10 Iconic Moments in the History of Arsenal
The AISA Arsenal History Society is running a new series on its blog, charting 10 Iconic Moments in the History of the club.
There have been many articles about the great moments in Arsenal's history - ranging from the first trophy the club won under Herbert Chapman to Arsène Wenger's doubles, and of course the Unbeaten Season.
In between these times of great celebrations there have been other events, some of which have been ignored by historians - and indeed some forgotten even by the Club itself, which have truly defined the path Arsenal has taken across the decades. The story of how Arsenal was formed in 1886, and the legend of a whip round being organised to raise the money to buy a ball is well known.
But just as important as this first decision to form the Club was the vote shortly afterward to open the Club up to all men in the armaments factories in Woolwich - for in the early days the Club was simply a small adjunct to the Dial Square Cricket Club. Had that decision not been made the Club would have remained very small and unremarked, and would have (like Dial Square Cricket Club itself) been forgotten within a few years.
Equally ignored is the fact that just six years after its foundation, the Royal Arsenal Football Club came under attack from some of its own members who used every trick in the book to try to regain power after they had been voted off the committee that ran the Club. The story of 1893 includes tales of bribery and corruption, the forcing of Royal Arsenal to leave its ground, and the formation of a rival club set up on the old ground.
It was these events that led directly to the creation of a limited company under the name Woolwich Arsenal FC.
These two iconic moments have been placed on the Society's blog and others will follow shortly, including the winning of three first division titles in three years with three different managers, the end of the trophy drought after the Swindin and Wright years, and George Graham's almost unbeaten season in which he took us to a league championship with just one defeat - despite having two points deducted from the club by the Football League.
Aside from events which are momentous in themselves, we are deliberately looking for developments which although seeming of little more than passing interest, had an enormous impact. For example it could be argued that Arsène Wenger's insistence on changing the diet of players re-energised the famous back five that he inherited from Bruce Rioch, and was the foundation of the first trophies of his regime.
Such stories will be added in the coming weeks - and there is an open comments section on the blog for readers to suggest their own thoughts on other Iconic Moments that could be added to the series.