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.
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.
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- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal – crowd behaviour at the early matches