1933/34 campaign

It's an Honour - 1933/34 season

In It's an Honour, featured first in the official matchday programme, we're looking back at the seasons that have brought silverware to north London. We re-live the 1933/34 campaign.

In a season over-shadowed by the death of the legendary Herbert Chapman, the Gunners retained the title in 1934, underlining their status as the dominant force in English football.

Chapman died of pneumonia in the early morning of January 6, 1934, the day Arsenal played Sheffield Wednesday in a top of the table clash.

The stunned Arsenal players managed a 1-1 draw at Highbury that day, but then lost their next three games. Chapman had revolutionised Arsenal since taking over in 1925, and led them to their first two league titles and an FA Cup. He was 55 at the time of his shock death.



Joe Shaw took control of team matters for the remainder of the season, and after those three consecutive losses, they recovered to win nine of the proceeding 11 league matches.

The title was wrapped up with a game to spare, as – for the second consecutive season – Arsenal clinched the title at Stamford Bridge. Alex James and Cliff Bastin netted to give Arsenal the single point they needed in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea on April 28, 1934.

Bastin and Ray Bowden shared the top goalscorer honours that season, with just 13 league goals each. Both netted in the biggest league win of the season, a 6-0 home victory over Middlesbrough on September 30.

Arsenal improved on their points tally from the previous year’s title success but scored 43 fewer goals, partly down to James missing half the season with injury.

George Male was the only ever-present throughout the campaign, having been successfully converted to a right back by Chapman.

In the FA Cup Arsenal were knocked out by Aston Villa in the sixth round after a 2-1 home defeat. Earlier in the competition the Gunners hammered Crystal Palace 7-0 in the fourth round.

Male 42, Hapgood 40, Bastin 38, Moss 37, Bowden 32, John 31, Roberts 30, Jones 29, Hill 25, Beasley 23, James 22, Dunne 21, Birkett 15, Jack 14, Coleman 12, Sidey 12, Drake 10, Hulme 8, Parkin 5, Dougall 5, Wilson 5, Lambert 3, Cox 2, Haynes 1.

Bastin 13, Bowden 13, Beasley 10, Dunne 9, Drake 7, Birkett 5, Jack Hulme 5, James 3, Roberts 1, John 1, Coleman 1, Lambert 1, own goals 1.

Manchester City 2, Portsmouth 1

Italy beat Czechoslovakia 2-1 after extra-time to win the 1934 World Cup in Rome. Angelo Schiavio scored the winning goal in the second ever World Cup Finals, holders Uruguay did not enter.

The Dionne sisters, the first quintuplets to survive beyond infancy, were born in Canada.


Cliff Bastin


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