In 1962 this date was Billy Wright’s first game in charge as manager and a league debut for centre forward Joe Baker (who scored). Arsenal made the trip to Brisbane Road and secured all three points with a 1-2 win over Leyton Orient. Geoff Strong and Joe Baker with the goals in a match which was Leyton Orient’s first ever match in the top flight of English football. Quite fitting that it was Arsenal who were their first opponents as the link between the clubs goes back to 1931 when the Arsenal board and manager Herbert Chapman helped save Orient from financial ruin and going out of existence.
A happy 16 year old Michael Thomas signed apprenticeship forms with Arsenal on this day in 1983. Thomas would go on to play 208 in the Arsenal colours and score 30 goals. He was sold to Liverpool in 1991 for £1.5m two years after scoring the late Friday night goal that denied Liverpool the League title and won it for Arsenal.
A defeat for Arsenal today in 1992 as a trip to Ewood Park resulted in a 0-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers. It was the last time fans would see Perry Groves in an Arsenal shirt. Nephew of former player Vic Groves, Perry joined in 1986 from Colchester United for £50,000. He played 91 matches and contributed 21 goals in his time before being sold to Southampton for £750,000.
On this day in 2002 after the retirement of Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira assumed the role of captain and marshalled his team to a 2-0 win over Birmingham City at home with goals from Thierry Henry 9 and Sylvain Wiltord 23. This made it 14 consecutive league wins, a new record for the top flight in England.