Sam Hollis – Arsenal’s first Manager

Sam Hollis 1893(ish) to 1897

sam hollisAccording to Sam Hollis was appointed ‘secretary-manager’ of Arsenal in 1894. He was the first individual to be placed in charge of team affairs. Prior to his appointment, the team had been managed by a committee of players and club members. Hollis spent three years at the club during which time the Club remained mid-table in the Second Division. He moved on to Bristol City in the summer of 1897.

There has always been some debate over who managed Arsenal in their first year in the old Second Division.  One of the names mentioned has been that of Bill Parr it was rumoured that two years before the formation of Woolwich Arsenal, a group of Nottingham Forest players, including Bill Parr joined Dial Square FC and brought their old kits along. The early Woolwich Arsenal records do not mention him as having played for the team so it is difficult to add any credence to the rumour. However he was recorded as having arrived with two other Nottingham Forest players, Fred Beardsley and Charlie Bates – so it’s quite possible that these players were part of the committee mentioned, in, as having managed the team prior to the arrival of Sam Hollis.


Sam Hollis was born in Nottingham at some time during 1866 and passed away in Bristol on 17 April 1942. His early work life appears to have made him more suitable for the “secretary” part of his title as he had worked for the government in the Probate Office and then the Post Office, hardly the type of background that would indicate that he would become the club’s first Manager. So maybe he only acted as the clubs top administrative person making his early work for the government a plus – and if that was in fact true then it would make the Bill Parr rumour a little more credible.

He left Woolwich Arsenal in April 1897 and went to Bristol City which had just been formed to become their manager. In March 1899 he left Bristol to become secretary-manager of Bedminster FC, a club which then merged with Bristol City the following year with Hollis leaving to run a pub.  He returned one year later as manager of the combined club. He took Bristol to the top of the Southern League and into the Football League. In March 1905 he left football and managed a hotel, until 1911, when he became Bristol City manager again, only this time relegating the club to the second division.  He finally left in 1913 and moved on to Newport County, eventually returning to Bristol as chairman of the shareholders.

It is very difficult to find any definitive information about the early years at Woolwich Arsenal so we have to take this into account and recognise that some details are blurred.

In my own personal records I’ve shown Sam Hollis as our manager during our first years in the Second Division as it seemed wrong to have only a question mark as the manager in 1893.

According to a variety of sources this is the league record attributed to Woolwich Arsenal from 1893 to 1897.

1893/94 – P28, W12, D4, L12, GF52, GA55, Pts28, Pos 9th.

1894/95 – P30, W14, D6, L10, GF75, GA55, Pts34, Pos 8th.

1895/96 – P30, W14, D4, L12, GF58, GA42, Pts32, Pos 7th.

1896/97 – P30, W13, D4, L13, GF68, GA70, Pts30, Pos 10th.


Total: – P118, W53, D18, L47, GF253, GA225, Pts124, Pos 8.5




123 Responses to Sam Hollis – Arsenal’s first Manager

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Very interesting read GN5. Thank you very much.

    We got our first red strip from Forest as well as a Manager then. Have to say, we got the wrong man and should have nicked Cloughie 🙂

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Quick question.

    You say “two years before the formation of Woolwich Arsenal, a group of Nottingham Forest players, including Bill Parr joined Dial Square FC”

    I thought we went from being Dial Sq, to Royal Arsenal (after a boozer, not Brenda) and then to Woolwich Arsenal.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Another cracker Gn5.

    I knew nothing about Mr Hollis and his influence upon our foundation..

    What other AFC gems will you introduce me to? Thank you

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    ps GN5
    I’m not really talking to you as I don’t agree Niagara Falls are moving backwards. North yes. I seek a full and robust inquiry and also an in-depth report on tectonic plate movements in the area of Mount Rushore, as I have a hunch 🙂

    Of course if I’m right, I’m the winner of the quiz and entitled to your sofa, as I bet it’s a whoppa.

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    back to Friday now for me

  6. Andy Kelly says:

    I think you’ll find that Hollis was only ever the club’s trainer.

    Most of the early information on is incorrect.

    Before Thomas Mitchell was appointed manager, the team was selected by a three man committee.

  7. 26may1989 says:

    9th, 8th, 7th and 10th in the Second Division? And no silverware? I hope he was sacked…..

    Just kidding, great stuff GN5, thanks.

    Re the naming of the club, I’ve dug out an old history of the club, from factory team to the best club in the world (actually, this book only goes up to 1986, but you know what I mean). It says Dial Square (the name of one of the factory workshops in which numerous of the original players worked in the Royal Arsenal complex) was a very brief and temporary moniker, used for the first few weeks until a proper name was chosen. The Royal Arsenal tag was adopted within the club’s first year. The change to Woolwich Arsenal happened in the 1890s.

    Having gone back to that history, I now see that Dial Square’s first game was actually in the Isle of Dogs, so on the north bank of the river – see, we’ve always really been a North London club!

    Separately, something for a bit of amusement:

  8. Andy Kelly says:

    Want to know when Arsenal changed its name?

    Dial Sqaure

    Royal Arsenal

    Woolwich Arsenal

  9. arnie says:

    Great stuff GN5. 🙂 And great stuff Andy as well. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I really really love these history lessons. Not only in terms of the history itself, but the attention to detail, meticulousness and hard work, I find great.

    Brilliant job. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for that, Andy, fantastic. I hadn’t twigged the fact of changing the club from an unincorporated association into an incorporated company would be what did for the “Royal” bit in the name (it being against company law to have Royal in a company name without permission).

  11. arnie says:

    Nice vid, 26may, and lovely discussions. Keep it coming, chums. 🙂

  12. arnie says:

    going, not coming! 😛

  13. arnie says:

  14. arnie says:

  15. RA says:

    Another tasty Arsenal historical snippet, GN5, thank you.

  16. I like your pic @10.54am, arnie.
    Where’s Giroud?

  17. RA says:

    Andy K,

    You obviously have your finger on the historical links, so can I ask you a question which has bugged me for some time.

    There are occasional references to Sir Henry Norris and his shady goings on, particularly for his deals to get Arsenal into the old First Division at the expense of the Spuds.

    Some years ago, I read one of a number of Arsenal history books which conceded that the then owner sailed close to the wind in Arsenal matters.

    However, as regards the infamous chicanery that concerned the ineligibility of the Spuds to be in the top division, after WW1, when Arsenal were elected to the league, it maintained that there was some legal validity in his belief that the Spuds were not entitled to be included.

    It seemed to be based on the fact that they were deemed to be based in the county of Middlesex, and not within Greater London, and therefore the eligibility rules meant that they should have been excluded on that basis alone, without the need for the alleged back handers to other clubs. 🙂

    My recall is a bit sketchy, at best, and I have never been able to find the book again to refresh my memory.

    Have you ever heard this story before, regarding Sir Henry’s theory, or have any idea what book I am referring to?

    A long shot, I know, but …. 🙂

  18. RA says:

    Don’t worry about Giro, Big Al, he had a couple of spares and wanted to keep in with the boss. 🙂

  19. Andy Kelly says:


    Henry Norris did not make any public statements about either club’s validity during the 1919 election. Jimmy Catton, editor of The Athletic News, did most of Arsenal’s campaigning. All of the clubs that put themselves forward for “election” were given several weeks to lobby the other clubs for their votes. Arsenal played on the fact that they were the first London club to play in the Football League and had remained loyal to the FL even when the Southern League suggested that they join their league.

    I’ve written a very detailed account of what happened:

  20. GunnerN5 says:


    Your question about Norrris inadvertently stole my thunder for next Friday’s blast, which I submitted yesterday.

    However – how were you to know, after all you’re not Arsene?

  21. Andy Kelly says:


    Please, please, please don’t use the usual sources that perpetuate Norris as a nasty character.

    Have you seen this:

    The most comprehensive biography of the man.

  22. GunnerN5 says:


    Thank you so much for your input. When I read your detailed accounts I feel embarrassed at my feeble attempts to shed some light on our past.

    Sadly I have not read any of your books, which is really surprising as I was the VP and General Manager of a book publishing and distribution company here in Canada and I was always on the lookout for Arsenal related books.

    Its great to have somebody with your background of knowledge reading Arsenal Arsenal posts. My attempts at recounting our past are puny when compared to yours – but I guess there is only so much that can be squeezed into a headline post on our blog.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, its greatly appreciated.

  23. GunnerN5 says:


    My piece does mention his demeanor but it is not the focal point. However most of what I read portrayed him as some sort of two headed beast. It appears that he always had to win – at any expense.

  24. GunnerN5 says:


    I did stumble across that, but frankly I didn’t make/take the time to read it, but now i will try to find the time.

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    Mohammad entered the classroom on his first day of school in Scotland.

    “What’s your name?” asked the teacher.

    “Mohammad,” he replied.

    “You’re in Scotland now,” replied the teacher, “So from now on you will be known as Benny.”

    Mohammad returned home after school.

    “How was your day, Mohammad?” his mother asked.

    “My name is not Mohammad. I’m in Scotland and now my name is Benny.”

    “Are you ashamed of your name? Are you trying to dishonor your parents, your heritage, your religion? Shame on you!”

    And his mother beat him.

    Then she called his father, and when he arrived home he beat him again.

    The next day Mohammad returned to school.

    The teacher saw all of his bruises.

    “What happened to you, Benny?” she asked.

    “Well, Miss, shortly after becoming a Scotsman, I was attacked by two Arabs.”

  26. Andy Kelly says:


    Until four years ago I did the same as everyone else and trotted out the same stuff that had been written before. I found one minor detail that was wrong and it set off a chain reaction.

    Now, me and Mark will not believe anything unless we have researched it to the nth degree. When we publish anything we give as many contemporary sources as possible.

    We have been amazed and shocked at how much of it is wrong!

    We wrote for the Arsenal programme last season and will also be doing so next season, as well as the magazine.

  27. RA says:

    Thanx, Andy,

    I have often regretted not remembering which book I had read where an alternative version of the events regarding the election of Arsenal to the old First Division was propounded.

    My memory is usually excellent, and at the time I simply read what seemed an incontrovertible analysis of events, and have since read many other Arsenal books and was astounded at the portrayal of Sir Henry as a bounder, even by Arsenal aficionados.

    I have been known to raise a dissenting voice to the popularly held view of the shenanigans surrounding his tenure as owner of the club, and he was found guilty of some monetary misdemeanour which led to him selling the club.
    [I should say ‘allegedly’ as again I am relying on other peoples views on that, and you may have an alternative version of that too.]

    The problem with disagreeing with something, is that your argument is pretty weak when all you can offer is ‘I read it somewhere’, so perhaps I can now quote you. 🙂

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Great stuff Andy

    So, was I correct in my 9:51 that we became royal arsenal after dial square but before Woolworth arsenal
    Also 26 mentions being named after royal arsenal complex, whereas I thought it was after the royal, a boozer
    Apols if you’ve answered these in links but I’m on my mobile and that’s too complicated

  29. GunnerN5 says:


    Your careful attention to detail is very commendable, and obviously not the easy route to take.

    Can you give me the ISBN numbers for your books. as I would love to read them.

    I have always been interested in Arsenal history, growing up on Avenell Road meant that The Gunners were in my genes and now, over 70 years later I still immerse myself in all things Arsenal.

  30. Andy Kelly says:


    1886 – Dial Square
    1886 – Royal Arsenal
    1893 – Woolwich Arsenal

    The Official History says they named themselves by combining where they worked (Arsenal) and the pub where they were founded (Royal Oak). They actually named themselves after the place where they worked (it was called the Royal Arsenal).

  31. RA says:


    Sorry if I have stolen your thunder, and I know you realise I would not have done so deliberately, but the guilty party is you — you always make me think of related topics with your historical Posts!! 🙂

    With Andy’s take on the subject, I think you should still go ahead with the post on Sir henry – it will make good reading, and he was certainly an intriguing character, as the wording on his advert in the ’30’s for a new manager bears witness!

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    RA .

    I’m of a mind to submit my feeble efforts to Andy for an accuracy test before they are posted. It really is a tad daunting knowing that experts are reading your work. But I really do appreciate Andy’s input, as I would prefer the information presented is as correct and accurate as possible – given that some of the data used is over 100 years old.

  33. GunnerN5 says:


    Here is Sir Henry’s ad for a new manager. I get a great deal of enjoyment when I do some research on Arsenal history and come across this type of snip it. I added this to one of my posts on Herbert Chapman.


    In the 1925 close season, Arsenal chairman Sir Henry Norris placed the following advertisement in the Athletic News.

    “Arsenal Football Club is open to receive applications for the position of Team Manager. He must possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exorbitant transfer fees need not apply.”

  34. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Today’s discussion about Arsenal’s history should stand as a warning to anybody attempting to write an account of our beloved club’s past. Some time last season I submitted a post entitled, I think, “Henry Norris, hero or villain”. Luckily for me Peaches had other options for that day and put my offering in the cupboard, otherwise I may well have been embarrassed as I have since found that some of the content I had used was less that accurate.

    There is no doubt that Norris was a prime mover in the foundation of our club and was instrumental in us gaining League status. However, some of his machinations were less than ethical to say the least.

    It will be interesting to read a definitive history of the period, but until that time I remain a firm believer that Sir Henry Norris was, overall, a positive influence on what was to become one of the foremost football clubs in the world.

  35. arnie says:

    GN5: I wholeheartedly second Redders’ opinion. A post on Sir Henry Norris will be brilliant. 🙂

  36. arnie says:

    History always involves an element of interpretation of facts. Opinions can vary, but no harm in that. If anything, it might contribute to healthy debate.

    Most importantly, it will be good education for half-baked upstarts like myself. 😛

  37. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Off subject entirely, now I am not a believer in conspiracy theories, but…. FIFA’s four month ban imposed on the serial biter Luis Suarez has handed an advantage to two of our competitors for the Premiership title.

    Neither Man City or Everton will have to face the Uruguayan cannibal in their league games, that must be to their advantage and our detriment. Other teams to benefit from his ban are Southampton, Aston Villa, West ham, West Brom, QPR and Hull. There is, of course, one other team which will not have to face him, but can they really be considered competitors? Spuds.

  38. GunnerN5 says:


    I had already written my post on Sir Henry and sent it to Peaches and Rasp yesterday.

    Rightly or wrongly I won’t change it and I hope that Andy Kelly reads it and makes some comments. Andy and Mark are the experts I’m just a simple blogger.

    I’ve always recognized and stated the difficulty in writing historic posts as the I rely on the integrity of the accounts, books and articles that I read – and they can always be suspect. But I will not shy away just because it may not be 100% accurate – after all my “input” is for our blog and not for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

  39. GunnerN5 says:


    These are the games that Suarez will miss if he remains a Liverpool player. I cannot see any possibility of a conspiracy theory against Arsenal, just because City and Everton are amongst the games he will miss. All teams gain at least a 9 game advantage while these teams all gain a 10 game advantage.

    Conspiracy? Where is the Conspiracy?

    16 August 2014: Southampton (H)
    23 August 2014: Manchester City (A)
    30 August 2014: Tottenham (A)
    13 September 2014: Aston Villa (H)
    16-17 September 2014: Champions League fixture
    20 September 2014: West Ham (A)
    23-24 September 2014: Capital One Cup third round
    27 September 2014: Everton (H)
    30 September – 1 October 2014: Champions League fixture
    4 October 2014: West Bromwich Albion (H)
    18 October 2014: QPR (A)
    21-22 October 2014: Champions League fixture
    25 October 2014: Hull (H)

  40. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Loved your response to Andy at 11.49 ish. When I am questioned about my “facts” whilst guiding I am not so gracious 😀

    We beat L’pool with Suarez twice last season.

  41. arnie says:

    GN5: Perfect. That is how it should be, IMO. 🙂 🙂

  42. Big Raddy says:

    €44m for Vidal of Juve and Chile?


  43. chas says:

    Bit steep for a hairdresser, even one of GM’s quality.

  44. chas says:

    Brilliant post, GN5. Thanks very much. Some superb comments too.

  45. RA says:

    Hi Norfolk,

    I commented on the day of your post, that I felt Sir Henry may not have been quite the chancer that history has made him out to be.

    In fact, AndyK may have to concede that his less than favourable reputation is so ingrained that it will never change.

    When you consider that he had been the owner of Fulham, was a property developer and a politician, there were grounds for thinking he was dodgy – rightly or wrongly.

    He was banned from football for life after losing a case where he sued the FA and the Mail for libel over allegations he embezzled money from Arsenal.

    Mind you, when you think he was groom of the stool to Henry the VIII, (apparently a shit stirrer) he must have been quite old when he was boss at Arsenal, and really it was a bit over the top that just because he had a bit of nookie with Anne Boleyn, he was sentenced to be hanged, have his bowels cut out, and then be torn apart by four horses tied to his legs and arms. I mean – come on – Anne was probably an Essex gurl, and the poor sap would have had no chance against her wiles. 🙂

    Thankfully the judges were pretty decent and decided to only chop of his head. Fair do’s to them!!

    But what can you do about love, eh? The poor girl must have taken one look at him and just lost her head.

    Hold on a minute – Sir Henry Norris was born in 1482 and died in 1934 — what right do the Spuds fans have to be rude to a poor old bloke of 452 and accuse him of doing the decent thing and keeping them out of the top English league?

  46. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Oh dear! I see I shall have to preface any light hearted comments with the word JOKE in future.

    Thank you GN5 for listing all the fixtures that Suarez will miss, having read the full list in this morning’s Telegraph I really couldn’t be bothered to spend the time typing the thing in full, particularly as I was refering only to those I deemed to be competitors for the Premiership title.

  47. RA says:

    Oh, Gawd, Norfolk, not sure if you are referring to me.

    If so, perhaps I should re-issue my comment at 5:04, which was an attempt at humour by pretending to mix up the two Sir Henry Norris’s, separated by hundreds of years.

    Not wishing to cause offence, please watch the following.

  48. RA says:

    Hi Norfolk,

    I commented on the day of your post, that I felt Sir Henry may not have been quite the chancer that history has made him out to be.

    In fact, AndyK may have to concede that his less than favourable reputation is so ingrained that it will never change.

  49. RA says:

    When you consider that he (Sir Henry Norris) had been the owner of Fulham, was a property developer and a politician, there were grounds for thinking he was dodgy – rightly or wrongly.

    He was banned from football for life after losing a case where he sued the FA and the Mail for libel over allegations he embezzled money from Arsenal.

    Mind you, when you think he was groom of the stool to Henry the VIII, (apparently a shit stirrer) he must have been quite old when he was boss at Arsenal, and really it was a bit over the top that just because he had a bit of nookie with Anne Boleyn, he was sentenced to be hanged, have his bowels cut out, and then be torn apart by four horses tied to his legs and arms. I mean – come on – Anne was probably an Essex gurl, and the poor sap would have had no chance against her wiles. 🙂

    Thankfully the judges were pretty decent and decided to only chop of his head. Fair do’s to them!!

    But what can you do about love, eh? The poor girl must have taken one look at him and just lost her head.

    Hold on a minute – Sir Henry Norris was born in 1482 and died in 1934 — what right do the Spuds fans have to be rude to a poor old bloke of 452 and accuse him of doing the decent thing and keeping them out of the top English league?

    How’s that? 🙂

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    RA, he was having a dig at me (not unusual) not you.

  51. GunnerN5 says:


    You are the one that is gracious in his comments, whereas I tend to antagonise people.

  52. RA says:

    You do not antagonise me, GN5.

    Someone like you, producing Post after excellent Post, deserve nothing but respect.

    I have to admit that I blog because I enjoy interacting with people and talking football cobblers, but humour is a part of my life – too many other crap things going on to be any different – but that humour is always causing me problems.

    A comment I made to Rocky, a while ago, was that perhaps I need to leave this blogging aside, perhaps part time, perhaps permanently, and then he goes and disappears. Life is funny like that! 🙂

    Come back, Rocky, I was talking about me!!

  53. chas says:

    What would you like to see played live at Glastonbury?

  54. Big Raddy says:

    chas. I would like to see Elvis Presley at Glastonbury. That would be a coup – just the opening chords of Jailhouse Rock followed by the hip swerve …..

  55. RA says:

    The Hollies — The Air That I Breathe, please

  56. RA says:

    Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak, so sleep silent angel,go to to sleep.

    Don’t know what it means, but …….. 🙂

  57. Hey pretty interesting may subscribe to you but could you please check out my Arsenal site and maybe subscribe if you like it.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Jalstersgooners team

  58. RA says:

    Thanks Chas.

    A much loved ex-girlfriend kept on playing it — and I had never heard of the Hollies at the time, c. 2008, but that song touched me,

  59. Gööner In Exile says:

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    I actually did get to see this played live at Glasto…and it was brilliant….the cameras panned round on the big screen and there was a group of tots (3-5) dancing along…..perfect.

  61. Gööner In Exile says:

    And this is the one song and band i will always wish i could have seen.

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    RA The Hollies are one of my favourite 60’s bands, something very likeable about their sound. Have that innocence in some songs, like Jennifer Eccles and Bus Stop, but then some songs like He Ain’t Heavy and Air that i Breathe have a different edge.

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:


    The Beatles!!! Have you gone mad?

    You were doing well up till then 🙂

    Evening all

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    That was me not Chas.

    What is wrong with The Beatles?

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, sorry, it was ye Exile.

    Mind you, fully redeemed with your Joy Div comment. I never saw them either, which was odd as I was seeing probably four gigs a week at the time, Saw New Order immediately after Curtis snuffed it, and that was one of the most memorable concerts.

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Have you gone mad, Chas 🙂

  67. LB says:

    There are bands from above the Watford Gap and the are bands from below it, I missed out on “Love will tear us apart” at the time because of that mentality but I have so much respect for it now.

  68. chas says:

    Power and thrust, Micky, power and thrust. 🙂

  69. LB says:

    Motorhead? this site has gone to the dogs.

  70. LB says:

    That’s what happens when there is not World Cup football on, damn there isn’t even any cycling. Still that all changes next week.

  71. LB says:

    See ya, all yours again.

  72. Gööner In Exile says:

    Anyone been watching Wimbledon? Thought not… really is the sport for desperate measures only. Ie when there is no other major international sport going on, always perfectly timed except when it’s a WC year and no one except hardcore tennis fans bother.

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t you power and thrust out loud Chas, you’ll awake that music heathen Chary

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha Exile, I’m now officially a “desperate measure” 🙂

    Love it

  75. arnie says:

    Lovely stuff, all. Loved the clips. Hard work ( 😛 ) last evening, playing cricket after a long break, batting 12 overs scoring 25 runs. Good fun but hard work. Too old 😛

  76. arnie says:

    The clips and Glastonbury reminded me of this one. Dedicated to the hippies on AA 😛 – past, present and aspiring.

    A bit long but worth it I think. 🙂

  77. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Nice one GN5, again you created a healthy debate, and the response you had was a good one. There is always someone that knows more than someone else and that’s how we learn, Having said that i still find your posts informative, and learn some thing from every one of them. You quiz’s are dodgy though 🙂

    Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Or Woolwich Arsenal, there should have been a Cheating Arsenal as well, ask Tottenham.

    If i was to name Arsenal today, i have to say i would be hard pushed to find a name for them, but the only name i could possibly come up with is Multicultural Arsenal from here there and everywhere.

    Keep up the fine work GN5.

  78. stevepalmer1 says:

    If anyone has a clip of The Mersies, something about Blonde something. Reminds me of a girl i met at Liverpool street station and i took her home to Golders Green and when i got back to Liverpool street the last train had gone, and i had to walk home about fifteen miles, and i had that tune in my head all the way home.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. When was that? My sister lived in Golders Green, I hope you weren’t messing about with her 😦

    Micky. Is it really true you don’t like the Beatles? In my youth it was Beatles vs Stones – I was a Stones man. Then it was Hendrix vs Clapton. I was a Hendrix man. Later AC/DC vs Genesis – I preferred metal. But with age my taste has reversed.

    Such is the life of a hippy.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. You are the video king!

  81. chas says:
  82. chas says:


  83. chas says:

  84. chas says:

    Morning, BR.
    It might not even be the song Steve was talking about!

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If ever met Paul McCartney the overwhelming urge would be to hit him, and the image and sound of them in their stupid hair and suits singing “love love me do” makes me sick.
    They also spawned a million hippies who sit on the beaches of Cornwall by a camp fire and “yellow submarine” innocent people. Again, the urge to smash their guitars over their heads is as strong today as during the peak of my anger years 🙂

    You are the only hippy I will ever talk to 🙂

  86. stevepalmer1 says:

    Chas, thats the one buddy, that brings back memories mate.
    Big Raddy you have nothing to fear mate, i tried as hard as i could but she was a good girl, thats why i missed my train 🙂

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I disagree about the Beatles but completely agree that anyone playing Yellow Submarine or Sailing by Rod Stewart on an acoustic guitar deserves extreme punishment or worse. If you ever see me doing so – please kill me.

    chas. Your vids often lead me on a trawl through youtube and this morning I have been rewarded with a David Bowie concert from early ’80’s. Great stuff. (he recorded Sorrow on Pinups)

  88. Big Raddy says:

    steve. Couldn’t have been my sister then 🙂

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Just one song can trigger a full on youtube attack.

    Exile’s mention of Love Will tear us apart last night was in me head first thing.

    Been on the tube since 5am, headphones on.

    I too passed by Dave Bowie

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Found this version earlier that I like

  91. stevepalmer1 says:

    The first time i heard Yellow sub was in Liverpool waiting for a ferry to go to the TT 1966 Blinding, in them days they syphoned all the juice out of your bikes so you had to fill up as soon as you landed. Music can really put a smile on your face.

    Raddy trust my luck 🙂

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I was very busy earlier 🙂

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ok. changed my mind, don’t like that last one. sorry. no more.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Off to Italy today?

    If so, have a great time, and we’ll send a pigeon with news of each and every very expensive signing.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Not yet Micky. Next Friday for just 5 weeks. Back for season’s start and will try to blog from coffee bars.

  96. stevepalmer1 says:

    Bacary, reckons he didn’t leave for the money, His a hundred and twenty grand a week at city isn’t a factor, he needed a change. Yeh right.

  97. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    In close on 60 years of watching football I don’t think I have ever seen a more complicated scenario than the Suarez situation. He is no doubt one of the world’s finest players yet despite counselling by his club,he is a repeat offender with his animillistic behaviour.The Uruguay stance is pathetic and it is not a witch hunt by the British press who only monthly ago heaped accolade after accolade on him.Liverpool find themselves in a very difficult position with their on the field prize asset.Sponsors will take a hard line and inevitably they will have to cut their loses and move him on.My gut feeling is that whatever happens and however much prolonged counselling he gets it will happen again.
    This is a great WC much improved on the last and IMO a very open contest with all teams vulnerable in defence and at this stage it is difficult to pinpoint the winner yet I have a feeling that the whole competition will be over shadowed by this act of madness. I see Suarez going down the same route as Gascoine and it ultimately will finish his career.

    GN5 yet another wonderful piece, one learns something new about our club every time you write.

    With regards to Wilshere,I reserve judgement for a season or two.

    Apart from a multitude of personal problems we have learnt that my daughter in law aged 41 with a 2 year old son has terminal cancer and therefore my mind is elsewhere but will contribute whenever possible.

  98. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Kelsey,
    I was just smiling and was believing the world was a wonderful place, but after reading that news, i have been knocked sideways and now realise that the world is a shithole and i feel very sorry my condolences.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Horrible news. My thoughts are with you

  100. stevepalmer1 says:

    Maybe its me, but i see what Suarez has done is not as bad as the Shawcross tackle, or a cheating dive. Yes Suarez needs treatment that’s a fact but the Italian was hard pressed to find a mark, he wont be scared for life or miss any games he will not be disfigurd and he wont lose any money or sleep so what’s the big problem.

    Suarez has done this 3 times, and out of the 3 times he has done it, no one has lost any time out injured. I realise that it is not Gentlemanly and that biting is for dogs and cats but it is not like breaking someone’s limb Either,

    Suarez is a very talented individual he exudes skill that others dream of, he may have an ugly character, but i feel that his competitiveness puts him over the edge. Banning Suarez will not cure him of his problems only a psychiatrist can do that. The fine imposed means very little to a millionaire.

    Many people feel he needs to be taught a lesson where in truth he needs to be helped.. People in mental homes are looked on as sad cases but once off the street, they forget them and feel that someone else will look after them, but that is not the answer.

    Suarez needs to be involved in football that is what he does, He has had a season of fantastic football he has won accolades for his play he has thrilled many and upset quite a few but the man is a genius.

    Banning Suarez from entering any sporting facility is like trying to stop a paedophile from looking at schools, both need help although we despise both, they have problems and a ban is not the answer.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    steve. I agree.

  102. Shard says:


    What do you mean by ‘According to’ Haven’t you been around forever and know all of Arsenal’s history first hand? 😀

    Thank you once again for a fantastic article. About par for the course now though 🙂

    What a wonderful era before specialisation became the norm. You could manage a football club or a hotel, and back. Maybe David Moyes and Tim Sherwood can look to enter the hospitality industry as a way to kickstart their career.

  103. Shard says:


    Really sorry to hear that. Terrible news and my thoughts are with you and your family.

  104. RA says:

    I have said previously that I am unable to decide what is or is not a suitable punishment for what Suarez did.

    On the other hand, whatever punishment was meted out there would be someone saying it was wrong. Too long, too short … whatever.

    What cannot be overlooked is that there was a world wide audience watching that game, many of them youngsters, and the effect on them if Suarez was excused punishment because he ‘needed help’ could be very serious indeed.

    The difference between getting a broken leg and the Suarez biting incident, is that even the Shawcross tackle/assault on Rambo was done in a split second and it could have been unintentional.
    Only he knows his true intent.

    Suarez clearly approached the back of Chieliini and bit him from behind. The whole watching world could see the Intent.

    I am not moralising, but just pointing out a difference of principle.

    Anyway, I am sure the punishment will be downgraded on appeal, but either way I do not give a toss about Suarez or Shawcross – sod the pair of them.

  105. Shard says:


    It isn’t an either/or situation. Not with bad tackles and biting, and not with seeking medical help and being banned. Both those transgressions need to be punished properly, and Suarez should be given help, although it seems he has turned down offers of such help before (which in a normal legal process would also count against him)

    I think the ban is too lenient actually. The player in question has shown an unwillingness to learn that this is unacceptable behaviour, and it seems people are willing to excuse it away simply because of his talent. Which in my view harms him further as it stops him from even accepting his fault.

  106. RA says:


    Sorry to learn of your terrible news – my thoughts are with your family.

  107. arnie says:

    Take care, Kelsey. Very bad news. Very sorry to hear. Nah! Life is cruel.

  108. arnie says:

    Steve. Top comment at 8:51.

    The problem in this case is that it will be almost impossible to prove the bite in a court of law. Headbutt yes, but bite no. Hence I think on appeal, the punishment will be downgraded to that of a head-butt.

  109. arnie says:

    Going away from the morality and fairness on the field issues for the mo. There is a wider political/ historical context to the Suarez incident.

    No one likes the Italians, certainly not in the developing world. Zidane enhanced his idol status after subjecting Materazzi to a head-butt, my suspicion is the same will happen with Suarez.

    Perhaps more so because he is from Uruguay. There is a strong post-colonial backlash in ex-colonies, and such actions feed into these sentiments well.

    Ganguly’s bare-chested shirt whirling celebrations in Lords, repeating Flintoff’s actions in Mumbai, is another one that springs to mind.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    I guess the trouble with the “needs help” defence is that mental health issues are not something football can judge. What the authorities can do is punish what happens on the pitch within their rules i.e. a ban and a fine.

    I disagree about the headbutt argument. Whether a bite breaks skin or not the intent is there and given the lifestyles of footballers a bite can be life threatening. And Arnie- it is provable from the pics of Chiellini’s shoulder

    If Shawcross or another miscreant had broken legs three times through foul play he would receive a very lengthy ban, just as Suarez has. It should be recalled that on the Biters first offence he received just a 7 match ban.

    Not allowing Suarez to be involved in football is churlish and should be rescinded but he should serve his game ban.

  111. Big Raddy says:

    We have a new (and quite frankly) desperate post 😀 😀

  112. Shard says:


    I, for one, disliked Ganguly’s actions in that game, as well as his lack of a word of congratulations to England for their performance in that game. But I guess I might be in the minority there.

    Why are Italians disliked in the developing world? Apart from some in Africa they’ve never really been a colonial power. In terms of Indian Independence, the Italian unification served as an inspiration for many of the early nationalists.

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