By Tony Attwood
More time has been spent by the AISA Arsenal History Society debating the exact starting date of Arsenal FC’s existence than any other single topic.
We’ve looked at Dial Square Cricket Club, and the way that some members wanted to have a football part of the club, we’ve looked at the supposed game with Eastern Wanderers on the Isle of Dogs, which looks increasingly unlikely given the journey and the timings, and we’ve looked at that most mysterious of clubs Woolwich United, who are reported as having played games in the most odd places.
We’ve even had a good old laugh at Woolwich Union – which is mentioned in the rather amusing Official Illustrated History of the club. Amusing because there never was such a club. “Woolwich Union” was the local work house where the poor and unemployed were sent (our laughter of course at the silly mistake in thinking this was a football team, not at the tragic and awful lives of those condemned to workhouse life.)
I won’t try and go through all our findings again here, but the story so far is on this site – see the link below…
But the good news is that the club itself has now adopted our position on the actual founding day, and they reported this in the Annual Report this year. Didn’t mention us or our research, but you can’t have it all.
Anyway, today’s the day. Looking at all the evidence we have reached the conclusion that the club that became Arsenal FC was formed 125 years ago today on 1 December.
Happy birthday everyone.
AISA Arsenal History Society: www.arsenalhistory.info
Making the Arsenal: the story of the club’s rebirth in 1910 (and a wonderful Xmas present) – is available from Arsenal.com, Amazon.co.uk and via the publishers.