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The history of Arsenal website


The  journal of the AISA Arsenal History Society.

Latest Post: Jon Sammels, wonderful player but victim of the 1960s version of the anti-Arsenal Arsenal.

Please note: The full anniversaries index can be found here.  

On this page you will find details of some of our recent research articles, plus details of today’s Arsenal anniversaries, and information on the books on Arsenal that we have published.   The AISA Arsenal History Society is dedicated to recording Arsenal’s history in all its detail from all perspectives.  If you would like to contribute research or a personal story please do write to

Reports on Arsenal’s current activities are on Untold Arsenal


Arsenal on this Day: the Anniversary Files:

The full anniversaries index can be found here.      The file now contains getting on for 5000 entries and the April file is the most recent to have been fully updated.


25 April 1891: Arsenal’s first substitute in a friendly against Sunderland. Davy Howat was forced to leave the pitch with an injury after 20 minutes and at half time it was agreed that Henry Offer could take Howat’s place.  It finished Arsenal 1 Sunderland 3.  It was part of the programme of playing league clubs ahead of the first season in the league.

25 April 1895: Royal Ordnance Factories 0 Woolwich Arsenal 0.  In 1892/3 Arsenal was embroiled in a battle with its landlord and his supporters inside the club, which resulted ultimately in Woolwich Arsenal joining the League and a new club being formed (ROF FC) and joining the Southern League.  They played on grounds opposite each other and this match showed they were at least talking to each other by this date.  Further matches followed.

25 April 1903: Arsenal ended their season beating Chesterfield Municipal 1-0 having beaten Chesterfield Town on 10 April 3-0.   Quite what the attraction was with Chesterfield at this time is not known.

25 April 1904: Arsenal 0 Port Vale 0.  This result gave Arsenal promotion, and left them undefeated at home all season with just two draws.  However a win would have given them the championship.   The crowd was 20,000

25 April 1908: First game for Matthew Thomson in a friendly away to Dundee.  Arsenal lost 1-2.   He came from Maryhill for whom he played in the season 1902/03.  His first league game was in the 1-1 draw at home with Middlesbrough on March 17 1909

25 April 1910: The limited company that was set up to run Woolwich Arsenal in 1893,  The Woolwich Arsenal Football And Athletic Company Limited was dissolved.  A new company was set up on 26 April 1910

25 April 1914: Arsenal finish their first season after the move to Highbury, with a 2-0 win over Glossop North End.  The club came third, missing promotion only on goal average.  Bradford and Notts County went up instead.

25 April 1908: Death of Harry Storer.  After leaving Arsenal he went to Liverpool and continued to play for them until 1899 and stayed on the books until 1901 but tragically died just six years later in Derbyshire of tuberculosis aged just 38.

25 April 1919:  The London Combination had been the league for the capital during the first world war prepared to vote itself out of existence, to make way for the return of the Football League, but didn’t, and instead became the reserve league.

25 April 1921: Arsenal 2 PNE 1.  This made it seven without defeat as Arsenal challenge for their best ever position in the first division, beating the 6th of 1909 – although it wasn’t to be.

25 April 1932: Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 1.  Leslie Compton’s debut.  He was transferred from Hampstead Town and went on to play 253 league games for Arsenal in a 20 year career with the club.

25 April 1936: Arsenal 1 Sheffield U 0.  FA Cup final.  This was Allison’s second trophy in his first two years of management.  Ted Drake scored.

25 April 1939: Archie Leitch died.  He is remembered as the prime architect of Highbury, but should also be remembered for his work on the Manor Ground.  Henry Norris also employed him to work at Fulham while he also worked on Stamford Bridge.

25 April 1953: Preston 2 Arsenal 0, leaving the teams on equal points at the top with one game to go.  Everything thus came down to the final game played on the evening before the cup final, on a mud pile of a Highbury pitch.

25 April 1961: Terry Neill international debut for N Ireland.  He went to manage Arsenal for 416 games – more than Herbert Chapman, but unlike Chapman left no lasting legacy at all.

25 April 1977: Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0.  Last league game for Wilf Rostron.  He played only 17 times for Arsenal across four years, and went on to Sunderland, but he is best remembered at Watford for his 317 league games for them.

25 April 1979:  Nine days after beating Chelsea 5-2 Arsenal lost 1-5 to Villa.  In between we lost 0-2 to Derby.  In total Arsenal played nine games in 33 days ahead of the Man U cup final.

25 April 1981: Wolverhampton 1 Arsenal 2, which made it six wins and two draws in the last eight games as Arsenal headed for a final position of 3rd – the club’s best since 1972.

25 April 1987: Man City 3 Arsenal 0.  First appearance for Ian Allinson.  An administrative error meant his contract showed hims as getting less than his last contract, meaning he could leave on a free transfer.   Terry Neill’s team spotted the issue and immediately put in an offer.

25 April 1998:  Barnsley 0 Arsenal 2.  Arsenal moved closer to the championship, and received a standing ovation from the home crowd.  34th league game of the 2nd Double season.  Bergkamp scored his 16th and final league goal of the season to end as top scorer.  The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

25 April 2004. Arsenal won the League, at White Hart Lane, for the second time since Tottenham last won the league.  The score was Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2 and this was the 34th league game of the unbeaten season.  Lehmann (having conceded a penalty in the 94th minute) failed to return to the pitch to celebrate afterwards.

25 April 2007: Death of Alan Ball aged 61.  After his playing days he became a manager, having eight different stints with clubs the length and breadth of England.  He was never a success in the job however, and retired aged 54.

25 April 2007: Death of Arthur Shaw.  It is reported that after finishing playing football he became a successful professional gambler, later meeting Malcolm Allison with whom he formed a successful gambling partnership.

25 April 2007: Death of Arthur Milton.  Only twelve men played football and cricket for England in full internationals and test matches – Arsenal player Arthur Milton was the last of that remarkable group.


Classic Articles from the Arsenal History Society


The books

If you would like to contribute an article to this site, please see this note on submissions etc.


The incomplete index of series on this site….


And beyond football… the team that works on Untold Arsenal also writes and maintains a range of sites

Direct marketing …


  • The Secret Nurse : what is really going wrong with the NHS?
  • Jiving – a review of the jive clubs of the UK (a new site, but it is growing day by day).  The best way to stay fit physically and mentally.
  • The weight loss programme: The only guaranteed way to get fit

And also…

You can already follow your favourite Arsenal players and games online and debate the finer points of the club while you do so, but what about getting even more involved? There are plenty of mobile apps for sports betting and online gaming, such as With the mobile app you can play your favourite casino games wherever you are, even on the football pitch. Not recommended for goalkeepers!


Get free bets at and football betting tips at


This site represents very much a forum for knocking around ideas and seeking out issues that can be debated. As such we openly acknowledge that some of the notions expressed here might be wrong, facts will be inaccurate and will need correcting. Indeed if you can help us do that, please do either comment on an article, or write a new article for us. Some citation of sources would be good however, rather than just saying “you’re wrong”.

AISA Arsenal History and Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal