Wilf Copping

Wilf Copping joined Arsenal from Leeds United in 1934 as a replacement for Gunners legend Bob John who was 35 years old by then.

The Yorkshireman featured at left-half and centre-half for Herbert Chapman’s side during the Gunners’ trophy-rich mid-30s spell.

After making his debut on August 25, 1934, Copping played all but the final three games as Arsenal won the third of their hat-trick of league titles.

The defender was also pivotal during the subsequent double-winning season, two Charity Shield victories and another League crown in 1938.

During his time at Highbury, Copping was a regular for England and was one of seven Arsenal players to start against Italy in 1934’s infamous ‘Battle of Highbury’. He was named man of the match in England’s 3-2 win.

But with World War II looming large, Wilf put in a transfer request to return to his family in Yorkshire. Arsenal complied and Leeds United re-signed their man.

When all first-class football was cancelled at the outbreak of war, Copping joined the army and he eventually retired from football in 1942.

In 1998, Wilf was included in the Football League’s 100 League Legends list.


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