Today in 1928 Herbert Chapman sent his players on to the pitch at Hillsborough in numbered shirts. The FA subsequently said no to this innovation and the idea would be shelved (for now). The match was played however and the Yorkshire team ran out 3-2 winners. James Brain scored as did Charles Jones (pictured) on his debut for Arsenal. He had signed from Nottingham Forest and went on to appear 195 times in an Arsenal shirt before retiring in 1934. He went on to briefly manage at Notts County.
As league winners for the last two consecutive seasons, the Gunners travelled to Fratton Park today in 1934. Defender Wild Copping made his first appearance for the club in an exciting 3-3 draw with Portsmouth. Ray Bowden, Ted Drake and Cliff Bastin all got on the scoresheet for Arsenal. Copping had been signed from Leeds United for £8,000 and this was the first of 189 appearances before returning to Leeds at the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
Centre forward Jimmy Bloomfield and winger Joe Haverty both made their debuts today in 1954 in a disappointing 0-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park. Bloomfield had signed from Brentford for £10,000 whilst Haverty had signed from St Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin.
After long talks and negotiations defender Bob McNab (pictured) agreed a new wage and signed and extension this day in 1970 before playing in a 1-0 home victory against Huddersfield Town with Ray Kennedy adding to his Arsenal statistics.
Today in 1983 Malcolm Macdonald’s autobiography continued to be serialised in the press. Today’s piece told of his problems with Terry Neill right from the off when he was persuaded by the Arsenal manager to sign a blank contract and leave the office staff to fill in the details agreed with his accountant. Upon his return from pre-season away with Arsenal he found his wages to be less than half of the agreed figure and clauses such as a cost of living allowance and playing bonuses had not been included.
On this day in 2004 the Invincibles once again became record breakers. After goals from Thierry Henry 50, Cesc Fábregas 58 & Jose Antonio Reyes 79 secured a 3-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal had beaten Nottingham Forest’s 42 consecutive league match unbeaten record. Fabregas’ goal made him the youngest Premier League scorer (currently fourth in the list of youngest), at the age of 17 years and 113 days.