Arsenal Football Club were founded in 1896 as a workers team from Woolwich and were elected to the second division of the Football League in 1893. Their first shirts comprised of red long sleeved shirts with white knickerbockers and black socks. They were promoted to the first division in 1904 but never really finished above mid table before the war despite a couple of good FA Cup semi final performances. The club were close to bankrupcy in 1910 but were brought out by Sir Henry Norris before moving to Highbury to play their football. In 1913, the team were relegated to the second division where they finished in 6th before the First World War broke out. In 1919, Arsenal were controversially elected back up to the first division ahead of Tottenham which fuelled their long standing rivalry. Ever since then, the club has stayed in the top flight and therefore hold the record for the longest unbroken stretch in the top flight.
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The team were not originally successful until the appointment of Herbert Chapman in 1925. Chapman modernised the club’s practices and reaped immediate rewards. In 1926, the club produced their best ever finish of 2nd place and reached their first FA Cup final in 1927 where they were defeated by Cardiff. Three years later the club won their first FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in 1930. This was to be the start of a vastly successful period of history for Arsenal as League titles followed in 1931, 1933, and 1934. Despite Herbert Chapman suddenly dying in 1934, the club’s success continued as George Allison took over as manager and led the club to a hat-trick of league titles in 1935. A second FA Cup was secured in 1935 with a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United and a 5th league title was wrapped up in 1938 before the Second World War brought a halt to domestic football.
After a disappointing decade in the 1960’s, Arsenal started the 70’s with their first European trophy as the club beat Ajax 3-1 on aggregate in the Inter Fairs Cup. This catapulted Arsenal to only the second double winning season in English history in 1971 with a League and FA Cup double. In 1972, the team made their debut in the European Cup but were defeated in the quarter finals to Johan Cruyff inspired Ajax. Nevertheless, the next few years saw a slight decline until Terry Neill was appointed in 1976. The club reached three FA Cup finals under Neill but were only successful in one of them with a 3-2 win over Manchester United in 1979. The first half of the 1980’s saw a decline in fortunes before George Graham took over in 1986. Graham won league titles in 1989 and 1991 before an FA Cup victory in 1993 and the Cup Winners Cup in 1994 with a 1-0 victory over Parma.