Woolwich. The place where it all began. A man named David Danskin is credited as the mastermind behind the creation of the Arsenal, or ‘Dial Square’ as they were first called back in 1886; for their first game at least. October 1886 was the month when Danskin and a few other founding members spread the word that a new football team was in the making.
15 men came forward in response, all of whom were prepared to donate a fairly large sum of money to the cause, a sixpence each. This money was used to get the club up and running, as you may already be aware. After all, this is how the famous story goes. Danskin added an extra three shillings himself and the club bought a football.
They played their first game in December 1886, but had no name, no kit, or home ground. For this game they were to be called Dial Square, after one of their factories. They crossed the Thames to play Eastern Wanderers and won 6-0. On Christmas Day 1886, they sat in the Royal Oak Pub, located next to Woolwich Arsenal Station and the founders elected a new name, combining the pub they sat in and their workplace. Royal Arsenal. And it would be their name until 1891 when Woolwich Arsenal was formally adopted.
This was to be the start of one of the greatest football teams to ever grace the world, but the 15 men who began the journey had little idea or even intention of this being the case. They wanted a means of exercise, a hobby, a social activity. Football was becoming increasingly popular during this period and they were just another newly-started team.
Only in their wildest dreams could Arsenal reach the heights that it has today.