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Arthur Elliott: Arsenal’s untraceable record holder

Arthur Elliott was an inside left, who like all the players in this series, played for Woolwich Arsenal in the first ever game that the club played in the league.

But unfortunately, like so many members of that side, the details that we have about him are sketchy.

He was born in Nottingham in 1870 and the first record we have of him is playing for Notts Rangers.  Notts Rangers are recorded as being in the FA Cup in 1885/6, and it is also recorded that they were founder members of the Midland League in 1889/90.  However they were then expelled for not fulfilling their fixtures that season.   So we might take a guess that Arthur Elliot was at Notts Rangers maybe in 1888/9, in his late teens.

He then joined Gainsborough Trinity.  Trinity were formed in 1873, and are still in existence, however the web site listing Gainsbrough players does not have any details of him.   We might put him at Gainsborough in 1891.

Next came Accrington – that is the original Accrington club (the club has had several manifestations since then).  They were in the original football league, came 10th in the 1891/2 season when it is possible that Elliott played there.   It is interesting that at this time Accrington were starting to have difficulties (they were relegated the following season) so it is not impossible that Elliott was in the squad in 1891/2 and then left for cost-cutting reasons.

Woolwich Arsenal came next, and this is in a sense in keeping with what we have found elsewhere – Arsenal picking up players who are not really making it elsewhere, and being given a chance with the new club.

Here at last we have a clear date from the club: joined 1892, made 34 appearances and scored 19 goals.

Normally speaking I am not dealing with issues that arose before Woolwich Arsenal entered the league, simply because one has to draw the line somewhere (and it is hard enough to find information on some of the issues that arose during the club’s period in the league).

But here I am making an exception, because Arthur Elliott played in one of our more famous games.  It was on 29 October 1892, when he played in the FA Cup Qualifying Round match against City Ramblers.  What makes this game special is that James Henderson, Charles Booth and Arthur Elliott each got three goals – the only time ever that three players all got hatricks in one game.

On the subject of City Ramblers, they must have been used to big defeats as Southampton St Mary’s beat City Ramblers 13-0 in a friendly in 1895/6.  (Incidentally Stoke City began life as Stoke Ramblers, but I don’t think there’s any connection between this club at the club Arsenal played.)

Anyway, back to our main concern: Arthur Elliott.  In 1893/4 he played 24 games scored 10 goals, 5 games 5 goals in the cup

After that he is reported to have moved on to Tottenham Hotspur (which would make him the the first ever player to play for both clubs)  but he is not listed on Tottenham’s official web site list of players, so I guess he never made the first team.

Beyond that point, there’s no information.

3 comments to Arthur Elliott: Arsenal’s untraceable record holder

  • Andy Kelly

    According to Bob Goodwin, Elliott applied to be re-instated as an amateur in 1894. He then joined Tottenham and played 1 game before returning to Nottingham to play for Forest. He didn’t play in Forest’s first team.

    He wasn’t the first player to play for both teams. That honour fell to Stanley Briggs – Tottenham Jan 1892, Arsenal September 1893.

  • Arthur Elliot was with Gainsborough Trinity during their 1890-91 Midland League Winning Year. (Kind of joint 2nd Division equal with the Football Alliance, although the top Alliance sides were a little stronger) He moved to Accrington for the next season.

    I will have a full statistical record for Elliott at Gainsborough Trinity if you would like it. I think he was a very good player for them.

  • Stanley Briggs went on to play for Clapton FC having left Tottenaham in protest against their decision to turn professional.

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