This is a developing chronology of Arsenal’s history.  It is a long way from being finished, but if you want to contribute some events to add, please write to


1886 1 December: Club formed at Royal Oak, Woolwich, and named Royal Arsenal FC.
Oct or December: Played first game – won 6-0 v Eastern Wanderers (A).
1887 8 January: First home game played on Plumstead Common – won 6-1 v Erith.
Close season: Home games now played at the Sportsman’s Field.
Reserve team formed.
29 October: First competitive game.
1888 30 March: Home game v Millwall Rovers played at Manor Field due to Sportsman’s Field being unfit.
Close season: Home games now played at Manor Field.
1889 5 October: First FA Cup game – won 11-0 v Lyndhurst (H).
1890 22 March: won Kent Senior Cup.
5 April: won London Charity Cup.
Close season: Home games now played at Invicta Ground.
1891 17 January: Played first game in FA Cup proper – lost 1-2 v Derby (H).
7 March: Won London Senior Cup.
May: Club turned professional.
May: Resigned from London FA and Kent FA.
1892 First signs of disquiet amongst ex-committee members who go on to form Royal Ordnance Factories FC
1893 April: Limited Liability Company formed – changed name to Woolwich Arsenal Football And Athletic Company Limited. 1552 shares sold to 923 applicants by July.
May/June: Manor Field purchased and home games now played there.
31 May: Entry to Football League accepted.
2 September: First Football League game – drew 2-2 v Newcastle United (H).
14 October: Biggest FA Cup win – 12-0 v Ashford United (H).
1895 26 January: Referee attacked after game v Burton Wanderers (H).
Manor Field closed for 6 weeks after FA enquiry.
23 February: home game v Burton swifts played at New Brompton (Gillingham).
9 March: home game v Leicester Fosse played at Leyton.
1896 November: Joe Powell died shortly after breaking arm in game against Kettering.
12 December: Biggest league defeat: 0-8 v Loughborough (A).
1897 March: First manager appointed – Thomas Mitchell.
1898 10 March: Manager Thomas Mitchell resigned.
30 March: William Elcoat appointed manager.
1899 20 February: Manager William Elcoat resigned, Arthur Kennedy appointed caretaker-manager for remainder of season.
30 June: Harry Bradshaw appointed manager.
1900 12 March: Biggest league win – 12-0 v Loughborough (H).
1901 First club benefactor dies while a director – George Lawrance
1902  Archery Tournament raises approx £1200
1904 26 January: Harry Bradshaw resigns but stays on until end of season.
4 April: Phil Kelso joins the club and takes over as manager in 1 May.
May: Promoted to Division One.
3 September: first Division One game – lost 0-3 to Newcastle United (A).
5 December: beat Paris 26-1 in a friendly at home.
1906 31 March: played in first FA Cup semi-final – lost 0-2 to Newcastle United at Stoke.
30 April: won Southern Professional Charity Cup.
1907 23 March: played in second FA Cup semi-final – lost 1-3 to Sheff Weds at Birmingham.
October: Manager Phil Kelso tenders resignation but remains in charge until 10 February 1908
1908 10 February 1908: George Morrell takes over as manager .
Club sell Coleman and then Ashcroft.
1910 Club liquidated and new company formed. Henry Norris and William Hall take control of the club. Torpedo Factory moved to Scotland.
Jack Humble returns as director
1913 26 April: last game played at the Manor Ground – drew 1-1 with Middlesbrough.
Relegated to Division Two.
Close season: moved to Highbury.
1914 Last game of Woolwich Arsenal – “The Arsenal FC” formed
1915 13 April: George Morrell resigns as manager. James McEwen appointed caretaker manager.
Football suspended at end of season for duration of first world war.  Arsenal FC formed prior to last match of season.
1919 Elected to Division One starting the longest ever period for a club in the first division.
April: Leslie Knighton appointed manager
1925 16 May: manager Leslie Knighton leaves the club.
11 June: Herbert Chapman appointed manager
1926 May: Club finishes 2nd in Division One – highest position ever by a southern team
1928 13 October: David Jack joins Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers for a world record transfer fee of £10,890.
1930  First FA Cup victory; first top level trophy since foundation 44 years before
1931  Club wins its 1st league championship (Chapman as manager)
1933  Club wins its 2nd league championship (Chapman as manager)
1934  6 January: manager Herbert Chapman dies, Joe Shaw takes over as caretaker-manager.
Club wins its 3rd league championship (Chapman /Shaw as manager)
30 May: George Allison appointed manager
1935 Club wins its 4th league championship (Allison as manager)
14 December: Ted Drake scores 7 goals in the league game at Aston Villa.
1938 Club wins its 5th league championship (Allison as manager)
4 August: Bryn Jones joins Arsenal from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a world record transfer fee of £14,500.
1939 League suspended after 3 matches for duration of the war
1941 8 February: Leslie Compton scores 10 goals in the game against Clapton Orient.
1946  Football resumes with George Allison still manager at Arsenal
1947  31 May: manager George Allison retires. Tom Whittaker takes over as manager.
1948  Club wins its 6th league championship (Whittaker as manager)
1950 Win FA Cup beating Liverpool 2-0 in the final at Wembley. Last FA Cup win until 1971
1952 Lose in FA Cup Final to Newcastle United 0-1.
1953 Club wins its 7th league championship (Whittaker as manager)
1956  24 October: manager Tom Whittaker dies, Jack Crayston appointed caretaker manager.
16 November: Jack Crayston appointed acting manager.
21 December: Jack Crayston appointed permanent manager.
1958  19 May: Manager Jack Crayston resigns.
21 July: George Swindin becomes manager
1959  AFC finish 3rd in league, the last top four finish or Cup win until 1971 – a period labelled in this blog as The Darkness
1962  16 March: Announced that manager George Swindin’s contract will not be renewed at the end of the season.
1 May: Billy Wright becomes manager.
1963  25 September: Club plays its first competitive European game beating Staevnet 7-1 (A) in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
1966  13 June: manager Billy Wright resigns.
20 June: Bertie Mee appointed acting manager, and then manager
1968  Lose League Cup Final to Leeds United
1969  Lose League Cup Final to Swindon Town
1970  28 April: Club wins its 1st European trophy – beating Anderlecht 4-3 on aggregate in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final.
1971  Club wins its 8th league championship (Mee as manager)
First FA Cup/League double
22 December: Alan Ball joins Arsenal from Everton for a British transfer record fee of £220,000.
1976  23 March: Manager Bertie Mee announces that he will retire at the end of the season.
9 July: Terry Neil appointed manager
1978  Lose FA Cup final v Ipswich
1979  Win FA Cup final v Manchester United
1980  Lose FA Cup final v West Ham
Lose European Cup-winners Cup
1983  15 December: Manager Terry Neill sacked, Don Howe appointed caretaker manager.
1984  28 April: Don Howe appointed permanent manager.
1986  28 March: Manager Don Howe resigns, Steve Burtenshaw appointed caretaker manager.
14 May: George Graham appointed manager
1989  Club wins its 9th league championship (Graham as manager)
1991  Club wins its 10th league championship (Graham as manager)
1993 FA Cup and League Cup Winners – first team to do the Cup Double (Graham as manager)
1994  European Cup Winners Cup Winners (Graham as manager)
1995 14 February: Manager George Graham sacked, Stewart Houston appointed caretaker manager.
8 June: Bruce Rioch appointed manager.
21 June: Dennis Bergkamp joins Arsenal from Inter Milan for a record British transfer fee of £7,500,000.
1996  12 August: Bruce Rioch sacked, Stewart Houston appointed caretaker manager.
13 September: Stewart Houston resigns, Pat Rice appointed caretaker manager.
1 October: Arsene Wenger appointed manager.
1998  Club wins its 11th league championship (Wenger as manager)
2002  Club wins its 12th league championship (Wenger as manager)
2004  Club wins its 13th league championship (Wenger as manager) remaining unbeaten throughout the league season.
2005  Club wins its 10th FA Cup (Wenger as manager) beating Manchester United on penalties after the game finished 0-0.













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