As a special end of year treat I have drawn together the links between Tottenham and India. Whilst there may not be too many I hope you enjoy those that I discovered. We include the two Tottenham first teamers born in India. As well as Indian VIP’s at the Lane, the Spur who played Test cricket in this country and the one who umpired a test match. We also have those who have coached and played here and mention of the only time Tottenham have met an Indian side.
The first Indian born player takes us back to our pre-league days and our last season in the Southern League. James Ernest Pass, may not spring to mind as a Tottenham legend but he should bring a smile to the India Spurs members especially those living in Juffulpore. That’s where he was born on 6th November 1883. An inside forward ( he did play a few games on the right wing ) he joined Spurs from Stockport County in 1907 and would leave us a year later to sign for New Brompton. He spent most of the season competing for a place in the team with Bob Walker and later the great Billy Minter. He did manage 31 games for Spurs. 18 of these came in the Southern League which produced five goals and nine games (six goals) in the Western League. There was one FA Cup match and three ‘other’ fixtures. James passed away back in Stockport in 1956.
Several players who served in the Second World War were involving in games in the country and their story was told in ‘Hotspur Towers- Touring India.’ – http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-touring-india
Any of our members living in Ranikhet can celebrate as Leonard Frank Garwood was born there on 28th July 1923. The son of a serving soldier he was signed by Spurs as an amateur from Eton Bray, a works team from a printing firm in Dunstable, in 1944 as an amateur. During the war he played for Hitchin Town and Cambridge City before making his first Tottenham appearance in May 1946 in a Football League South game V Coventry. A left half he then signed professional forms but at the time Tottenham had Ron Burgess one of the best players of his generation in the first team. Len spent six years at Spurs making just two League appearances coving for Burgess when he was on international duty or injured. His debut was V Luton in 1948 and appeared again the following year V Nottingham Forest. He appeared in two ‘other’ first team games and featured in more than 200 reserve team games before being transfer listed in 1952 and joining Bedford Town. He passed away in Bedfordshire in 1979.
There was one Tottenham player who was released from his contract with the club (although we retained his registration) so that he could tour India as a cricketer. That was Bill Edrich. Bill joined Tottenham in 1934 and was sent to the Northfleet United nursery side but at the start of the following season he was brought back to White Hart Lane. He made a total of twenty appearances for Tottenham with four goals. A talented left winger he went on a cricket tour in 1937 to India and decided to make that sport his first love going on to become one of the most famous players of the time. His image later appearing on stamps and becoming a war hero. The full story of this extraordinary man will be in Hotspur Towers next week.
Another Cricketing link between India and Tottenham from our earlier days with India is Fanny Walden, Frederick Walden (2) was born in Northamptonshire and became a key member of the 1920’s team, missing the 1921 Cup Final when he was injured. The ‘little magician’ played over three hundred games for Spurs with forty six goals. Fanny won two England caps the first V Scotland in 1914 and then had to wait until 1922 for the second V Wales (although the first World War intervened). His Indian Connection came after he retired he first took up first class cricket and later still became an umpire and stood in a test match England V India.
On a coaching level Joe Kinnear, a member of the 1967 FA Cup winning team spent three months coaching India in 1984. While Des Bulpin who has coached at Tottenham also worked in India in 2011 coaching the Indian Arrows (the national Under 21 side) and later worked as part of the national setup. Peter Taylor is currently Head Coach at Kerala Blasters. Peter a former Tottenham winger was also England manager for one game.
A former Tottenham player who played here was Rohan Ricketts, playing for Dempo in 2012. His story is told in ’A Passage to India’ and “A Spur in India.’ Link - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/a-passage-to-india-rohan-ricketts and
Currently at the time of writing there are two other former Tottenham players playing in the Indian Super League.
Helder Postiga (1) is playing for the Atletico de Kolkata club and Didier Zokora, the former Ivory Coast international is at FC Pune.
November 1930 and two Indian Princes are in the UK for a meeting of the International Round Table. They ask to see something of ‘working life’ and our local MP steps in and invites them to White Hart Lane where they see as thrash Port Vale 5-0 with Ted Harper hitting four, the other goal was from Cook. The Princes were Raj Rishi Shri Sewai Maharaj Dev of Alwar and The Shri Maharaj of Jhalawar.
The club have undertaken several charity based events through the Foundation. Asked recently if their was any likelihood the club would follow a number of other leading European clubs and set up a Soccer School in the country they declined to answer the question. Of course with television bringing the PL to India in recent years there has been a boom in support and our own Official Supporters Club.
The other game I can find linking the club with India was when Tottenham’s Academy side met an AIFF team in 2014 when they took part in the Frenz Under 18 International Cup held in Malaysia with Spurs coming out on top by 3-1.
I am currently unaware of any Tottenham player having been involved in an international game with India at either full international or Olympic level. Unfortunately the only images of our two Indian born Lilywhites are in books but I be sure to let you know if I come across any. If you know of any other Tottenham / Indian connections then please let us know.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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Notes-1 - Connections Portugal.
2 - Fanny is featured in both Tottenham and the Roaring 20’s and The Forgotten Years. As well as in Connections - England 2.
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