Hopes And Dreams At Arsenal On This Day, 28th November 1936

Stories such as these were not unusual in the press half a century or more ago. Schoolboy dreams, hopes and aspirations. Sometimes, the stories work out either at Arsenal or as the fates have it, elsewhere, as the Len Shackleton story from 1938 shows.

This one is sadly one of those which appears not to have. The dreams were dashed for Louis Delaney although some of that might be down to the outbreak of World War 2. He made two wartime league appearances for the club in 1944 in the 1 – 4 defeat against Brentford and in 1946 in a 1 – 2 defeat against Leicester City.

Delaney left the club without making any other first team appearances, signing for Crystal Palace in 1949. He fared a little better making three appearances in his year at Selhurst Park before signing for Bedford Town in 1950 who were managed by former Arsenal striker, Ronnie Rooke. The pair would have know each other from their time at Highbury, as well as signings Johnny Holland and Frank Boulton who were also at Bedford.

Beyond his season in the heart of England, little is immediately available on what happened to Delaney. Did he carry on playing elsewhere? I wonder how he felt about his years at Arsenal? Success, failure, grateful at having been given the chance to live the dream? I hope so, his family made the sacrifices to move south of the border to facilitate joining Arsenal. I hope they were proud of their son / sibling.

2 thoughts on “Hopes And Dreams At Arsenal On This Day, 28th November 1936

  1. Louis played his first game for Arsenal on 8 January 1938 in a reserve team friendly against Margate. He played alongside Laurie Scott, Ernie Collett, Mal Griffiths and Reg Lewis in that game.

    He helped the reserves win the Football Combination title in 1946-47. 13 years he was at Arsenal and just the two wartime appearances for the first team. It’s hard to work out who was the more loyal – the player or the club.

    He died at the relatively young age of 47 in 1968 in Barnet.

    • Cheers Andy, for filling in a bit more detail. I guess that 6 of the 13 were war years and I wonder if an element existed in football that having served their country, players who were still young enough deserved some loyalty?

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