Prelude to Highbury

Read the opening chapter to Highbury here and see a detailed contents list below by clicking here.

1: Prelude to N5

Highbury was a gamble. It was a gamble by a desperate man who was a visionary but who was going to take a football club from liquidation to the verge of extinction.

His dream was to own the best club in the land and for them to play in the best stadium in the land. It was a dream that was realised, but along the way some of his methods weren’t quite legitimate and, ultimately, as Highbury evolved and Arsenal succeeded, he could only witness it from afar, banned from football. A sad end for Sir Henry Norris, but he could never have imagined that the footballing icons he helped create in both team and stadium would become known around the globe.

Arsenal played their first game at Highbury in September 1913, but the journey there from across the river, then north along Upper Street, started many years earlier in another part of London. From the club’s formation in 1886 to manoeuvres north in 1913, Arsenal was a modest side looking to become great achievers but continually failing to do so. Those very early years saw ‘the Reds’, as they were known locally then, become the glamour club: they were the first club in the south of England to be elected to the Football League and so attracted crowds and players from all over London. However, it was gaining professional status that first worked against them; then it was the local economic environment. Both made it necessary that they relocate, so it was as much a move for survival as through ambition.

The Royal Arsenal was a huge government munitions factory to the south-east of London. Woolwich was essentially a military town dominated by this massive works, but it also housed many army units, including the Royal Military Academy, the Royal Artillery Regiment and several military hospitals. War was big business and was extremely labour intensive, both in its fighting and preparation. The Royal Arsenal was a huge employer, attracting workmen from all over the British Isles.

In 1886 a group of men working in the Dial Square workshops within the Royal Arsenal discovered they had a common interest in football. Woolwich was set in an area where the predominant sports were rugby and cricket, but they decided to try to form a football team if sufficient men were interested. The inaugural game was almost certainly played on wasteland in what is now Tiller Road in Wapping on the Isle of Dogs (which, curiously enough, now houses a sports and leisure centre). Indeed that first ‘ground’ was a wasteland in every sense of the word, and by the time the opposition, the Eastern Wanderers, were soundly beaten 6–0, it was almost unplayable. The result, as opposed to the initial set-up, led to an enthusiastic response and word of the team spread quickly through the Royal Arsenal factory. Within a very short time Royal Arsenal Football Club was born.

Their home ground for that first year was Plumstead Common and, as the name implies, this was an open public playing area. This proved totally unsatisfactory since it was constantly in use by either other local teams or horse-drawn artillery practising military manoeuvres, which left the field deeply rutted. They urgently needed a ground of their own, and in September 1887 the club opted to move to an old pig farm next to Plumstead Marshes. Teams in those early days used the local Sportsman’s pub to get changed. Royal Arsenal only played friendlies at that time and did not have a ‘competitive’ match until they entered the London Cup. Newspaper reports at the time noted some 500 spectators turned up for the encounter to witness the 3–0 defeat of Grove House in October 1887. (Some reports suggest that Grove House actually conceded the tie prior to the game because they did not have their full team available and that this encounter was just a friendly.)

Being so close to the marshes, the area and pitch were frequently waterlogged and on 30 March 1888 overnight rain made the pitch unplayable for a game against local rivals Millwall Rovers. It was Easter Friday and a large crowd was expected. Anxious to play the game, the club’s committee members elected to hire the better-drained Manor Field adjacent to the marshes, and after some frantic work by club members a pitch, including fixed goalposts, was laid out.

Arsenal continued to hire the field and played their home games there for the next two years. Club officials drew military wagons from the armaments factory for each game and used them for attaching ropes to block off the club ground. The pitch itself was also cordoned off in an endeavour to keep over-enthusiastic spectators from spilling onto it. The wagons were also used as a form of terrace to give better vantage points since the crowds were by now several people deep. At the start there were no on-site changing-rooms and so the backrooms of pubs, such as the Green Man and Railway Tavern on the local Plumstead High Street, were used, players from both sides making the short jog to the ‘ground’. Spectators were now being charged for entry, and it was often down to a couple of the home players to help collect the admission fees.

By now the Manor Field had been renamed the Manor Ground (although it barely resembled what we would call a ground today) and crowds of up to 1,000 people were not uncommon. Indeed an attendance of over 1,500 is recorded for a friendly match against Tottenham Hotspur in September 1889 in which the Royals won 10–1! The biggest reported crowd at the Manor Ground around that time came on 7 December that year with an estimated 6,000 turning up despite an earlier snowstorm to see the visiting Swifts win 5–1. With bigger crowds making it difficult for players to get to the pitch, the local pubs were abandoned and a disused railway hut was commandeered and used as makeshift changing-rooms.

The 1889–90 season was a momentous one for the club, it being both accepted into the FA Cup and playing four rounds of the qualifying competition. In addition, Royal Arsenal won their first-ever trophy, the Kent Senior Cup, beating Thanet Wanderers 3–0 at Chatham, as well as reaching the London Senior Cup final, losing 1–0 to Old Westminsters at The Oval (where FA Cup finals were played at the time). The London Charity Cup final saw them gain revenge over Old Westminsters at the Spotted Dog ground in Leyton, winning 3–1 to claim their second trophy. Royal Arsenal was starting to become a formidable side.

Apart from those paying an admission fee to witness proceedings, there were also plenty of non-paying spectators who could get a raised view of the game for free from a vantage point on top of the Southern Outfill Sewer, a massive pipe which still exists today. Its name clearly indicates the type of atmosphere games were played out in. That these people could gain ‘free admission’ irked the club, whose members were also feeling cramped, and so they started looking for a more secure setting where they could also attract bigger crowds for their games, which were by now averaging around 5,000 per fixture.

Invicta Ground

In September 1890, after some investigation, the move was made to the Invicta Recreation Grounds in Plumstead. They were accessed directly from the High Street and boasted concrete terracing with a grandstand and dressing-rooms. The ground was a multi-purpose facility and had been used primarily for the cycle track that ran around its perimeter, with Sunday cycle meetings often attracting five-figure attendances.

The ground was the property of a George Weaver, a mineral water manufacturer with a company of the same name, who charged Royal Arsenal £200 per year in rent for the ground – a grossly inflated price since Football League clubs were at most paying only half this at the time. Still, the club was ambitious, and the Invicta Ground had been described as the ‘finest in the South’, boasting, as it did, a grandstand that could accommodate around 1,500 people.

Crowds of 8,000 were regular occurrences now, with admission just 3d (1p!). They were also treated to a pre-match band, the 2nd Kent Artillery Volunteers playing a selection of music at half-time, something that would become commonplace at Highbury many years later. It proved so popular the band would often surface at the end of the game and play the fans out of the ground, which often took an hour or so as they remained to listen to the music!

In 1891 the club was accepted into the first-round proper of the FA Cup, losing to Football League Professionals Derby County 2–1 at the Invicta in front of 8,000 fans. Looking to make the most of their pulling power, the Arsenal committee staged an Easter Tournament for the first time, which culminated in a contest against then Scottish champions Heart of Midlothian, which attracted 15,000 paying customers.

Fed up that their better players were being poached by clubs in the professional league, it was decided that Arsenal would likewise join it. They opted at this stage not to form a limited liability company but simply to elect to change their name to Woolwich Arsenal Football Club (a curious decision as the club had never played in Woolwich at any point). The London FA, which at the time was vehemently opposed to clubs becoming professional, immediately expelled them. This meant that Southern teams were effectively barred from playing Woolwich Arsenal, so the club set about arranging fixtures with professional sides from the Midlands and the North. No fewer than 57 matches filled their initial professional fixture list, some 48 being played at the Invicta, shrewd marketing attracting locals for the chance to see the big teams from ‘up North’. It worked to perfection. Woolwich Arsenal’s first professional game took place at the Invicta on 5 September 1891 – there is no recorded attendance, although a full house can be assumed – and their opponents that afternoon, Sheffield United, won 2–0.

Another season of friendlies in 1892–93 (a further 56 games with 41 of the encounters at the Invicta Ground) ended with Woolwich Arsenal applying for Football League membership. With the League anxious to expand and attract clubs from the South, Woolwich Arsenal was readily accepted. The joy was short-lived as the club was handed another bombshell as a direct result of that election success: Weaver, their landlord at the Invicta, on hearing of the club’s successful application, decided to increase the rent for the season ahead. With less than three months before the new campaign got under way and probably believing he had the club over the proverbial barrel, he informed the club they could hire the ground on a fresh one-year lease for £400 with an additional £100 payable for rates and taxes. After some discussion, the lease element was reduced to £350 per year with the proviso that Weaver would be elected on to the Arsenal’s club committee. For that final season of friendlies, the club had paid £200, including rates and taxes, for an eight-month lease, but was also spending £60 a year in repair bills. As a comparison, Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers at that time were paying £45 and £76 a year respectively for their leases; the norm was certainly no more than £100 per annum.

The club made their own offer to Weaver, reported as being £300 per annum inclusive, but this was rejected. So, with just three months to go before the 1893–94 Football League season was due to kick off, the club had no ground. Some decisive action was required. The obvious immediate solution was to move back to the Manor Ground. The club had continued to use the Manor Fields for training and practice so the area was familiar to them and the supporters. After lengthy debate amongst the club officials it was decided to purchase the ground if possible and if not, take a short lease and continue to look out for a facility over which they would have total control; one who wouldn’t put them at the beck and call of unscrupulous landlords.

Sharing Arsenal

After some negotiating, the club came to a deal with the owner of the Manor Fields, Mr J. Morris, which allowed them to purchase the ground immediately. The cost of acquiring the 13.5-acre site was £4,000, and this money was to be raised by the issue of 4,000 shares at £1 each and the club’s formation into a limited liability company, Woolwich Arsenal Football & Athletic Company Ltd. Reports on the take-up of shares are mixed, but it would seem from newspaper reports of the time that around 2,500 were issued to around 1,500 people. This left the club well short, but the sale of season tickets at 10s 6d certainly boosted funds. (NB: The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal by Phil Soar and Martin Tyler differs from these local accounts, reporting that 860 people bought 1,552 shares.)

But it was not enough to simply purchase the ground: massive improvements were needed as well. The club could not hope to contain supporters using wagons and rope especially after the relative splendour of the Invicta Ground. So, the summer of 1893 saw a huge effort mainly by volunteer supporters who converted the Manor Field into a football ground that could clearly be called the Manor Ground.

First, the designated playing area had to be levelled to remove a substantial slope – this was done by using a base of hardcore which would also aid drainage in the marshy area. Truckloads of loam and earth were imported and spread to create an even surface onto which the best quality turf was laid. The playing area was roped off and low-level fencing would be applied around the perimeter of the pitch when the rest of the work was completed.

Next, the spectating area had to be addressed. On the north side of the ground a five-tiered terrace was constructed along the length of the pitch (this was ultimately extended right around the ground with the initial terracing being covered with an iron stand which could enclose some 2,000 spectators). Fencing, mainly of galvanised iron, was added to enclose the area. Iron was also used to erect buildings on the south side of the ground, comprising changing-rooms for the home and away teams and a committee room for meetings. A small press-box for 12 reporters was also constructed, although this wouldn’t be used to its full potential.

The Manor Ground’s main access was from the Griffen Manorway, which had three gates, while two exits led onto a private road, which required the London County Council’s permission to be used. Over 10,000 turned up on 2 September 1893 to see Woolwich Arsenal play their inaugural Football League match in the Second Division. The opponents were another newly elected club, Newcastle United, and the game ended a 2–2 draw. Attendances settled in at around the 6,000 mark, making Woolwich Arsenal the best-supported club in the Second Division. A reported 12,000 squeezed onto the terraces in November 1893 for the FA Cup third-qualifying-round encounter with Millwall Athletic (formerly Millwall Rovers).

Off the field, the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899 deprived the club of many of its key officials as the introduction of shift work to increase output at the Royal Arsenal factory played havoc with people’s lives. Likewise, attendances at games declined, and cash started to get tight. Equally the number of non-paying ‘viewers’ started to increase. Fans, strapped for cash or unwilling to pay to see part of a match because of work commitments, sought out vantage points in areas such as the popular Southern Outfall Sewer pipe, just as they had done during the club’s first stint at the site.

Promotion Interest

By 1904 the club had finished runners-up in the Second Division and was promoted to the First Division. Interest was now immense as they were the first Southern club to play in the top flight. Attendances were set to rocket, so the capacity of the Manor Ground had to be increased to accommodate the extra spectators. This was done by building a huge terraced area in front of the Southern Outfall Sewer pipe which also rendered its use as a spy point useless – the club, therefore, solving two problems in one go. The ground’s capacity swelled to over 25,000. Because the new terrace reminded the many soldiers who supported the Reds and who had recently served in the Boer War of Spion Kop, an infamous hill in Natal which claimed many lives in a horrific battle, they opted to make the embankment its namesake. Spion Kop ultimately became known to locals as simply ‘the Kop’, and the concept then spread around the rest of the teams in the Football League, where, for most, the biggest area of terracing became known as the Kop.

As predicted, First Division status brought with it the big teams and the big crowds as attendances swelled to a regular 20,000, occasionally reaching 30,000 for specific matches. However, despite all this, the club’s finances were not in a very good way. The club’s fortunes were just about to experience a downward spiral.

In a Kentish Mercury account of that FA Cup encounter with Millwall Athletic, it was reported that fans had swarmed to the ground using a variety of methods. It said special trains, trams, buses, traps and even steamboats had taken what it reported was a 20,000-strong crowd at the Manor Ground. There was no easy, direct way to get to the venue even though the train station itself was directly opposite. The services that did exist were sporadic and unreliable and only when games were high profile were special services run.

Chelsea and Clapton Orient were admitted to the Football League in 1905 and were soon followed by Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, so there were other opportunities in London to watch Football League, invariably at grounds that were much more accessible. Indeed George Allison, a local reporter covering Arsenal games at the time (and who would later become a manager at Highbury), noted that even journalists couldn’t be bothered to travel south from Fleet Street to cover games at the Manor Ground. Allison would often be a loner in the 12-seat ‘Press Stand’ and syndicated his reports to the other journalists to use in their newspapers.

Locally the workforce was in decline with the government reducing staffing levels at the Royal Arsenal munitions factory by over half. Locals were either moving out to seek new employment or remained with no spare cash to spend on attending football matches. These factors combined meant that attendances at the Manor Ground sank back to the levels they’d been before the club had moved to the Invicta Recreation Grounds. In 1911 Woolwich Arsenal could only attract 3,000 for a First Division fixture with Sunderland.

The club had appointed George Morrell as secretary-manager in 1908. Morrell was regarded as a financial whizz-kid in football circles after having achieved a complete turnaround with the fortunes of Glasgow Rangers. He had then taken the debt-ridden Greenock Morton into solvency and on to election to the Scottish First Division. Initially, his appointment saw a lift in results, but ultimately players had the same travel problems as the fans – the ground was difficult to reach by public transport and so many supporters simply stopped bothering. With the subsequent reduction in gate takings, cash became increasingly tight. The club couldn’t meet its wage bill and was ultimately forced into selling its better players to reduce the wage bill and provide injections of cash. A vicious circle. In 1910 Arsenal were averaging 11,000 through their gates. Chelsea, with better access to their ground, drew close on three times that, despite finishing second bottom. When Woolwich Arsenal had played a fixture at Stamford Bridge the year before Morrell arrived at the club, a crowd of 65,000 had been witnessed. None of this was lost on him.

Figure 5. Woolwich Arsenal entertains Middlesbrough at the Manor Ground, Plumstead in 1908.

In March 1910 Woolwich Arsenal went into voluntary administration with debts of £12,500. It was the job of the administrator, Mr Brannan, to sell off the club’s assets, such as they were, and to use whatever was raised to pay off the club’s creditors. The only real asset the club owned was the Manor Ground. In fact, Brannan sold everything as it was to a consortium of small businessmen headed by one George Leavey. Leavey had been part of the club for a number of years and, although not an official, had often helped out by putting his hand in his own pocket.

Wishing to ensure the club survived, the consortium offered shares for general sale in May 1910. The large majority of these were subscribed to by Henry Norris and William Wall, who purchased 240 each, giving them over a third of the total shares on offer, and so started an association with the club that would ultimately lead to Highbury. Other notable shareholders included Leavey himself, who took 100 shares. Tottenham Hotspur FC also reportedly purchased 100 shares which they subsequently sold before the new football season started. None of the founders of the club bought shares and so links with the early days and Dial Square were fully severed.

Henry Norris Esquire

Henry Norris was born in 1865 and became one of the most influential figures in football at the turn of the twentieth century. Socially he was the ultimate Edwardian bounder of his time: he was football’s first dictator and hard man, and in modern-day terms might be described as Robert Maxwell, Ken Bates and Doug Ellis all rolled into one – although, in truth, he wasn’t as soft as that! His influence on the evolution of many London clubs should not be overlooked. Without him, it is doubtful whether Arsenal or Chelsea would exist today, certainly in their present forms, and Fulham owes much of their early growth impetus to him.

Born into a working-class family, he aspired to the upper echelons of late nineteenth-century society. His first job, aged just 14, was at a local solicitors firm where he read articles for just a year. From there he looked to the building trade, and within a few years had developed the hard exterior and no-nonsense attitude that set him apart from others and gave him an air of superiority that few challenged – and when they did, they always wished they hadn’t. He ruled not so much with an iron hand as with an iron fist!
Norris, just like the aforementioned moguls, was a self-made man. Based in south-west London, he made his fortune in the property market with his company Allen & Norris. Moving between the building and banking professions, he was able to establish a useful network of contacts and use a mixture of brawn and finance in the process of converting rural Fulham into a sprawling south-west London suburb.

Having seen the growth of the building industry and, in particular, the need to house an exploding population, Norris turned his attentions to the real estate market. During this process, he extended his networking contacts deep into the local council and areas of government. He had already established his reputation as a bully and someone to be avoided at all costs. Although there is no record of any gangster-style persuasion methods being used, his underworld connections probably stood him in good stead. These contacts – ‘his boys’ – were invariably used to the full, not least when planning permission was slow in coming forward or looked as if it might be refused.

Norris loved football with a passion, and it was a source of great angst to him that the Northern sides dominated the professional game. His dream was to see a London club at the top of the tree. At this stage, Norris was involved with Fulham Football Club. In 1903 Fulham were admitted to the Southern League and as part of that process converted into a limited liability company. The resulting board of directors included Norris.

Norris was totally ambitious, and although Fulham was elected to the Second Division in 1907, the club’s constant failure to earn promotion to the First Division rankled with him. The ultimate reasons for the purchase of a majority share in Woolwich Arsenal at that time can only be guessed at: Norris was ambitious; Fulham were a Second Division club; Woolwich Arsenal was in the First Division. Perhaps Norris saw Arsenal as an immediate meal ticket to the First Division? This theory would seem to hold water since Norris did apply to the Football League for a merger of the two clubs. The assumption was that the new club would play at Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium, one of the finest in the country at the time, with crowds to match. By taking over Woolwich Arsenal’s First Division status, crowds would swell even more, and there would be the mouth-watering prospect of west London League encounters with the well-supported Chelsea.

Norris’s merger proposal was rebuffed. He then looked to move Woolwich Arsenal from Plumstead to share the Craven Cottage facility, but this too was firmly rejected by the League. So, Norris remained as a director at Fulham – a Second Division club with excellent facilities but with little prospect of gaining promotion in the short term, and with nearby Chelsea drawing the crowds. At the same time, Norris remained chairman of Woolwich Arsenal – a First Division club struggling in the lower reaches of the League whilst its geography made it difficult to attract the players and attendances required to remain solvent. It was a quandary.

Given these factors and Norris’s drive for success, it would seem he simply decided to relocate Woolwich Arsenal and took a bloody-minded approach to it., And devoted his efforts to doing so. Central to completing this was his sidekick William Hall. A metal merchant from nearby Putney, he played second fiddle to Norris and was always on hand to help carry out his mentor’s wishes. He served on the boards of Fulham and Arsenal, and at the start of 1913, he sought and gained election to the Football League Management Committee (LMC). Political manoeuvring of the highest order indeed!

In March 1913 Norris announced that Woolwich Arsenal would be leaving their Manor Ground home in Plumstead and relocating to Highbury for the 1913–14 football season. This was followed by the Board of Education sending to St John’s College the necessary official Order authorising the college to lease part of its site at Highbury to Woolwich Arsenal.

Islington Councillor Inglis, who lived on Highbury Hill, wrote about the move to the Dean of Canterbury, who was the president of St John’s College’s governing Council. The Dean of Canterbury replied to councillor Inglis’ letter and gave permission for a deputation of local residents to speak at the next meeting of St John’s College’s Council, giving their reasons why the college should not lease its land to a football club. Local residents formed the Highbury Defence Committee to lobby — not against the arrival of football, he thought it was already too late for that — for damage-limitation measures, especially in the areas of street betting, sanitation and policing

During March 1913 the Parliamentary sub-committee of the London Borough of Islington discussed the move of Woolwich Arsenal onto St John’s College’s land. The sub-committee agreed to recommend that the full Council act to oppose the move; though the vote at the sub-committee was not unanimous.

On 4 April 1913 the London Borough of Islington held their regular meeting and allowed in representatives of both sides of the debate on the subject of Woolwich Arsenal’s move. After hearing from both sides (Norris was not present, but his personal lawyer was, CE Sutcliffe — whose day job was running the Football League!) the councillors voted, to do what the Council was able to prevent Woolwich Arsenal leasing St John’s College’s land. They did this by writing to the Board of Education, asking them to stop the lease going through. The secretary of St John’s College’s replied to LBI stating that the College’s lease of its sports ground to Woolwich Arsenal had already been confirmed.

Writing in his regular column for the West London and Fulham Times on 25 April 1913, Henry Norris finally admitted in writing that on the following day Woolwich Arsenal would play their last game at the Manor Ground in Plumstead; he confirmed that they would play at the new ground in Highbury from season 1913/14.

On the following Monday, Athletic News confirmed that Woolwich Arsenal had signed a 21-year lease for the site at Highbury. The next day the Islington Daily Gazette attempted to reassure local opponents of the lease by giving some more details of the restrictions in it. No football matches would be allowed on Sundays or other Holy days; and no betting or drinking of alcohol could go on on the leased land. Woolwich Arsenal would be spending £20000 preparing the ground for professional football. The club would take possession of the leased land immediately. Neither paper mentioned that the lease made Henry Norris and William Hall personally liable for payment of the club’s rent; and for returning the leased land to its former state when the lease expired.

At the first AGM of the Football League held since Woolwich Arsenal’s announced their move (26 May 1913), Tottenham Hotspur and Clapton Orient were unsuccessful in their attempt to change the rules about club locations, and majority decisions. But they forced a debate about dual control of football clubs which was specifically aimed at Henry Norris and William Hall.

As part of an agreement with the landlord, Norris and Hall found tenants for the Manor Ground in Plumstead: newly-formed club Woolwich FC were a mixed team of amateurs and professionals., playing in the Kent and London leagues. It has been suggested that Woolwich FC were the club that gave rise to Arsenal and not Dial Square. It seems more likely that Woolwich FC were formed in reaction to Woolwich Arsenal’s departure as a way to fill the voice (as per AFC Wimbledon in relation to MK Dons). This is just speculation on my part though.

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Table of Contents

A Different Era
About The Author
Third Edition
Football Trust

1: Prelude to N5

Invicta Ground
Sharing Arsenal
Promotion Interest
Henry Norris Esquire
The Life of Sir Henry Norris

2: Highbury Dawn

Going Underground
Archibald Leitch
Building Walls
Match Day One
Promotion Battles
The Greatest Victory
Division Expansion
Building Continues
The Chapman Dynasty
How Did Norris Influence?

3: A Stadium Grows

Chapman First
Foundations Laid
Highbury Hill Entrance
The East Stand
War Again

4: Team of the ’30s

Five-year Plan
The First Final
The Big One
Double Dazed
On the Rebound
The Championship Treble
Lucky Arsenal
Third Time Again

5: Managing Influence

Stabilising Move: George Morrell (1908–15)
Manipulating Factors: Leslie Knighton (1919–25)
The Dynasty: Herbert Chapman (1925–34)
A Life’s Work: George Allison (1934–47)

6: College to Clock

1980s Renaissance
College Grounds
Clock End Stand
All Seats and Police

7: The North Bank

The Need to Build
Designer Pressure
The End
The End Result
The Bond Scheme
Opening Day

8: Stadium Miscellany

Under-soil Heating
Press Liaison
Colour Change
Video Vision
Charity Events
FA Amateur Cup
World Championship Boxing
The Big Screen
Fever Pitch and The Enemy
Great War Benefit Match
Family Benefit Matches
Highbury Cricket
Baseball, Rugby and Hockey
Tottenham Hotspur at Highbury
League Cup Replays
FA Charity Shield
Arsenal Ladies FC
Themed Match Days

9: International Venue

England’s Highbury
Battle of Highbury
Settling down
Highbury’s England Full International Games
England verses Young England
Olympic Games 1948
Other Internationals
Representative Games
London FA
Service Representative Matches
Arsenal’s International Games

10: The FA Cup

Semi-final Venue
The Early Years
War Time Cup
No Double
Soothsayer Swindin
Double Time
Three in a Row
Graham’s Cup Kings
The Tie That Never Was
Millennium Success
Third Place Play-offs
Neutral Ground Replays

11: European Encounters

European Replay
Rangers Replays
Getting Competitive
European Glory
The Greatest Night
Defending Cup Winners
European Cup Demise
Cup-winning Disappointment
Simply the Best
Enforced Wait
Wembley Removals
Refurbished Highbury
More of the Same
London Encounter
Penultimate Challenge
Final Showing
Makita Tournament

12: Doubles Galore

The First Double: 1970–71
The Second Double: 1997–98
The Third Double: 2001–02
The Double Players

13: Managers Change

Continuing Success
The Barren Years
The Revival
Cup Fighters
Graham’s Red Army
Short Term
The Entertainers
Field of Dreams
Final Irony

14: The Untouchables

Falling Apart
The Run Start
San Siro Nap
More of the Same
Cup Woes
Title Memories
The Forty-niners

15: Landmark Games

First Highbury Game
First ‘Arsenal’ Game
First in the First Division
Record League Win
First Championship Trophy Presentation
Biggest FA Cup Win
Most Goals in a League Game by a Single Player
Arsenal Wear White Sleeves for First Time
Biggest Attendance at Highbury – 73,295
First Brazilian Club Side to Play in England
The Phantom Final Whistle Goal
The Greatest Game Ever?
Eight-goal Thriller
Most Goals by an Opposition Player
Arsenal Win the European Fairs Cup
The Greatest Save
Arsenal Win the Championship
Last Game in Front of the North Bank
First Game in Front of the New North Stand
Arsenal Reach Cup-winners’ Cup Final
Wright Breaks Bastin’s Record
Highbury’s Favourite Goal
The Invincibles – Arsenal Go Unbeaten
The All-foreign Gunners
Biggest Premiership Win
Bastin’s Record Equalled
Universal Praise against the Galacticos
The Final Encounter

16: Highbury Stadium Square

A Detailed Look
The East Stand
The West Stand
North and South Stands
The Pitch Area
Highbury Square

17: Was It Worth It?

Premier League TV deal
The Austerity Years
Fan Sorrow
A Matter of Timing

18: Moving Out

Arsenal’s Record at Highbury
Select Bibliography
Book Folio Page

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