On this day in 1934, one of the most important managers in Arsenal’s history, Herbert Chapman, died of pneumonia aged 55 at his home in Hendon.

Herbert Chapman
6th September 1933: Herbert Chapman, the Arsenal manager is with Mr Foster of the International Group Of Brothers who have been instrumental in setting up soccer classes for boys. (Photo by H. F. Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Herbert Chapman had managed Arsenal since 1925, making key signings, changing the way we played football alongside the introduction of the new offside rule and, ultimately, forging a legacy that would still be remembered to this day.

He’s the reason for the hoops on our socks, so our players can see each other, numbered shirts and adding white sleeves to our red tops.

He had won the league twice with Arsenal and the FA Cup once, but more than that he set up the regime that would run Arsenal until 1953.

Chapman will not only go down in history as one of the most important influences in Arsenal’s history but football as a whole after advocating white footballs so the players can see them better.

After lobbying by the Arsenal history society a statue was erected to him at the Emirates in 2012.

Herbert Chapman’s funeral

Newspaper report from the Hartlepool Daily Mail, Wednesday, 10 January 1934


“The churchyard at Hendon was transformed into a garden of rare blooms today, when Mr. Herbert Chapman, manager of the Arsenal Football Club, was buried.

“The sombre yews, the bare trees, the grass plots, the flower beds – all were covered with flowers in wreaths, crosses, chaplets, and sheaths. Through them walked every one of the Arsenal players and leading sportsmen from all parts of the British Isles. The red and white the famous club was splashed everywhere.

“Among the flowers on the coach which preceded the hearse was floral set of goalposts and a ball.

“Six members of the Arsenal start acted as bearers, and, in addition to the leading football clubs and sporting organizations in this country, the Sporting Club France, the Swedish and Danish and Austrian clubs showed that they too deeply regretted the passing of great manager.”