On this day in 1904 Woolwich Arsenal played a practice match at the Manor Ground ahead of their first ever season in the top flight of English football and Division 1. It was the first time that the club were allowed to charge admission and have spectators in before the start of the season, such was the excitement and interest.
In 1947 this date saw debuts for wing half Archie Macaulay & centre forward Don Roper as Arsenal beat Sunderland 3-1 at home. This was also Tom Whittaker’s first match, the start of six consecutive wins for the new manager. The goals came from Jimmy Logie, Ian McPherson and Ronnie Rooke.
George Swindin took charge of Arsenal for the first time on this day in 1958. It wasn’t the best start as the Gunners went down 2-1 at Deepdale to Preston North End with Jimmy Bloomfield getting Arsenal’s consolation. Coincidentally on the same day, Swindin had signed Tommy Docherty for £20,000 from that days opponents for £28,000. The Scottish right back would play 90 times in an Arsenal shirt before leaving for Chelsea in 1961.
Another managerial debut on this date, this time in 1986 and George Graham gratefully accepted a 1-0 win over Manchester United at Highbury courtesy of a Charlie Nicholas score.
Today in 1996 Arsenal sold striker Paul Dickov to Manchester City for £1m. Dickov joined the academy in 1988 but only got 25 first team appearances for Arsenal to his name and registered 6 goals.
At 17 years and 129 days old, on this day in 2006 Theo Walcott became Arsenal’s youngest player to play in a European competition in the second leg of the Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb. Goals from Freddie Ljungberg 77 & Mathieu Flamini 90 rounded off a 2-1 win on the night and a 5-1 win on aggregate.