Highbury : The Story of Arsenal in N5

4.29 (47 ratings by Goodreads)
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It was Sir Henry Norris, the original, well-connected property-dealing chairman, who bulldozed through a great deal of opposition to relocate Woolwich Arsenal from their muddy riverside home, north to Islington. Having also secured Arsenal's 'promotion' to the First Division as football restarted after the First World War, Norris eventually left under a cloud following match-fixing allegations on the final day of the 1927-28 season (despite a surprising 0-2 home defeat to Portsmouth, Charlie Buchan and his team-mates were delighted to receive 'new fangled refrigerators' from the chairman; Spurs were relegated as a result). The antics of Norris, and previously unpublished fans' recollections of the first game at Highbury (an unconvincing 2-1 victory over Leicester Fosse) and of the emerging championship-winning side of Herbert Chapman - one fit, at last, to perform beneath the art-deco splendour of the East Stand - are some of the earliest memories captured in Highbury: the story of Arsenal in N5. After several years of sitting in Highbury's local pubs and cafes with a Dictaphone, Jon Spurling has pooled hours of interviews with fans, programme sellers, local publicans and even those who dug the foundations of the Laundry End and later cleared rubbish from its terraces, to meticulously construct the biography of the ground and chart the ups and downs of one of England's greatest league clubs. Spurling has also spoken to numerous players: the late greats of yesteryear (Ted Drake, George Male and Reg Lewis); as well as legends of a more recent vintage - from Bob Wilson, Charlie George and Malcolm MacDonald to Anders Limpar and various legends of the Wenger era, including Edu and Patrick Vieira. In the season that Arsenal finally move to Ashburton Grove, Jon Spurling has produced the definitive account of the club's ninety-three years at Highbury.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 160 x 240 x 33mm | 710g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 075287344X
  • 9780752873442
  • 1,355,003

Review quote

'Spurling is a diligent researcher and this is local sporting history at its best.' -- Andrew Baker DAILY TELEGRAPH 'The second of at least three homages to Highbury, but the others will do well to match this one, not just for the depth of research, but for its wit and vibrancy... A terrific read and a worthy tribute.' FOUR FOUR TWO 'Some would argue that a building cannot have a soul: I'd beg to differ and would suggest that Spurling has found it.' ARSENAL WORLDshow more

About Jon Spurling

Jon Spurling is a regular contributor to FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes magazines. He is the author of three previous books on Arsenal: two histories of the club in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Rebels for the Cause: The Alternative History of Arsenal (Mainstream 2003).show more

Rating details

47 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 47% (22)
4 38% (18)
3 13% (6)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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