Arsenal’s First European Campaign Ends On This Day 18th December 1963

Arsenal had eliminated Staevnet in the previous round, earning the right to face the Belgian side, RFC Liege. The first leg at Highbury six weeks previously ended in a one-all draw. This defeat ended Billy Wright’s interest in the competition although the manager lost none of his enthusiasm for European competition as a result of being involved in what at the time, was a curiously organised competition.

It would take another decade for Uefa to finally eradicate all of the daft rules which beset the Inter-City Fairs Cup, not least of which was the single club rule. This meant that only one club per city could participate in any one season, Arsenal fell foul of this rule in 1973-74 when Tottenham’s victory in the previous season’s League Cup meant Arsenal were not eligible to take part.

Despite that, the competition provided Arsenal with their first European trophy so it can’t have been all bad, can it?

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