A forthcoming pre-season fixture we missed: the real north London derby!

By Tony Attwood

Photo copyright (c) #DBeechPhotography

We are, as you will of course know, “Untold Arsenal” and not “Totally comprehensive Arsenal” and so we do miss things.

And we’ve missed a pre-season friendly.  And not just any old friendly.   But a friendly billed as the “Real North London Derby”.

It is to be played on Friday, 30 July, kick off at 7.30 and is against Hendon.   And here’s a bit of news – the Hendon Football Club Supporters Association are offering supporters the opportunity to join their mailing list and to receive a complimentary copy of the PDF programme for the friendly with the Arsenal XI via email.

The mailing list offers (and I quote) “supporters the opportunity to stay in touch with news around the Supporters Association including the release of new merchandise.   To join, simply click here.”    Happy to pass that on.

Now this fixture has got the football world a-talking, not least the wonderful “Football Talk” website which gives us this information

A complete record of competitive matches played between the two teams…

Arsenal (0) Hendon (0)
Results Total % Results Total %
Arsenal 0 0 Hendon 0 0
Hendon 0 0 Arsenal 0 0
Draws 0 0 Draws 0 0
Goals Total Av.pg Goals Total Av.pg
Arsenal nan Hendon nan
Hendon nan Arsenal nan

Now being the guy who runs the AISA Arsenal History Society with which you will undoubtedly be familiar I can tell you that this is not quite right.

There was actually a game involving Hendon at Highbury on 17 March 1951 although Arsenal were not playing.  This one was Pegasus v Hendon in the semi-final of the Amateur Cup.

But more to the point Arsenal did play Hendon in the 1951/2 season in the London Challenge Cup, but I can’t find a record of the score, although I think we lost (see below).

However the Hendon website does give some helpful information about the club, from which I quote directly…

“Hendon are now into their eleventh season under the ownership of its supporters, following their takeover of the club in the summer of 2010. The 2020/1 season sees the club begin their third campaign in the Southern League having transferred over in 2018 after 55 years continuous membership of the Isthmian League

“The new season sees Lee Allinson begin his first full season in charge having been appointed in November 2019 with the club rooted in the bottom 3 of the Southern League South Premier Division. In September 2020 he gained his first piece of silverware lifting the 2019/20 London Senior Cup courtesy of a 1-0 win over Brentford ‘B’. Allinson replaced Jimmy Gray who had worked marvels keeping the club at Step 3 in 2018/9 after replacing the long-serving Gary McCann, who left after 13 and a half years, and having to build a squad from scratch.”

And more to the point, there is a bit of crowing going on, on the site, which I can’t hold against them in any way.  Again, I quote directly.

  • In the early 1950s, Hendon became the first team in Britain to win a floodlit cup tie when they won a London Challenge Cup match against Arsenal at Highbury.
  • Hendon have won all of their last three visits to Highbury – probably a unique record. The other two matches came in the 1964/65 season, when Arsenal were beaten 4-3 in a London Challenge Cup tie and Finchley were downed 4-1 in a FA Amateur Cup semi-final.

So there we are.  It’s not all ticket – so we can all go along, and this is a team that never loses against us.

And as a final word, many thanks to #DBeechPhotography for permission to use the picture.

Meanwhile in case you missed it…

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