By Tony Attwood
On 2 September 1893 Woolwich Arsenal FC played their very first game in the league. And just like this season it was against Newcastle United.
I have covered this game before, but the coincidence of starting the season with the same match is too much to let pass by (and I doubt very much that your friendly commentators on Mickey Mouse TV who are covering the show will tell you much history from an Arsenal perspective.
So, apologies for the repeat but here’s a match report, from the Newcastle Daily Journal found by Newcastle blogger Eddy McKenzie and reprinted here with his permission.
Royal Arsenal-v- Newcastle United.
At Plumstead, London in beautifully fine weather, before 6,000 spectators. It is the first League match that has ever been played in London. The ground was in splendid condition.
Arsenal won toss and had a light wind behind them. They had considerably the best of the play in the first half. Which was not of high order. Both showing want of practice. Shaw scored a very soft goal for Arsenal 8 minutes after the start. And kept the visitors pressed, till just before the change, when Newcastle rallied, and had bad luck in not scoring.
With the wind in their favour, Newcastle played better and 20 minutes later Graham scored from a scrimmage. Sorley equalised and play in the last 10 minutes very exciting. But nothing further was scored. Newcastle had decidedly the best of the second half.
The Second Half: Newcastle United 2 Royal Arsenal 2.
Now for the team. All were born in England apart from those noted. And there are links to each one on this site if you want to know more.
- 1: CA Williams: went on to manage Denmark and in Brazil.
- 2: J Powell: Our first captain who died of injuries on the pitch
- 3: WW Jeffrey: The right back who was a keeper
- 4: D Devine: Lost to history. (Scottish)
- 5: R Buist: I thought he caused us to go pro, but I was wrong. (Scottish)
- 6: D Howat: The mystery man
- 7: D Gemmell: Even more of a mystery man (Scottish)
- 8: J Henderson: Rifleman, champions medal, Arsenal, and then… (Scottish)
- 9: W Shaw: scored our first ever league goal
- 10: A Elliott: Arsenal’s untraceable record holder
- 11: C Booth: the first man to play for Arsenal and Tottenham?
So four Scots, seven Englishmen.