This is the story but I couldn't find any real proof. Is this real? Or is there a way to find out?

One of the funniest matches in football:
Arsenal VS Spartak Moscow (1925)

Fog was covering the pitch (White Hart Lane), and it was too hard to see, impossible to play a match.

But the ref refused to cancel the match, because the other team came all the way from Russia.

Anyway the match was a total mess, an Arsenal player was sent off because he kept arguing with the ref. He came back in to the match later and the ref didn't notice him. Spartak made a change, but the subbed player didn't go off the pitch, the match continued this way and the ref wasn't able to see anything.

At a moment in that match, Spartak played with 15 players. Arsenal players started to feel something was wrong, but nobody was able to count the players.

And the real problem was when the Arsenal keeper got injured because his head smashed into the post while trying to save a ball. The keeper went out of the game, and a fan jumped there instead of him, and nobody noticed.

  • 2
    It seems difficult to believe it without any sources... Can you please add info on how do you discover/heard about this story?
    – Ale
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 13:57
  • 1
    I have seen it on more than one place on the internet. without any actual reliable resources. That is why I am trying to grasp the truth around this story. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


Such a match did take place, but a few of the facts as stated in the question are incorrect. The visitors were Dynamo Moscow and not Spartak as claimed in the question. And the year was 1945, after the Second World War when football was suspended. British magazine FourFourTwo have an article on the games Dynamo played in Britain, which confirms the occurrence of this match. The section on Arsenal's website covering the years 1941-45 also mentions the occurrence of this match.

Many claims in the question are false or exaggerated, but here are some of the facts from the game:

  • Arsenal’s Highbury ground had been an air-raid control centre, so the match was played at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane.

  • Arsenal did not have enough players as they were still serving in the armed forces, leading to manager George Allison getting Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen and Joe Bacuzzi to play as guests for Arsenal.

  • The game was officiated by a referee Dynamo had brought with them and he refused to abandon the game despite the heavy fog settling on the pitch.

  • It is claimed that Dynamo did have 12 players on the pitch following a substitution error.

  • Arsenal player Reg Drury was allegedly sent off but he ran into the fog and continued playing.

  • The equalizing goal was scored by Sergei Soloviev who was allegedly offside.

  • Dynamo won the game 4-3 although the result is disputed, owing to a host of alleged refereeing errors.

There are other sources that make even more bizarre claims matching those in the question, but I chose to stick to verifiable sources.

  • The fun thing about this is that even the most verifiable or sensible claims, are actually hilarious. Seems a lot like a comedy movie thing. where is the VAR when you need it Commented Feb 14 at 12:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.