On this day in 1887, Royal Arsenal played their first game after changing their name from Dial Square to Royal Arsenal.
Founded in 1886 as Dial Square, the team were named after the workshop the men were employed in within the Royal Arsenal armaments factory in Woolwich. Described as the ‘heart’ of the factory, the team changed their name to encompass the whole factory just one month later.
Playing at home on Plumstead Common, Royal Arsenal kicked-off life under their new name with a 6-1 win over Eirth (they scored six without reply in their first ever match and 11 in their third).
Arsenal changed their name to Woolwich Arsenal in 1893 (Woolwich Arsenal Football and Athletic Company Limited to be precise), finally dropping Woolwich to become ‘The Arsenal’ in 1914.
It is widely held that Herbert Chapman dropped the ‘The’ so Arsenal would be first alphabetically but it seems as if this story might not be true.