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GCR Books

The completely mysterious Archibald Low

By Tony Attwood

We’ve still got a lot of players to cover on this web site, but having written about many of the more famous sons of Arsenal, some of the names that come up now are getting a little obscure in terms of their time at our club.  However, the aim is to cover everyone one way or another, so I’ll keep plodding on.

And thus here we have what will be a rather short article for it concerns Archibald Low.

He was a left half, who we know was born in Glasgow, but when he was born is not at all clear.  He came to Arsenal from Ashfield in Glasgow on 6 June 1906, played three games, and then returned to Glasgow to play with Partick Thistle in September 1908.  All his games with Woolwich Arsenal were in the 1906/7 season.

At the time of his transfer to Arsenal, Ashfield were a non-league side, although they were still of some prominence having won the Scottish Junior Cup for the third time in 1905.  The club was formed in the same year as Arsenal and are now based at Saracen Park, which they share with the Glasgow Tigers speedway team. They compete in the West Region of the Scottish Junior Football Association.

How the connection was made between Ashfield and Arsenal I don’t know, but as we have seen the number of Scottish players heading our way a the time was quite large, so he may well have had family connections, or known other men who had made the journey south.

Archie’s first game was on 1 December 1906 – a home defeat to Sunderland (0-1) in front of 20,000.

His second game was on 15 April 1907 in which Arsenal lost away at Stoke (0-2), and in his third and final game on 17 April we fared even worse, losing 1-4 away to Notts County.  He played at number 6 each time, replacing Roddy McEachrane when he was out injured.  Roddy went on to play all 38 league and both FA Cup matches of the 1907/8 season, leaving no space for Archie.

Although the three games that Archie played in in 1906/7 were defeats, Arsenal achieved their highest league position thus far in the first division in that season (7th), and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup for the second season running – although Archie was not involved in the cup run.

The Partick team that Archie returned to had just finished 14th in the Scottish First Division, and that is where they ended again in his first season with the club.  I don’t know how long he stayed there, but if it was for more than one season then he was in for a sad time because in 1908/9 Partick came bottom of the league, achieving just two wins in a 34 match season.  They returned to the top division of the league after just one year out however, and ended the 1910/11 season in fourth position in the first division.  So if he did stay for a while he would have encountered some playing success.

And that’s about all I have.  As always, if you know any more, please do say.

The full anniversaries index can be found here.  

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