There are 11 days until Arsenal are back in action against Manchester City. Today’s number is a bit of a stretch because 2011 != 11 but whatever. It’s my Cannon Fodder theme, and I’ll do with it what I want! Also, it’s a cool piece of Arsenal history and part of the fabric of the club that fans who have never been to Highbury or the Emirates (and even those who have) might not know.
In 2011, the stands at the Emirates were officially named the North Bank, the East and West Stands, and the Clock End.
The Clock End is the most famous of the four stands, so named because of the large clock that sits above that end of the pitch. You may have heard the call-and-response chant “we’re the North, we’re the North, we’re the North Bank Highbury...we’re the Clock, we’re the Clock, we’re the Clock End Highbury” on television broadcasts of Arsenal matches — it’s a reference and homage to the original stands at Highbury, now mirrored at the Emirates.
The brainchild of Herbert Chapman, the clock was originally installed in the Laundry End at Highbury in 1930 (coincidentally, the first season that Arsenal won the league). It kept match time and had a siren to mark the end of a half, but after a few matches, the FA instituted a rule forbidding anything “professing to indicate the duration of play” and demanded its removal. The clock was taken down and didn’t go back up until December 1931, when it was reinstalled as a regular clock.
In 2006, as construction was finished on the Emirates, the clock was moved from Highbury and installed facing outwards from the south side of the stadium. It wasn’t until 2010 that a new clock was installed inside the stadium overlooking the pitch, and the Clock End was truly recreated at the new ground.
The more you know.