Arsenal Beginnings Part 3: Promotion to First Division

1899-1904: Harry Bradshaw and Promotion to First Division

Woolwich Arsenal’s transformation was heralded by the arrival of former Burnley manager Harry Bradshaw. The manager brought in goalkeeper Jimmy Ashcroft, Arsenal’s first England international. Bradshaw also brought in other important players such as Archie Cross, Percy Sands and Jimmy Jackson during his time with Woolwich Arsenal.

Ashcroft became the club’s prized asset and played a key role in Arsenal’s meteoric rise over the next few years. Bradshaw’s arrival had an almost immediate effect on the team’s results as they finished 8th in the 1899/1900 season. They finished 7th the next season and went on to rise to a record 4th place by the 1901/02 season. Continue reading