Arsenal’s Top Seasons – 1937-38, our 13th best

(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


26 Responses to Arsenal’s Top Seasons – 1937-38, our 13th best

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, GN5, great stuff.

    That 1936/7 season with us finishing 3rd and losing in the 6th round of the cup would have resulted in a Spurs book. 🙂

    In 1994/5 Spurs finished seventh in the league and got to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where their Wembley dream was crushed by Everton, who ran out 4-1 winners.

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5, that is a really good read and shows how humble the game was in those days. I’m looking forward to reading all your accounts of great achievements from the past (incidentally, why 13?)

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp, I won’t give you the answer because I know you will figure it out for yourself.

  4. Rasp says:

    Aha!! … I’ve fallen into the trap by asking …. I’m sure some smartass will educate me very soon 🙂

  5. Rasp says:

    Doh 🙄 … we’ve won 13 league titles … simples

  6. Rasp says:

    …. and 13 FA Cups ….

  7. GunnerN5 says:

    I knew you would find it simple – and then kick yourself for asking.

  8. chas says:

  9. chas says:

  10. chas says:

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    “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”

    Love that. Love the amateur.

    Thanks GN5, your read really sucks you in to another world. Thank you.

  12. mickydidit89 says:


    You know how much I enjoy an away European tour, albeit rare, but you posting these kind of tweets is up there with my favourite Arsenal related stuff

    Can you do as much as poss during these away days

    Love it. Thanks.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I was steeped in AFC history from a young age. Our traditions and history are what stopped me from becoming a Spur. A fine read.

    chas. Agree with Micky. I am not social media’d so your twits are very welcome

  14. Eddie says:

    this Europa cup is simply brilliant, take tomorrow for example – 6pm kick off !! how good is that??
    8pm and we, the oldies, can be back in bed, I am loving it

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Brilliant game in Paris. Two superb teams.

  16. chas says:

  17. chas says:

  18. Eddie says:

    Raddy – 2 great teams? the result doesn’t reflect that. I wanted to watch that game, but was too tired. Please tell what happened

  19. Eddie says:

    the couple who have 18 hour orgasms said: “Melanie and I can even have orgasms with friends we’ve never had sex with but whom we practice Tantra with. A few months ago, we went camping with two friends and we were all having orgasms from the lightning bolts outside”

    Can you imagine sitting at the Ems next to those ***** and they sent you into an orgasm in a least appropriate moment??!! scary stuff

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Just read through the Grown Ups results from last night

    PSG have Cavani, DiMaria, Draxler, Neymar and Mbappe

    The good news, at some point Utd, Chelsea or Spurs are going to get a damn good thrashing

  21. Ant says:

    Love “Cock van der palm”

  22. chas mobile says:

    Dont we all?

  23. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: