George ‘Geordie’ Armstrong’s Cannon

On 5 February 1974 at Elland Road, Leeds, Arsenal’s George ‘Geordie’ Armstrong became the first player to play 500 competitive games for the Gunners. Before this match Armstrong was presented with a set of candelabras and champagne for his landmark achievement. The closest that any player had previously come to this number was Bob John who had amassed 470 appearances during the 1920s & 1930s.

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50 years in the top flight – The Arsenal Dinner and Dance 1968

On 9 November 1968 Arsenal chose to celebrate their 50th consecutive season at the top tier of the English game. This entailed a Division One match against Newcastle in the afternoon which ended goalless despite George Graham and John Radford being up front, and the club held a banquet for 400 guests at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly that same night.

 

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FA Cup Final

Arsenal’s Kick-Off Times

The purists would still want the FA Cup final at 3pm on the last Saturday of the season,” – Greg Dyke

Is the 3 o’clock kick-off time a tradition? Was it just a recent invention or does it have deeper roots in the competition? Is it progressive to alter the time of the kick offs, or just an utter waste of energy and another example of the FA bowing before BBC, Sky and BT dictats?

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Pioneers of the South

On 9 May 1891 the members of Royal Arsenal Football Club caused a sensation on the London football scene when they voted to turn professional. The governing body for football in London were staunchly amateur, heavily influenced by the “old boys” network of public schools.

Royal Arsenal had been forced into this situation after losing a number of their players to the professional clubs in the Midlands and the North. Being the best club in London and the South had led to them becoming victims of their own success.

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Arsenal’s Record Transfer Fee Progression

Ever since Aston Villa broke the three-figure barrier for Willie Groves in 1893, the game has been obsessed with the value of footballers. Arsenal took a long time to join the big boys mainly due to financial difficulties caused by the Boer War at the end of the 1890s, the scaling down of the Royal Arsenal in the first decade of the 20th Century both of which resulted in reductions of attendances, and the costs incurred in the building of Highbury. Read More →

Owner, majority shareholder or something else?

If you’ve read any books that tell the history of Arsenal (or even Chelsea or Tottenham) it is very likely that you would have read about Henry Norris arriving like a knight in shining armour to save Arsenal from extinction in 1910. Some histories will say that he bought the club, some will say that he was the majority shareholder.

However, neither is correct. And by quite a considerable way.

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Terracing from the Invicta Ground

Extant concrete terracing from the Invicta Ground, Plumstead

Arsenal’s home between 1890 and 1893 was the Invicta Ground. It was a monumental location as Royal Arsenal moved there as an amateur team, but within a year the club had turned professional.

Despite the ground being replaced by housing in the late 1890s some of the stadium’s concrete terracing from 1890 still survives in the back gardens of houses in Hector Street.

A couple of years ago we embarked on a trip around Plumstead and this gives more detail to one aspect of the club’s time in Plumstead.

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