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When Arsenal played in blue shirts at home

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…


1 January 1896: Hastings 0 Arsenal 12.  Arsenal played 29 friendlies in the course of the season in addition to their 30 league games, but generally crowds were disappointing.  This is one of only two  games where no crowd is recorded.   We do know however that Henry Boyd scored six.  

1 January 1899, 20,000 turned up at the Manor Ground for the FA Cup match against Derby but it ended: Arsenal 0 Derby County 6.

1 January 1903: After being a near ever present Fred Coles ceased to play regularly after this game – a 1-0 win at Stockport.  He played the last match of the season and again on January 16 1904, but moved to Grimsby Town in June.  Later he became a cricket and football coach in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was also trainer of Hague in Holland between 1910 and 1911.

1 January 1903: William Bannister played his first match away to Stockport.  He played just 18 league games for Arsenal before moving to Leicester in May 1904.

1 January 1906: Bolton W 6 Arsenal 1, a result that left Arsenal with one win in seven.  However recovery was around the corner as Arsenal won the next league game 5-1.

1 January 1908, A rule was introduced that transfer fees be limited to £350, but by and large the clubs ignored it, and it lapsed.  Despite attempts by Henry Norris and others to introduce a limit that would be agreed and would hold, none was ever achieved.

1 January 1910: Arsenal Reserves played a home game against West Ham in blue shirts.  Quite why Arsenal used such a colour it not known although it is possible that the shirts were borrowed.

1 January 1910: Arsenal’s worst season thus far in their history, started badly. Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1, in a run in which the club had four defeats and one draw.

1 January 1921: Arsenal 1 Bradford City 2.  It was Bradford’s last league triumph as their  decline set in and they were relegated at the end of the season.  Bradford City had one more season in the first division before they were relegated too.

1 January 1923: A 5-0 away win over Blackburn made it 13 scored and none conceded in last three games as it began to look as if manager Henry Knighton might have at last turned the corner.  It was however a false hope.

1 January 1927: Arsenal 3 Cardiff 2.  It was the first game for Harold Peel – a Chapman signing that didn’t quite work.  He moved on to Bradford City in 1929.  Brain got a hat trick.

1 January 1929: Sunderland 5 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal let in five for the third time in Chapman’s fourth season, but the recovery was about to start as the next 11 games passed without defeat.

1 January 1934 Herbert Chapman went on a scouting trip as the tragedy of his untimely death started to unfold.  He died on January 6.

1 January 1968: Davor Suker born.  He was Real Madrid’s top man in his prime, but only played occasionally for Arsenal and left on a free transfer for WHU.  His life was later surrounded by controversy, although many still hold him in high regard.

1 January 1985: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2.  Steve Williams debut; Woodcock scored. The result left Tottenham top of the league, five points ahead Arsenal in fourth.

1 January 1986: For second year running Arsenal played Tottenham on New Year’s Day, this time the score being 0-0.  After this game Arsenal were 7th and Tottenham 10th.

1 January 1988: Tony Adams became Arsenal captain for a day as Kenny Sampson was rested.  Kenny Sansom remained club captain until March 1988 when Tony Adams took over permanently.  Smith scored in a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth

1 January 1995: News of the World ran the headline “After 98 games, two years, four months, two weeks, two days, one hour and 19 minutes Jensen scores!”

1 January 2001 Charlton Athletic beat Arsenal for first time in 44 years and t he club had not had an away win since November. Within a year there was early talk of Arsenal going through a whole season unbeaten away from home.

1 January 2002: Leicester v Arsenal should have been game 21 of the third Double season but was postponed because of the frozen pitch at Filbert Street.  

1 January 2005: Emmanuel Eboue joined Arsenal from Beveren.  He went on to play 132 games for Arsenal before moving on to Galatasaray.

1 January 2009: Ivan Gazidis became chief executive of Arsenal, replacing Keith Edelman.  The change marked a significant development in relations with supporters by the club’s hierarchy.

1 January 2011: Ryo Miyaichi joined from Japan.  He offered great hope and did brilliantly in early loan spells, but injuries caught up with him. He eventually moved on to FC St. Pauli in the 2. Bundesliga

1 January 2014: Arsenal 2 Cardiff 0, with goals from Bendtner and Walcott, but Bendtner was injured in the game and joined Giroud, Ozil, Ramsey and Gibbs on the injury list.

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

Arsenal in March 1919: the London Victory Cup and its consequences

Yesterday’s anniversaries: 

Who was there when John Jensen scored?

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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