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GCR Books

When Arsenal played Tottenham at home but the Arsenal fans didn’t turn up

Below are the anniversaries of Arsenal for 3 April

The full index to what is on this site is here.

The latest article on Henry Norris at the Arsenal is…

When Arsenal hit rock bottom of the League. October 1921

The current series: 

Covering all aspects off the life and work of the man who rescued Arsenal from extinction, secured the club’s future by moving it to Highbury, and then brought in Herbert Chapman as manager, our current series of articles is on Henry Norris at the Arsenal.  The series is being worked on daily, and the articles thus far are here.

A list of many of our major series (including complete detailed reviews of Arsenal in the 30s and Arsenal in the 70s, and links to the anniversaries throughout the year, is given on the AISA Arsenal History Society home page.


Today’s headline story from 1976, just five years after the first Double season, shows how Arsenal have never been able to rely on 60,000 crowds for each game.  The numbers have always gone up and down, and 2017/18 is by no means the worst example of a lack of numbers.

Here are the anniversaries…

3 April 1897:  Arsenal 0 Newton Heath 2.  Gavin Crawford became the first player to play 100 league games for Woolwich Arsenal.  He played 83 times for Royal Arsenal and 122 league games in total.

3 April 1899:  David Jack born.  He scored the first ever FA Cup final goal at Wembley and was the first Arsenal player to captain England.  He played 181 league games for Arsenal and won the league three times.

3 April 1902: Albert Humpish  was born, and became one of eight players to make his debut for Arsenal in the 1929/30 season as Chapman gave the squad his final shuffle in order to win the illusive first trophy, which of course he did.

3 April 1909.  Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0.  Arsenal’s second home league game v Chelsea.  Both ended 0-0 with attendances of 30,000 each time.  

3 April 1915: Last game for Thomas Winship.  Bristol C 1 Arsenal 1. The game followed a run of three defeats and just one win in six.  After the war Winship played for Darlington and put over the cross for the first ever goal scored in the third division north.

3 April 1920: A 2-1 defeat to second in the table Burnley left Arsenal 15th in the league out of 22 and possible relegation candidates if they did not win their games in hand.  But despite just two wins in eight games in the month they actually climbed up the table, rather than sinking lower.

3 April 1926: Tom Parker’s first game.  It was the start of a continuous 172 game sequence.  Arsenal 4 Blackburn 2. Baker, Blyth, Lawson and Buchan got the goals.

3 April 1931: Arsenal were top of the League by 3 points with a game in hand over their only rivals – Aston Villa and a far better goal average  Arsenal caught up that game in hand on this day – Good Friday – with a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth. The first every League title drew closer.

3 April 1934: Percy Shaw patented the cat’s eye road-safety device for the middle of (and later the side of) roads – with lights that shine back when car headlights point at them.   He had started work as a labourer in a cloth mill at the age of 13 and got the OBE in 1965.

3 April 1940: The wartime League in 1939/40, like the first wartime League of the first world war, was a half season affair, finishing in February.  Except for one match between Arsenal and Southend which was played on this day, two months late.

3 April 1946: Death of Alf Common. He was the first £1000 transfer player in 1905 when he moved to Middlesbrough from Sunderland.  He later played 77 games for Arsenal. See also here.        And here

3 April 1948: Arsenal 2 Blackburn 0. Logie and Rooke got the goals. Arsenal followed this game with three draws and a defeat but were already so far ahead they still won the league easily. And also here

3 April 1953: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1, making it six without a win.  But Arsenal played 8 games in April including five straight wins, and won the league on goal average on the last day.

3 April 1961: Arsenal v Fulham attracted only 20,142 on this day and the League President Joe Richards spoke of ‘cutting down the number of clubs in each division… and even given more consideration to the system of four up and four down’.  Arsenal, a very conservative club at the time, wanted none of that.

3 April 1966: Remi Garde born. He joined Lyon in 1982, when they were a league 2 side, became captain, and was a part of their promotion winning side. He joined Arsenal from Strasbourg in 1996 as the first transfer of Arsène Wenger – made while he was still in Japan.  See also here

3 April 1971: 62,087 – the highest of the season – watched Kennedy get both goals in  Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0. This was League match 33 of the first Double season and started the run of 10 games in one month.  

3 April 1976: Tottenham having climbed up the table to 8th (while Arsenal were 15th) saw their opportunity to get one over the old enemy and did so with the result Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2 with 42,134 in the crowd – a much higher percentage than usual being Tottenham fans.

3 April 1979: Arsenal 1 Coventry 1 was not exactly a game to remember except for one thing.  Sammy Nelson scored both goals.

3 April 1983: Jimmy Bloomfield died.  He came to Arsenal from Brentford in 1954 and went on to play 210 league games scoring 54 goals.  He later managed Leicester and then Orient – taking the Os to the FA Cup semi final in 1978 where they played Arsenal.  

3 April 1991: Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0.  David Platt took over in goal for Villa with Nigel Spink injured.  Campbell (2), Smith (2) and Davis showed no mercy.

3 April 2004: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final and the media as one rose up with talk of Arsenal’s “pretentiousness” of thinking they could win the league without losing a game.

3 April 2008: Almunia signed a contract extension saying “hopefully I can finish my career here.”  It wasn’t to be however and he left in 2011 after playing 109 league games for Arsenal.

 

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