This is the start of a chronology of Arsenal FC built by Andy Kelly, Mark Andrews and Tony Attwood, of the AISA Arsenal History Society. There is a long way to go, but every journey starts with a single step (Lao-Tzu).
So here we go – please write in the comments and add the ones you think should be added.
And don’t say, “how could you miss The Unbeaten Season?” etc etc. Like we said, we’ve only just started.
|1886||1 December: Club formed at Royal Oak, Woolwich, and named Royal Arsenal FC.
Oct or December: Played first game – won 6-0 v Eastern Wanderers (A).
|1887||8 January: First home game played on Plumstead Common – won 6-1 v Erith.
Close season: Home games now played at the Sportsman’s Field.
Reserve team formed.
29 October: First competitive game.
|1888||30 March: Home game v Millwall Rovers played at Manor Field due to Sportsman’s Field being unfit.
Close season: Home games now played at Manor Field.
|1889||5 October: First FA Cup game – won 11-0 v Lyndhurst (H).|
|1890||22 March: won Kent Senior Cup.
5 April: won London Charity Cup.
Close season: Home games now played at Invicta Ground.
|1891||17 January: Played first game in FA Cup proper – lost 1-2 v Derby (H).
7 March: Won London Senior Cup.
May: Club turned professional.
May: Resigned from London FA and Kent FA.
|1892||First signs of disquiet amongst ex-committee members who go on to form Royal Ordnance Factories FC|
|1893||April: Limited Liability Company formed – changed name to Woolwich Arsenal Football And Athletic Company Limited. 1552 shares sold to 923 applicants by July.
May/June: Manor Field purchased and home games now played there.
31 May: Entry to Football League accepted.
2 September: First Football League game – drew 2-2 v Newcastle United (H).
14 October: Biggest FA Cup win – 12-0 v Ashford United (H).
|1895||26 January: Referee attacked after game v Burton Wanderers (H).
Manor Field closed for 6 weeks after FA enquiry.
23 February: home game v Burton swifts played at New Brompton (Gillingham).
9 March: home game v Leicester Fosse played at Leyton.
|1896||November: Joe Powell died shortly after breaking arm in game against Kettering.
12 December: Biggest league defeat: 0-8 v Loughborough (A).
|1897||March: First manager appointed – Thomas Mitchell.|
|1898||10 March: Manager Thomas Mitchell resigned.
30 March: William Elcoat appointed manager.
|1899||20 February: Manager William Elcoat resigned, Arthur Kennedy appointed caretaker-manager for remainder of season.
30 June: Harry Bradshaw appointed manager.
|1900||12 March: Biggest league win – 12-0 v Loughborough (H).|
|1901||First club benefactor dies while a director – George Lawrance|
|1902||Archery Tournament raises approx £1200|
|1904||26 January: Harry Bradshaw resigns but stays on until end of season.
4 April: Phil Kelso joins the club and takes over as manager in 1 May.
May: Promoted to Division One.
3 September: first Division One game – lost 0-3 to Newcastle United (A).
5 December: beat Paris 26-1 in a friendly at home.
|1906||31 March: played in first FA Cup semi-final – lost 0-2 to Newcastle United at Stoke.
30 April: won Southern Professional Charity Cup.
|1907||23 March: played in second FA Cup semi-final – lost 1-3 to Sheff Weds at Birmingham.
October: Manager Phil Kelso tenders resignation but remains in charge until 10 February 1908
|1908||10 February 1908: George Morrell takes over as manager .
Club sell Coleman and then Ashcroft.
|1910||Club liquidated and new company formed. Henry Norris and William Hall take control of the club. Torpedo Factory moved to Scotland.
Jack Humble returns as director
|1913||26 April: last game played at the Manor Ground – drew 1-1 with Middlesbrough.
Relegated to Division Two.
Close season: moved to Highbury.
|1914||Last game of Woolwich Arsenal – “The Arsenal FC” formed|
|1915||13 April: George Morrell resigns as manager. James McEwen appointed caretaker manager.
Football suspended at end of season for duration of first world war. Arsenal FC formed prior to last match of season.
|1919||Elected to Division One starting the longest ever period for a club in the first division.
April: Leslie Knighton appointed manager
|1925||16 May: manager Leslie Knighton leaves the club.
11 June: Herbert Chapman appointed manager
|1926||May: Club finishes 2nd in Division One – highest position ever by a southern team|
|1928||13 October: David Jack joins Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers for a world record transfer fee of £10,890.|
|1930||First FA Cup victory; first top level trophy since foundation 44 years before|
|1931||Club wins its 1st league championship (Chapman as manager)|
|1933||Club wins its 2nd league championship (Chapman as manager)|
|1934|| 6 January: manager Herbert Chapman dies, Joe Shaw takes over as caretaker-manager.
Club wins its 3rd league championship (Chapman /Shaw as manager)
30 May: George Allison appointed manager
|1935||Club wins its 4th league championship (Allison as manager)
14 December: Ted Drake scores 7 goals in the league game at Aston Villa.
|1938||Club wins its 5th league championship (Allison as manager)
4 August: Bryn Jones joins Arsenal from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a world record transfer fee of £14,500.
|1939||League suspended after 3 matches for duration of the war|
|1941||8 February: Leslie Compton scores 10 goals in the game against Clapton Orient.|
|1946||Football resumes with George Allison still manager at Arsenal|
|1947||31 May: manager George Allison retires. Tom Whittaker takes over as manager.|
|1948||Club wins its 6th league championship (Whittaker as manager)|
|1950||Win FA Cup beating Liverpool 2-0 in the final at Wembley. Last FA Cup win until 1971|
|1952||Lose in FA Cup Final to Newcastle United 0-1.|
|1953||Club wins its 7th league championship (Whittaker as manager)|
|1956|| 24 October: manager Tom Whittaker dies, Jack Crayston appointed caretaker manager.
16 November: Jack Crayston appointed acting manager.
21 December: Jack Crayston appointed permanent manager.
|1958|| 19 May: Manager Jack Crayston resigns.
21 July: George Swindin becomes manager
|1959||AFC finish 3rd in league, the last top four finish or Cup win until 1971 – a period labelled in this blog as The Darkness|
|1962|| 16 March: Announced that manager George Swindin’s contract will not be renewed at the end of the season.
1 May: Billy Wright becomes manager.
|1963||25 September: Club plays its first competitive European game beating Staevnet 7-1 (A) in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.|
|1966|| 13 June: manager Billy Wright resigns.
20 June: Bertie Mee appointed acting manager, and then manager
|1968||Lose League Cup Final to Leeds United|
|1969||Lose League Cup Final to Swindon Town|
|1970||28 April: Club wins its 1st European trophy – beating Anderlecht 4-3 on aggregate in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final.|
|1971|| Club wins its 8th league championship (Mee as manager)
First FA Cup/League double
22 December: Alan Ball joins Arsenal from Everton for a British transfer record fee of £220,000.
|1976|| 23 March: Manager Bertie Mee announces that he will retire at the end of the season.
9 July: Terry Neil appointed manager
|1978||Lose FA Cup final v Ipswich|
|1979||Win FA Cup final v Manchester United|
|1980|| Lose FA Cup final v West Ham
Lose European Cup-winners Cup
|1983||15 December: Manager Terry Neill sacked, Don Howe appointed caretaker manager.|
|1984||28 April: Don Howe appointed permanent manager.|
|1986|| 28 March: Manager Don Howe resigns, Steve Burtenshaw appointed caretaker manager.
14 May: George Graham appointed manager
|1989||Club wins its 9th league championship (Graham as manager)|
|1991||Club wins its 10th league championship (Graham as manager)|
|1993||FA Cup and League Cup Winners – first team to do the Cup Double (Graham as manager)|
|1994||European Cup Winners Cup Winners (Graham as manager)|
|1995||14 February: Manager George Graham sacked, Stewart Houston appointed caretaker manager.
8 June: Bruce Rioch appointed manager.
21 June: Dennis Bergkamp joins Arsenal from Inter Milan for a record British transfer fee of £7,500,000.
|1996|| 12 August: Bruce Rioch sacked, Stewart Houston appointed caretaker manager.
13 September: Stewart Houston resigns, Pat Rice appointed caretaker manager.
1 October: Arsene Wenger appointed manager.
|1998||Club wins its 11th league championship (Wenger as manager)|
|2002||Club wins its 12th league championship (Wenger as manager)|
|2004||Club wins its 13th league championship (Wenger as manager) remaining unbeaten throughout the league season.|
|2005||Club wins its 10th FA Cup (Wenger as manager) beating Manchester United on penalties after the game finished 0-0.|
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”.
Latest History Society News…
Some of our series of articles
- Arsenal’s name and how it changed
- Arsenal and Tottenham – a history of dislike
- Anti-Arsenal – those who try to put us down throughout history
- Corruption: The Review
- First Timers: The first time I saw Arsenal
- Meet the ancestors- stories from the relatives of Arsenal players
- The origins of Arsenal
- Players, including updates on what players are doing now
- The Norris Files
- Statistics through the club’s history
- Woolwich Arsenal, the ground
- Woolwich Arsenal in the FA Cup – the full series
- Woolwich 100 – the players who played 100 or more times for WA
- Year by year: tracing the club’s history in detail