Aston Villa 1–7 Arsenal (14 December 1935)

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Aston Villa v. Arsenal
Event1935–36 First Division
Date14 December 1935
VenueVilla Park, Birmingham

The 1935–36 season First Division match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park took place on 14 December 1935. Arsenal won the fixture 7–1 with all of their seven goals scored by striker Ted Drake, a record haul for a top flight fixture, and a record for any division at the time. The top-flight record still stands today.


Arsenal crest at the time

Aston Villa and Arsenal enjoyed a great rivalry at the time and there had been several memorable contests between the sides since 1930. Aston Villa sat bottom of the league but had just invested some £24,000 in a number of new players and were expected to improve considerably as a result.[1][2] Arsenal were missing star player Alex James and striker Ted Drake had a heavily strapped knee.[3]


Aston Villa1–7Arsenal
Palethorpe Goal Drake (7) Goal
Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 60,891


Despite playing six internationals, Aston Villa were losing 3–0 at half time after a Drake hat-trick. He had a double hat-trick by the hour, with Villa then scoring their only goal through Jack Palethorpe.[4] Drake then had an effort hit the crossbar and bounce downwards though the goal was disallowed with officials ruling the ball had not crossed the line.[5] However, Drake still secured the goal-scoring record in the final minute of the game.[6] In total, Drake had just nine shots, all on target with one saved.[7]


Drake's seven goals equalled the total Jimmy Ross was alleged to have scored in a game for Preston North End against Stoke City in 1888,[8] though it was not until years later it was established that Ross had only scored four.[3] Strangely the record for all divisions was broken just 12 days after Drake's tally by Bunny Bell of Tranmere Rovers in the Football League Third Division North.[6]


Aston Villa went on to be relegated for the first time in their history at the end of the season. Arsenal failed to win a fourth consecutive league title but went on to lift the FA Cup with Drake scoring the only goal of the game.[9]


  1. ^ Andrew Ward (1999). Football's Strangest Matches: Extraordinary But True Stories from Over a Century of Football. Robson. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-86105-292-6.
  2. ^ "FOOTBALL SENSATION". Evening Post. Wellington: Fairfax Media. 16 December 1935. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b Scott Murray; Rowan Walker (2008). Day of the Match: A History of Football in 365 Days. Pan Macmillan. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-7522-2678-1.
  4. ^ Harding, John (14 December 2010). "Gordon Hodgson: GMF remembers one of the original Kings of the Kop". Give Me Football. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Premiership Profile – Aston Villa". 10 July 2008. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b "GGM 38: Ted Drake scores seven in one game". Arsenal F.C. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Seven deadly sins of football: Greed – Ted Drake to Steven Gerrard Tower". The Guardian. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Drake's Seven Goals". The Times (47248). London: Times Newspapers Limited. 16 December 1935. p. 5.
  9. ^ "1936.htm". Archived from the original on 21 May 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2012.

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