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4 Comments

  • The Arsenal comment needs just a tiny degree of clarification. You say that Woolwich Arsenal “had to drop the ‘Woolwich’ when they moved to Highbury,” but in effect no one told them they had to at all. Indeed when, three years before Arsenal moved from south of the river to north, Millwall travelled in the other direction, but didn’t change their name, so now play in an area that has no relationship to their name.

    For the first year in north London, the club was officially called “Woolwich Arsenal FC” and the club made a lot of it being the continuation of the Woolwich club in its advertising. They changed the club name to “The Arsenal” at the end of their first season in the north of London (in 1914). Much of their early story is told in the novel “Making the Arsenal” which highlights one year in their history.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Tony. I must admit, I hadn’t realised that they retained the name ‘Woolwich’ for a year after they moved north.

  • Both of my sons were born in Peterborough, so in principle ought to be aficionados of ‘The Posh’. Have always wondered how Peterborough United got this nickname, so inspired by your piece Stephen, I checked it out. Apparently coined in 1921 and tied up with a collaboration between Peterborough and Fletton United, when the then manager of Fletton United was reportedly looking for ‘posh players for a posh new team’. Hilariously, I do recall the nickname was the subject of a potential lawsuit a few years back, when Peterborough United, bless ’em, started to to do a bit better and their nickname went a bit more mainstream – Victoria Beckham claimed that she wanted exclusive rights to it and had had it first, or some nonsense…

  • Thanks Kerry. Interesting one, the Posh. They don’t fit into any of the colour/locality/trades categories. And of course we could open a whole nother can of worms if we look at the origin of the word ‘posh’ in its meaning of high class. The folk etymology is that it stems from people travelling to India and back in the days of Empire. Those who were rich enough to get the first class cabins could stipulate that they wanted ‘Port Out, Starboard Home’ thus ensuring that they did not suffer the worst of the heat. But there’s no real evidence for that etymology.