On this day in 1934 Ken Friar was born in Islington, London. Friar first started working for the club as a 12 year-old in 1946, running messages and ended up running the club. These days, he is a director but has been the club’s managing director, club secretary and a key member of the board for many years.
In his office he sits at the desk once owned and used by Herbert Chapman and in February of 2014 Arsenal Football Club finally completed Ken Friar Bridge which commemorates almost a lifetime of dedication given to the club by the man simply known to everybody as Mr Friar. His career began on the streets outside Highbury when an errant football rolled under the car of George Allison, then first-team manager. “I was 12 years old and because I was smallest I had to retrieve it,” Friar once said. “All I remember was a voice saying ‘boy, what are you doing?’ He told, me to come back the next morning at nine o’clock. Why I went back I don’t know. I ended up getting a job on the front door, running messages. I used to get 12 and half pence a week.”
Today in 1968 Leicester City visited Highbury for their Division 1 match. Arsenal took the points with a 3-0 win. No score in the first half but in the second half David Court broke the deadlock and when Bobby Gould scored two he went down in the Arsenal history books. Gould became the first substitute to ever score for Arsenal. Substitutions had only been officially introduced to the league in the 1965/1966 season and then were restricted to use only in the event of replacing an injured player. In the 1967/1968 season the rule was changed to allow teams to use their one substitute for tactical reasons if desired. Alan Skirton became Arsenal’s first ever substitute but Gould was now the first one to score.
In 1980 both Clive Allen & keeper Paul Barron left the club for Crystal Palace. Meanwhile Kenny Sansom (pictured) joined the Gunners as part of the deal. The most expensive teenage footballer Allen had only been signed by the club three weeks before so Arsenal had essentially paid £1m to watch him warm up. Goalkeeper Barron however had managed to last two years since his £70,000 move from Plymouth Argyle in 1978 and had played 8 senior matches for the club.
This date in 1994 was reserved for Tony Adams’ Testimonial match. Crystal Palace had been invited to join the celebrations and it was they who celebrated with a 1-3 victory over Arsenal. Paul Dickov scored the Arsenal goal.