By Tony Attwood
Anyone picking up the very first programme issued by Arsenal at Highbury, and reading it through from cover to cover might well have felt that the club was going overboard a bit with the money raising activity through trying to sell shares. There were adverts on virtually every page for £1 shares in the Arsenal.
Oh for a time machine enabling one to trot back and pick up a few. Maybe a few hundred and a shake of the hand from Henry Norris!
There are some nice details here as well – a recognition of the two pre-season training games that were held away from Gillespie Road because the ground was still full of builders’ rubble, and the introduction of what was the first Arsenal magazine style programme. I don’t have a Woolwich Arsenal programme from earlier than this – but it appears from this page that these were just a sheet of paper with the players name.
It is also nice that the club introduces the A to Z scoreboard which many of us now in our 60s still remember – it was certainly still there in the 1960s – maybe later.
The whole story of the move to north London is covered in Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football, which is available from the publishers, Amazon and (very shortly, if not in time for the Sunderland match) from the club shop. (We’ve supplied Arsenal with their ordered copies – but obviously don’t know how quick they are at getting the new stock in place).
If you order from the publishers, and if you ask, I’ll sign a copy for you with whatever dedication you want.