Arsenal Football Club will celebrate the centenary of the Club’s historic move to Islington from Woolwich over the course of the 2013/14 season.
From its humble beginnings as Woolwich Arsenal, the move to north London laid the foundations for the Club to become one of the biggest in the game.
In the 100 years since the Club’s move to Highbury, Arsenal has become an essential part of Islington life, not only on the pitch but off it as well.
Ever since the Club first settled in the area, the local community has benefited from Arsenal’s presence. From early financial contributions made to the Islington War Memorial Fund and Great Northern Hospital, to the thousands of jobs and homes created as a result of the Club’s move to Emirates Stadium in 2006.
This season, the Club will pay homage to the Borough that embraced it all those years ago, through a range of activities and initiatives to commemorate this special milestone.
Over the course of the Emirates Cup weekend, the Club donated 1,913 tickets to a range of beneficiaries, including local Islington schools and a number of Arsenal in the Community projects and charity partners.
In any given week, more than 2,000 individuals are engaged in over 40 different community programmes, delivered throughout the borough of Islington across 55 separate venues. In the 28 years since Arsenal in the Community was set up, it is estimated that more than six million hours have been delivered by the Club’s dedicated community staff.
This autumn, supporters will be able to find out more about how the Club has helped to shape local history, when Islington Museum hosts a special ‘100 Years of Arsenal’ exhibition, showcasing a range of rare and interesting artefacts that commemorate the Club’s presence in the area.
The Club will also celebrate the 100-year milestone with a special event at Emirates Stadium for local dignitaries in September, and will dedicate its Premier League fixture against Stoke City on September 22 to the centenary - the nearest date to the first ever match at Highbury which saw the Gunners run out 2-1 winners over Leicester Fosse on September 6, 1913.
Arsenal's chief executive officer, Ivan Gazidis, said: “As a Club, we are immensely proud to be part of the Islington community and we will be forever grateful to the Borough for welcoming us into the area all those many years ago.
"I doubt Henry Norris, the Arsenal chairman who engineered the Club’s relocation to Highbury in 1913, could have believed his actions would lead us to where we are today - in the magnificent Emirates Stadium after so many wonderful years at Highbury, and with a supporter base that extends across the world.
"Despite all that has changed in the last century, the Club’s commitment to the local community here in Islington remains as strong as ever. We look forward to celebrating that throughout 2013/14.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 5 Aug 2013