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.

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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.

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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.

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The Clock Revisited

We all know the original clock was placed on the Laundry End in 1930 and after some shenanigans with the FA and Highbury redevelopment it was moved to the College End in 1935.

We wrote as much in a recent blog and article for the club magazine.

However, all may not be as we all had assumed as new detail has emerged which shows the clock most likely began its life on the West Terrace, within an information centre on the South-West corner of the ground before moving to the Laundry End a few years later.

At the start of the week Andy told me that the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News had been placed on the British Library website. This was exciting news for historians as the publication “did what it said on the tin” – it being a weekly paper that began in the Victorian period to provide the interested populace a multitude of drawings and photos of current sporting and artistic news and events. As such it provides insight that words can not convey.

He then said look at this beauty from the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 1930:

The Original Clock in the information centre at Highbury - 20 September 1930

The Original Clock in the Information Centre at Highbury – 20 September 1930*

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Arsenal’s Great Danes

Staevnet 1 Arsenal 7

Arsenal: McKechnie, Magill, McCullough, Brown, Ure, Groves, MacLeod, Strong, Baker, Eastham, Armstrong.

53 years ago today Arsenal made their first foray in European competition when they played Staevnet, a combined Copenhagen XI, in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. The Gunners had qualified for the competition, despite having finished seventh in the First Division, by virtue of the fact that teams above them were not eligible as the cities in which they were based did not host an annual trade fair. Possibly the most obscure qualifying criterion for a football competition. Read More →