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GCR Books

It’s the birthday of the man who kept losing league cup finals

This is our daily review of Arsenal anniversaries taken from the Arsenal day by day  files prepared by the AISA Arsenal History Society.

Here are the stories from this day in history…


28 December 1904: Arsenal lost 0-4 away to Sheffield United; the 4th of five games in eight days.  Arsenal won two and lost three of the games, scoring five and letting in nine.

28 December 1907:  Charles Lewis – a rare example of a local lad (he was born in Plumstead) playing for Woolwich Arsenal – played his first game on this day  He went on to play 206 games for the club before moving on to Margate in 1921.

28 December 1908: Sheffield W 6 Arsenal 2.  Part of a run of just two wins in 11.  The run continued through the winter but was ended with a 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool on 20 February.

28 December 1935:   Sunderland 5 Arsenal 4.   It was the first time Arsenal let in five goals since 19 November 1932. Bowden, Drake, Bastin and an own goal gave Arsenal their four against the eventual champions who were virtually unbeatable on their own pitch.

28 December 1936: David Nelson’s first game, a 3-1 win over Preston.  When he left Arsenal he was part of the deal that brought Ronnie Rooke to the club.   Kirchen, Nelson and Milne scored, making it the fourth game in succession in which Kirchen had scored.

28 December 1939: Frank McLintock, Arsenal’s first Double winning captain born.  In a curious twist he played in two league cup final defeats with Leicester before joining Arsenal in 1964 and then featuring in two more league cup final defeats.  In later life he became a manager and a critic of Arsenal under Wenger.

28 December 1940: Arsenal 8 Luton Town 1, in the wartime Southern Regional League.

28 December 1963: McLeod (2), Baker and Armstrong scored as Laurie Brown played his last senior game: Arsenal 4 Birmingham 1.  After a spell in the reserves Tottenham bought him and played him their next game – against Arsenal.

28 December 1965: Arsenal 5 Sheffield W 2.  After this game Arsenal only won one of the next fourteen, and ended the season in 14th place.  Eastham got two, Skirton, Sammels and Baker the others.

28 December 1990: Paul Dickov moved from trainee to professional.  He went on to play 22 league games for Arsenal, and had two loan spells (Luton and Brighton) before being sold to Man City in 2006.

28 December 1991: Man City 1 Arsenal 0.  It was one of seven consecutive games without a win which ensured Arsenal did not continue as Champions.  During these seven games Arsenal scored just two goals and conceded six.

28 December 1997: Tottenham (at this moment bottom of the League) 1 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal were in 6th position. Game 21 of the 2nd Double Season.   Ray Parlour scored.  The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

28 December 1999: Vieira made his return from suspension for the 2-0 win over league leaders Leeds United, who were eight points in front of Arsenal at the time.  Ljungberg and Henry got Arsenal’s goals.

28 December 2001: Arsenal 2 Middlesbrough 1.  League match 20 of the third Double season.  Middlesbrough took the lead but Pires and Cole turned the game around in the second half to make it three consecutive wins.

28 December 2008: Arsenal 1 Portsmouth 0.  A poor game but the unbeaten run went on, and on (until May).  This was also the first of 8 consecutive home games without conceding a goal.  Gallas scored to start Arsenal’s run of three consecutive wins.

28 December 2014: Francis Coquelin started his first match for Arsenal in 23 months.  It ended West Ham 1 Arsenal 2 and Coquelin kept his place thereafter, with negotiations being opened to give him a long-term contract at Arsenal.  Cazorla and Welbeck scored.

28 December 2015: Arsenal beat Bournemouth 2-0 recovering from a 4-0 defeat against Southampton with goals by Gabriel and Ozil.  Arsenal were again top of the league, and stayed there for four games, until a run of three draws and a defeat in late January put paid to hopes of winning the league.

The latest post from our series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal

What the media said about the election of Arsenal to the 1st division in 1919

Yesterday’s anniversaries: 

Apologies for not posting yesterday – I got stuck in the snow.  But the full index of anniversaries does appear on this site under Arsenal On This Day

What’s on the Arsenal History Society site

An index to the various series that contain over 1,700 articles on this site concerning the history of Arsenal appears on our home page.  Our current series is “Henry Norris at the Arsenal”

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