Arsenal Glory: You’ll Never Forget the First Time

An Arsenal Blast from the Past

The year is 1930 three years after the pain of losing the 1927 FA Cup Final to Cardiff, Herbert Chapman took Arsenal back to Wembley to make amends, and bring the Club its first major trophy. Ironically the opposition were Huddersfield Town, the club Chapman left to join Arsenal in 1925. He had guided Huddersfield to two league titles in the 1920s and the Yorkshire side bore all the hallmarks of Chapman’s tactical innovations, lining up in a W-M formation with wing-halves and inside-forwards. Arsenal did likewise but, with Chapman now at their helm, they did it better.

The 1930 Cup Final was the first time before a major game that the two teams came out side by side in honour of  Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman having managed both clubs. Arsenal came into the game following a 6-6 draw at Leicester City, just five days prior, the highest score draw in English top-flight history, however four goal hero Dave Halliday was omitted from the Cup Final squad.

Tom Wilson led Huddersfield Town onto the pitch while Tom Parker led out Arsenal. The former knew all about winning trophies; the latter Captained a side which had never tasted glory and had survived numerous close shaves en-route to the Final. In the commentary box, that day for only the fifth live radio broadcast was the future Arsenal manager George Allison.

King George V was introduced to the players in front of a crowd of 92,486 at Wembley after recovering from illness. The two clubs were meeting for the first time in a FA Cup Final and they produced a match of high and absorbing quality, observed by the silver Graf Zepplein. The deafening roar from its engines disconcerted both players and spectators. The giant aircraft, at 775 ft. in length, was a symbol of a rising Germany, it dipped its nose in salute to King George V as it passed by.

Arsenal won their first major trophy with a goal in each half; the first was created and scored by Alex James, the second was a product of a long run by Jack Lambert. Huddersfield Town, on the day, were worthy opponents but it transpired that their day had passed and they have never since won another major trophy. But 1930, and more specifically April 26, was when Arsenal began their transformation from also-rans to the richest and most successful club in the World. When Chapman arrived at Highbury in 1925 he said it would take him five years to build a winning team. He was as good as his word.

It is also interesting to note that the two sides dined together after the match, an innovation from Herbert Chapman that never took hold. Given the enmity between modern protaganists, such bonhomie might be well absent in the modern game.

The victorious Arsenal team consisted of Charlie Preedy, Tom Parker, Eddie Hapgood, Alf Baker, Bill Seddon, Bob John, Joe Hulme, David Jack, Jack Lambert, Alex James and Cliff Bastin.

In this picture (see top) the Arsenal team, looking rather dapper, are posing at Wembley after winning the Cup. Herbert Chapman is on the far left, David Jack (who had joined Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers for a record 10,890 pounds – but that’s another story) has his hands in his light-coloured plus fours; Captain Jack Lambert is holding the FA Cup and Alex James is on the far right, Arsenal’s Bill Seddon, who died in January 1993 at the age of 91, was the last surviving player who appeared in the Final;.

Now for a real BLAST from the PAST the game report from 1930.

Arsenal On This Day: Image (


33 thoughts on “Arsenal Glory: You’ll Never Forget the First Time

  • Nice piece GN5. Was extremely busy and uninterested about life, thus the lack of time on BK.

    Hope everyone is well.


  • Hey 84, good to hear from you again. May other winter escapers join you soon! I hope you uninterestedness about life is nothing too serious?! Tell us about your situation at home and at work? I am interested!

  • Morning all,

    I really like the picture of the FA Cup being wheeled around Highbury in what looks like a pram that has been covered over just for the occasion.

  • It’s almost surreal but that was 91 years ago but I can still remember my family talking about that great day in our history Back then the FA Cup was a really special trophy to win as the football calendar was not cluttered with so many other competitions.

  • I still think it is special, GN5. A real honour to win the FA Cup and it is just great to play in the final at the end of the season. We will miss it this year…. unless we play in the European final. Fingers and all other digits crossed!!

  • I’m with you Total I still find the FA Cup a very meaningful trophy. When I could I followed the team around England to a lot of the smaller clubs during the FA Cup – it was always a very enjoyable experience.

  • Afternoon Gooner’s, as soon as I saw the picture at the top of the post I knew that it must be a post from our website historian. I shall enjoy that…

    But first to my Big Apple compadre, yes I agree totally, Odegaard is the kind of quality we as a club has to aim for especially if we are to regain our position as serious contenders and not just as make – up – the – numberers, but I guess what I was saying was that I didn’t want to build up my hopes regarding Martin because there’s a long way to go and until he’s ours I won’t invest to much in him beyond the next few weeks and his return to Spain.

    Yes Johnno, we need more quality across the board mio amigo, another Partey quality D/M giving us three to rotate, similar to how it was when Wenger had Gilberto, Vieira and Edu, we need a Van Dyke quality centre back, a player like Diaz at Man City, a player that takes you up another level, we shouldn’t be relying on a 34 year old David Luiz and finally a striker to replace Lacazette. Yeah, you can go on across the squad, improving positions and depth in terms of quality and hopefully our academy can supplement our transfer business with the likes of Azeez and longer term Hutchinson.

    Odegaard is a fantastic player and Arsenal should go and push the boat out to get him, but he might not want to join us, especially if our season peters out and other clubs come in for him on the back of his performances with us?

  • Thanks for the post GN5, I wonder how David Halliday must have felt after scoring 4 goals and getting dropped and would that ever happen today?

    Also can you imagine a manager coming into a new job at a big club and saying it would take him 5 years to turn things around, social media would go into a meltdown…

  • Ah GN5, nothing beats being in a mini bus and going to a game on the day of the 3rd round of the FACup, it seemed as if half the football world was on the motorways and at the service stations.

  • Was understaffed at work and took the wind out of me. But after speaking to my Boss i was better. Singapore is not a fast paced city for nothing. If you had a average Boss, especially with less manpower after covid-19, it will kill you.

    Anyway, I went to sleep after half time last weekend. The first 30 minutes of the match was real rubbish to begin with, and we found our feet after the second goal, but soon we conceded a third. Odegaard is a good asset and we should keep him.

  • njk84,

    I missed the game completely due to my grandson’s twelfth birthday but it sounded like a good game not to watch. I took Total’s advice and only watched the second half so I saw the comeback which was encouraging albeit with the kelp of two own goals.

  • Kev,

    I used to enjoy the train rides full of Arsenal supporters and having a few beers and sandwich on the way to the game, such happy memories. TV is just not a suitable replacement to getting to and from a game and the game itself – I miss the experience terribly.

  • Gooneris – I’m missing your predictions for this weekends games you’re less than twp points off of the lead – so don’t miss the opportunity to regain top spot.

    Czech Republic v Belgium
    Norway v Turkey
    Slovakia v Malta (correct score game)
    Armenia v Iceland
    Ukraine v Finland
    Glentoran v Crusaders

  • Nice to see njk…I hope all is well.

    Kev, great response and I’m with you on all parts.

    N5 about the FA cup I find it so interesting that when Arsenal is in the final and win the FA cup its spoken about in sports talk circles like a 3rd rate competition, but if spurs, Leicester, or any other premier league club are involved, it becomes relevant and important trophy to the fake news media. I see the change in tone from one season to the next. Such haters.

  • Thanks GN5. Never seen that newspaper report before. Love the comment about wee Alex James, “He stood head and shoulders above the other players”. He was likely the shortest man on the pitch, but what a player. I agree with you and others, the romance of the cup is still intoxicating. The first final televised live here in NZ was ’73 Leeds Unt v Sunderland. I was 12 and sat up for the 3am kick off with a family who all supported Leeds. Even now, almost 50 years later the vividness of that occasion stirs my emotions. The commentators cry of, “Porterfield”. Bob Stokoe running onto the Wembley turf to embrace Jim Montgomery, The Leeds players on their knees… (Pity they weren’t the season before).

  • Nice article from the history books to while away the Inter-Lull, GN5. Indeed, that first cup win must be unforgettable and the fact Chapman managed Huddersfield before taking up the Arsenal job, must have made for a romantic experience for the fans. From what I have read, that untold bond still exists between both teams to this day; we tend to have respect for one another and the columns never forget to remind of that bit of history whenever we meet. Thanks for that GN5 and nice pics. Loved the blast from the past too. And I think the FA cup remains special. I feel some try to downplay its importance only because Arsenal are the Kings of the FA cup.

  • I have missed out on a few threads but, having caught up a bit, think there have been some brilliant comments by contributors here. Just to take things back a bit, I agree with your “8 observations”, TA, even though I thought Odegaard was man of the match, by a fair mile. Still, a “men of the match” gong isn’t bad as it was a concerted effort by the whole team to achieve such a Herculean task of a come back. Laca worked well and played hard, deserving his goal.

    I also thought Xhaka looked tired, along with Luis and Tierney. Arteta needs to rotate the team well to get everyone ready to go when called upon. With Cedric looking as good as he did, the few games he’s played on the left and then the right back, it can only be a disservice to somehow, contrive not to give him more playing time to help him up his tempo. Chambers is limited in certain qualities defending at full back; he may have a future at DM, or something but he cannot handle twinkle toed wingers or speedy wing play. He was brought in to do a defensive job against West ham and surprised many by being offensively effective. Kudos to him. But, if we sell Bellerin, we must go for an upgrade: power, speed, precision (crossing) and an uncompromising attitude.

    We keep showing traces of a team that needs a tweak here and there or a couple of additions to achieve greatness. Hopefully, Arteta can be the one to take us there; it is easy to see what an experienced coach can bring when you see what Tuchel has brought to Chelsea. It won’t be much longer before we are up there again.

  • Kev, that’s great going with the Predictions game. A clean sweep of predicted results is a rarity and you are truly on a roll. I like the come from behind story too. 👏🏽👏🏽

    GN5, while I am at sea with the internationals, my predictions (more like guesses) for the picks are as follows:

    Czech Rep vs Belgium…. Draw
    Norway vs Turkey……….. Home
    Slovakia vs Malta…………Home (3-1)
    Armenia vs Iceland……… Draw
    Ukraine vs Finland……… Home
    Glentoran vs Crusaders.. Home

  • Eris,

    Ode was awesome but for MotM I also look at end product and Laca scored twoish goals and Calum made twoish assists.. 👍🏿 😁

  • Stuart,

    One of my favourite memories was from 2002 I was all alone watching the FA Cup Final between Arsenal & Chelsea , I was sitting cross legged on my sofa and in front of me was my coffee table full of snacks and a bottle of The Macallan (which was fast evaporating).

    Firstly Ray Parlour scored a very special 20 yard curling stunner and secondly Freddie swiveled his way past the Chelsea defense and curled our second into the bottom corner of the net – I leaped in the air and came down on the corner of the coffee table smashing two legs and spilling food everywhere – thankfully the cap was on the Macallan and none was lost.

    My wife arrived home a few minutes later and she was none too pleased with the state of me or our living room.

  • Eris,

    Thank you for the comment. I think we are all in the same position with the International games – mostly clueless. However it’s a bit of fun instead of sitting and waiting until the EPL re – opens.

  • Eris,

    It seems that there has always been a negative bias towards Arsenal starting with the Press and now with the Internet – but frankly who gives a damn!!

  • A great historic day in the history of our club. Back then Huddersfield were giants in the game but never really recovered after the 2nd World war.
    Chapman will live forever in the memory for what he did.

  • Good to see that you’re back in the saddle Eris, I’m expecting a reaction from you over the next few weeks but keep an eye on PB… 😁

    As for the Arsenal negativity from the press, media and online, it’s annoying but I take it as a compliment and a clear indication that Arsenal are improving, so bring it on…

  • Ha! GN5, and the way our Freddie shrugged off John Terry on his way to scoring that goal always brings a grin to my face. Wives of Gooners are a special breed. It’s tough sharing the love of their lives with 11 other men…

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