1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Welcome to BehindTheGoal!

We are a community of football supporters.

If you are already a registered member then you can login here

If you are new to the site then why not join up? It will only take a couple of minutes to register, by doing so all adverts will be removed from the site. You can register here or you can use your Facebook or Twitter account.

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino
Nick Name:
Spurs or Lilywhites
White Hart Lane
  • On Tuesday 5 September 1882, the Hotspur Football Club was formed by grammar-school boys from the Bible class at All Hallows Church. They were also members of Hotspur Cricket Club. It is possible that the name Hotspur was associated with Sir Henry Percy, who was "Harry Hotspur" of Shakespeare's Henry IV, part 1, and who lived locally during the 14th century and whose descendants owned land in the neighbourhood. In 1884 the club was renamed Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to avoid any confusion with an already established team called Hotspur FC.

    Originally, Spurs played in navy-blue shirts. The club colours then varied from light blue and white halved jerseys, inspired by watching Blackburn Rovers win the F.A cup at the Kennington Oval in 1884 to red shirts and blue shorts, through chocolate brown and old gold, and then finally, in the 1899–00 season, to white shirts and navy blue shorts, as a tribute to Preston North End, the most successful team of the time.

    In 1888 Tottenham moved their home fixtures from the Tottenham Marshes to Northumberland Park, where the club was able to charge for spectator admission. An attempt to join an aborted Southern League, instigated by Royal Arsenal (later Arsenal), failed in 1892, when they were the only club of the 23 applicants to receive no votes. They turned professional just before 1895 and were then admitted to the Southern League and attracted crowds nearing 15,000. Charles Roberts became chairman in 1898 and stayed in post until 1943.
    In 1899 Spurs made their final ground move to a former market garden in nearby High Road, Tottenham. In time, the ground became known as White Hart Lane, a local thoroughfare. Tottenham were the considerable beneficiaries of the escalating unionisation of the northern professional game in the 1890s. Both John Cameron and Jack Bell, formerly Everton players, came to play for Tottenham as a result of the conflict caused by their organisation of the Association Footballers' Union, a forerunner of the Professional Footballers' Association. As a direct result of this, in 1900, Tottenham won the Southern League title, followed the next year by winning the FA Cup – becoming the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League.

    Tottenham Hotspur captain Arthur Grimsdell displays the cup to fans on the Tottenham High Road after Spurs' victory in the 1921 final, the first win by a London-based team for 20 years.

    Tottenham won election to the Second Division of the Football League for the 1908–09 season, immediately winning promotion as runners-up to the First Division. Their record between 1910–1911 and the Great War was poor and when football was suspended at the end of the 1914–15 season, Tottenham were bottom of the league.

    When football resumed in 1919, the First Division was expanded from 20 to 22 teams. The Football League extended one of the additional places to 19th-place Chelsea (who would have been relegated with Spurs for the 1915–1916 season) and the other to Arsenal. This promotion - Arsenal had finished only sixth in Division 2 the previous season - was controversial, and cemented a bitter rivalry (begun six years earlier, with Arsenal's relocation to Tottenham's hinterland) that continues to this day. Tottenham were Division Two Champions in 1919–20 and in the following year, on 23 April 1921, Spurs went all the way to their second FA Cup Final victory beating Wolves 1–0 at Stamford Bridge.

    After finishing second to Liverpool in the League in 1922, Spurs experienced a steady decline, culminating in 1928's relegation. Spurs were unable to advance beyond the quarter finals of the FA Cup, getting that far three years running 1935–1938. On 3 September 1939, as Neville Chamberlain declared war, Spurs were seventh in the Second Division. League Football was abandoned for the "duration".

    Following the war, football was an extremely popular interest attracting thousands of supporters each weekend. By 1949, Arthur Rowe was manager at the club and developed the "push and run" tactical style of play. This involved quickly laying the ball off to a team-mate and running past the marking tackler to collect the return pass. It proved an effective way to move the ball at pace with players' positions and responsibility being totally fluid. Rising to the top of the Second Division, by 1949-50 they were champions. The next year, Tottenham secured their first ever league title, winning the First Division Championship in 1951. Playing heroes at the time included Alf Ramsey, Ronnie Burgess, Ted Ditchburn, Len Duquemin, Sonny Walters and Bill Nicholson.

    The years following this period of success saw a relative decline, as age, injuries and other teams adapting to Spurs' revolutionary style of play meant a struggle for the once-dominant champions. They finished second in 1951–52, grabbing second on goal average as a young Manchester United team beat them to the title. A bad winter, and the terrible state of the White Hart Lane pitch, even by the standards of the day, contributed to this. In 1952–53, Spurs finished tenth, as age began to wear down the "Push and Run" team. 1954 was notable for the signing of one of Spurs' most celebrated players, Danny Blanchflower, for a record £30,000. Also in that year, Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup by Blackpool.

    By this stage, Arthur Rowe had begun to suffer from ill health. He resigned in 1955, with mid-table finishes and boardroom dissent, along with Rowe's health, contributing to his departure. Long time club servant Jimmy Anderson took over. Spurs were nearly relegated at the end of the 1955–56 season. They finished two points above the drop zone. However, the next season saw the club experience a revival, finishing second, though eight points behind the winners, the "Busby Babes" of Manchester United.

    Tottenham fared well in the following season, finishing third, but ill health now meant Anderson had to quit, being replaced by Bill Nicholson. Nicholson finished eighteenth in the league in his first season in charge, an indifferent start to Tottenham Hotspur's most successful manager's tenure.

    Source: Tottenham Hotspur
  • Location:
    Tottenham Hotspur Football Club Bill Nicholson Way 748 High Road Tottenham London N17 0AP

Share this Item