Arsenal Beginnings Part 2: Joining the Football League

1891-1899: Woolwich Arsenal

Royal Arsenal had begun growing and the club drew more than just its name from the arms factory in Woolwich. Peter Connolly, Humphrey Babour, J. M. Charteris, John McBean, William Scott and Richard Horsington were some of the more seasoned players drawn from the factory and given their wealth of experienced stars, the club turned professional in 1891.

Other amateur clubs in southern London were displeased by Royal Arsenal’s move for professionalism and the club were banned from participating in local competitions. The club tried to establish a separate southern league but failed in their attempts to do so. Consequently, the club changed their name to Woolwich Arsenal and formed a limited liability company to raise funds to purchase Manor Ground. Continue reading

Arsenal Beginnings Part 1: The start of an iconic club

Do you love Arsenal?  How long have you followed them for?  Do you know their history?  Follow our mini-series to learn more about the club that was started by Danskin and his fellow workers and its rise to English Football folklore!

1886-1891: Humble Beginnings

One of England’s most famed football clubs has a Scot to thank for its existence as David Danskin teamed up with fellow workers Elijah Watkins, John Humble and Richard Pearce at the Royal Arsenal arms and ammunition factory in 1886 to start a football club in the Woolwich area of South East London. Danskin’s interest in starting a club was heightened by the arrival of former Nottingham Forest players Fred Beardsley and Morris Bates in Woolwich.

Danskin mobilized opinion and 15 men contributed sixpence each while the Scot himself added an extra three shillings to buy the club’s first football. The team took the name of Dial Square FC and played their first game against Eastern Wanderers on the Isle of Dogs. Dial Square won the game 6-0 and met at the Royal Oak pub to celebrate on Christmas Day. It was here that the founders of the club adopted the name of their place of work, Royal Arsenal. Continue reading