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The Arsenal Football Club is one of the most famous and well known throughout the world. Love them or hate them, regardless of what club you are a fan of the name Arsenal will draw some kind of reaction. Arsenal was founded in 1886 and joined the Football League in 1893. The early years for Arsenal did not find much success and much of what has made them famous did not come until much later in the team’s history.
Before taking a look at all of the success that Arsenal has had it is important to examine some of the things that shape and make the team what it is. The club was founded by a group of Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory workers under the name Dial Square in 1886. It is from here the team nickname of Gunners comes from. Soon after their first matches were completed the team adopted the name Royal Arsenal and would continue to play in friendlies and local cups for the next couple of years. In 1891 the club turned professional and again changed their name to Woolwich Arsenal and then joined the Football League two years later. The team would then move to Highbury in 1913 and would play in the Second Division. Shortly after the First World War the team was voted into the First Division and they have remained their ever since.
For almost their entire history the team has played with bright shirts with white sleeves and white shorts. This red was not the team’s first colours as the original founders played in a shirt that was redcurrant worn with blue socks. The team adopted a bright red shirt shortly after this however to pay homage to a charitable donation from Nottingham Forest. The kit was updated in 1933 when Hebert Chapman added white sleeves and brightened the red colour a bit. These colours have remained and been worn every since 1933 except for two. For the away kit Arsenal wears traditionally yellow and blue, although sometimes this is different as well. Currently to capture more of the jersey market the away kits are frequently rotated and updated.
The honours for Arsenal are many and frequent. They have been decorated domestically and internationally many times. They have won the First or Premier Division 13 times and been runners up 8 times. In addition to this they have captured 10 FA Cups and appeared in the final 17 times. As far as international competition goes, they have won the UEFA Champions League once, the Cup Winners’ Cup once, the Inter Cities Fairs Cup once, and been runners up for the UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup. Their 13 League Championships is third highest in English football behind Liverpool and Manchester United. This is even more remarkable when you consider they did not win the First Division until 1930-31.
In addition to the trophies, their consistent play has made them one of the most dependable teams in all of football. They have finished lower then fourteenth in the league only seven times and have had the highest average position from 1900-1999 at 8.5. This and the fact that since they joined the top flight league they have never been relegated make Arsenal one of, if not the, premier teams in the entire world.
Much of what has made this possible are the fans of the team. Calling themselves Gooners, Arsenal has one of the largest and most loyal fan bases of any sports club in the world. In 2007-08 Arsenal had the second highest attendance with and average of 60,070 fans per match. Remarkable when you consider how many matches were played and who the competition for some of those matches was. The team with the loyal support of their fans will continue to be one of the most dominant in all of football.