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Arsenal's Hattrick Hero: On this day, 29th August

The 29th August 1987 marked Alan Smith’s first of 115 goals in an Arsenal shirt scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Portsmouth at Highbury. Smith joined George Graham’s Arsenal from Leicester City in 1987 for a fee of £800,000 having spent five years with the Foxes scoring 84 goals in 217 appearances.

The rangy striker had struggled to find the back of the net in his first three appearances for the Gunners but when his first arrived it was followed by another two.

Despite the impressive performance against Pompey Smith would struggle during his few months with the club before turning his form around to become the club’s top goal scorer a feat he achieved in each of his first four seasons. After scoring just 11 league goals in his first season Smith followed that up by scoring 22 league goals the following season including scoring the opening goal in the title decider against Liverpool at Anfield in the 1988/89 campaign.

Smith may have struggled during his ealry days at Highbury but by the time he retired had written his name in Arsenal folklore

In total the 6ft 3" striker featured 347 times for Arsenal scoring 115 helping guide George Graham's Arsenal to two League titles, following up the 1988/89 success by winning the title again in 1991.

He was also part of the Arsenal sides that won the Charity Shield in 1991, FA Cup and League Cup double team of 1992/93 and scored the goal that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1993/94 against Italian side Parma.

Having been part of the set-up at Highbury for eight years Smith was forced into retirement in July 1995, he last goal coming in a 2-1 defeat of Manchester City at Maine Road in December 1994.

Anderson celebrates his 58th birthday today

Also on this day:

1925 – The Herbert Chapman era got underway against rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners lost the match 1-0, a game that also marked Charlie Buchan’s debut.

1931 – After winning the league title the previous season Arsenal lost the opening game of their defence to West Bromwich Albion. Arsenal would finish second-place losing out on the title to Everton by two points.

1932 – The Times newspaper announced that Charlie Jones had been named as Tom Baker’s successor as club captain. However, after being ruled out injured in October Alex James took over as captain keeping the role until his retirement in the summer of 1937.

1938 – Arsenal beat Rangers 1-0 in a friendly match, a friendly that has frequently been played after originally being set up as ‘the game of Champions’. The most recent tie between the sides was in the 2009 Emirates Cup, Arsenal won 3-0.

1949 – Goalkeeper Jack Kelsey joined the club from Winch Wen, he went on to play over 300 times for Arsenal and 41 times for Wales.

1951 – Laurie Scott made his final appearance for the club having signed in 1937 and playing for the club before and after World War Two. During his time with the Gunners Scott won the league title in 1948 and the FA Cup 1950.

1956 – Viv Anderson, a member of the 1987 League Cup winning squad and the first black player to earn a cap at senior level for England was born.

1964 – Johnny MacLeod made his 101st, and subsequently last appearance in an Arsenal shirt before moving to Aston Villa.

1970 – Arsenal suffered their first defeat, a 2-1 reverse, to Chelsea in the club's successful double winning season.

1978 – Rotherham defeated Arsenal 3-1 in a League Cup tie, Frank Stapleton got the Gunners only goal.

2013 – Mathieu Flamini returned to Arsenal on a free transfer after spending five years away with AC Milan.

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