(As a preface to this post, I want to make it clear that I have created a list of all of our Division 1 and PL seasons and sorted them first by league position and then by the points won %. Therefore this series may exclude trophy winning seasons where we did not finish high enough in the League).
We start with our 13th best ever league season 1937-38.
George Allison (1934-37) was our Manager. He was born in Hurworth-on-Tees, County Durham and played amateur football in Stockton-on-Tees while dabbling in writing as a sideline; eventually becoming a full time journalist.
During WW1 he worked for the War Office and the Admiralty, producing propaganda, and later joined the Royal Flying Corps (later renamed the Royal Air Force). After the war he moved into broadcasting, joining the BBC and becoming the first person to commentate on the radio on events such as The Derby and the Grand National, as well as the annual England – Scotland international, and the 1927 FA Cup Final. By this time, he had already formed a strong association with Arsenal and became the Club’s programme editor and also a member of the board of directors soon after the end of the WW1; he was our first club secretary and then managing director. After the sudden death of Herbert Chapman in 1934 he was appointed as his full time successor.
The 1934-35 season ended up with us winning our 4th league title. Our fortunes turned in 1935-36 and we finished the league down in 6th position but won our 2nd FA Cup. The 1936-37 season ended up with us finishing 3rd in the league and losing 3-1 to West Bromwich Albion in the 6th round of the FA Cup.
The final round of matches of the 1937/8 season began with Wolves top of the League by a point. Arsenal had to win or draw and hope Wolves did not match the Gunners’ result to gain the title.
Arsenal was playing against Bolton at Highbury with a 3:30 kick off while Wolves were playing away to Sunderland at Roker Park with a 3:15 start. Arsenal were quickly ahead with a goal from Alf Kirchen followed before the end of the half by two goals from Eddie Carr, the second half was a stroll for Arsenal with Cliff Bastin joining in the fun and scoring two more goals. The game ended with wild cheering as the score board showed that Wolves had lost 0-1 leaving Arsenal as League Champions for the 5th time.
At the end of the game the crowd surged past the mounted police onto the field and started shouting for the team. They finally left after they had seen the team and had a good sing song, ending with the National Anthem.
The players received a proportion of the £275 pot from the Football League to be shared among them – being an amateur, Bernard Joy received a golf bag.
Our team on the day –
G Swindin, G Male, E Hapgood (captain), L Jones, B Joy, W Copping, A Kirchen, G Bremner, E Carr, G Drury, C Bastin
Final League Table 1937-38
There are only nine of the current Premier League (highlighted) in the 1937-38 table with Manchester United and Tottenham nowhere to be seen.
Written by GunnerN5