Arsenal 3-2 Everton (partially found footage of Football League First Division match; 1936)

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Programme for the match.

Status: Partially Found

On 29th August 1936, Arsenal hosted Everton for a 1936/37 Football League First Division match. Occurring in front of 50,321 at Highbury Stadium, the encounter is historic for being the first football match to be televised in the United Kingdom.


For the 1936/37 Football League First Division, Arsenal were among teams like Manchester City and Charlton Athletic seeking to claim the title.[1] In contrast, Everton was in the bottom-half of the table, generally battling to avoid relegation.[1] Meanwhile, the BBC were conducting experiments which would lead to the opening of its high-definition Television Service on 2nd November 1936.[2][3] It decided to televise a football match for the first time in its history, selecting the upcoming Arsenal-Everton clash on 29th August 1936.[2] Unlike most pre-Second World War BBC football match broadcasts, the Arsenal-Everton game would be aired on tape delay.[4][2] In contrast, its coverage of the 1937 FA Cup Final and a game between Arsenal's senior and reserve teams that same year would be televised live.[4][2] Based on how the BBC televised the Arsenal-Arsenal Reserves game, the Arsenal-Everton match was most likely selected for this experiment because of Highbury Stadium's geographical proximity to Alexandra Palace, which is where it situated its television station.[5][2]

The match occurred on 29th August with 50,321 in attendance.[6][2] Despite goals from Everton's Alex Stevenson and captain Dixie Dean, it was the home side that claimed the victory, winning 3-2 due to goals from Eddie Hapgood, Ray Bowden, and Alex James.[6] Arsenal would finish third in the table, five points ahead of eventual champions Manchester City.[1] Meanwhile, Everton finished 17th out of 22 teams, surviving relegation to Division 2 by five points.[1] The BBC broadcast reached about 20,000 homes situated around 35 miles of Alexandra Palace.[2] It was deemed a success, prompting the BBC to conduct live broadcasts of future football matches once its Television Service was launched.[2][4][5]


Because the encounter was recorded rather than shown live, the Arsenal-Everton match footage could have been preserved. However, no footage from the BBC broadcast has publicly resurfaced, suggesting it no longer exists. Nevertheless, footage of the encounter from a British Pathé newsreel exist, though oddly claims that the match ended 5-1, despite other sources stating Arsenal won 3-2.[7][6][2]



British Pathé newsreel of the match.

See Also