Arsenal beat French Internationals in a farcical game 

Woolwich Arsenal versus Parisian XI: Monday December 5th 1904

by Mark Andrews and Andy Kelly


On 5 December 1904 Woolwich Arsenal played host to a Parisian touring team. The game finished with the Gunners recording their biggest ever win: 26-1. The French team should count themselves lucky as Woolwich Arsenal fielded seven reserve team players.

Below is the match report from the Kentish Independent. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Click to enlarge

On 11th December 1886 Dial Square played Eastern Wanderers and won 6-0 and this is recounted here

However the club had moved so far forward that they could field many reserves while playing an “international team” almost 18 years to the day of their initial outing and thrash them so resoundingly in a game where Jimmy Ashcroft, the goalkeeper, only touched the ball once in the second half.

As for the card itself, it has Redshirt alluding to the fact that Woolwich Arsenal were given a haircut at the weekend by Small Heath, who won 2-1. The upcoming game he needed to get his hand in for was covered yesterday as Woolwich Arsenal beat the FA Cup holders, Manchester City  1-0.

The French fellow cuts a dishevelled look, having had his hat removed and outfit cut to ribbons by Redshirt and he could not even afford some gentleman’s gloves.  Also in the background are the workshops of the Royal Arsenal ordnance factory where so many of the supporters of the club worked, which were just behind the West terraces of the Manor Ground.

A full 3,000 turned up for this Gallic fiasco on a Monday.


Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog (top right). You know it makes sense.

Or have a look at our other site: The Arsenal Collection  for more Arsenal memorabilia.

Copies of our books Royal Arsenal – Champions of the South and Arsenal: The Complete Record 1886-2018 are still available from the publishers.

2 thoughts on “The Arsenal History Advent Calendar – December 11

  1. Andy Kelly on 12 December 2014 at 7:52 am said:

    The simple answer is that this game was a friendly whereas the official records only show competitive games.

  2. Wayne Brown on 11 December 2014 at 7:19 pm said:

    I’ve read about this game before in one of your publications, but why is this game and score never reflected in the “official” records, just been on the Arsenal website and they still say the biggest score is 12-0, I know this is only a friendly but come on when will you ever see 26-1 again, even a 6-0 would be something to bang on about at the minute.

    Brilliant as ever keep up the good work.

Post navigation