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Highbury - Arsenal FC
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The Homesick Project - Highbury by miniboro
Video: Buried by Progress

Highbury - Arsenal FC

You’ll also like ..

The Homesick Project - Highbury by miniboro

Video: Buried by Progress

English Football Clubs - Caricatures of club legends

A bit of a quiz for you all. In what order are the football clubs listed? Answers in the comments section below please. Good luck. 

You may also like - Got Not Got: The A-Z of Lost Football Culture, Treasures and Pleasures

125 Years of Arsenal

To celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary here’s a shot of their old ground Highbury and football cards showing caricatures of the great Arsenal players Thierry Henry, David Seaman & Emmanuel Petite.

Arsenal 125 Years in the Making: The Official Illustrated History 1886-2011

British Football’s Floodlit Firsts

On this day, the 26th October, in 1955, two simultaneous floodlit firsts took place, the first time in British football history that two such games had been played on the same day. So perhaps it’s fitting given my fascination with floodlit football that we recap a few floodlit firsts of British football.

London v Frankfurt first floodlit game at WembleyFootball League v Scottish League 1955 Hillsborough

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Vintage Stadium Porn

Wonderful shots of old football grounds. From top to bottom left to right ..

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FA Cup Controversy - 13th February 1999 - Arsenal v Sheffield United

13/02/99. FA Cup 5th round. Arsenal won 2-1. Att: 38020.

One of the most controversial FA Cup ties of all-time. Roared on by 6000 fans the Blades fancied themselves for a bit of an upset in this game. Arsenal went in at half-time with a one goal lead courtesy of Patrick Viera. The Blades equalised through Marcelo after an hour and only  a few minutes later the same player nearly snatched the lead when he hit the post. Things were hotting up and the Blades had the Gunners rattled. Then it all kicked off.

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Blades v Gunners FA Cup 1978 - My first visit to BDTBL
I’d been pestering my dad to take to me to the Lane for ages and finally he relented. The game we picked was the home FA Cup tie against Arsenal in January of 1978. The Blades were in the old second division whilst Arsenal were of course in the top flight. The game was the last of what had been a very hectic christmas and new year programme of football.
Utd had beaten Leyton Orient 2-0 at home on Boxing Day. The day after they visited Luton Town and got tonked 4-0. They were back in action on New Years Eve away at Hull City and won 3-2. Two days later on the 2nd January Spurs came to Bramall Lane and played out a 2-2 draw. The cup tie against Arsenal was played the day after on the 3rd.
Arsenal had the same packed festive programme. On Boxing Day they beat Chelsea 3-0 at home and the following day won 3-1 at West Brom. New Years Eve saw them travel to Everton where they lost 2-0 but they got back to winning ways on the 2nd January with a 1-0 home win over Ipswich Town. So that was five games in nine days. This was normal back then. Can you imagine today’s pampered  professionals putting up with such a gruelling schedule of games? Not likely!
Anyhow back to the cup tie. I was very excited as you’d imagine. My memories of the day are a bit hazy but a few things stand out really clearly. We stood on the Kop and after going through one of the turnstiles on John Street made our way up the steps towards the back of the Kop. I kept getting a tantalising glimpse of a football pitch to my left as we made our way up the steps. At the top I could see it in all it’s glory and soon found a spot against the wire fence to watch the game.
Only trouble was I was looking down on the old practice pitches which were behind the Kop on Shoreham Street which in my boyish enthusiasm I’d mistaken for the real mccoy. My dad and his mate soon put me right and off we went to take our place on the Kop.
I wasn’t at all prepared for the sights and sounds that greeted me as we went through the gangway entrance onto the top of the Kop. The thing I remember most clearly is the pitch, I’d never seen owt like it. The greenest lushest most beautiful grass in the World. It looked like a carpet and was green like no other green I’d ever seen before. Then there was all the people. I thought there’d been a lot stood on the steps and gangways to the rear of the Kop but my god here were thousands upon thousands of folk all crammed together. I’d never seen so many people in one place, all making the loudest din I’d ever heard too. I could barely hear myself speak.
We made our way down the gangway to the front. As a young lad there was no way I would’ve been able to see the game from somewhere in the middle of that heaving swaying mass of bodies. A spot was found for me at the very front of the Kop against the small white fence that ran a round the pitch. I crammed up against it, with my silk scarf tied around my wrist and I looked around in wonder and awe at the sight that greeted my eyes. At this magnificent football ground packed to the rafters with 32000 people. I looked across at the away end and can still see it now. Someone had made a big cardboard replica of the FA Cup. It was either painted silver or covered in tin foil for as it was held aloft, dancing above the heads of the Arsenal dans it glittered and gleamed in the cold January sunshine.
As for the game itself I can’t remember bugger all. It was a blur. I think I spent most of the time gawping at the crowd and really didn’t have a clue what was going off on the pitch. Except that the Arsenal fans kept cheering very loudly. Five times they cheered as their team trounced the Blades 5-0. I didn’t care though this was amazing being here in this place. I was hooked, a blade for life had been made.
Arsenal went on to reach the Cup final of 1978 where they lost 1-0 to Ipswich Town. Roger Osborne lashing in the winner from inside the penalty area. He prompty fainted, overcome with emotion and had to be brought round with smelling salts before being substituted.
As for the Blades they had a strange old season. This 5-0 home loss to Arsenal was the first of a three game run in which they conceded five goals each time. There was a 5-1 home defeat by Bolton and a 5-0 thrashing away at Sunderland. Yet the Blades home record was as good as anyone in the division but away from home it was a different story. Conceding 51 goals away from Bramall Lane this was amongst the worst in the entire football league that season. Only four clubs in all four divisions conceded more.The Blades only won three away from home all season yet this included a 6-1 win at Cardiff. I only hope it’s a similar scoreline this Sunday for our opening championship fixture of this season.
Images of Sheffield United
more Sheffield United on footysphere
more Arsenal on footysphere

Blades v Gunners FA Cup 1978 - My first visit to BDTBL

I’d been pestering my dad to take to me to the Lane for ages and finally he relented. The game we picked was the home FA Cup tie against Arsenal in January of 1978. The Blades were in the old second division whilst Arsenal were of course in the top flight. The game was the last of what had been a very hectic christmas and new year programme of football.

Utd had beaten Leyton Orient 2-0 at home on Boxing Day. The day after they visited Luton Town and got tonked 4-0. They were back in action on New Years Eve away at Hull City and won 3-2. Two days later on the 2nd January Spurs came to Bramall Lane and played out a 2-2 draw. The cup tie against Arsenal was played the day after on the 3rd.

Arsenal had the same packed festive programme. On Boxing Day they beat Chelsea 3-0 at home and the following day won 3-1 at West Brom. New Years Eve saw them travel to Everton where they lost 2-0 but they got back to winning ways on the 2nd January with a 1-0 home win over Ipswich Town. So that was five games in nine days. This was normal back then. Can you imagine today’s pampered professionals putting up with such a gruelling schedule of games? Not likely!

Anyhow back to the cup tie. I was very excited as you’d imagine. My memories of the day are a bit hazy but a few things stand out really clearly. We stood on the Kop and after going through one of the turnstiles on John Street made our way up the steps towards the back of the Kop. I kept getting a tantalising glimpse of a football pitch to my left as we made our way up the steps. At the top I could see it in all it’s glory and soon found a spot against the wire fence to watch the game.

Only trouble was I was looking down on the old practice pitches which were behind the Kop on Shoreham Street which in my boyish enthusiasm I’d mistaken for the real mccoy. My dad and his mate soon put me right and off we went to take our place on the Kop.

I wasn’t at all prepared for the sights and sounds that greeted me as we went through the gangway entrance onto the top of the Kop. The thing I remember most clearly is the pitch, I’d never seen owt like it. The greenest lushest most beautiful grass in the World. It looked like a carpet and was green like no other green I’d ever seen before. Then there was all the people. I thought there’d been a lot stood on the steps and gangways to the rear of the Kop but my god here were thousands upon thousands of folk all crammed together. I’d never seen so many people in one place, all making the loudest din I’d ever heard too. I could barely hear myself speak.

We made our way down the gangway to the front. As a young lad there was no way I would’ve been able to see the game from somewhere in the middle of that heaving swaying mass of bodies. A spot was found for me at the very front of the Kop against the small white fence that ran a round the pitch. I crammed up against it, with my silk scarf tied around my wrist and I looked around in wonder and awe at the sight that greeted my eyes. At this magnificent football ground packed to the rafters with 32000 people. I looked across at the away end and can still see it now. Someone had made a big cardboard replica of the FA Cup. It was either painted silver or covered in tin foil for as it was held aloft, dancing above the heads of the Arsenal dans it glittered and gleamed in the cold January sunshine.

As for the game itself I can’t remember bugger all. It was a blur. I think I spent most of the time gawping at the crowd and really didn’t have a clue what was going off on the pitch. Except that the Arsenal fans kept cheering very loudly. Five times they cheered as their team trounced the Blades 5-0. I didn’t care though this was amazing being here in this place. I was hooked, a blade for life had been made.

Arsenal went on to reach the Cup final of 1978 where they lost 1-0 to Ipswich Town. Roger Osborne lashing in the winner from inside the penalty area. He prompty fainted, overcome with emotion and had to be brought round with smelling salts before being substituted.

As for the Blades they had a strange old season. This 5-0 home loss to Arsenal was the first of a three game run in which they conceded five goals each time. There was a 5-1 home defeat by Bolton and a 5-0 thrashing away at Sunderland. Yet the Blades home record was as good as anyone in the division but away from home it was a different story. Conceding 51 goals away from Bramall Lane this was amongst the worst in the entire football league that season. Only four clubs in all four divisions conceded more.The Blades only won three away from home all season yet this included a 6-1 win at Cardiff. I only hope it’s a similar scoreline this Sunday for our opening championship fixture of this season.

Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home

May 2002 - Arsene Wenger reacts to Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments that Manchester United were the “better team” despite Arsenal winning the double.

Robin Hackett: Quotes of the decade - Review of the Decade - ESPN Soccernet

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Arsenal Rotherham 1960

Arsenal v Rotherham United 1960

The fifties were something of a golden era for Rotherham United. They were a second level club and in 1954/55 came so very very close to winning promotion to the top flight. They finished in 3rd place level on points with Birmingham and Luton in 1st and 2nd but missed out on goal average 0.1916 behind the runners up.

Their cup run of 59/60 was something of a marathon. Drawn against Arsenal in the 3rd round they held the 1st division club to a 2-2 draw at Millmoor after being 2-0 down with 20 mins to go. The replay at Highbury finished 1-1 AET and Rotherham won the toss in the Highbury boardroom after the game to bring the 2nd replay to Hillsborough. If Arsenal had won the toss the game would’ve been played at White Hart Lane. The Millers won the 2nd replay 2-0 to advance to the 4th round & a meeting with Brighton & HA. Again they played 3 games with BHA winning the 2nd replay 6-0.

    1919 and all that

    • Plenty of shenanigans in the football world at the end of World War I. When the league started back up after the wartime break the Football League decided to increase the first division to 22 clubs. Custom and practice in cases of league expansion was to re-elect the bottom two clubs whilst promoting the top two clubs from Division 2.
    • So, both Chelsea & Spurs who had finished 19th and 20th respectively at the end of the 1914/15 season were expecting to keep their top flight places. Chelsea kept their place but Spurs were relegated and replaced by Arsenal who had finished 5th in the 2nd division below Barnsley and Wolves in 3rd and 4th. Yes, that’s right Arsenal nicked Spurs first division place due to all sorts of skullduggery.
    • Read entertaining versions from both North London camps here ..

    from the Arsenal corner | from the Spurs corner

    I am satisfied that there is a great future for football under artificial light in England. I can see nothing further to prevent its introduction, and I believe it would be a splendid success. Further, I am convinced that it is bound to come, possibly by way of friendly matches. Once launched, however, I predict that its development will be rapid.

    Herbert Chapman, Arsenal manager & visionary, 1933

    OverTimeOnline.co.uk

    Arsenal v Hapoel Tel Aviv 1951: Floodlit Friendly
Programme cover from Arsenal v Hapoel Tel Aviv Sept 1951. Arsenal were the first English top flight club to install floodlights and this was the first major fixture to be held at Highbury under floodlights. Arsenal won 6-1.
Arsenal finished the 51/52 season as FA Cup runners-up and had to settle for 3rd place in the First Division. Pipped to 2nd by North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on goal average. Hapoel Tel Aviv competed in the the inaugural edition of the Liga Alef and finished in 5th place.
Read more …
Highbury’s first game under floodlights
1951/52 in English football
Hapoel Tel Aviv - Wikipedia
Israeli Liga Alef 1951/52

    Arsenal v Hapoel Tel Aviv 1951: Floodlit Friendly

    Programme cover from Arsenal v Hapoel Tel Aviv Sept 1951. Arsenal were the first English top flight club to install floodlights and this was the first major fixture to be held at Highbury under floodlights. Arsenal won 6-1.

    Arsenal finished the 51/52 season as FA Cup runners-up and had to settle for 3rd place in the First Division. Pipped to 2nd by North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on goal average. Hapoel Tel Aviv competed in the the inaugural edition of the Liga Alef and finished in 5th place.

    Read more …

    Highbury’s first game under floodlights

    1951/52 in English football

    Hapoel Tel Aviv - Wikipedia

    Israeli Liga Alef 1951/52