On this day in 1968 Arsenal faced League Champions Man Utd at home – and lost 2-0. It was the 100th League match between the two clubs, and of those 100 Arsenal won 37 and lost 46.
Here’s the programme from that day. Although very thin by modern standards, all the standard features are pretty much in place: club opinion, action shots from recent matches, tables, fixtures and results, and profiles of the opposition. The manager and captain aren’t yet deemed worthy of having their views included – opinion is left to the ‘Voice of Arsenal’.
This was one of the very first Arsenal programmes to feature full colour pictures – which I can’t show you, because the centre four pages were long ago ripped out and stuck to a 1960s bedroom wall. The programme price was doubled from the usual 6d (2½p) to one shilling (5p) as a result.
The club details on page two show that Peter Hill-Wood was already a Board member, with his father Denis as Chairman.
There were action shots from the League Cup semi-final away leg at Huddersfield, won 3-1 by Arsenal to set up a Wembley appearance against Leeds in the final. We were also due to play Leeds in the FA Cup sixth round, having beaten Swansea Town (as they were then) in the fifth round. There is a superb picture of Peter Storey and Jim Furnell combining to keep out a Swansea shot.
The size of the Man Utd players is interesting: Stiles and Fitzpatrick both 5 foot 6, Dunne 5 foot 6¾, Burns 5 foot 8, Best 5 foot 8½, Law and Aston 5 foot 9½ – they were a team of midgets! No mention of Bobby Charlton, who must have been injured.
There is mention of the 3,000 strong Man Utd supporters’ club in London – of course! That’s where all their fans come from, isn’t it? (Cue abuse from any Manc stumbling across this post.)
Arsenal’s attendances for the season are interesting: home attendances against minor northern teams are 20,000-odd, London derbies against West Ham and Chelsea are in the 40-thousands, while the Spurs game drew 62,836.