The Christmas gift for the fan with (almost) everything
By Tony Attwood
If there is one thing that the 125 celebrations taught us, is that if we are to have any influence on Arsenal’s decisions on what to celebrate and how to celebrate it, we need to get in there early.
We did with the statues, suggesting the notion 16 months before the 125 event, so we must consider the future now.
Next year seems a bit of a dull one for celebrations and anniversaries…
2012 – 25 years since 1987 winning the league cup
So let’s move straight on…
2013 – 100 years since moving to Highbury, 75 years since winning the 5th and final league win of the 1930s era of Chapman and Allison
I suspect both are a bit obscure for Arsenal FC, so we will probably have both to ourselves, but both look like being worthy of celebration. The move to Highbury was key in the continuity of the club – we would have died had we stayed in south London. And although the 5th and final title of the Chapman/Allison era doesn’t roll off the tongue as “125” does, it must be noted. We focus on Chapman, of course, because he was the innovator, but the 30s were the era of the twosome – not least due to the tragic early death of Chapman.
2014 – 25 years since winning the league at Anfield…
It is just about all we have for 2014, and it was fairly strongly done at the 20th anniversary, but surely one can’t remember that night enough. ITV will love to roll it out again.
2015 – 90th anniversary of Chapman arriving at Arsenal
Time to be reflective if we do that one, since the early years of Chapman at Arsenal were not that wonderful after a promising start. But for the want of anything else to celebrate that year, why not.
2016 – 125 years of professional football, 25 years since winning the league in 1991
125 years of professional football – probably a bit too close to the 125 campaign we have just had for Arsenal to get very much into it. So again I think we will have it all our own way.
2017 – and here I am stuck. What is 2017 the anniversary of?
2018 125 years in the football league, 25 years since unique cup double 1993. The cup double was something special, and very underplayed by the media. Plus 125 years of continuous league football. Quite a nice combination – cup, cup and league.
2019. 25 years since Cup Winners Cup, 100 years in Division 1.
And this of course is the big one – 100 years in Division 1 – miles above everyone else. But, unless they get their act together, Arsenal are going to miss this one, because to celebrate it, one has to come to terms with Norris.
Tottenham have long since hijacked our 1919 promotion to their own ends, hiding their disastrous season in which they came bottom of the league by a long way, ignoring the dreadful match fixing, and just saying “Arsenal stole our place”. Indeed you can still hear interviews on the radio with Tottenham men who talk on that, mention their parrot who somehow seems to be central to their story, and say nothing about anything else. Like the fact that they came out of the Southern League after coming 7th.
So, Arsenal have to overcome all that, and acknowledge Henry Norris as the man who really did rescue Arsenal, the man who acted utterly honourably in terms of paying off all the debts in 1910, and the man who moved us to Highbury and a new life. And the man who took us up in 1919.
Will Arsenal get this together? I wonder. But I think we should start work on them now!
Meanwhile, did I miss anything? If you can see other anniversaries between now and 2019, please do write in. And Tottenham supporters – please do note – we have been over the 1919 promotion in about half a dozen articles on this site. If you have some new evidence that has not been published before, yes please do forward it. But we’ve had too many comments along the lines of repeating old stories without any evidence. New evidence is always welcome – but not a repeat of old allegations.
This site represents very much a forum for knocking around ideas and seeking out issues that can be debated. As such we openly acknowledge that some of the notions expressed here might be wrong, and will need correcting. Indeed if you can help us do that, please do either comment on an article, or write a new article for us. Some citation of sources would be good however, rather than just saying “you’re wrong”.