Number 1 in Arsenal’s Century Club – Ted Drake

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. Ted Drake sits proudly at number 1.

Edward (Ted) Joseph Drake was born On August 16th 1912 in Southampton.

Ted started playing football at Winchester City, whilst continuing to work as a gas-meter reader.  In June 1931, he was persuaded by George Kay to join Southampton, who were in Division Two. He made his Saints debut on 14 November 1931 at Swansea Town, and signed as a professional in November, becoming first-choice centre-forward by the end of the 1931–32 season. In the following season he made 33 league appearances, scoring 20 goals.

After only one full season, his bravery and skill attracted the attention of Arsenal’s Herbert Chapman, who tried to persuade him to move to North London. Ted rejected the chance of a move to Highbury and decided to remain at The Dell. He started the 1933–34 season by scoring a hat trick in the opening game against Bradford City, following this with at least one goal in the next four games, thereby amassing eight goals in the opening five games. By early March he had blasted his way to the top of the Football League Division Two goal-scoring table with 22 goals.

Arsenal, with George Allison now in charge, renewed their interest and Ted eventually decided to join the Gunners in March 1934 for a fee of £6,500. Saints had declined several previous offers, but eventually were forced to sell in order to balance their books. Ted made a total of 74 appearances for Southampton, scoring 48 goals. He scored on his league debut for Arsenal against Wolves on 24 March 1934, in a 3–2 win. Although he joined too late to qualify for a League Championship medal in 1933–34, he would win one in 1934–35, scoring 42 goals in 41 league games in the process, this included three hat-tricks and four four-goal hauls. With two more goals in the FA Cup and Charity Shield, Ted scored 44 in all that season, breaking Jack Lambert’s club record, one that still holds to this day.

Ted made his England debut in the infamous ‘Battle of Highbury’ against Italy in 1934, the match was important enough to the Italians that Benito Mussolini had reportedly offered each player an Alfa Romeo car and the equivalent of £150 (about £15,000 in modern terms) if they beat the English team. Drake scored the third goal in an extremely violent, hate filled game which England won 3-2.  Drake became a national figure his unwavering bravery being a trademark. Stan Mortensen said “Drake made hard men flinch and he is absolutely fearless’’.

The following season, 1935–36 he scored seven in a single match against Aston Villa at Villa Park on 14 December 1935, a club record and top flight record that also still stands. Ted claimed an eighth goal hit the crossbar and went over the line, but the referee waved away his appeal. Drake would go on to win the FA Cup in 1935–36, scoring the only goal in the final. Despite being injured regularly (he was a doubt up until the last minute for the 1936 Cup Final), his speed, fierce shooting and brave playing style meant he was Arsenal’s first-choice centre forward for the rest of the decade and he was the club’s top scorer for five consecutive seasons.

1938 against Brentford – Drake being carried off by Whittaker

With four games to go in the 1937-38 season, Arsenal and Wolves were level on points at the top. The introduction of substitutes was almost 30 years away. Drake was badly injured in a game against Brentford and was carried off the field over Whittaker’s shoulder, Drake regained consciousness, had a deep cut stitched up and was sent back out for the second half. He had a fresh bandage around his head to go with the dirty one on his left wrist. Arsenal lost 3-0, while Wolves won 3-0 at Middlesbrough. It looked a major moment, and it was for Drake he was taken to the Royal Northern Hospital for an X-ray and was kept in. Opponents may not have relished his physicality, but Drake was popular. Newspapers recorded his recovery progress with something approaching awe.

Not all football fans, though, were so enamoured. As a columnist in the Daily Herald pointed out: “Ted Drake’s robust style might not be everybody’s meat, but when a fellow, after taking a five-stitch wallop, and with his hand already in plaster, has the pluck to come out and continue to play, surely it’s bad taste, to say the least, to hoot every time he touches the ball?” “There was even a certain amount of cheering as Drake was carried off, unconscious and bleeding. I didn’t like it.” The injury was bad enough for Drake to miss the next match, but he was back for the one after that, a victory over Liverpool.

Getty Images

On the last day of the 1937-38 season Arsenal were I point behind Wolves – Arsenal beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0 at Highbury while Wolves lost 1-0 away to Sunderland and Arsenal were champions once more.

The Second World War curtailed Drake’s career, he served in the Royal Air Force as well as turning out for Arsenal in wartime games; he also appeared as a guest player for West Ham United later in World War II. However, his career would not last long into peacetime; a spinal injury incurred in a game against Reading in 1945 forced him to retire from playing. With 139 goals in 184 games, he is the joint-fifth (along with Jimmy Brain) all-time scorer for Arsenal.

After retiring as a player, Ted managed Hendon in 1946, and then Reading from 1947. He led the club to the runners-up spot in Division Three South in 1948-49 and again in 1951–52, though at the time only the champions were promoted.

He was appointed manager of First Division Chelsea in 1952. Upon his arrival at Chelsea, he made a series of sweeping changes, doing much to rid the club of its previous amateurish, music hall image. He discarded the club’s Chelsea pensioner crest and with it the Pensioners nickname, and insisted a new one be adopted. From these changes came the “Lion Rampant Regardant” crest and the Blues nickname. He introduced scouting reports and a new, tougher, training regime based on ball work, a rare practice in English football at the time.  Within three years, in the 1954–55 season, Ted had led Chelsea to their first-ever league championship triumph. In doing so, he became the first person to win the league title both as player and manager. However, he never came close to repeating that success and left Chelsea to become reserve team manager at Fulham, later becoming a director and then life president.

He was a gifted all-round sportsman and played county cricket for his native Hampshire in the 1930s he still retained a lively interest in football into his eighties, though excursions from his Wimbledon home to watch matches became increasingly rare as his health deteriorated. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Drake betrayed no trace of bitterness that he had played in an era when material rewards were meagre, a telling measure of a fine footballer and a delightful man.

Ted Drake and Alex James 1936 – Mirrorpix

Ted Drake owns the following records for Arsenal –

Most goals in a game 7 against Aston Villa in a 7-1 victory on December 14th 1935

Most League goals in a season 42 in 1934-35

Most goals in a season 44 in 1934-35 – League 42, FA Cup 1, Charity Shield 1

Most goals per game .76

Least amount of games to score 100 goals – 108

(He also has the second highest amount of hat tricks at 11)

Drake passed away at the age of 82 on 30 May 1995.

GunnerN5

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97 Responses to Number 1 in Arsenal’s Century Club – Ted Drake

  1. chas says:

    Wow, 100 goals in 108 games – simply magnificent, blowing all the others out of the water.

    Thanks for a superb series, GN5,

  2. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. What a marvellous series this has been. Thank you.

    Ted Drake is a true Arsenal Legend. Had WW2 not intervened he would have set unbreakable goal scoring records.

  3. Sue says:

    So, we made it to No.1.. what a great read, GN5.. and tbh, it’s nice to read something like this, other than our mounting problems!!

    I’ve woken up thinking it’s 4115 days without a trophy (could that change tonight?) I really wanted to skip today, sleep through all of it & wake up tomorrow… to think one of those teams will lift that trophy, quite frankly, makes me feel physically sick 😬

  4. LBG says:

    GN5
    It has been an honour to read your series this term and your scholarly approach is a massive credit to you and the blog. Big thanks to Chas and Raddy for your brilliant additions this season. Happy summer to everyone.

  5. LB says:

    Amazing

  6. RA says:

    Fantastic — Ted Drake —- and you, GN5. 😁

    A brilliant piece of work over an extended period, and kept us all enthralled. Thank you so much.

  7. RA says:

    Sue,

    What did you mean? — “it’s nice to read something like this, other than our mounting problems” — eh?

    You don’t have any mountins in England!

  8. Sue says:

    Just the 1 mountain in the UK, right now.. although he is from Wichita 😁 Haha, very funny indeed, Mr 7 inches 😉😂🤪
    Being a man mountain – you’ve just reminded me, the very nice (& hench) Joshua fights tonight… there is something decent to watch tonight, after all 😄

  9. harrydgooner says:

    What a player, what a man, epitomises everything we are lacking at the moment in our players.

  10. VP says:

    GN5 thank you very much. A brilliant read and a fine series. We are all better supporters for having read them all.

    No more games of any interest until 10th Aug.

    I hope we can continue to improve the team with the addition of new players whether they be purchased or come up from the youth team.

    Thank you to all the regular contibutors who continue to create a post a day which is manic.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Thank you all for your comments on this series. Writing it caused me to look back into my personal Arsenal archives and conduct the kind of research that I absolutely relish.

    The Century Club came about when I was discussing a new series with Chas and he mistook the headline of one of my Emails to be about our 100 goal scorers, he mentioned that and off we went.

    Chas has done a masterful job with his superb contributions to the posts and we all owe him thanks for that.

  12. fred1266 says:

    Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic accident at the age of 35, former club Sevilla have confirmed.

    Reyes most recently played for Extremadura in Spain’s second tier, representing them nine times in the second half of this season.

    A former Spain international, Reyes came through Sevilla’s academy having grown up in the town of Utrera, a few miles east of Andalusia’s capital.

    He broke into Sevilla’s first-team as a teenager before earning himself a big-money move to Arsenal in 2004, staying there for three years.

    A mercurial, talented winger, Reyes went on to feature for Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Benfica, before returning to his boyhood club in 2011 for a five-year spell.

    View image on Twitter
    View image on Twitter

    Sevilla FC

    @SevillaFC_ENG
    We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace.

    12.5K
    7:01 AM – Jun 1, 2019
    9,568 people are talking about this
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    Reyes remains the youngest player to ever represent Sevilla in LaLiga, having made his debut at the age of 16 years, four months and 29 days in January 2000.

    Although he never won a trophy with Sevilla during his first spell, he went on to play a key role in their three successive Europa League triumphs between 2014 and 2016, before departing for Espanyol.

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Now the season is over (phew) we can now see if what, if any, strategy is being used to sell players and buy replacements.

    I will be in shock if the process is not concentrated on our porous defense. it has so many holes in it that I feel we need somebody of RA’s stature to offer up his blocking services.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear me that is terribly sad.

  15. Sue says:

    Omg Reyes… 35.. no age whatsoever… tragic.. so sad 😢

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    It has been a pleasure being on the same team as Chas and Raddy, they are both committed Arsenal supporters and have worked tirelessly for the enjoyment of all AA bloggers.

    Please accept my virtual handshake as a sign of my personal gratitude.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    From Arsenal.com

    Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain.

    Our thoughts are with all his family, friends and team-mates.

    Jose, who was part of the Invincibles team, was a hugely popular figure at our club and will always hold a special place in our hearts.

    He represented the club on 110 occasions, scoring 23 times and made memorable contributions to our 49-game unbeaten run.

    Rest in peace, Jose.

  18. Sue says:

    Really saddened by the news of Jose’s death 😔

    It’s just dawning on me, what I have ahead of me.. the pain, the suffering, the heartbreak of having to hear about this game, daily, for at least the next 50 years.. and that is if either team win…oh why did they both have to get through?? Been dreading tonight for weeks & it’s finally here… so the cinema it is, even if it’s a rubbish Avengers movie, or even Aladdin.. desperate times call for desperate measures…

  19. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Wow GN5, “Ted bleeding Drake”. The mans spirit inspires me to be a better man. Score seven goals against Villa and wish them well, maybe even apologise for sleeping with there wife and for pointing out that during there glory days peoples hats were nine inches long.

    Cant really praise Ted for turning over Mussolini. He got beat by everybody.

    I wont watch todays final. I fear Devastation.

    I learned the meaning of devastation when my cousin Bambos failed his medical exams so became a Plumber instead, I once accompanied him on a job involving a horrendous leak, bit like our current defence.

    When we got there Bambos asked were the leak was and once the bloke said upstairs Bambos asked him if he was going regularly?

    Taking one look at the bog Bambos told him it was a serious problem and that he should bend over so he could check him for constipation?

    Whilst the gezzer was aggressively throwing us out, Bambos tried to plead that he could fix the leak by inserting a new and larger pipe. This got the guy thinking but Bambos ruined it by elaborating he could do it with a small surgical incision and by asking me to pass the scalpel

    On the way home Bambos said he was getting over the been a Doctor thing but had just began studying something else. When I asked him what he said “Sex Therapist”. I never went on a plumbing job with him again.

    So in fear of becoming a Plumber, I shall not be watching

  20. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t want to be a plumber either so I will not watch the Final.

  21. fatgingergooner says:

    Liverpool fan for the next 2/3 hours.

  22. chas says:

  23. fatgingergooner says:

    Wow! What a start!

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    This is garbage

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    😂😂😂

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    Wouldn’t be a Spurs game without a Kane dive.

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    Spurs got beat in the worst CL Final ever! 😂 That wasn’t the Liverpool fans cheering at full time, it was all the neutrals saying thank f*** that’s over! 😂

  28. Sue says:

    Thank God that’s over!

  29. LB says:

    Schadenfreude who would have thought that the Germans could have come up with such a beautiful word.

  30. chas says:

    Jaysus, what a pile of shite and I didn’t even watch it.

  31. LB says:

    That was one of the most terrifying waits of my life, the idea of spuds winning that has been stuff of nightmares.

  32. LB says:

    Ohhhhh the relief.

  33. chas says:

  34. chas says:

  35. Sue says:

    Tottenham fans in the pub – love it 🤣🤣

  36. LB says:

    Arsene is handing them a dish served cold — revenge.

  37. chas says:

    Hell

  38. LB says:

    Hell is spuds winning and us having to live with it.

    Brrrrrrrr perish the thought.

  39. Sue says:

    I wonder how long it’ll be before we get our hands on that trophy…..

  40. RockyLives says:

    Right, out from behind the sofa now.
    Phew.

  41. RockyLives says:

    I didn’t watch any of the game but reading comments about it being the worst CL Final ever prompts me to say – Really? Worse than that abomination of a tedious game when Chavs beat Bayern Munich in 2012? Surely it can’t have been as bad as that…

  42. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    It was crap Rocky. In plumbing terms a total Stopcock

    But who cares hahahahahaha

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well thank f*#* for that

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    In the end result Tottenham were Tottenham – they deserved nothing and got nothing.

  45. allezkev says:

    Great post GN5, about a great centre forward, Ted Drake must have been a wonderful sight in full flow. I really enjoyed reading that piece and the entire series, great work and I hope you’re working on your next series of posts, it’ll keep us going through the summer…

    Awful news about Reyes, only 35 and with a young family, life is good in general, but sometimes it’s shit…

    As for the Spuds, it’s a monumental relief, but Baku still hurts…

  46. Sue says:

    So… 4117 days……😏

  47. Sue says:

    Let the 50 years of bragging begin… 😬
    Anthony Joshua – WTH!!!!

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Phew.

    Like many I have been tense ever since the 96th minute against Ajax.

    Now I can relax into the summer.

    Sue, as you say WTH??

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    I watched the Joshua fight on DAZN and I think he was mentally ill prepared and severely underestimated Ruiz’s ability. I guess it’s not good looks that wins fights……………..

  50. fred1266 says:

    Was it that bad

  51. chas says:

  52. Sue says:

    Brilliant, chas!!
    Michael Ball 🤣🤣🤣

  53. RA says:

    Morning, Good Peoples,

    I was having a delicious cup of coffee just after 6 a.m. and heard on the BBC what was announced as a ‘spoiler alert’ — not Trump, again, I thought, but no — it was about the winner of one of those ‘talent shows’ — yawn, yawn.

    It turned out to be a guy of 88 or 89 y.o. singing — yes singing – “Love – love changes everything ….” and he was absolutely brilliant — at least in the couple of minutes they broadcast.

    Talent shows? — pfft — not my cup of Java!!

    Great looking morning with the sun streaming through the windows, great coffee, mmm, and some old boy singing so well — it’s made my day already.

  54. RA says:

    Sue,

    Who Michael Ball?

  55. Sue says:

    RA.. you don’t know who Michael Ball is?? Well he sang that song, that old fella sang on BGT..
    If you fancy listening to his laugh, check out that clip above 😂😂😂
    Aww get you.. loving that old fella, and your coffee (eww) too early for a big mac though..
    The simple things bring out the best in people, they??!! 😉

  56. Big Raddy says:

    6.55 Brilliant chas 😀 😀

  57. Sue says:

    When is the super cup? At least we haven’t got to witness another annihilation at the hands (or feet 😃) of Liverpool.. we shipped 4 against a crappy Chelsea side, imagine what the score would be against them!!!
    RA.. I meant hey, not they! My new phone keeps spelling things incorrectly (or that’s what I’m telling myself anyway 😆)

  58. RA says:

    Sue,

    I did not notice the typo — I make too many of my own! 🥺

    Mind you, you must be careful about calling that chap an “old fella” — after all there are quite a few on here around that age. No names, no pack drill. 😁

  59. Sue says:

    RA.. yes, I got the impression you were around that age 😉😜😁

  60. RA says:

    Cheeky sod!! 😂

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    Stephan Lichtsteiner has confirmed he will leave Arsenal this summer.

    One part of the leaking defense looks like he’s on the way out, but even given his age he was not the worst defender……..

  62. fred1266 says:

    Super Cup is in August

  63. fred1266 says:

    He really had to announce that steups like if anyone cares

  64. Sue says:

    GN5.. and so the exodus begins…. I had my doubts about Lichtsteiner & they were confirmed, once I saw him play for us!! Will not be sorry to see him go.. Shkodran next please…
    Although, I have a funny feeling, we may be seeing more 30+ yr old players, who are available on a free & are basically past it 😳

    RA.. 😄

  65. Sue says:

    Cheers, Fred! That’s another game to avoid 😄

  66. Sue says:

    Oh and Fred, you were right – I’ve just renewed my membership 😀 talk about glutton for punishment 😄

  67. LB says:

    Hey Chas

    Is it my imagination or are the club a bit latter than usual in sending out the season ticket renewels, I haven’t got mine yet. It conjures an image of someone saying: ohhhhhh better not send them out yet, they’re not happy. I wonder if they will wait to complete a signing before sending them out as they used to do.

  68. chas says:

    LB
    I haven’t got a season ticket anymore, so I wouldn’t know, soz.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I have had my reminder

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, that is a great picture and may Reyes rest in peace. Wenger did a lot to get him to come to Arsenal, even went to speak to his family to entice him away from them and promise to look after him. Homesickness saw him leave us far too early, but he had an immediate impact on the team and was a joy to watch at times. So sad to see him go like that at such a young age.

  71. Sue says:

    Nice clip, chas… what a goal, Jose 👌 hard to believe he’s no longer here.
    Thoughts are with his cousins too, obviously 1 didn’t make it, but how on earth did anyone make it out of that wreckage alive…

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Busy, busy busy.

    I will get a post written for tomorrow morning.

  73. GunnerN5 says:

    Nice highlights Chas, I remember that game well, my stomach sank at 3-1 down but they were a team for the ages. They were not only incredibly talented but they made it fun for themselves as well as us fans.

    Where oh where have those days gone.?

  74. LB says:

    Bergkamp would have been playing for City, Henry would have been at PSG alas.

    It was our moment in the sun and it is still nice to reflectively bask in it.

  75. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Sadly that is true. We would have a midfield of Denilson, Diaby, Hleb, Song and Flamini

  76. fred1266 says:

    Thanks for reminding me I have ro renew mins today

  77. fred1266 says:

    They sent it since May LB

  78. fred1266 says:

    Well at least red memberships it sure if that what u talking about

  79. fred1266 says:

    Chas why you gave up your season ticket

    So u have to now sit in lower tier awwwe

  80. fred1266 says:

    TA I remember his goal to keep make 1-1 to get the streak going

  81. fred1266 says:

    Didn’t that midfield almost won us the league

  82. Big Raddy says:

    No Fred. They didn’t 😀

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Fred it was. I love that picture as it’s shot at the moment supreme; it looks like there are four statues on the pitch, each one epitomising those Arsenal Invincibles – and Gilberto seemingly lifting Reyes even further into the sky. It’s hard not to miss that time.

  84. chas says:

    Freddie baby
    Lower tier better 😊

  85. fred1266 says:

    I said almost TA lol

  86. Brigham600 says:

    A great article indeed and my great uncle always spoke very highly of Ted Drake and he was a Chelsea fan. Really enjoyed reading that and thank you.

  87. fred1266 says:

    The year when Eduardo broke his foot

    I still believe we would have won it that year if it wasn’t for Eduard injury

  88. fred1266 says:

  89. Sue says:

    Fred.. I read earlier that Elneny is in talks with Fenerbahce… this week is getting better & better 👍

  90. chas says:

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    After all that good news … There is a New Post

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