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An inside-forward, Chapman played for Swindon in the Southern League around the turn of the century -his moderate career was notable only for the flamboyant yellow boots he wore. He biggest achievement as a player came in the 1905/1906 season, when he was Tottenham's top scorer in the Southern League with eleven goals.
As a manager, Chapman was one of the first visionaries of the game. He returned to Northampton as player-manager in 1907, and led them to the Southern League championship the following year. His main achievements were to follow after the war - leading Hudderfield to two consecutive league titles in 1924 and 1925, before leaving for Arsenal.
In 1924/1925, Arsenal had narrowly avoided relegation. After Chapman took over, they finished as runners-up the following year - to Huddersfield. This was the year the offside law was changed - the number of opponents necessary to keep a player onside was reduced from three to two, and Chapman changed his tactics accordingly, from the usual 2-3-5 formation, to a 3-3-4.
This was just one of many innovative moves made by Chapman - he tried to interest the League in playing floodlit matches, twenty years before the first floodlit games was played in England. He experimented with numbered shirts, years before they were introduced in 1939, and he advocated the use of white balls and all-weather pitches.
Chapman led Arsenal to FA Cup success in 1930, and league championships in 1931 and 1933. he died suddenly in January 1934 - having insisted, against doctor's advice, that he watch Arsenal's third team in a chilling wind at Guildford. Pneumonia set in, and he died three days later. Chapman's Arsenal team went on to greater success, winning the championship that season, and the season after.
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