Arsenal’s Century Club – Doug Lishman

Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. Doug Lishman sits at number 8

Born in Birmingham, Doug first played as a centre forward for non-league Paget Rangers, before signing as a professional for Third Division South Walsall in August 1946. In two seasons with the Saddlers, Lishman scored 26 goals in 59 league appearances.


He was signed by Arsenal in the summer of 1948 for £10,500, as backup for Reg Lewis, who was only 28 but was injured frequently, Doug made his debut against Sheffield United on September 4, 1948, but after a promising first season (scoring 13 goals in 25 appearances), and his 1949-50 and 1950-51 seasons were marred by injuries. He was passed over for the 1950 FA Cup final (which Arsenal won 2-0), in favour of Lewis and Peter Goring, and then just as he came back into the Arsenal first team, he broke his leg playing against Stoke City in December 1950.

S&G and Barratts Empics Sport

However, he recovered to become Arsenal’s top scorer in 1950-51, and the next season hit 30 goals, including three hat-tricks in three successive home matches; (GN5 saw them all)

27 October 1951 4-3 v Fulham
10 November 1951 6-3 v WBA
24 November 1951 4-2 v Bolton W

Arsenal finished third that season. The following season (1951-52) they reached the FA Cup final, only to lose to Newcastle United; a series of injuries meant only eight fit players finished the match (no substitutes were allowed in those days). Doug came close for Arsenal with a header, which clipped the crossbar, but Arsenal lost 1-0.

The following clip includes Doug Lishman getting the third against Chelsea in the the 1952 FA Cup semi-final at White Hart Lane. There are some brilliant shots of the crowd (Freddie Cox is the star helping to stuff Chelsea (pre-chav days) 3-0)

His disappointment was soon forgotten, as Arsenal won the League Championship in 1952-53. He was again Arsenal’s top scorer, this time with 26, and with every goal proving vital, Arsenal won the title on goal average above Preston North End. His form was good enough for him to be picked for an England B match against Scotland B in March 1953, although he was never capped for the full national side.

Doug was top scorer for another two seasons after that, making it five successive seasons as the club’s top scorer in total. He scored 137 goals in 244 appearances, making him the club’s tenth-highest goal scorer of all time. However with younger men like Derek Tapscott and David Herd taking over goal scoring duties for Arsenal, Doug was dropped from the first team in 1955-56.

Doug teaching his son how to head the ball

In March 1956 he was sold to Second Division Nottingham Forest. He scored a hat-trick in the match that got Forest promoted (a 4-0 win over Sheffield United) to Division One in 1956-57, but decided to retire in the summer of 1957. He left the game entirely after retiring. He joined his father-in law in business (furniture retail) in Stoke on Trent, later taking over the business himself. He continued to live in Stoke on Trent until his death in 1994.

Doug scored his 100th goal for Arsenal against Cardiff City at Ninian Park on September 26th 1953.

Click to see image expanded

Doug Lishman was one of my favourite players as a kid.



18 Responses to Arsenal’s Century Club – Doug Lishman

  1. LBG says:

    The days when men were men and goalkeepers were battered.
    Thanks GN5

  2. chas says:

    Thanks, GN5.

    Did you go to that FA Cup semi at White Hart Lane?

    Maybe you were too young? It looks heaving.

  3. Sue says:

    Another player who broke his leg against Stoke.. He looked like the sort you don’t want to mess with!
    Nice one, GN5 (& chas)

    FA Cup final is here… come on Pep, bag that treble! However, I’d love to see Deulofeu score.. Deeney lifting the cup – nah, not for me!

  4. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning guy’s.

    My memory banks tingle when I think back to the 40’s and 50’s, very hard times for everyone both during and after WW11 but we had football and in particular we had the Arsenal.

  5. GunnerN5 says:

    Great video Chas, I didn’t see the semi replay at the chicken coop – going to N17 made me nauseous.

  6. allezkev says:

    Thanks GN5, more good work yesterday and today. Wasn’t Lishman in the parachute regiment? I’m sure I’ve read that he was a paratrooper?
    Herd and Lishman spanned that post war period between 1953 and 1970, until Arsenal rediscovered its mojo.
    So great research again GN5, looking forward to the rest of the series – and maybe what other goodies you have planned…

  7. RA says:

    Well done, again, GN5.

    I get the impression that in the old days players were simply bought for small beer, and then got rid of when the manager or some such no longer wanted them.

    Contracts? What contracts – probably given 2 weeks notice and then on their bikes.

    I saw that LBG told you – “The days when men were men, and goalkeepers were battered.”

    I think thats a bit of a cod. 😏

  8. GunnerN5 says:


    In those days men were men and players were heroes. Today’s lightweight fancy boy players would not have survived the first ten minutes of a game back then, times were tough and the tough were the victors.

    Can you just imagine the Sanchez, Hazrad, Messi type of players playing in the 1952 semi final (above) they would have been swamped in the mud and sat on by the defenders.

  9. Adrian says:

    Amidst all the tabloid transfer rumours, UEFA fiasco, players extravagance etc etc of late articles like these are a fresh breath of air and certainly quite insightful to the younger fans like myself. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you Adrian, I’m happy that you enjoy reading our posts. We are fortunate on AA to have a mixture of age, gender, skill sets and knowledge.

  11. Sue says:

    Aguero benched 😳

  12. RA says:

    Hi GN5, @1:45

    I am sure you are right — but I was just using a tongue in cheek play on words — as indeed was LBG.

    ‘Battered’ — ‘cod’ – – – yikes, I will have to hope it made Sue chuckle – or maybe not. 😜

  13. Sue says:

    RA.. it did indeed, although at first I thought it rather fishy 😂👍

  14. Sue says:

    Man City have completed the treble in style! Wow!! I thought they’d win 3-1 😂

    Is Steve Bould leaving Arsenal? Has he finally got his dream job with Wrigleys? 🤣

  15. chas says:

    Even all those years ago, both are straight reds and a police charge of assault. He wasn’t even sent off for two yellows and the spuds went on to win the FA Cup with 11 men.

  16. chas says:

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