1886

Yesterday was the anniversary of Arsenal’s first game. The game took place on December 11th, 1886 when Arsenal were known as Dial Square. The match was against Eastern Wanderers and finished 6-0 to Dial Square.

Dial Square was the name of one of the workshops at Royal Arsenal which was one of the British governments main munitions factories. The Royal Arsenal munitions factory was based in Woolwich, south-east London. Four men (David Danskin, Elijah Watkins, John Humble and Richard Pearce) who worked at the factory decided to form a football club.

Michael Wade argues in the book The Arsenal Story: An Official History that:

“The very first Arsenal side was, in effect, a works side, formed by people who earned their livings in a vast munitions factory… The first Arsenal football team owed more than its name to this place of work – the vast munitions factory helped to supply a steady flow of players, too. In the latter part of the 19th century, the factory was probably as busy as it ever had been, producing weaponry to bolster the forces of the British Empire and caught up in the escalating arms race that preceded the First World War.”

After the first game, the workers of the munitions factory changed the name of the club to Royal Arsenal. The name was re-changed again in 1891 after turning professional to Woolwich Arsenal. When Henry Norris took over the club and moved it to Islington, north London in 1913, the name Arsenal was adopted and has stayed ever since.

Let’s hope that we can celebrate Arsenal’s anniversary with a win tomorrow at Anfield. Results have been good for us today. A win tomorrow means we are only three points behind Manchester United with a game in hand.

The title race is back on my friends.

Keep it Arsenal

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