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December 2016
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October 1936: Arsenal in free fall.

By Tony Attwood

By the end of September 1936 it was quite clear that Arsenal had problems, with their squad, with Allison endlessly chopping and changing the team in an effort to find a solution, and thus with their results.

At the heart of the matter was the old problem of away form as the […]

The founding of the referees’ association, and the ref who had his own team

By Richard Bourke

Earlier this year the Society published an article in our series of headed “Joseph Cooper: the most mysterious of all the mysterious Arsenal players.” He was a player who joined Woolwich Arsenal in 1893. He made his debut for Woolwich Arsenal in a friendly on 23 October 1893 against Roston Bourke’s XI. […]

August / September 1936: 20 different players used in the first seven league games

By Tony Attwood

Editorial note: The series on the 1930s continues, but is now being interspersed with articles on the players. There is an index to the articles on players here.


Arsenal entered the 1936/7 season with two problems.

First, the club had been so successful in the 1930s (four league titles, two FA […]

Ralph Birkett: part of the South West club that Chapman built within Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

Ralph James Evans Birkett was born in Dartmouth, Devon, (or according to other sources Newton Abbot, or Ellacombe Torquay neither of which are far away) on 3 January 1913 (or 9 Jan in other sources). Birth certificate evidence appears to support Ellacombe.

He first made his name playing for the 3rd Division […]

Arsenal players 1934/5 and 1935/36 the fundamental problem with the team

By Tony Attwood

We last looked at the players Arsenal used in the 1930s in the article in 1933/34 season so this piece aims to bring this up to date with the coverage on Arsenal in the 30s thus far. If you want to go back further there is the complete analysis of 1929 to […]

Arsenal in the summer 1936: from winning the Cup to an assassination attempt on the king

By Tony Attwood

Writing about the summer of 1936 in Forward, Arsenal, Bernard Joy begins his commentary stating, “The honeymoon was over. The day was past when the sight of the red shirted figures trotting proudly on to the field put such disquiet into the opposition that it was worth a goal start….

“There were […]

April/May 1936; Arsenal win the Cup. A match report and season’s end

Here’s the league table at the end of March

P W D L F A GA Pt 1 Sunderland 35 21 6 8 90 59 1.52 48 2 Derby County 35 16 10 9 52 38 1.37 42 3 Huddersfield Town 35 16 9 10 52 49 1.06 41 4 Stoke City 35 17 5 […]

Arsenal in the 30s – March 1936. Wembley again but player rotation starts affecting the crowds

By Tony Attwood


Arsenal ended February through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup, but slipping further behind in the league title race. Here’s how the table looked at the start of March 1936:

P W D L F A GAv Pts 1 Sunderland 31 21 4 6 86 47 1.83 46 2 […]