1913-1919: Move to Highbury and return to First Division
Henry Norris’ plan to merge Woolwich Arsenal with Fulham was blocked by the Football League and so the club was moved to the more developed location of Highbury, North London. Norris chose this site owing to its proximity to the Gillespie Road underground station. Tottenham and Clapton Orient were naturally against the move as were residents of Woolwich and Highbury, but Norris was a powerful figure in England and the majority owner saw the move through.
The Highbury plot was owned by the Church of England and Norris paid £20,000 for a 21-year lease. Norris reportedly spent £125,000 in the construction of the new stadium and Woolwich Arsenal were rechristened The Arsenal. Arsenal’s first match at Highbury was a 2-1 win over Leicester Fosse on September 6, 1913.