ARSENAL

MISCELLANY

 

   
   

Season by Season Arsenal results, league tables etc

Arsenal were founded in 1886 as a works side. David Danskin had tried without success to start at football team at the Woolwich Arsenal factory in Kent but when former Nottingham Forest players Fred Beardsley and Morris Bates joined the workforce the dream was finally realised. Those three were were part of a group of 15 who each put 6d (two and a half pence!) into a kitty in (probably) October of 1886 and bought a football. The early plan was probably to have little more than a kick-about between friends with no leagues around at the time and little thought of proper pitches and playing in the same colours. On December 11th 1886 they played their first match, probably calling themselves Dial Square which was the part of the factory where many of the players worked, and beat Eastern Wanderers 6-0 away in Millwall. Two weeks later - on Christmas Day 1886 - at a meeting at the Royal Oak pub (a works team - I would guess more of a piss-up than a board meeting!) they adopted the name Royal Arsenal and the rest, as they say, is history.

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When Arsenal recorded a 3-0 Premier League victory over Sheffield United back in the 2006/07 season remarkably all three goalscorers shared the same birthday. The first goal came from William Gallas and the third from Thierry Henry (both born on 17th August 1977) and in-between them Sheffield United's Phil Jagielka (born 17th August 1982) scored an own goal. The perfect conclusion would be to say the match was played on 17th August but sadly no - September 23rd 2006.

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There are a selection of records for our top home attendances. The record for Highbury was set on Saturday March 9th 1935 when 73,295 passed through the turnstiles for a Division 1 match against Sunderland. The two outstanding teams of the period met in what many saw as a championship decider. They drew 0-0 - Arsenal went on to claim their hat-trick of League championship with Sunderland finishing runners-up (they were to win the title the following season). The Arsenal line-up that day -

Moss; Male, Hapgood, Crayston, Roberts, Copping, Kirchen, Davidson, Drake, James, Bastin.

Moving on to the Emirates the highest attendance was recorded on Saturday November 3rd 2007 for a Premier League match against Manchester United. There will never be many empty seats for matches against Manchester United and on this occasion there were fewer than normal with the crowd totalling 60,161. The match ended 2-2, United finished as champions that season, Arsenal were third. The Arsenal team -

Almunia, Sagna, Clichy, Flamini, Toure, Eboue (sub: Walcott), Fabregas, Adebayor, Hleb (sub: Silva), Rosicky (sub: Eduardo).

However Arsenal's record attendance for a home match wasn't recorded at Highbury or the Emirates but at Wembley where they played their Champions League matches in 1998/99 and 1999/2000. At the time Highbury had a crowd limit of a tad over 38,000 and would have been less for European matches due to the front rows being closed due to the outsized advertising hoardings used at Champions League fixtures. Each of the six matches at Wembley attracted crowds of over 70,000 with the best being 73,707 against Lens on Wednesday November 25th 1998. But Arsenal weren't at home at Wembley, losing 0-1 against the French champions Lens, and didn't manage to progress to the knock-out stages in either season. Arsenal's team against Lens -

Seaman; Dixon, Winterburn, Garde (sub: Vivas), Keown, Adams (sub: Bould),
Parlour, Anelka, Hughes, Wreh (sub: Boa Morte), Overmars.

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The lowest attendance for a competitive home first team match game is a bit more straightforward and came at the end of the 1965/66 season. It was a poor season for the Gunners, they finished in 14th place which was their lowest finishing position since 1929/30. They entertained high-flying Leeds United in their last but one match having not won at home since December and the Thursday night match clashed with the televising of Liverpool's European Cup-Winners Cup Final against Borussia Dortmund - live football on TV was a rare treat in those days. So, on Thursday May 5th 1966 just 4,554 turned up to Highbury to witness Arsenal lose 0-3 to Leeds United in a Division 1 match.


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Cardiff City in 1927 is the answer to the age-old quiz question of who were the only club to take the FA Cup out of England. Perhaps a more difficult question would be who did Cardiff beat in the final? It was Arsenal. Both Arsenal and Cardiff were aiming to win their first senior honour on that day in April 1927 but despite having 13 internationals between them the two sides produced a disappointing final. Defences dominated and only a bad defensive error broke the deadlock. With just 15 minutes remaining a seemingly harmless shot from Cardiff's Hugh Ferguson appeared to be comfortably gathered by Arsenal 'keeper Danny Lewis. However, distracted by the approaching Cardiff forwards Lewis allowed the ball to slip from his grip and it ended up in the net. Lewis - ironically a Welshman - blamed his new jersey for the problem claiming the wool was too greasy for him to grip the ball properly. Since then, legend has it, all new Arsenal goalkeeping shirts are washed before being worn. A newspaper report on how the goal was seen in 1927 is printed, left. The Arsenal team -

Lewis; Parker, Kennedy, Baker, Butler, John, Hulme, Buchan, Brain, Blyth, Hoar.

1926/27 - Saturday April 23rd 1927 at Wembley Stadium
Cardiff City 1 - 0 Arsenal
1929/30 - Saturday April 26th 1930 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 2 - 0 Huddersfield Town
1931/32 - Saturday April 23rd 1932 at Wembley Stadium
Newcastle United 2 - 1 Arsenal
1935/36 - Saturday April 25th 1936 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 1 - 0 Sheffield United
1949/50 - Saturday April 29th 1950 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 2 - 0 Liverpool
1951/52 - Saturday May 3rd 1952 at Wembley Stadium
Newcastle United 1 - 0 Arsenal
1970/71 - Saturday May 8th 1971 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 2 - 1 Liverpool
1971/72 - Saturday May 6th 1972 at Wembley Stadium
Leeds United 1 - 0 Arsenal
1977/78 - Saturday May 6th 1978 at Wembley Stadium
Ipswich Town 1 - 0 Arsenal
1978/79 - Saturday May 12th 1979 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 3 - 2 Manchester United
1979/80 - Saturday May 10th 1980 at Wembley Stadium
West Ham United 1 - 0 Arsenal
1992/93 - Saturday May 15th 1993 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 1 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday
                - replay, Thursday May 20th 1993 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 2 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday
1997/98 - Saturday May 16th 1998 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 2 - 0 Newcastle United
2000/01 - Saturday May 12th 2001 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Liverpool 2 - 1 Arsenal
2001/02 - Saturday May 4th 2002 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Arsenal 2 - 0 Chelsea
2002/03 - Saturday May 17th 2003 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Arsenal 1 - 0 Southampton
2004/05 - Saturday May 21st 2005 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Arsenal 0 - 0 Manchester United
      Arsenal won 5-4 on penalties
2013/14 - Saturday May 17th 2014 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 3 - 2 Hull City
2014/15 - Saturday May 30th 2015 at Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 4 - 0 Aston Villa
             

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A must for every programme collector is the one prepared for a match at Highbury that was never played. Manchester United were the first English side to reach a European Cup Final and if that final - against Benfica at Wembley on Wednesday May 29th 1968 - had ended in a draw rather than a United victory then the replay would have been at Highbury two days later. Yes there were replays in those days and because of the short space of time a programme had to be prepared ready to print if a second match was necessary. It wasn't printed in bulk but there are copies reprinted from the few original produced which are worth adding to a programme collection.

One Manchester United legend who missed that final was Denis Law who was in hospital recovering from a knee operation. But had history turned out differently he would have missed that match as Denis Law would have been an Arsenal legend! Law revealed in his autobiography that before he moved from Huddersfield to Manchester City in 1960 for a record British transfer fee of £55,000 he had thought he would sign for Arsenal. Tommy Docherty had shown him around Highbury and Law was mighty impressed with what he saw including the underfloor heating in the dressing room, marble floors and statues. However what put him off a move was that rather than Arsenal manager George Swindin talking to him about a possible transfer Arsenal sent their assistant manager - Ron Greenwood - to discuss a move. He felt slighted and crossed Arsenal off the list!

Denis Law was destined to play a small part in one of the true Arsenal legends. When Mr and Mrs Bergkamp had a son in Amsterdam in 1969 they named him after a footballer they admired - Denis Law. So Dennis Bergkamp (with the extra 'n') came into this world although we had to wait until June 1995 before he finally arrived at Highbury.

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The club's Latin motto of 'Victoria Concordia Crescit' translates into English as 'Victory Through Harmony'

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An FA Youth Cup attendance record was set at the Emirates on 14th March 2007 when 38,187 were present for first leg of the semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester United, Arsenal won 1-0. Just up the road at White Hart Lane arch rivals Spurs were in action in a UEFA Cup Round of the Last 16 match at the same time - and were watched by a crowd of over 4000 fewer people!
Link - FA Youth Cup finals

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While the other top grounds in the country were looking forward to a summer of hosting World Cup football, at Highbury boxing proved to be the highlight of the summer of 1966. Three years after Henry Cooper had knocked down Cassius Clay before suffering defeat in a non-title fight at Wembley the two met again at Highbury on Saturday May 21st 1966, this time for the World Heavyweight title. A badly cut eye again proved to be Cooper's undoing and Muhammad Ali, as he had then become known, retained his title with the referee stopping the fight in the sixth round. Over 40,000 were at Highbury that day and a young Arsenal apprentice by the name of Charlie George helped build the ring.

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Arsenal made their debut in a European competition in 1963/64 but even then it wasn't a totally new experience for the club. The first Inter-Cities Fairs Cup competition (the forerunner of the Europa League) was played over three years from 1955 and a London representative side was one of the competing teams. The London side played a total of eight matches in the competition and more than a full team of Arsenal players - 12 - made appearances for them - Jimmy Bloomfield, Dave Bowen, Stan Charlton, Bill Dodgin, Dennis Evans, Jim Fotheringham, Vic Groves, Joe Haverty, David Herd, Cliff Holton, Jack Kelsey, and Derek Tapscott. One match - the 2-0 semi-final second leg defeat of Lausanne - was played at Highbury, on Wednesday 23rd October 1957. London got to the final where they were beaten by Barcelona - where have I heard that one before! Results.

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By the time Arsenal made their debut as a club in Europe - they were London's representative in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup of 1963/64 - only Vic Groves of the 12 Arsenal players who had played for London was still at Highbury. He lined up in the team who faced Stævnet in Denmark on Wednesday September 25th 1963. Stævnet were the last of the city representative sides who played in the competition, their players being selected from clubs in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The Arsenal team was -

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

Johnny MacLeod opened the scoring for Arsenal after just 9 minutes and a 15,000 crowd saw Arsenal run out 7-1 winners, Joe Baker and Geoff Strong each scoring hat-tricks.

The return match on Tuesday October 22nd saw three changes in the Arsenal line-up - Skirton, Court, Barnwell in....MacLeod, Baker and Eastham out. Surprising though Arsenal lost that match, 13,569 at Highbury saw Alan Skirton and John Barnwell score in the 2-3 defeat. However it was a convincing 9-4 aggregate victory for the Gunners and they progressed to the Second Round where they were eliminated by Liege. All Arsenal's results in Europe.

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On Saturday December 12th 1896 Arsenal - then Woolwich Arsenal - had to play two matches, one in the Football League and one in the FA Cup. The reserves played at home to Leyton in the FA Cup and won 5-0 but the first team travelled to mighty Loughborough and lost 0-8 in a Second Division match which is still their record League defeat. Match report of that match.

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Arsenal have a number of firsts to their name when it come to broadcasting over the air-waves. On Saturday January 22nd 1927 the first football match to be broadcast live on the radio was the First Division match between Arsenal and Sheffield United at Highbury. Later that season the first FA Cup Final to be broadcast live on the radio was 'that' Arsenal defeat against Cardiff City.

On the box Arsenal played Arsenal Reserves on Thursday September 16th 1937 in a match arranged for the TV cameras - it was the first live TV broadcast of a football match. Moving forward to Saturday August 1964 the first match shown on the new Match of the Day was Liverpool v Arsenal and on Sunday January 31st 2010 the world's first live sports event to be broadcast in 3D was the premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United.

More details of the above - Football in the Media.

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Even when it came to the film screen Arsenal proved to be trendsetters. The age-old problem with football films is that they lack realism - the stars just don't have the playing skills and how do you put them in front of a big crowd in a big stadium where inevitably they score a winning cup final goal! Uniquely the film-makers got round those problems in the 1939 film The Arsenal Stadium Mystery, an actual Arsenal match was used as the story-line for the film. The First Division match between Arsenal and Brentford played on Saturday 6th May 1939 - Arsenal's last League match that counted before the Second World War - doubled up as the Arsenal v Trojans friendly match in which a player dropped dead. As the name suggests the film was based in and around the Arsenal (Highbury) Stadium and had players in bit-parts and the manager, George Allison, even had a few words to say. OK, his performance was wooden and I have no doubt it didn't make any Oscar shortlist but the film is a unique record of behind-the-scenes of a top club in the 1930s and well worth a look at the DVD.

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Arsenal won the FA Cup in 1949/50 after playing all their seven FA Cup ties that season in London. Their first four matches were home ties at Highbury, the semi-final and semi-final replay against Chelsea were both played at White Hart Lane and Liverpool were defeated in the final at Wembley. Results

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When Lancashire Combination side Darwen visited Highbury for a Third Round FA Cup tie in 1932 Arsenal led 8-0 at half time. The final score was 'only' 11-1.

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Arsenal created a bit of history back in the 1929/30 season when they were involved in the first 6-6 draw in the Football League, Leicester City and Arsenal shared 12 goals in a First Division fixture at Filbert Street on Monday 21st April 1930. It must have been an amazing experience with the progress of the scoreline being 0-1, 1-1, 2-1, 3-1 (half time), 3-2, 3-3, 3-4, 3-5, 4-5, 4-6, 5-6, 6-6. The Arsenal goalscorers were Cliff Bastin (2) and four from David Halliday which included a five-minute hat-trick. Despite those four goals Halliday didn't get into the Arsenal eleven for the FA Cup Final against Huddersfield played five days later. Arsenal won that one 2-0 to take their first major piece of silverware.

Only once since has the 6-6 scoreline been repeated, in a Division 2 match between Charlton and Middlesbrough in the 1960/61 season.

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It was a case of Aston Villa 1 Ted Drake 7 when 60,891 packed into Villa Park on Saturday 14th December 1935 to witness a First Division encounter between Aston Villa and Arsenal. It was just one of those days when everything went right for the Arsenal legend Ted Drake. He had just nine shots on goal - one was saved, one hit the woodwork and amazingly seven went into the back of the net to give Arsenal a 7-1 victory. At the time Drake's seven goals was a League record although that was to last just 12 days until Robert 'Bunny' Bell scored 9 times for Tranmere in a Division 3 North match (details) although it is still a record for the top division.

Ted Drake was a £6500 buy from Southampton in March 1934 and scored 124 times in his 168 League appearances for the Gunners. The 42 League goals he scored in the 41 appearances he made in 1934/35 is a seasons' best for the club and included seven hat-tricks (or better). He also scored the winning goal in the 1935 FA Cup final against Sheffield United.

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The Runs..

Well the footballing runs anyway. Three of the impressive records Arsenal have set over the years -

The record number of consecutive seasons in the top division (Division 1/Premier League). Sunderland set the mark at 57 seasons on the trot when they were relegated at the end of the 1957/58 season. Arsenal broke that record when they started the 58th consecutive season in 1983/84 and all being well the 100th season will be in 2025/26! Arsenal season by season.

The record number of matches undefeated in the Premier/Football League. A total of 49 matches between at defeat against Leeds in May 2003 to a loss against Manchester United in October 2005. The matches.

In another record of consistency Arsenal set a new Premier/Football League record when they scored in 55 League matches on the trot between May 2001 and December 2003 when almost inevitably Manchester United ended the sequence. The matches.

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Herbert Chapman was a brilliant manager and will always be remembered for his successes at both Huddersfield Town and Arsenal. He was a deep-thinker - from tactics right through to floodlights, playing kit and even ground design. He also didn't miss a marketing opportunity. He could never understand why the underground station next to the Highbury ground was called Gillespie Road. He saw it as an advertising opportunity missed and argued that renaming the station Arsenal would benefit both the football club and the underground's owners, the London Electric Railway. If the name 'Arsenal' was presented to every user of the underground it would attract new supporters to the club and additional journeys on the underground. Not that a change would be easy. As now every map and timetable would need to be changed but in addition, in those pre-computer days, every ticket was pre-printed with destination names on them. But as Herbert brought success to Arsenal the bargaining power they had over the underground owners grew and on 5th November 1932 the name of the station was duly changed from Gillespie Road to Arsenal - the Gunners celebrating that day with a 7-1 First Division victory at Wolves!

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