In 1886, a group of workers at the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory formed a team called Dial Square, renaming themselves to Royal Arsenal shortly afterwards. The team turned professional in 1891 and changed its name again to Woolwich Arsenal, eventually dropping the prefix completely in 1913 when they moved to Highbury.
The Gunners joined the Second Division in 1893 and were promoted in 1904. Success eluded them until the arrival of Herbert Chapman in 1925 when they won the league five times between 1930 and 1938 and the FA Cup twice. Chapman, who died in 1934, was also behind the renaming of the nearest London Underground station to Arsenal.
Arsenal had to wait until the 1970s for their next period of success. But their first double in 1971 was followed by several near-misses - finishing second in 1972, and losing three FA Cup finals and the 1980 European Cup Winners' Cup final.
It was not until the return of ex-player George Graham as manager that the club rose to greatness again - winning six trophies during his nine-year reign. That included League Cup success in 1987 and 1993, the FA Cup in 1993, the league title in 1989 and 1991 and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1994. Arsenal hold the enviable record of the most consecutive seasons in the top flight - 80 at present.