Woolwich Arsenal Manager Didn’t Win Promotion

During Arsenal’s third match of this season, BBC’s Jonathan Pearce came out with this fact:

“Not since Phil Kelso in 1904 has an Arsenal manager started with just one draw from their opening three games”

He was referring to Kelso’s first three games at the start of the 1904-05 season which was Woolwich Arsenal’s first in the top flight. However, whilst putting together our latest book – Arsenal: The Complete Record – we discovered that this wasn’t correct.

Read More →

Whenever a new Arsenal player makes his debut, the question “how many players have played for Arsenal?” usually gets asked. Well, here is the answer – every player that has played for Arsenal’s first team in a competitive game in chronological order.

Any player that has an asterisk (*) next to his name scored on his Arsenal debut, and any names underlined will show a picture of the the player if you hover your mouse pointer over the name. We’ll add these as and when we can, but bear with us as it’s a time consuming process.

Where two or more players made their debut in the same game, they are given the same chronological number. If two or more players came on as a substitute in the same game, they are given consecutive chronological numbers dependent upon the order in which they came on.

And one last thing, you’re probably best off viewing this page on a PC or laptop. Read More →

On 24 February 1934, Arsenal travelled north to play Newcastle United at St James’ Park. A 1-0 win saw the Gunners back on track to retain the Football League title which looked like it could be derailed following the untimely death of Herbert Chapman.

On the journey back to London, the train that the players were on was involved in a major accident that resulted on six of the team, including David Jack and Cliff Bastin, being tragically killed.

Read More →

“Honest” John McKenna’s Impassioned Speech

We’ve written a number of blogs on this site about Arsenal’s election to the First Division in 1919 that show that what is perceived to be the truth about the events surrounding this meeting are not what they seem. We thought that the one about the precedent of what happened when the First Division was expanded would be the last one as we believed that there were no more “facts” left to be dispelled.

However, we’ve now found another story that doesn’t appear to be what it seems.

Read More →

Been living off another man’s achievements for over 120 years!

I’m not sure what set me off on this one, I guess there was something that didn’t seem to add up. But here we are with another historical “fact” that has been corrected.

Arsenal’s 2017 FA Cup win was their seventh under Arsene Wenger which made him the most successful manager in FA Cup history. This is shown in tables plastered all over the internet and traditional media. I assume that most of these have sourced their information from that ultra-reliable source, Wikipedia.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Peter Connolly’s London Senior Cup medal from 1891

Walking around the Arsenal Museum you may inadvertently miss a small gold medal in a case that holds some of the oldest known surviving memorabilia related to Arsenal Football Club.

The medal is approximately 4cm in diameter, and has the inscription “London Football Association Challenge Cup” along with the London FA’s coat of arms on the front. On the obverse it shows that the medal was won by P. Connolly of RAFC (Royal Arsenal Football Club) in 1890-91, and has a gold hallmark. Read More →