Long before I was old enough to make my first pilgrimage to White Hart Lane I was lucky enough to regularly receive Tottenham programmes and handbooks which became my bedtime reading. So was born my love of programmes and the wonderful tales they contained.
Then as I got older family members passed on their own highly prized collections. With Tottenham and England games dating back to the 1940’s.
These have now been passed on to fourth and fifth generations of Spurs fans. A slight shame as they would of made my researching articles much easier.
The earliest Tottenham programme I could trace was not even for a football game. It was for an “Annual Athletic Meeting” held in the grounds of Bruce Castle and is dated Jun 13th 1891. The organizer of the event is given as Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (established 1880). Phil Sour explains in the clubs Official History that this relates to the formation of the Hotspur Cricket Club, which of course would evolve into a football team in 1882.
The front cover would often carry Cocky Cockerel. He was sometimes described as the “Tottenham Bantam” a reference to cockerels and the boxing weight and showed Cocky (image 5) ready for a fight. Some of these would not be seen as 'politically correct' in the current era.
Tottenham being one of the clubs that were the prime movers in introducing numbered shirts.
That 1921 programme also gives details how supporters can reserve a seat by sending a postal order to the club secretary - please note no reservations can be made by telephone.
The top image is for the Southampton game in September 1946. Hope you enjoy the matchday entertainment.
Different seasons in the 1960’s would see different designs sometime seasons every programme would carry the same photo. One year an ariel view of the ground, the Cup winning 1967 season was a team picture of the visitors. Slightly boring to be honest. It should be about Tottenham. The size varied slightly during these years but tended to revert to C5. Since then its grown to 60 and now 100 pages. A one time it became the match day magazine but old fashioned as I am I delighted it’s a programme again.
The programmes business has grown over the years from match day reminders, (and presents for noisy nephews) into a major business. So I was surprised when researching this article to see that no official programme was printed for several of our games away in European competition. Those at Rapid Bucharest (UEFA Cup) 1971, Barcelona (European Cup Winners Cup) 1982, SC Braga (UEFA Cup) 1984 and Besiktas (UEFA Cup) 2006.
In a future Hotspur Towers will return to programmes and the Tottenham pirates!
Play Up The Spurs.
Notes - 1- Hotspur Towers 7, 24/2/14
Thanks to THFC, Tottenham, Summerfield, Goalsandwickets,
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