Jock Rutherford is one of those names that many Arsenal fans recognise, but just as a name. In fact he was a true star of the age, and his signing in 1913 was a bit of a coup for the newly relegated Arsenal. He stayed at Arsenal until 1923 when he decamped for a brief spell as manager of Stoke City before returning to Arsenal a month later. He finally left Arsenal in 1926, setting a record that stands to this day for the oldest first team player at our club. His son (John) was also on Arsenal’s books at the same time, playing one game. The first scan is from ‘Sports Pictures’ magazine. Although the article below (from All Sports) has little about his career at Arsenal I think it’s a fascinating insight into what it was like to be a player then. I’ve also included an advert page from the same issue, as it features the ‘Arsenal Boot’.
Monthly Archives: December 2011
All Sports was a popular weekly sports tabloid of the inter-war years. Featuring the mixture of reports, interviews and gossip that we know so well today, it was one of the best selling weeklies of the time. I’ve scanned a history piece from 1919 which clearly shows even then they knew where the history was to be found in London, and a couple of clips from the start of the next season purely because I like the pictures!
Finally, after the ‘war to end all wars’, League football returned and Arsenal, now at Highbury, returned to the first division. Some nice early shots of Highbury before the stands we all know so well were built. On the subject of Highbury I’ve also included scans from an article published in the programme in the sixties to remember the building of Highbury 50 years on.
Throughout Arsenal’s history there have been a succession of players who also played cricket, the most famous being Denis Compton. An earlier one was H.T.W. (Wally) Hardinge who joined Arsenal when we moved to Highbury. Sadly his football career was interupted by the Great War He gave up playing football in 1921 and went into coaching but continued playing cricket for Kent as a free scoring batsman and slow left arm bowler.
Before we move on to Highbury a little clip of us playing at The Manor Ground before the move. This game was played on 02/09/1911.
As much is often said about how we moved to Highbury to play on what had been the sports field of St John’s Hall (Highbury College of Divinity) I thought it might be interesting to show some scans of postcards of what the original College buildings looked like. They were situated on the hill above where Highbury is and were demolished after being burnt down in 1946, which is when the current buildings were begun.