Arsenal founder's grave restored

David Danskin, the man who provided the inspiration for the formation of our great club in 1886, has been honoured at a special graveyard ceremony attended by his family and Arsenal supporters and officials.

Four generations of the Danskin family, some of whom travelled from Australia and Canada, were joined by senior officials from Arsenal and members of the Arsenal Scotland Supporters' Club to formally unveil a new gravestone for the recognised founder of the club.

Danskin's grand-son Richard, who now lives in Canada, said: "Today sees the culmination of almost 20 years' work to research, validate and recognise the determination, dedication and vision of David Danskin. Little did he know that his love of the game and those early football games with his workmates at the Royal Arsenal ordnance complex in Woolwich would eventually result in what we know today as Arsenal.

"Thanks to the efforts of his grandchildren, local historians, Burntisland Heritage Trust, Arsenal Scotland Supporters' Club and Arsenal Football Club, we can all be proud of what we have achieved. The memorial that is unveiled today is a fitting tribute to David Danskin, his family and the legacy that he leaves for us all to enjoy."

Danskin, who had previously played football in his native Scotland, formed Dial Square FC when he gathered together a group of 15 munitions workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. Each player donated a sixpence each to fund the club. Danskin captained the team in our first match on December 11 against Eastern Wanderers FC and was a driving force until injury forced him to stop playing in 1890. 

After leaving the Royal Arsenal factory, Danskin became self-employed and started his own bicycle business in Plumstead, London. He later moved to Coventry, working at the Standard Motor Company until his retirement due to ill health. He remained involved in local football in Coventry and was chairman of Stoke Albions FC. 

Mike Buchanan, chairman of Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club said: "Our fellow Scotsman, David Danskin, had the vision to create our football club all those years ago from a sense of bringing people together around their common passion for football. We're delighted to have played a part in formally restoring and recognising his grave."

Arsenal funded the restoration of the grave and managing director Vinai Venkatesham, who led the club delegation along with former captain and coach Pat Rice, said: "Arsenal was born out of a sense of community and that is something we hold true today as much as ever. The millions of Arsenal fans around the world will always be indebted to David Danskin's vision to create a football club. We're pleased that at last his final resting place has been properly recognised."

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