Early Legends - Sandy Brown
The latest in Martin Cloake’s series about some of the key figures who made the club what it is.
Alexander ‘Sandy’ Brown is the original swashbuckling centre forward in the Tottenham Hotspur story, and another famous Scot. Signed from Portsmouth in 1900, where he had been top scorer as the south coast side finished runners- up to Spurs in the Southern League in 1899, he went on to score 96 goals in 113 appearances over two years. In the 1901 FA Cup run, he scored 15 goals, netting in every round.
Reports from the time describe Brown as a forward who often looked lazy and uninterested – shades of Dimitar Berbatov perhaps? But, like Glenn Hoddle many years later, Brown did not need to work hard because others in the team did it for him. Brown’s job was to score goals, and when the chance arose he sparked into action, rarely spurning the chance of finishing the chances his talented teammates created.
He could use both feet, slam the ball home or delicately chip it over the line, and was brave enough to stick whatever part of his body was necessary into a flailing mass of boots to get the vital touch.
In the 1901 FA Cup run, he scored in every round. In the semi-final, he scored all four against West Bromwich Albion. In the final at Crystal Palace he scored a goal in each half as Spurs drew 2-2. And then, in the replay, he scored the winning goal three minutes from time as Spurs beat Sheffield United 3-1.
He played one more season at Spurs where, despite being a marked man, the man dubbed the ‘Glenbuck Goalgetter’ after establishing his reputation as a 15-year-old playing for Scottish side Glenbuck United, scored another 18 league goals.
In 1901, he returned to Portsmouth, scoring another 50 goals in two seasons before going on to ply his trade at Luton Town, Kettering and finally Ayr United.
About the Author:
Martin Cloake is a writer and editor who lives in London, UK. A Spurs season ticket holder, he has followed the team since 1970, travelling all over the UK and Europe to support them. His latest book, Sound of the crowd, is a look at changing fan culture in England with an emphasis on Spurs supporters. He is a regular contributor to Spurs fansites and podcasts. He also writes more widely on football and the football business for a variety of publications including the New Statesman.
Martin Cloake’s books about Tottenham Hotspur, including ebooks that can be downloaded directly to your computer or mobile device, can be ordered from his bookstore.
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