Arsenal celebrated its 125th anniversary at its game against Everton on December 10 following the unveiling of the three statues on Friday afternoon.

The Club was founded when a group of workers at Dial Square armaments factory in Woolwich, notably exiled Scotsman David Danskin and Jack Humble, originally from the North East, decided to form a football team to break the monotony of their working life.

They each gave a sixpence - two and a half pence in today's money - for the purchase of a football. A member of the team, Fred Beardsley, who had previously played for Nottingham Forest called in a favour from his old team and managed to secure kit from his previous club, giving Arsenal the red and white colours they still wear to this day.

The Club’s first game was reportedly against Eastern Wanderers on December 11, 1886. It was played on the Isle of Dogs and ended in a 6-0 victory for the new side.  Saturday marked the home game which fell closest to this first ever encounter.  

From these humble beginnings has become one of the game's biggest clubs with millions of followers around the world.

The anniversary was marked with a series of symbolic moments to honour the Club's history and tradition and also looked forward to the future to honour the pioneering and innovative spirit which has been ever-present at Arsenal throughout its 125 year history.

Highlights from Saturday's game included:

  • A number of Arsenal legends joined the celebrations and took to the pitch to acknowledge the fans and welcome the team on to the pitch.
  • The Royal Artillery Band and Orchestra played on the podium and inside the stadium where two guns were placed at each side of the tunnel acknowledging our armament factory roots.
  • The Nike 125 Project was unveiled near the Spirit of Highbury.
  • A sell out special edition souvenir programme was produced containing a golden ticket promotion to win the matchday shirts.
  • The great-grandchildren of founder David Danskin carried the matchball to begin the game.
  • Fred Beardsley's great, great-grandson prepared the team's kit with Vic Akers in the dressing room and joined the Chairman to present Nottingham Forest with a commemorative shirt to thank them for the Club’s colours worn to this day.
  • Referee Howard Webb tossed a sixpence to decide kick-off.
  • Everton officials were presented with a silver cannon to mark their part in day.
  • Fans also featured in a state of the art gigapixel picture. Fans were captured in a moment in time with a 360° hi-resolution picture which will be available this week on and The picture allows you to zoom in close and see most supporters in the crowd in the North Bank, Clock End, West Stand, the East Stand lower and the front rows of the East Upper.



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27 Oct 2011