Ahead of our FA Youth Cup final against West Ham United at Emirates Stadium, we've delved into the archives to reflect on our history in the country’s most prestigious youth competition.
We’ve lifted the trophy seven times in total, which makes us the third-most successful club in the history of the competition, and 10 of our winning stars have gone on to have international careers.
Here is the story of those seven successful seasons:
Sunderland 2-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 4-1 Sunderland
Milne, Boot, Simmons, Leven
Arsenal win 5-3 on aggregate
Two of those include 1966 winning duo Pat Rice and Sammy Nelson, who both represented Northern Ireland 49 and 50 times respectively.
We beat Sunderland 5-3 on aggregate that year and Rice went on to play 528 games for the club as he became immortalised as a club legend, later joining Arsene Wenger in the dugout as the Frenchman’s assistant. Sammy didn’t have a bad career with us either, pulling on the red and white shirt over 300 times alongside Pat, as they both made up part of the incredible 1971 double-winning side.
Players used in the final: Ernie Adams, Pat Rice, Tommy Youlden, Micky Boot, Ian Gillibrand, John Woodward, Trevor Rhodes, Robert Bristow, Neil Leven, Andrew Milne, Gordon Cumming, Dave Simmons, Sammy Nelson
Arsenal 0-0 Cardiff City
Cardiff City 0-2 Arsenal
Arsenal win 2-0 on aggregate
In a special year for the club, 1971 brought the club’s first League and FA Cup double, as well as the club’s second FA Youth Cup triumph as the Young Gunners beat Cardiff City 2-0 in the second leg after a goalless opener in Wales.
The winning squad, which included David Price, Brian Hornsby and Brendan Batson, joined the first-team squad trophy parade around Islington to celebrate a dominant season at all levels for the club.
Players used in the final: Graham Horn, Dave Donaldson, Micky Shovelar, David Price, Brendon Batson, Jim de Garis, Brian Hornsby, Charlie Newton, Paul Davies, Terry Burton, Tony Waring, Kevin Kennerley
Arsenal 5-0 Doncaster Rovers
Campbell 3, Ball (pen), Lee
Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Arsenal
Arsenal win 6-1 on aggregate
We had to wait 17 years for our next taste of Youth Cup success when our star-studded line-up of ‘88 breezed past Doncaster Rovers, winning 6-1 across both legs.
Several players from this line-up went on to have stellar careers, including skipper David Hillier, Steve Morrow and Kevin Campbell, winning multiple major honours between them.
Players used in the final: Alan Miller, Lee Francis, Jim Carstairs, David Hillier, Al Hannigan, Steve Morrow, Neal Heaney, Francis Cagigao, Kevin Campbell, Steve Ball, Gary McKeown, Ray Lee, Pat Scully
Millwall 3-2 Arsenal
Arsenal 3-0 Millwall
Clarke, Rawlins, Hughes
Arsenal win 5-3 on aggregate
Stephen Hughes was the only player that went on to represent us at senior level from the 1994-winning side and scored in the final to help us overturn a 3-2 first-leg deficit against Millwall to win 5-3 on aggregate.
The former trainee turned professional a year after his first-team debut in July 1995, and was with the club for five years before moving on to Everton. He scored four goals in 49 top-flight appearances, appeared in our 1998 FA Charity Shield success, and helped the team to the Premiership title in 1997/98.
Players used in the final: Noel Imber, Timmy Griggs, Ross Taylor, Jamie Howell, Graeme Hall, Chris McDonald, Michael Black, Matthew Rose, Matthew Rawlins, Gavin McGowan, Stephen Hughes, Albert Clarke, Robbie Drake
Coventry City 1-3 Arsenal
Thomas, Barrett, Sidwell
Arsenal 2-0 Coventry City
Arsenal win 5-1 on aggregate
There were plenty of recognisable faces in our millennium-winning side of 2000, and some went on to have memorable debuts for our first-team. Jermaine Pennant scored a hat-trick on his full Premier League outing, and goalkeeper Graham Stack - who made his debut in the same League Cup tie against Rotherham United as Cesc Fabregas - saved a crucial penalty in a shoot-out before converting his own to see us through.
Other names you may recognise from the side that beat Coventry 5-1 on aggregate are Steve Sidwell, Jay Bothroyd, and Moritz Volz, who was playing for Fulham when he scored the Premier League’s 15,000th goal.
Players used in the final: Graham Stack, Israel da Silva, Liam Chilvers, John Halls, Niccolo Galli, Rohan Ricketts, David Noble, Steve Sidwell, Jerome Thomas, Jay Bothroyd, Graham Barrett, Craig Holloway, Jermaine Brown, Stephen Santry, Jonathan Osei-Kuffour, Ben Chorley, Carlin Itonga, Moritz Volz, Jermaine Pennant
Arsenal 5-0 Blackburn Rovers
Aliadiere 2, Thomas, Sidwell, Volz
Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Arsenal
Arsenal win 6-3 on aggregate
Don Howe guided us to back-to-back Youth Cups in 2001 against Blackburn Rovers. We got the job more or less done in the first leg, winning 5-0 before they replied with a 3-1 win at Ewood Park, and Howe did it with a mixture of players from the year before and some new faces.
Jeremie Aliadiere was one of the new names, and another player that went on to represent us numerous times - even becoming an invincible in 2004. Justin Hoyte was also in that team and would go on to play for us 68 times including the 2005 Community Shield.
Players used in the final: Craig Holloway, Alex Bailey, Sebastian Svard, Ryan Garry, Nicky Nicolau, Moritz Volz, Steve Sidwell, Rohan Ricketts, Jerome Thomas, Jermaine Pennant, Jeremie Aliadiere, Michael Jordan, Justin Hoyte, Ben Chorley, Stephen Santry, Jermaine Brown, Carlin Itonga
Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool
Sunu, Wilshere (pen), Watt, Emmanuel-Thomas
Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
Watt, Ayala (o.g.)
Arsenal win 5-3 on aggregate
The last time we lifted the Youth Cup was 14 years ago, meaning Jack Wilshere is bidding to bring the trophy back to N5 after his on-field performance helped us claim it in 2009 against Liverpool.
Jack set us on our way to victory after slamming home a penalty in the first leg to put us 2-0 ahead, and from that moment we never looked back. Goals from Gilles Sunu, Sanchez Watt and skipper Jay Emmanuel-Thomas helped us to a 4-1 home leg win at Emirates Stadium before we went to Anfield and dominated again in a 2-1 success.
Players used in the final: James Shea, Craig Eastmond, Thomas Cruise, Emmanuel Frimpong, Kyle Bartley, Luke Ayling, Henri Lansbury, Francis Coquelin, Gilles Sunu, Jack Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Rhys Murphy, Charlie Mann, Sanchez Watt, Conor Henderson, Cedric Evina, Oguzhan Ozyakup
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