This day in football history
On 11 December 1886, Arsenal, then known as Dial Square FC, played their first match, defeating Eastern Wanderers 6–0. The match was played in an open field in London’s Isle of Dogs.
Dial Square were founded earlier that year by a group of workers from the Dial Square workshop at the Royal Arsenal, located at Woolwich in southeast London. The club’s founding members included Scotsman David Danskin (who captained the side for the match against Eastern Wanderers and had also purchased the club’s first football) and Englishmen Jack Humble, Fred Beardsley, and Morris Bates.
The club played in red shirts obtained from Nottingham Forest. Both Beardsley and Bates had previously played for Forest and convinced their former club to donate the shirts.
On Christmas Day 1886, Dial Square changed their name to Royal Arsenal, then changed it again in 1891 to Woolwich Arsenal. In 1913, they moved to Highbury in north London and changed their name once more, this time dropping the “Woolwich” to be known simply as Arsenal. They have since become one of the most successful clubs in football, winning 13 top flight titles and 12 FA Cups.