little relief from the criticism that fell on the club after the 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace the previous week. In fact Arsenal the hysteria was misplaced as Arsenal lost only two games in 13 in this run, which ended with beating Chelsea in the Cup Final.
18 April 1884: Gordon Rahere Hoare born. In his footballing life he had 13 clubs – two of which were Woolwich Arsenal, and one of which was Arsenal! He also seems to have been connected with the Hill-Wood family who ran Glossop NE, as he moved between the clubs.
18 April 1903: Arsenal 0 Millwall Athletic 2. The last game against Millwall under its Athletic guise. 4000 saw the game – after this our local rivals became just “Millwall”. They moved south across the river from the Isle of Dogs in 1910.
18 April 1914: Arsenal 2 Clapton Orient 2. 35,000 attended – the biggest crowd thus far at Highbury, but the draw meant Arsenal were not promoted. It was also the last ever game of Woolwich Arsenal. By the next game they were The Arsenal. The next time the ground had this many in it was a world war later: 5 April 1919.
18 April 1918 Following the abolition of the previous approach not to enforce conscription in Ireland, (a decision taken against all the advice of Lt Col Sir Henry Norris who was now overseeing conscription in the rest of the UK), the Lord Mayor of Dublin convened the Irish Anti-Conscription Committee to devise plans to resist new conscription regulations. The bishops’ annual meeting declared the conscription decree an oppressive and unjust law, calling on the Church’s adherents to resist “by the most effective means at our disposal”. The break up of Ireland began.
18 April 1925: Arsenal 5 Burnley 0. Knighton’s last victory as manager. He oversaw two more games (both defeats) and was then sacked to make way for Chapman. He won 34.33% of the games in total, the worst of any long-term manager.
18 April 1927: First league game for Herbie Roberts. He became the first brilliant exponent of the “stopper” system, and a regular all the way through the 1930s era. He broke his leg in the 1937/8 season and retired after 335 games scoring five goals.
18 April 1930: Arsenal 1 Leicester 1, leaving Arsenal 12th, just six points above the relegation positions. However Arsenal won the cup for the first time and avoided the drop, but only by three points.
18 April 1931: Having come 14th in 1930, Arsenal won the League for the very first time with two games spare, by beating Liverpool 3-1 at home, during a nine match unbeaten run to the end of the season.
18 April 1934: Arsenal needed two wins and a draw from their remaining four matches to be utterly certain of the title but on this day lost 0-1 to lowly Portsmouth.
18 April 1936: Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 0. It was Arsenal’s only win in the last six games of the season and one of only two in the last 14 as the 3 times champions fell from grace, but despite it all, they were still fifth on this day.
18 April 1942: Arsenal beat Brighton 5-1 in the final qualifying match of the London War Cup, finishing this group stage five wins and one defeat scoring 18 goals and conceding seven. They then went on to meet Brentford in the semi-final
18 April 1953: Arsenal 3 Stoke 1 – all three goals from Lishman, making it five wins in a row scoring 18 goals to go top of the league, equal on points with Wolverhampton and with two games in hand.
18 April 1960: Last league game for Gordon Nutt. He then moved to Southend had a year with PSV Eindhoven, and after playing non-league moved to Australia where he played, set up a film lighting company in Sydney, and was head coach of the Tasmanian Soccer Schools for ten years.
18 April 1964: The season ended Liverpool 5 Arsenal 0 with Arsenal having two wins in the last 11 games – and an exit (also to Liverpool) in the 5th round of the cup. Despite ending 8th, manager Billy Wright was given more time, but this was a bad mistake by the board for the worst was yet to come.
18 April 1969: Stefan Schwarz born. He came to Arsenal from Benfica, and played 34 games in 1994/5 before moving on to Fiorentina. He finished his career with Sunderland and won a Bronze World Cup Medal in 1994 with Sweden.
18 April 1979: Matthew Upson born. He came through the Ipswich Academy, went to Luton Town for whom he played just four minutes as a substitute, and then to Arsenal for £2m in May 1997.
18 April 1993: Tony Adams dropped Steve Morrow as Arsenal won the league cup 2-1. This was the first of three games against Sheffield Wed at Wembley and was Cup match 15 of the Cup Double season. The FA Cup was also won 2-1.
18 April 1998: Arsenal 5 Wimbledon 0. Arsenal’s first win against the Dons at Highbury in six attempts. The goals came from Adams, Overmars, Bergkamp, Petit and Wreh in the 33rd league game of the 2nd Double season. The game was part of a winning run of 12 successive matches. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
18 April 2007: David Dein the man who brought Arsene Wenger to Arsenal, was sacked as director of Arsenal. He had preferred an Arsenal move to Wembley instead of building the Emirates, and it is said he continued to speak in favour of this move, even after the board voted against it.
18 April 2009: Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1, FA Cup semi final. It was the 26th Arsenal semi-final in the FA Cup, and the sixth semi-final in the first decade of the 21st century.
18 April 2015: Reading 1 Arsenal 2, FA Cup semi-final. Arsenal became the most successful team in the FA Cup ever, even before the FA Cup final. Sanchez and Gabriel scored.
18 April 2019: Arsenal beat Napoli away 0-1 to go into the semi-finals of the Europa League, having won the first leg 2-0. Lacazette got the goal. The game was the last of a seven match run of which we won six, but it was followed by three successive defeats. In the end we lost the Europa final 4-1 to Chelsea.
19 April 1864: Birth of George Davie, the Arsenal player who sued the Royal Arsenal Committee, and in losing that fight changed the transfer system, invoking “retain and transfer” – a repressive system which stayed until George Eastham challenged it again in court.
19 April 1897: After three consecutive defeats, Arsenal made it 3 consecutive wins by beating Darwen 1-0. The goal by O’Brien gave him 14 in 26 league games to become top scorer for the season.
19 April 1904: Bradford City 0 Arsenal 3 making it 91 scored, 22 conceded for the season – a goal difference of +69 – equalled only in 1934/5 but never bettered. Coleman scored to make it 23 league goals for the season. Arsenal drew the last match 0-0 to secure promotion.
19 April 1913: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1. Last game for Hugh Macdonald in his second spell at Arsenal – he moved on to Fulham in November. The goal was scored by George Grant – one of just two goals he scored that season.
19 April 1915: George Morrell resigned as Arsenal manager; having become Arsenal’s longest serving manager thus far. His win percentage was 35.27% – just above Knighton’s but he was the manager who got Arsenal promotion.
19 April 1915: Athletic News reported that Arsenal were £5000 in debt. Later they reported that Sheffield United had made a loss of £2050 despite winning the FA Cup and that Sheffield Wednesday had debts of £10,000 because of recent ground improvements.
19 April 1919: The semi final of the highly controversial London Victory Cup match at Highbury. Sir Henry Norris was outraged by Fulham’s manipulation of the situation and ultimately resigned as a director of that club.
19 April 1930: Huddersfield 2 Arsenal 2. This league match took place one week before the two met in the Cup Final at Wembley, and relegation looked a possibility. Yet only 11,988 turned up for the league match. Bastin and Hulme scored.
19 April 1933: Ralph James Evans Birkett signed from Torquay. He played 19 games and scored 7 goals before going to Middlesbrough in 1935.
19 April 1935: Arsenal 8 Middlesbrough 0. Amazingly it was the third time Arsenal scored eight in a league game and in each Drake got at least three. This time he got four as 45,719 watched the fun. Rogers (2) Bastin and Beasley got the other goals. It was Rogers’ first game.
19 April 1946: Derby 1 Arsenal 1 in a run of six games without a win as the wartime league headed towards its ultimate conclusion. Arsenal needed new players – and how!
19 April 1957 Good Friday. An 11am kick off saw Arsenal draw 1-1 with Blackpool before 50,000 + crowd at Highbury. Many came to see 42 years old Stanley Matthews play ‘for the last time’ – which turned out to be wrong by 8 years. David Durie of Blackpool and Mike Tiddy of Arsenal refused to play on religious grounds – both were lay preachers.
19 April 1965: Arsenal 3 Blackpool 1, made it three home games in a row with under 20,000 present. Baker got two of the goals to give him 25 in 42 league games. The result left Arsenal 9th, 16 points behind the leaders.
19 April 1965: Perry Groves born in Bow – so no doubt of him being a cockney. He was the nephew of Vic Groves who played for Arsenal in the 50s and 60s. He was also George Graham’s first signing (from Colchester).
19 April 1972: Arsenal 2 Stoke 1. FA Cup semi final replay. George and Radford scored and took Arsenal to successive cup finals for the first time ever.
19 April 1975: Ian Allinson played his first game for Colchester – the club that allowed him to move to Arsenal on a free transfer after an administrative error.
19 April 1975: Arsenal were in 17th and Tottenham 20th in the league with four and three games to play respectively. Relegation for both clubs was a possibility.
19 April 1976: Last game for Brian Kidd. He played 37 league games in the second of the two seasons he was with Arsenal, scoring 11, before returning to Manchester, but this time with City. Arsenal lost 2-1 away to QPR, taking QPR to 2nd place one point behind Liverpool.
19 April 1980: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1, in the League. Arsenal’s previous two games had been draws with Liverpool in the FA Cup. There was then a game against WBA before two more attempts to resolve the cup games, as Arsenal ultimately did.
19 April 1997: Vieira kicked the ball out as Stephen Hughes was down injured. Blackburn took the throw and deliberately sent it behind the defence, chased it down, got a corner and scored. Blackburn shrugged off the Arsenal protests and gained a 1-1 draw – in contrast to Arsenal’s reaction in 1999 in the cup match against Sheffield United. The difference in class and style between the clubs has never been more marked.
19 April 1999: Arsenal beat Wimbledon 5-1 as Kanu scored his first league goal for Arsenal (he had scored in the cup on March 6). Parlour, Vieira and Bergkamp plus an own goal completed the rout in front of 37,982.
19 April 2006: Arsenal v Villareal, Champions League semi-final. Toure scored the last Highbury goal under floodlights while a squirrel on the pitch led to comments about the animal having more Champions League experience than Tottenham.
19 April 2008: Arsenal beat Reading 2-0, the start of four consecutive victories to the end of the season, in which Arsenal scored 10 and conceded two. Arsenal finished third, five points off the leaders, 37 points above Tottenham.
19 April 2021: It was announced that Arsenal had joined a new league of European clubs to play mid-week from next season, outside of the auspices of existing football bodies such as Uefa, and the FA.
20 April 1895: Burton Wanderers 2 Woolwich Arsenal 1. The match concluded Arsenal’s second season in the league with the club finishing 8th in Division 2 and having the ground closed for five weeks due to crowd trouble. This was one place better than in the first season.
20 April 1889: Arsenal beat Spartan Rovers 8-0. In the course of 30 days of friendlies they also had 9-0, 6-1 and 7-2 victories
20 April 1907: George Jobey, the man who scored the first Arsenal goal at Highbury made his league debut with Newcastle. He spent seven seasons at the club playing 53 games at centre half and right half and won a League winner’s medal in 1908/9 and a Cup Finalists’ medal in 1911. He then joined Arsenal in May 1913 for £500.
20 April 1908: Arsenal 1 Sheffield W 1. Final game for each of Gordon Hoare, James Ashcroft, James Bigden and James Sharp with Arsenal having finished 14th. It was a positive end to the season with Arsenal having had their worst ever start in the first division, with just one victory in the first seven games.
20 April 1912: Rangers 0 Arsenal 0. This appears to be the first game between the two sides, who later set up regular friendlies through the efforts of Herbert Chapman.
20 April 1914: One of the “lost” matches Arsenal played. On this day there was a benefit match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Highbury but we have no idea who it was for or what the score was. If you know please do write in!
20-23 April 1914: The word ‘Woolwich’ was officially dropped from the club name as Woolwich Arsenal became (for a while) The Arsenal.
20 April 1918: One of the many odd competitions that have arisen but not left behind information on how they were constructed, occured on this day with the War Fund Competition. Arsenal beat Millwall away, 1-0 in the second game, but who won the trophy or how it was calculated remains a mystery.
20 April 1935: It is not often Arsenal fans thank Stoke but on this occasion they did, for after one win in ten Stoke beat Tottenham 4-1 on this day to secure Tottenham’s position at the bottom of the league.
20 April 1946: Arsenal 1 Leicester 2 was part of a run of six games without a win in the Football League South, suggesting clearly that Arsenal needed a major transformation before the resumption of the League in August – but it didn’t happen.
20 April 1964: Dave Bacuzzi transferred to Manchester City. He had played 46 league games and two FA Cup games across four seasons. He also won the Football Combination with Arsenal, and later became a manager in Ireland.
20 April 1966: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 2; one of only two wins for Billy Wright in his last 16 games in charge. During that run Arsenal scored just 12 goals. Skirton and Sammels scored.
20 April 1968: Sunderland 2 Arsenal 0 made it two wins in 16 for Bertie Mee and left the club 12th in the League. But Arsenal won all of the remaining five games in the League in the season to offer some hope for the future.
20 April 1971: Arsenal 1 Burnley 0. Charlie George scored to give the 9th straight win (during which run only one goal was conceded), and this with McNab and Storey absent playing for England! Arsenal went two points ahead and Burnley were relegated in the 38th league game of the first Double season.
20 April 1973: Eddie Hapgood died of a heart attack while attending a sports forum in Leamington Spa aged 64. His autobiography “Football Ambassador” was the first ever player autobiography. So groundbreaking was the book that Sir Stanley Rous, who went on to become president of FIFA, wrote the introduction.
20 April 1974: The victory over Derby County at Highbury by 2-0 on this day gave hope that Arsenal might do enough to avoid relegation, although the crowd of 26,017 suggested they had done nothing like enough to get the fans back on a regular basis.
20 April 1983: Norwich 3 Arsenal 1. League debut for Colin Hill, last game for George Wood. Hill went on to have just one season for Arsenal as a regular full back, while Wood ended a three year spell with 60 league games and a move to Crystal Palace.
20 April 1995: For the second year running Arsenal reached the CWC Final after losing 2-3 but beating Sampdoria on penalties in the semi-final. Wright scored on the hour but it looked like Arsenal were going out until Schwarz got the second on 88 mins. Dixon, Hartson and Adams scored penalties to take Arsenal through.
20 April 2000: Lens 1 Arsenal 2; Arsenal went through to the Uefa Cup final after drawing 0-0 in the first leg. Henry and Kanu got the victory.
20 April 2011: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 3. Arsenal had lost at home to Tottenham in the league, but won away in the League Cup before this game. Walcott, Nasri and Van Persie scored to make it 16 games unbeaten in the premier league.
20 April 2013: Arsenal beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage in the fourth of 10 consecutive away wins. Giroud was sent off and Mertesacker scored the only goal.
20 April 2014: In a match delayed by advertising hoardings blowing across the pitch, Ramsey and Özil returned after long lay-offs as Arsenal easily beat Hull away, proving, if it needed proving, how important these two players were. Ramsey scored and Podolski got two.
20 April 2018: Arsene Wenger announced his retirement as Arsenal’s manager after 22 years at the club. It took all of two hours before the first attacks and conspiracy theories about his departure started to appear on the websites of the national press.
20 April 2019: One year on from Mr Wenger announcing his retirement as Arsenal’s manager it looked like the change of manager had worked with the club being 4th in the league with a game in hand over the teams around. But three defeats in the last five games saw Arsenal drop to 5th, missing the Champions League by two points.
20 April 2020: Two years on from Mr Wenger’s announcement of his departure, and with football being shut down because of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, Arsenal were 9th in the league with ten games left to play.
20 April 2021: Three years on from Mr Wenger’s announcement, Arsenal sat 9th in the league, nine points behind the derided fourth position, and closer to relegation than to the top of the league and were a member of the newly formed Super League, which was then abandoned by the end of the day.
20 April 2022: Four years on from Mr Wenger’s announcement, Arsenal sat fifth in the league, equal on points with Tottenham who were fourth.
20 April 2023. Five years on from Mr Wenger’s announcement, Arsenal were top of the league, four points ahead of Manchester City although having played one game more.
21 April 1880: Birth of Charles McGibbon. He was the 7th centre forward of the 1909/10 season and came with no league experience but scored three goals in the last four games of the season to ensure Arsenal continued in the first division.
21 April 1894: Following the end of their first season in the football league Arsenal played five friendly matches, several of which got higher crowds than the League games. On this day it was Arsenal 2 Burnley 0 in front of 4000.
21 April 1908: Hearts 1 Arsenal 3. With the league season having finished the day before with a home game against Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal immediately boarded a train and started a tour of eight matches in nine days in Scotland.
21 April 1917: James Maxwell died in action against the Turks (fighting with Indian troops/Black Watch in 51 Division) in the Samarrah Offensive. His body was not recovered and no grave is known.
21 April 1917: Arsenal beat the London Combination champions West Ham 2-1, with both director William Hall and Arsenal’s programme writer George Allison in the stand.
21 April 1918: With Sir Henry Norris’ plans (as Head of Conscription in the War Office) not to conscript in Ireland overthrown by the government, Catholic bishops declared the conscription decree in Ireland an oppressive and unjust law, and called on Catholics to resist “by the most effective means at our disposal” and an anti-conscription pledge was taken at the church doors on this day
21 April 1930 Leicester City 6 Arsenal 6: the all time record top league score, Four goals for David Halliday, but that wasn’t enough to get him a place in the cup final.
21 April 1930 was also the last first team game for Dan Lewis. Despite being blamed for the 1927 cup final defeat he played over 30 times in each of the next three seasons. Indeed from 12 March to 21 April Arsenal had five wins, five draws and one defeat. And in the midst of this Arsenal got to their second FA Cup final.
21 April 1934: A 3-1 win for Arsenal over Huddersfield left Arsenal four points clear of their prime rivals at the top of the table with a better goal average. It was a defining moment on the way to the second consecutive championship..
21 April 1936: The demolition of the old East Stand at Highbury began. even though Arsenal had two more home games (against Chelsea and Leeds) to play. The new stand was opened on October 24, 1936.
21 April 1945: Watford 3 Arsenal 2 in the Football League South. It was the fourth consecutive defeat in the war league, in which Arsenal conceded 13 with two games left.
21 April 1959: Arsenal 0 Rangers 3 – part of the continuing run of games between the clubs which was initiated by Herbert Chapman.
21 April 1963: Jock Rutherford died. He had already retired twice from football when he came back for a third and final time in January 1926 under Chapman to become the oldest man ever to play for Arsenal. Over 40,000 turned up for the Chelsea game, despite the building work.
21 April 1964: Don Howe signed from WBA for £42,000 – a record for a full back. He played on until 1967 when he became chief coach moving to caretaker manager in 1983.
21 April 1970: Sammy Nelson made his international debut for N Ireland v England. He played 51 times for the Province, all with Arsenal except the last four (when he was with Brighton).
21 April 1971: Peter Storey’s international debut for England v Greece. He played 19 times for his country between 1971 and 1973.
21 April 2001: Arsenal 4 Everton 1, as Arsenal moved to being runners up for the third year running. This was also the start of the longest ever sequence of scoring in home games. It lasted until November 2003.
21 April 2002: Arsenal 2 Ipswich 0. One of the 13 consecutive victories; League match 34 of the 3rd Double season. Ljungberg got both goals. The result left Arsenal one point clear at the top of the league with one game in hand.
21 April 2009: Arshavin scored four in a 4-4 draw at Anfield. The crowd was 44,424. If only 20 more had turned up everything would have been four-square. See here for the context It was a welcome recovery after the last game had been the first defeat (apart from a penalty shoot out) after a 25 match run.
21 April 2016: A 2-0 win over West Brom, saw Sanchez get both goals, in a nine match unbeaten run which took Arsenal to the end of the season.
21 April 2019. Arsenal lost at home to Crystal Palace; their first home league defeat since August.
22 April 1894: In the 20 days up to this date Arsenal played nine friendlies and Arthur Worrall played in eight of these scoring three goals. In fact in the space of 32 days up to the final match of the season on 28 April, Arsenal played 10 friendlies and two league games and Worrall played in 10 of them (nine friendlies and one league game).
22 April 1905. Last game for James Jackson. With Duncan McNichol he formed the original back two, making 204 appearances at full back. He moved onto Leyton, and after retiring from football became a blacksmith.
22 April 1905: Arsenal 2 Everton 1 – the first win (in the last game of the season) after 4 defeats and 3 draws. It left Arsenal 10th in the league, but still only 12 points off Everton at the top.
22 April 1908: James Sharp transferred to Rangers after three years at Woolwich Arsenal. His transfer was part of the policy of selling top players in order to try and reduce the debts.
22 April 1910: The Kentish Independent published a letter from George Leavey announcing that shares in the new Arsenal company set up on 15 April would be on sale from 23 to 30 April at £1 each. But the printing of the share prospectus was delayed, and in fact the shares finally went on sale on 6 May. But not enough shares were sold so the offer failed.
22 April 1911: Arsenal 2 Preston 0. Although no one thought of calling it St Totteringham Day, the first occasion on which Arsenal finished above Tottenham was on this day – with one game to spare. Between 1894 and 2014 there were 49 occasions when Arsenal were above Tottenham at the conclusion, and only 28 the other way round. On 32 other seasons the clubs were not in the same league. Arsenal and Tottenham
22 April 1912: For the first time since March 3 1906 Arsenal scored five in a league match in beating Blackburn 5-1. It was the third win in a row, but was aided by Blackburn putting out a weakened team as they were in the FA Cup semis.
22 April 1912: Andy Ducat’s final game – his departure was undoubtedly a major factor in the decline of the club in 1912/13. It was his 125th league game and as always he didn’t play the last game of the season due to cricketing commitments. He joined Aston Villa on 15 June.
22 April 1922: Arsenal were facing relegation and Tottenham had hopes of winning the league when the clubs met for the north London derby. But despite Tottenham’s superior team Arsenal won 1-0, for the second match running with a penalty. That made it five wins, two draws and two defeats in the last nine – Arsenal’s best run of the season.
22 April 1929: Arsenal beat Everton 2-0 in front of 11,696. It remained the lowest crowd at Highbury from this date until 8738 showed up on 5 April 1966 for Arsenal 1 WBA 1
22 April 1931: Arsenal’s first Sheriff of London game – a competition which was set up to be played between an amateur and a professional side in England once a year by Sir Thomas Dewar. Arsenal beat Corinthians 5-3 at Highbury; attendance 12,000.
22 April 1933: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 3 in front of 72,000 and as a result Arsenal became champions with two games to spare. Bastin got 2 and Jack the other. It was part of a run in which Bastin scored in five consecutive games. It was also Chapman’s final triumph.
22 April 1935: Two years to the day on from Chapman’s 1933 trophy Arsenal made it 3 championships under 3 different managers, again with 2 games to spare, beating Middlesbrough 1-0 with a goal from Drake (giving him 42 goals in 41 league games – Arsenal’s all time record). He failed to score in the remaining two games.
22 April 1939: Stoke 1 Arsenal 0; Reg Cumner’s last league game. He had come through the ranks at Margate to play both for Arsenal and England, but only played 14 times for Arsenal, due to the war.
22 April 1944: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 3 in Football League South. 26,330 turned up for the game, played at WHL, with Arsenal’s ground closed for the war – the biggest Arsenal crowd home or away, for the season.
22 April 1946: Arsenal 0 Derby 1 in Football League South. Arsenal failed to win any of six games in a row as the end of the season approached – which should have been a serious warning to the directors that new blood was needed. But manager Allison was left with much the same team, and as was inevitable the first season after the war was a disaster.
22 April 1947: Death of Frederick Coles. He had played 78 league games for Woolwich Arsenal at the start of the century before moving to Grimsby, later becoming a football and cricket coach in Gothenburg.
22 April 1953: Cardiff 0 Arsenal 0. After 18 goals in five games Arsenal were one point clear of second placed Wolverhampton with two games to play. The crowd was an extraordinary 57,800 in Ninian Park.
22 April 1959: Last international appearance of Dave Bowen. He played 19 times for Wales, and scored one goal.
22 April 1961: Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton 5. This was one of three consecutive defeats during which Arsenal let in 12 goals. It was also Arsenal’s worst home defeat in the league since 14 February 1925 when Herbert Chapman’s Huddersfield won 0-5 at Highbury.
22 April 1967: Arsenal 1 Nottm F 1. Arsenal’s 5th successive draw during which Arsenal scored four goals. This time Storey scored. The previous three were scored by George Graham.
22 April 1970: Anderlecht 3 Arsenal 1, Fairs Cup final 1st leg. Ray Kennedy scored. It was widely thought that Anderlecht would see out the second leg to take the trophy.
22 April 1978: John Devine’s first league game. Leeds 1 Arsenal 3. First Arsenal win at Leeds for 40 years. Pat Jennings was captain for the first time. Stapleton and Macdonald scored – the third was an og.
22 April 1998: Tony Adams gained his 50th international cap. He went on to get 64 in total, and scored five goals in international matches.
22 April 2006: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1 (Henry scoring). The last Arsenal / Tottenham game at Highbury. Part of an 8 match unbeaten run in the League which took Arsenal to the end of the league season.
22 April 2018: With Arsene Wenger having announced that he was leaving Arsenal, “Match of the Day” on BBC TV features Untold Arsenal’s “Football should be an art” banner, in its opening sequences for the match against West Ham, which Arsenal won 4-1.
23 April 1898: Last appearance for John Caldwell. He then moved on with two other players to Brighton United. He played 93 times in the League for Woolwich Arsenal and scored twice.
23 April 1902: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0. Southern Professional Charity Cup. Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901 but were not in the Football League, so this competition was an opportunity for the two old rivals to meet.
23 April 1908: Aberdeen 1 Woolwich Arsenal 1 (crowd: 4000). It was one of nine games played in 10 days by Arsenal on their Scottish tour.
23 April 1910: Arsenal’s season ended with a 1-3 home defeat to Preston. Arsenal finished 18th in the league with the 19th and 20th clubs being relegated. Chelsea gained two points fewer than Arsenal but had a better goal average so the finish was nail biting to the last. This would have been Arsenal’s last ever match had Henry Norris not stepped in to re-finance the club.
23 April1913: Robert (“Bobby”) Davidson born. He played for Saint Johnston against Arsenal in a friendly in September 1934 and was selected for the Scottish League team a few weeks later. Arsenal offered £4,000 and on 1st February 1935 he moved to Arsenal.
23 April 1914: Although as yet not officially sanctioned, Arsenal played their first match under the new name of “The Arsenal”. The board accepted the special resolution to officially change the name but the name was not formally changed on 10 May 1915.
23 April 1917: Laurie Scott born. He was signed by George Allison for Arsenal in 1937 and was changed from being a winger to being a right back, and after the war emerged in the first team at the start of the 1946-7 season.
23 April 1918: In Ireland’s general strike all work stopped, even in the government’s munitions factories, as rallies took place across Ireland. There was, as can be imagined, considerable dismay and alarm in Whitehall, not least because the government were warned by its head of mobilation (Henry Norris, chair of Arsenal) that this would happen.
23 April 1921: Tottenham won the FA Cup for the second time (having previously won it in 1901). They had also won the Southern League in 1900 and the 2nd Division in 1920, making a total of four trophies. Arsenal had, by this stage, won none.
23 April 1927: Arsenal’s first FA Cup Final – Arsenal lost to Cardiff 0-1 at Wembley. The crowd of 91,206 was the largest thus far to see an Arsenal game. This was also the first cup final broadcast on radio.
23 April 1932: Arsenal’s 3rd cup final, losing 1-2 to Newcastle. It was a season of being runner’s up as Arsenal also came second in the First Division. A video of the final is available via the link above.
23 April 1937: Preston were heading for the double when Arsenal beat them 3-1 away on this day, with two from Carr and one from Bastin.
23 April 1962: Arsenal achieve a 2-2 draw against Ipswich before a record crowd of 30,649 at Portman Road on Good Friday. Hundreds of fans were locked out and many hung precariously from the floodlight pylons. John MacLeod got Arsenal’s first goal and Eastham the second with a spectacular overhead bicycle kick.
23 April 1966: Arsenal 1 Sunderland 1. After only 8,738 attended the previous home game 25,699 turned up to see relegation threatened Sunderland whom Arsenal had beaten away three days before.
23 April 1966: The decline of interest in Arsenal was emphasised by the fact that on the same day as Arsenal were playing Sunderland, Northampton managed by ex-Arsenal man Dave Bowen got a crowd of 24,523 into their 3 sided ground, despite heading for relegation.
23 April 1997: Dennis Compton CBE died on the first day of the new cricket season. Flags at cricket clubs were flown at half mast and later the MCC named the stand at the Nursery End at Lords after him.
23 April 1980: Arsenal became the first British club to win at Juventus in a competitive match, the score being 1-0. The scorer was Paul Vaessen who gained immediate fame but was unable to develop his career due to injury. More information here.
23 April 1994: Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2. Ian Wright scored two goals to end the season with 23 league goals, but with no chance of Arsenal ending higher than fourth the season fell away in the remaining three games.
23 April 2000. Arsène Wenger criticised the FA for allowing Man U a winter break from the league and a non-appearance in the FA Cup in order to play in a Fifa confederations competition.
23 April 2000: Arsenal beat Watford 3-2 away. It was part of a run of 12 consecutive wins in which Arsenal scored 29 goals.
23 April 2017: Against the prediction of every pundit, Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley to reach the FA Cup Final. Man City had five players booked as Alexis and Monreal scored in Arsenal’s 29th, record beating, semi-final appearance. 20 of those 29 semis had now been won – yet another record.
23 April 2021: Arsenal lost 0-1 at home to Everton. It meant that Arsenal had won just four games in the last 13. Arsenal stayed ninth in the league.
23 April 2022: Arsenal had their highest home attendance of the season of 60,223 against Manchester United. Having beaten Chelsea 4-2 away in the previous match Arsenal now won 3-1. It was part of a run of four successive wins which gave the club hope of returning to the Champions League.
24 April 1897: Millwall Athletic 3 Arsenal 1. A crowd of 8000 was very high for the United League match on the Isle of Dogs, although the game between the local rivals in February in Plumstead had attracted nearly twice this number.
24 April 1900: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1. Southern District Combination; match abandoned due to abusive behaviour by the crowd. Arsenal were ordered to post notices instructing the crowd to behave properly, and the referee was also criticised for his handling of the game. The game was not replayed.
24 April 1907: Jack Humble’s wife was presented with an item of furniture (a tradition in England at this time) to thank Jack for his years of work as he stepped down as director. He was a founder of the club, had played for the club, and had been Woolwich Arsenal’s first chairman. He returned at Henry Norris’ request in 1910 and remained until 1927.
24 April 1915: Arsenal 7-0 Nottingham Forest. Arsenal’s last game in the second division and the last league game under Punch McEwen. Arsenal finished 5th but were wrongly given 6th place in the league table. It was the last game for Joseph Lievesley, and Percy Sands. Harry King scored four goals to make it four hat tricks in the season – a record. He got 26 goals in 37 league games – at the time also a record for the club.
24 April 1916: Arsenal played the return match against Chelsea at Highbury in the wartime league. Arsenal lost again – but at least this time it was only by 1-3, with 13,000 in the crowd.
24 April 1918: Local council meetings in Fulham (where Sir Henry Norris was mayor) aren’t usually listed here, but this one discussed the need for air raid shelters for the first time, marking a new turn in the war.
24 April 1920: A 0-0 draw with relegation threatened Preston drew 35,000 to Highbury , at the same time as the cup final was played at Stamford Bridge ending Aston Villa 1 Huddersfield Town 0. The reporter for the Times was not particularly impressed by the Final stating that the ball had gone out of play “just over 100 times.”
24 April 1928: Tommy Docherty born. After his National Service he joined Celtic, and two years later Preston, who were runners up to Arsenal on goal average in 1953. In 1958 he left to play for Arsenal.
24 April 1937: No matter what happened Arsenal were almost certain to finish third, so a little tinkering with the team was to be expected. Bernard Joy was dropped and Sidey came back into the team for this and the final game at centre half. 53,325 turned up at Chelsea despite this being a meaningless game. Chelsea won 2-0.
24 April 1943: Arsenal 4 QPR 1 in the semi-final of the Football League Cup (South). The game was played at Stamford Bridge and 50,048 turned up. The final was played one week later at Wembley.
24 April 1971: WBA 2 Arsenal 2. Last game for Jon Sammels. Having just defeated Leeds, West Brom held Arsenal in the 29th league game of the first Double season. The result left Arsenal one point above Leeds with one game in hand, but knowing that the next match was Leeds away.
24 April 1974: First game for Jimmy Rimmer. Liverpool 0 Arsenal 1. It was his only game of the season, but after that he took over from Bob Wilson as Arsenal’s first choice keeper.
24 April 1976: Final game for Terry Mancini. Man City 3 Arsenal 1, Arsenal ended the season in 17th position – the worst position since 1925, the final year of Knighton’s reign, after which Herbert Chapman took over. The game made it just two wins in 10 as Arsenal ended the season in 17th; the lowest since 1925 and just six points off relegation.
24 April 1988: Arsenal were the holders of the League Cup going into the 1988 final and utterly firm favourites but lost: Arsenal 2 Luton 3. Hayes and Smith scored but Arsenal’s defence lost the plot once Arsenal were 2-1 up.
24 April 1999: Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 6. Arsenal went top of the league for the first time in the season, with their 17th unbeaten game. Arsenal had been 0-6 up and with much of the home crowd drifting out, the away support cheered the Boro goal on their behalf as much as the Arsenal goals had been scored. Overmars, Anelka (2), Kanu (2) and Vieira got the goals.
24 April 2002: Arsenal 2 WHU 0. Part of the 13-game consecutive winning streak. This was League match 35 of the 3rd Double season. Ljungberg and Kanu scored in the last 13 minutes. It was the last time Arsenal won on 24 April.
24 April 2011: Bolton 2 Arsenal 1. The result was part of a dreadful end of season run in which Arsenal won just two of the final 13 games of the season – although still ending up fourth, six points ahead of Tottenham in fifth. The run continued at the start of 2011/12 with just two wins in the first eight games. This was the era of “fourth is not a trophy”.
24 April 2016: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 0. Sunderland were desperate to avoid relegation while Arsenal came into this game on a run of five unbeaten, in which they had scored 12. Arsenal’s run continued to the end of the season to give them the runner’s up spot. Sunderland avoided relegation by two points, sending Newcastle down in their place.
25 April 1891: Arsenal’s first substitute, in a friendly against Sunderland. Davy Howat was forced to leave the pitch with an injury after 20 minutes and at half time it was agreed that Henry Offer could take Howat’s place. It finished Arsenal 1 Sunderland 3. It was part of the programme of playing league clubs ahead of the first season in the league.
25 April 1895: Royal Ordnance Factories 0 Woolwich Arsenal 0. In 1892/3 Arsenal was embroiled in a battle with their ground landlord and his supporters inside the club, which resulted ultimately in Woolwich Arsenal joining the Football League while the landlord and others formed a new club (ROF FC) and joining the Southern League. They played on grounds opposite each other and this match showed they were at least talking to each other by this date. Further matches followed.
25 April 1903: Arsenal ended their season beating Chesterfield Municipal 1-0 having beaten Chesterfield Town on 10 April 3-0. Quite what the attraction was with Chesterfield at this time is not known.
25 April 1904: Arsenal 0 Port Vale 0. This result gave Arsenal promotion, and left them undefeated at home all season with just two draws. However a win would have given them the championship. The crowd was 20,000
25 April 1908: First game for Matthew Thomson in a friendly away to Dundee. Arsenal lost 1-2. Thomson came from Maryhill for whom he played in the season 1902/03. His first league game was in the 1-1 draw at home with Middlesbrough on March 17 1909
25 April 1908: Death of Harry Storer. After leaving Arsenal he went to Liverpool and continued to play for them until 1899, staying on the books until 1901. Tragically he died just six years later in Derbyshire of tuberculosis aged 38.
25 April 1910: The limited company that was set up to run Woolwich Arsenal in 1893, The Woolwich Arsenal Football And Athletic Company Limited, was dissolved. A new company was set up on the following day: 26 April 1910
25 April 1914: Arsenal finished their first season after the move to Highbury, with a 2-0 win over Glossop North End in front of 25,000. The club came third, missing promotion only on goal average. Bradford and Notts County went up instead.
25 April 1916: The start of a dreadful period in the war as Germany launched a united air and sea attack on the east coast of England followed by a major gas attack at Hulluch in France in which the 16th (Irish) Division was wiped out. Elsewhere British forces surrendered to the Ottoman Empire at Kut-al-Amara
25 April 1919: The London Combination which had been the league for the capital during the first world war prepared to vote itself out of existence, to make way for the return of the Football League. In the event it didn’t, and instead became the reserve league for London.
25 April 1921: Arsenal 2 Preston North End 1. This made it seven without defeat as Arsenal challenged for their best position in the first division thus far, beating the 6th of 1909 – although it wasn’t to be. Hopkins and McKinnon scored.
25 April 1931: “Arsenal Romance: How famous club was formed” by David Danskin appeared in Midland Daily Telegraph. The article, although written over 40 years after the event has become a significant source for historians.
25 April 1932: Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 1. Leslie Compton’s debut. He was transferred from Hampstead Town and went on to play 253 league games for Arsenal in a 20 year career with the club. He had just turned professional and was played at right back but then when George Male took that place, he moved back to the reserves before later moving to the centre of defence.
25 April 1939: Archie Leitch died. He is remembered as the prime architect of Highbury, but should also be remembered for his work on the Manor Ground in Plumstead. Henry Norris also employed him to work at Fulham while he also worked on Stamford Bridge at the same time!
25 April 1953: Preston 2 Arsenal 0, leaving the teams on equal points at the top with one game to go. Everything thus came down to the final game played on the evening before the cup final, on a mud pile of a Highbury pitch.
25 April 1961: Terry Neill international debut for N Ireland. He went to manage Arsenal for 416 games – more than Herbert Chapman, but unlike Chapman left no lasting legacy at all.
25 April 1977: Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0. Last league game for Wilf Rostron. He played only 17 times for Arsenal across four years, and went on to Sunderland, but he is best remembered at Watford for his 317 league games for them.
25 April 1979: Nine days after beating Chelsea 5-2, Arsenal lost 1-5 to Villa. In between we lost 0-2 to Derby. In total Arsenal played nine games in 33 days ahead of the Man U cup final.
25 April 1981: Wolverhampton 1 Arsenal 2, which made it six wins and two draws in the last eight games as Arsenal headed for a final position of 3rd – the club’s best since 1972. Stapleton scored, the other goal was an own goal.
25 April 1987: Man City 3 Arsenal 0. Arsenal had just beaten Leicester 4-1 and with Man City bottom of the league, this had looked like it should have been an victory with Arsenal fourth, but it was most certainly not to be.
25 April 1998: Barnsley 0 Arsenal 2. Arsenal moved closer to the championship, and received a standing ovation from the home crowd. 34th league game of the 2nd Double season. Bergkamp scored his 16th and final league goal of the season to end as top scorer. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
25 April 2004. Arsenal won the League, at White Hart Lane, for the second time since Tottenham last won the league. The score was Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2 and this was the 34th league game of the unbeaten season. Lehmann (having conceded a penalty in the 94th minute) failed to return to the pitch to celebrate afterwards. Vieira and Pires got the goals.
25 April 2005: Tottenham Hotspur H Premier League 1-0 in a 13 match consecutive winning streak ending with a 7-0 victory against Everton. There was then one defeat in the last League game before beating Man U in the Cup final on penalties.
25 April 2006: After a 1-0 victory over Villareal in the first leg, Arsenal held out for a goalless draw to reach the Champions League final. In between the two games Arsenal were also required to play a match against Tottenham at highbury, which was drawn 1-1.
25 April 2007: Death of Alan Ball aged 61. After his playing days he became a manager, having eight different stints with clubs the length and breadth of England. He was never a success in the job however, and retired aged 54.
25 April 2007: Death of Arthur Shaw. It is reported that after finishing playing football he became a successful professional gambler, later meeting Malcolm Allison with whom he formed a successful gambling partnership.
25 April 2007: Death of Arthur Milton. Only twelve men played football and cricket for England in full internationals and test matches – Arsenal player Arthur Milton was the last of that remarkable group.
26 April 1893: Sevenoaks 0 Arsenal 11. This was part of the programme of building towards the launch of Arsenal’s league career starting in September, but as the score suggests, local teams were not really up to Arsenal’s strengths.
26 April 1899: Woolwich Arsenal 3 Woolwich League 0. This is one of those tantalising friendlies which exist in the results, but for which we have no information. Charlton (formed 1905) certainly played in the Woolwich League for a few years, and the League’s existence suggests a multiplicity of clubs in the area but beyond that at the moment we have no information.
26 April 1910 With the original Woolwich Arsenal limited company dissolved on 25 April, a new company bearing the same name as the old one came into existence on this day. This company still trades today and continues to carry out its business as Arsenal FC.
26 April 1912: Arsenal manager George Morrell took the job of manager at Leeds City who had just finished one place from bottom in Division II. Henry Norris and William Hall naturally met with their manager – and ultimately persuaded him to stay. The job at Leeds instead went to Herbert Chapman – something which ultimately led to him getting a life-time ban from football.
26 April 1913: Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 1; after a disastrous season Woolwich Arsenal played their last game at the Manor Ground as Arsenal were relegated for the only time in their history. Stonley scored the last Arsenal goal in Plumstead; it was his only goal in Plumstead. 3000 turned up for this final match. Also here It was Jo Shaw’s testimonial and the amount he was to be paid was enhanced by the directors, due to the smallness of the crowd.
26 April 1915: Following Henry Norris’ efforts and funding in setting up the first Footballer’s Battalion on this day, the Footballers Battalion XI played the Sportsmen’s Battalion at Craven Cottage.
26 April 1917: Wartime league match attendances varied enormously. On this day 1000 turned up to see the postponed game against Brentford away. It ended goalless.
26 April 1919: In the aftermath of the huge fall out between Arsenal and Fulham, the Victory Cup Final was played at Highbury with 36000 present, Chelsea beating Fulham 3-0. The Islington Daily Gazette reported anti-Fulham feeling at the match, even in the press room. Meanwhile Arsenal played a friendly away to Brentford. It ended in a 3-3 draw in front of 3,000 and thus with a game between the top two, the final London Combination season as the London wartime league of the first world war, was over. The Combination did, however, return in a different guise.
26 April 1926: Arsenal 5 Hibernian 0. Last game for John Alex Mackie. He played 108 league games for the club, 119 overall, before moving to Portsmouth, and later Northampton, ending his career at the outbreak of war. See also here.
26 April 1930. Arsenal won the F.A. Cup for the first time, 2-0 v Huddersfield as Arsenal played Chapman’s previous employers. It was the final remembered for the Zepplin flying overhead, and because it involved Chapman’s present and past employers playing each other. It was also the first final in which the managers led their teams onto the pitch. See also here
26 April 1952: Manchester United 6 Arsenal 1. Last game for Reg Lewis. His career was hampered by injuries and he retired having played 176 games scoring 116 goals. He went on to run a pub and work in insurance.
26 April 1958: Last game for Mike Tiddy. Preston 3 Arsenal 0. His career was shortened by repeated injuries, and eventually Arsenal brought in Joe Haverty as a replacement. Mike moved on to Brighton and Hove Albion.
26 April 1965: Man U 3 Arsenal 1 ended the season with Arsenal 13th after just two wins in the last 10. George Eastham scored a penalty for Arsenal.
26 April 1971: Leeds 1 Arsenal 0. Charlton was obviously offside as he took the ball and shot in injury time. The shot hit the post, ran along the line as Charlton ran into McNab and the ball went in. With Arsenal players outraged both by the off-side and the foul on McNab the police came onto the pitch and led the ref away. Arsenal were now one point behind Leeds.
26 April 1975: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0. The only win in the last five as Arsenal ended the season in 16th. Kidd scored the goal (his 19th of the season) in a far from full Highbury. Arsenal lost the final match 0-1 to West Ham.
26 April 1980: Arsenal 1 WBA 1. Stapleton scored his 13th of the season. Better form could have given Arsenal 3rd instead of 4th at the end of the season, but Arsenal won just one of the last six, scoring just five goals in those games, while letting in eight.
26 April 2008: Perry Groves was arrested in Colchester and issued with a fixed penalty notice for a Section 5 public order offence of using abusive and insulting words and behaviour, likely to cause harassment.
26 April 2009. Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at home. After one defeat in 25 games in league and cups Arsenal had a bumpy end to the season being knocked out of the FA Cup and in the semi-final of the Champions League and losing one (but only one) league game, which made pundits write off all of Arsenal’s achievements in the year. It was ever thus.
26 April 2015: A goalless draw with Chelsea, who were on their way to be runaway champions, was part of a run of 16 games to the end of the season in which Arsenal lost just one match, ending the season in 3rd.
26 April 2017: Arsenal 1 Leicester 0. This win through an own goal was one of nine wins in the final ten games of the season. That was enough to win Arsenal the FA Cup but not enough to get to the top four – the club missing out by one point, and allowing Liverpool to sneak in above them.
26 April 2018: Arsenal 1 Atletico Madrid 1 in the Europa League semi-final. It was considered by most commentators to be “not enough” to get Arsenal through, as indeed it turned out to be.
27 April 1851: George Lawrence, the club’s first major benefactor, was born. He became interested in football when he was nearly 40 years old, starting to watch Royal Arsenal in January 1889, and with his wife was instrumental in organising away excursions for the supporters, particularly after the club joined the League in 1893.
27 April 1865: Archie Leitch, the architect involved in both the Manor Ground and Highbury, was born. His first high profile job involved building a new stadium for Rangers but part of the stadium collapsed causing many deaths, and it was after this that he moved to London to find new work.
27 April 1893: Test Matches were played as part of the process of expanding the leagues while the bottom eight clubs of the second division had to stand for re-election. Bootle were ejected, Accrington resigned and the Second Division was expanded to 15, allowing Arsenal the chance to apply for a spare place.
27 April 1895: Arsenal 3 Millwall Athletic 1. 8000 were in the crowd and this was one of 18 matches in a row against the local rivals without defeat.
27 April 1898: Alfred Baker born. He worked initially as a miner and it is said that manager Knighton signed him at the pit head in order to ward off interest from other teams. He turned pro with Arsenal in May 1919 and stayed until he retired from football, playing 310 league games for Arsenal.
27 April 1901: Final game for James Tennant. He had played in the 12-0 defeat of Loughboro and later played for Falkirk where he was involved in a bizarre and notorious episode in which after a night out he and a fellow player signed for East Stirlingshire while drunk.
27 April 1904: Charles Satterthwaite (the man who scored the first Arsenal goal in the first division), was transferred from WHU. He played 126 games for Arsenal and his brother Joe also played five games for Arsenal in 1907/8.
27 April 1907: Arsenal’s lowest crowd of the season (just 2,000) turned up for the final home game of the campaign, in which Arsenal beat Derby 3-2 to take Arsenal 7th in the league.
27 April 1908: Motherwell 1 Woolwich Arsenal 1 (1500 in the ground). It was part of a Scottish tour involving nine games in ten days, with mostly the same players involved throughout.
27 April 1909: 30,000 attended to watch Man U 1 Arsenal 4, in the final match of the campaign, making it five wins and a draw in the month, and a final position of 6th – the best yet. It was also the last ever game for Thomas Fitchie, the travelling sales rep Arsenal signed five times.
27 April 1912: Last game for Leigh Roose. He was the absolute showman goalkeeper and was known to shout, swear and pick fights on and off the pitch. He retired from football at this point, and was tragically killed in action in the Battle of the Somme.
27 April 1912: Leslie Knighton claimed he had managerial experience before coming to Arsenal. In fact he was caretaker manager at Man City from 24 to 27 April 1912 – the end of the season. And oversaw one match – on this day.
27 April 1922: The first visit by the Duke of York to Arsenal was a source for much amusement by Arsenal’s manager Knighton in his autobiography, claiming the directors didn’t know how to deal with such a dignitary. Yet it didn’t seem to affect his royal highness much, as he quickly came back to Highbury to watch the London Insurance Offices FA Cup final on this day.
27 April 1929: Cliff Bastin signed for Arsenal after just 17 Third Division games for Exeter. He had played in their first team aged 16 years 1 month and in his home debut for the first team he scored two in a 5-1 win against Newport County.
27 April 1932: Reg Stockill made his debut against Huddersfield Town. After only playing eight games he moved to Derby in 1934.
27 April 1935: Leicester 3 Arsenal 5. Beasley (2) Crayston (2) and Davidson scored as Arsenal, already champions, reached 115 league goals. Drake had already got 42, and Bastin 20. In the 19 games between 29 December 1934 and 27 April, Arsenal lost just one. In the same period, Tottenham won just two.
27 April 1936: According to Bernard Joy on this day George Allison received a letter from David Danskin, one of the club founders in 1886, after Danskin, who was very ill, had listened to the cup final on the radio and wrote of the contrast between football in his day and the mass crowds at the cup final.
27 April 1936: Just two days after the FA Cup final Arsenal played Chelsea with only the older members of the squad (James and Roberts) given a break. Despite the game being on a Monday late afternoon over 40,000 turned up at Highbury for the 1-1 draw – Drake scored Arsenal’s goal.
27 April 1939: Just in case there was anyone who was not clear that war was now a real possibility the Military Training Act was passed, to come into force on 3 June. It re-introduced conscription for all men aged 20 and 21. Six months military training was now compulsory.
27 April 1940: Notts County 1 Arsenal 5, in the Football League War Cup. Each tie in the competition was played both home and away, and Arsenal had already won the home tie 4-0. But was is particularly interesting is that the crowd for that home tie was 11,521, while for this away leg was 14,755. The reason was not an upturn in popularity for Notts County, but rather that Arsenal’s home games were played not at Highbury, but at White Hart Lane.
27 April 1954: Arsenal 4 Racing Club de Paris 0. This was part of the series of games that was initiated by Herbert Chapman as a benefit to servicemen injured in the first world war.
27 April 1959: Arsenal won the Southern Floodlight Challenge Cup for the only time beating Crystal Palace 0-2 away. It was Arsenal’s first competitive visit to Selhurst Park with a team that included Mel Charles – who scored the winning goal.
27 April 1963: Blackpool 3 Arsenal 2. Debut for Jon Sammels – who scored one of the two goals. He played just two games this season, but went on to play 212 games all told, including making 21 appearances in the first Double season.
27 April 1973 Double-winning captain Frank McLintock was sold to QPR for £25,000. He played 127 league games for QPR over four years, taking the club to second position in the First Division in 1976, as meanwhile Arsenal sunk to 17th, retiring one year later.
27 April 1974: While our result was Coventry City 3 Arsenal 3, Man U lost to Man C and were relegated, Denis Law scoring for City. During the Man U game play was halted after a fire was lit behind one of the goals. The police moved in, and when the players returned to the pitch there was immediately a pitch invasion in a second attempt to get the match abandoned. Man U were of course not punished.
27 April 1991: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 3. Benefit match for Ray Kennedy. He was Shankly’s last purchase as Liverpool’s manager, and Kennedy’s sale to them was an absolute disaster for Arsenal, a triumph for Liverpool, and a sign of Mee’s total lack of judgement at the time.
27 April 1996: Blackburn 1 Arsenal 1. The 3rd of four without a win left Arsenal in fifth. Wright scored a penalty – his last goal of the season to give him 15 league goals as top scorer.
27 April 2003: Thierry Henry voted PFA Player of the Year. Overall he was runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year twice, was PFA Players’ Player of the Year twice, and the FWA Footballer of the Year three times.
28 April 1893. George Lawrence signed the contract on behalf the Woolwich Arsenal Company with W B Jackson of Royal Arsenal Football Club to transfer Royal Arsenal into The Woolwich Arsenal Football And Athletic Company Limited
28 April 1894: In the space of 32 days up to the final match of the season on this day, Arsenal played 10 friendlies and two league games, with a number of players playing in virtually all of them.
28 April 1897: Arsenal 1 Man City 2. Last game for James Boyle. In 1895/6 he started as left half, moved back to the centre, and then for three games played in goal, becoming on 14 December 1895 the fourth goalkeeper in 15 matches for the club.
28 April 1898: Arsenal 5 Tottenham 0. With the season over for Arsenal this was one of three friendlies in five days – the others being away to Thames Ironworks, and Millwall. Arsenal also played Tottenham twice in the United League this season.
28 April 1904: Millwall Athletic 2 Arsenal 1. Southern Pro Charity Cup. The competition ran from 1901 to 1908, and generally involved seven or eight teams from the London region.
28 April 1906: Arsenal 5 Tottenham 0 (again). Southern Pro Charity Cup semi-final. Arsenal reached the final of the competition for the first time and went on to win it, beating Reading.
28 April 1908: Rangers 1 Arsenal 1. This seems to have been the first ever match between the two clubs, and was part of a major Scottish tour by Arsenal of eight matches in nine days!
28 April 1910: With the season over, Arsenal arranged a friendly away to Colchester (where they won 3-2) to try and raise income, as the depth of the club’s financial crisis became clearer.
28 April 1917: Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 4-0, their final home game of the season played in front of a crowd of 4500. After the match Henry Norris and William Hall took the Arsenal squad out to dinner, at the Holborn Restaurant.
28 April 1920: Bradford Park Avenue 0 Arsenal 0. Only 7000 turned up for the game. The result left Arsenal in 11th position and Bradford in ninth. It was Arsenal’s third draw in a row, with one more to come… at home to Bradford.
28 April 1923: Arsenal 2 Sheff U 0 completed a nine match unbeaten run to end the season in 11th position. This run showed promise and gave hope for Arsenal, but it was a false dawn, as the next two seasons showed.
28 April 1924: Burnley 4 Arsenal 1. Alexander Graham’s last senior game. He played 47 league matches for Brentford and became the club’s assistant manager in December 1925 and later briefly held the position for Folkestone before leaving football.
28 April 1927: John “Jack” Lee played his 7th and last game for Arsenal – Blackburn 1 Arsenal 2. He stayed with the club one more year, but got no more first team games, leaving this as Jack’s only experience of winning a match with the club.
28 April 1945: Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0 in the Football League South. After four successive defeats in which Arsenal conceded 13 goals Arsenal finally got a win. There was one more match (a draw with WHU) and Arsenal finished 8th but they did win the Football League Cup South
28 April 1956: Cardiff 1 Arsenal 2; Alex Forbes’ last game. He moved to Leyton Orient, then Fulham and finally Gravesend & Northfleet. After that he worked at Arsenal training the reserves and A team, before emigrating to South Africa when he coached school children.
28 April 1979: Arsenal 1 Norwich City 1. Arsenal had reached the cup final on 31 March, and the distraction was evident to everyone, as Arsenal won two of their last 13 games. After losing 5-1 to Villa three days earlier this was almost a decent result, leaving Arsenal sixth in the League.
28 April 1980: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1. FA Cup Semi final 2nd replay. Once more the sides played at Villa Park and as in the previous replay Sunderland scored. The team was: Jennings, Rice, Devine, Talbot, O’Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Price, Rix.
28 April 1982: George Wood’s final cap for Scotland. He was given a free transfer to Crystal Palace in May 1983, before moving on to Cardiff, Hereford, Merthyr and Inter Cardiff.
28 April 1984: Don Howe became permanent manager. Although his win ratio was only fractionally below George Allison, he failed to win any trophies and he left part way through the 1985/6 season.
28 April 2008 Having beaten Derby 5-0 the previous September Arsenal went to Derby and won 6-2. Adebayor got a hat trick while Walcott, Bendtner, and Van Persie supplied the others.
28 April 2014: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0. The result meant that for the 18th successive season Arsenal were certain to end up above Tottenham in the league – after 36 out of 38 games played. The crowd as always sang, “It’s happened again, It’s happened again, Tottenham Hotspur, It’s happened again”.
28 April 2019: Arsenal lost 0-3 away to Leicester amid some very strange refereeing decisions indeed, which included Maitland-Niles being sent off. It meant Arsenal had lost four of the last five games and lost their chance of a top four finish.
29 April 1893. The final game of Royal Arsenal: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Stoke. The club had already plotted their route into the Football League but were now distracted by the split within the Committee and the threat of eviction from their ground.
29 April 1899: Final game for Adam Haywood; v Tottenham in the United League. An offer of £50 from Glossop North End was accepted but then before he had a chance to play for Glossop he moved again to QPR in the Southern League, where he met up with four other ex-Woolwich men.
29 April 1911: Arsenal ended the season with Notts C 0 Arsenal 2, making it 11 unbeaten including six wins. This was quite remarkable because Arsenal only won seven games in the 27 prior to this, but ended 10th. Man U won the title.
29 April 1912: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0 at White City, in a charity match to raise funds for the families of those who perished on the Titanic. See also here
29 April 1916: The Easter Rebellion in Ireland, as republicans launched an uprising against British rule. It was the most significant rebellion since 1798 and the British army put down the rebellion with absolute ferocity. The rebels unconditionally surrendered on this day.
29 April 1922: Bradford C 0 Arsenal 2. This was the 8th game in April which resulted in four wins, two draws, and two defeats. The run took Arsenal to 17th and saved them from relegation.
29 April 1929: Cliff Holton born. He joined Arsenal from Oxford City in October 1947 initially as a full back, but later became not just a centre forward but one of the most prolific goalscorers in the history of league football.
29 April 1933: Arsenal 2 Huddersfield 2. Two goals for Bastin gave him 33 goals in 42 games to make him top scorer for the season as Arsenal won the league by four points from Aston Villa in second. Bolton and Blackpool went down.
29 April 1939: Arsenal’s mysterious keeper E Bateup died. Much of his life and career is uncertain, but it seems that after leaving Arsenal he played for Port Vale before retiring from football in 1918, having been playing in the war time leagues.
29 April 1946: Arsenal 1 Brentford 1. Football League South. Arsenal’s penultimate war time league game. The crowd was just 5250 as it was played on a Monday afternoon at White Hart Lane – Highbury still being shut following its use during the war.
29 April 1950: Arsenal won their 3rd FA Cup beating Liverpool 2-0 with both goals coming from Reg Lewis. It was Arsenal’s 5th cup final, their first in “old gold” shirts and the first ever Arsenal game in front of 100,000.
29 April 1961: Everton 4 Arsenal 1. David Herd’s last game. He moved to Manchester United with whom he won the FA Cup, the championship twice and the European Cup although not playing in the final. The game made it 12 goals conceded in the last three and two wins in the final 12 games. Arsenal finished 11th.
29 April 1969: Although Bertie Mee’s third season ended Everton 1 Arsenal 0, Arsenal finish 4th, the club’s highest place in 10 years.
29 April 1978: Only 32,138 came along to see the last home game of the season – a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. The highlight was a live cockerel thrown into the Arsenal penalty area. Unnecessary and cruel, but the event was lightened (at least from a human perspective if not from a cockerel view of the world) when a groundsman dealt with the bird by chasing it into the crowd. Headless chicken symbolism indeed.
29 April 1995: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1. An Ian Wright penalty gave him 18 for the season as top league scorer for the club. But Arsenal were 10th, 36 points behind the leaders Blackburn.
29 April 1998: Arsenal 1 Derby 0. Petit scored for Arsenal in the 35th league game of the 2nd Double season. Arsenal were now four points ahead of Man U with a game in hand. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
29 April 2000: Arsenal beat Everton 0-1 to go second in the league. It was the 6th consecutive win with Overmars scoring the winner on 34 minutes. The run continued for two more games but Arsenal could only finish second to Man U.
29 April 2002: Bolton 0 Arsenal 2. This was the 11th game of 13 consecutive wins and League match 36 of the 3rd Double season. Ljungberg and Wiltord scored.
29 April 2009: Man U 1 Arsenal 0. Champions League semi-final first leg. Although unbeaten in the League since November and having beaten Man U 2-1 in the League earlier in the year, Arsenal were unable to get an away goal, and also failed to win the second leg at home.
29 April 2018: Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1. This league game was squeezed in between the two Europa League semi-final games against Atletico Madrid, as Arsene Wenger’s tenure as manager came to an end. The defeat confirmed that Arsenal’s attempt to come fourth (already unlikely) was now virtually impossible. Defeat in the next game meant Arsenal could not win the Europa either.
29 April 2021: Arsenal lost 2-1 away to Valencia in the semi-final of the Europa league to give hope that the result could be turned around in the second leg. However that result on6 May was a goalless draw.
30 April 1892: Royal Arsenal 2 Rangers 3. It is possible that this early connection between Arsenal and Rangers was linked to the architectural work undertaken by Archie Leitch at the Manor Ground, with Leitch having previously worked on Ibrox.
30 April 1898: Gavin Crawford’s last game. He was the first player to play 100 games for Arsenal on 3 April 1897. After leaving he moved to Millwall, and QPR, before ultimately becoming head groundsman at Charlton.
30 April 1908: Arsenal’s amazing Scottish tour finally comes to an end with a 2-1 victory over Kilmarnock. Eight matches had been completed between April 21 and 30th.
30 April 1910: Although the last official day of the league season, Arsenal had already finished all their fixtures and so sent a mix of reserves and first team players to play a friendly game against Ilford. The crowd is not recorded although two days earlier only 1000 turned up for a friendly against Colchester.
30 April 1916: Panic hit the British government as Germany introduced Sommerzeit – or Daylight Saving Time. As one member of the House of Lords said, “They could invade us and we wouldn’t even know until an hour later.”
30 April 1921: Football in the early days was always associated with charitable work and on this day a charity match was played between Unity House and Carlisle Railwaymen at Highbury with half the gate receipts going to the National Union of Railwaymen Orphan Fund.
30 April 1927: Arsenal 3 Birmingham 0. Despite the FA Cup final defeat on April 23, Arsenal made it five straight league wins in a row. Brian Tricker and Bob John scored. Arsenal were 12th with two games to go.
30 April 1932: To win the League Arsenal needed to win and Everton lose. Arsenal beat Middlesbrough (who were 16th) 5-0 but Everton beat Bolton 1-0 and so won the league.
30 April 1938: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0. With one game to go Arsenal had a one point lead at the top, but Wolverhampton had a game in hand. Eddie Carr got the goal – part of a run of five goals for him in three games.
30 April 1946: Arsenal 1 Leicester 2 (Football League South). This was part of the six without a win run, in a season in which Arsenal used 66 players in 44 matches. Although hampered by the unavailability of Highbury, the fact of this run should have warned the club that it needed major reconstruction of the team before the resumption of the Football League the following August.
30 April 1952: Continuing the regular end of season fixtures at Highbury, The British Olympic XI played England B Trial XI at Highbury.
30 April 1959: Ian McKechnie signed as a professional for Arsenal. He had joined in 1958 as an amateur outside left, but was transformed into a goalkeeper, and became the the first Scot to be chosen to play for the London Youth XI.
30 April 1964: Ernest Williamson died from pneumonia in Norwich. After leaving Arsenal he went to Norwich City, and subsequently he ran a couple of public houses. He was a great friend to the St Dunstan’s charity, which provided training, rehabilitation and lifelong support to soldiers, sailors and airmen who had lost their sight in the First World War.
30 April 1965: Eddie McGoldrick born in Islington. He played for Kettering, Nuneaton, Northampton and Crystal Palace before reaching Arsenal in 1993.
30 April 1968: Arsenal beat Sheffield W 3-2 in front of only 11,262 at Highbury. Court, Radford and Gould scored in what was part of a five consecutive win run taking the club to the end of the season.
30 April 1969: John Roberts signed from Northampton Town for £35,000 and quickly won a league winner’s medal in the First Double season (although he did not play in the cup final.)
30 April 1974: Arsenal 1 QPR 1. Last game for Bob Wilson. With 308 league appearances he was second in the keeper appearance list only to David Seaman. He moved on to TV work with the BBC and also became goalkeeper coach for Arsenal. Liam Brady scored his first goal as Arsenal finished 10th. It was also the last game for Ray Kennedy who was utterly insanely sold by Mee.
30 April 1977: After an earlier run of consecutive defeats Newcastle 0 Arsenal 2 made it six wins out of seven matches. Macdonald and Matthews scored, but the excitement was short lived as Arsenal failed to win any of their remaining 3 games. Pat Howard made his final appearance.
30 April 1984: Jimmy Logie died. His life after Arsenal is somewhat hard to trace – it is said that he was a very successful manager of Gravesend, but also that he had a gambling problem and ended up selling the evening newspapers in the West End.
30 April 1988: Sheffield W 3 Arsenal 3. Alan Smith scored his final goal of the season becoming the top scorer, with just 11 goals. The result left Arsenal sixth, 23 points behind the leaders.
30 April 1993: Tommy Caton died of a heart attack aged 30. He had retired from football just one month earlier. He left a wife and three children.
30 April 2013: Lukas Podolski agreed to join Arsenal for around £11m at the start of the transfer window. Although a firm crowd favourite he seemed to fall out of favour with Arsene Wenger and in January 2015 moved out on loan.
30 April 2016: A 1-0 win over Norwich City (Welbeck scoring) carried on a run which meant Arsenal became unbeaten in their final ten league games of the season – as well as winning the FA Cup.
30 April 2017: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 0 meant that Arsenal would finish below Tottenham for the first time in 20 years. It was the final derby before WHL was demolished and Tottenham moved to Wembley.
30 April 2022: Granit Xhaka won the Arsenal player of the month away, thus completing a successful turn around in terms of the affection or otherwise of the crowd.
Month by month index
- And for contemporary events: Untold Arsenal
The anniversaries file aims is the biggest database of Arsenal events ever produced. However in trying to build it I always openly acknowledge that some of the details recorded here will be wrong, and facts will be inaccurate and will need correcting, not least because information may be taken from inaccurate sources, or (in my specialist way) I may have made copying and typing errors. So far over 250 people have contributed to the articles that make up the anniversary files, and if you can help us improve the data, please do either comment on an article (and I’ll correct the file itself), or write a new article for us. A correction and a citation of sources would be good however, rather than just saying “you’re wrong”. A special mention as always must go to Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews, who helped with the early development of this site. But whether you can add original research or corrections with the right data, or articles on people we have not yet covered, that will be very welcome indeed.
The dates in this file are being added to all the time, and come from a whole variety of sources including the internet and a variety of printed volumes. If you notice an error please write to Tony@schools.co.uk – ideally with a correction and a note of your source.
I would particularly like to mention Richard Lerman and David Brown, and their wonderful (but now tragically out of print) volume “The Gunners: Day to Day Life at Highbury”, which is a mine of information. Also to “Arsenal On This Day” by Paul Donnelley (Pitch Publishing). Also where would any of us be without “Arsenal a complete record” by Fred Ollier (Breedon Books), and “Arsenal the football facts” by Dean Hayes (John Blake). If I have missed another sourcebook, please do let me know and I will correct this at once.
If you know of any anniversary dates not yet listed, please do write in and add them. Not only are new dates being added at the rate of about half a dozen a day, but so are links being added to articles on this site. It is intended to produce a book based on this site in due course – but the date gets put back as I find more and more info.