Arsenal Beginnings Part 5: Move to Highbury

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.

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