This article recalls the first encounters between the two countries which all have Spurs connections and a few brief links, late night partying and a German flying ace.
The first international game played at White Hart Lane occurred when the FA invited a team from Germany to visit England for two games in the autumn of 1901.
It was on 21st September and England ran out 12-0 victors (5-0 at half time) in front of a crowd of just 5,252, the game being played in very bad weather and the Spurs were playing at Reading. The Times commented that the visitors were given a hearty welcome and noted ‘that in this day of leagues it was a luxury to see a game played in such a splendid spirit of sportsmanship.' A number of pictures and the story of this game were given previously (1).
Top - The Germans take the field.
This was an unofficial game as the English amateur team would not be formed for another five years. The two sides met again four days later in Manchester. England made eleven changes and won 10-0.
They were however the second German side to visit WHL. Spurs had played a German Association XI the previous January, see part 4.
This tour was a return encounter as two years previously in the autumn of 1899 and the FA had sent a party to play four games in Germany which at that time had no governing body for the game.
Left - The FA XI on tour 1899.
The team was made up of professionals and amateurs. Captain on this tour was Stanley Briggs. Who at that time was with Clapton Orient but had been a main stay of the Spurs side (2). Also in the party was Wilfred Waller.
The first two games were in Berlin and England won the first game 13-2 they then played again the next morning and won 10-2. This game kicked off at 10am so that the touring party could catch the 1pm train to Austria. Rumour has it half the English players were invited to a drinking party after the first game and managed only a couple of hours sleep. The game in Austria was won 8-0 before returning to Germany (Karlsruhle) to win again 7-0. The start of this game was delayed when it was discovered there wasn’t a ball and a cyclist was sent to fetch one. England would not play a full international outside the British Isles until June 1908. As these were unofficial internationals no caps were presented but each player was given a commemorative badge.
Right - A 1899 German poster about the first two games played in Berlin.
To side step for a moment, Wilfred (Wilf) Waller, who also played in the game at WHL mentioned above was an amateur and born in South Africa. He played for us in 1899 before going on the tour and when he returned joined Bolton and became the first South African to play in the Football League.
The flyer - In July 1914 Spurs signed the German, Fred Streckfuss who was an aviator and then working at the German embassy in London. We have no record of him playing for Spurs and he appears to have returned to Germany by the end of the year.
The two countries met again at White Hart Lane at amateur level in November 1955 (pic left) with England losing to West Germany 2-3, having been two up.
The sides of course met in 1935 in the full international described in ‘The German Game’ (3) of which the Observer noted ‘no recent sporting event has been treated with such high seriousness in Germany”
In part 7 – some more meetings including Tottenham’s only trip behind the Iron Curtain to East German.
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The rest of this series can be found @
Notes 1- Rowles Park - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-rowles-park
2 – Stanley Briggs - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-stanley-briggs
3 – The German Game -http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-german-game
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