Arsenal and United existed before Fergie and Wenger!

All of the Ball

Robin Van Persie will be the headline act in the build up to this weekends clash between Manchester United and his former team Arsenal. However his presence will only be a passing scene in a century old story.

The rivalry between both clubs seems to have intensified over the last 20 years. The launch of the Premier League, TV money, increased media coverage and analysis together with the desire for success of two of the great managers in the English game.

However the story starts long before Messrs Ferguson and Wenger ever graced mankind.

It starts in a field along Bank Street, Manchester lodged between a chemical factory and a railway line on October 13th 1894. Newton Heath and Woolwich Arsenal played out a 3-3 draw in front of 4000 spectators. Robert Donaldson and Peter Mortimer each netted twice in this old second division match to start a tradition Van…

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