Yesterday in 'Two Seasons' we reviewed those first two campaigns when Tottenham first entered the Football League and gained promotion to the top flight at the first attempt.
Today we examine how the club fared over the next five years up until the outbreak of World War One. How the club struggled to establish itself in the top flight and recall some memorable games and events.
There is also a match fixing scandal that did not involve Spurs but they would be the victims.
Today its “Ten things you don’t know about… 1911 – 1915.”
Top Image - Billy Minter scorer of our first hat trick in the First Division.
1 – Having secured 15th place in the table after flirting with relegation the previous season Tottenham would again finish 15th in 1910/11. The following year they rose to 12th their best finish in this period. The next two years it was 17th. Then in 1914/15 a team that was already finding it hard to impose itself on the division was hit harder than a number of other teams when players enlisted in the army. However it still took a match fixing scandal between Liverpool and Manchester United to send Tottenham to the bottom of the table.
2 – The FA has proven the Good Friday match in 1915 between Liverpool and Manchester was fixed so that United would win and thus avoid relegation. The players were seen in the same public house before the game and some placed bets on the result. At one point in the game United were awarded a penalty and this was struck according to the match reports closer to the corner flag than the goal. Then when Liverpool captain hit the United bar he was jousted by his own team mates. After the game the FA cleared the two clubs but banned for life seven of the players involved.
3 – Our first top flight double was achieved on January 7th 1911 when we beat Bristol City away 3-2 with a Billy Minter hat trick. Following on from a 2-0 win at home earlier in the season. It was also our first Division One hat-trick.
4 – In games against that team from south of the river, our first league win came in the first meeting in the top flight over Woolwich Arsenal on 3rd December 1910 as we won 3-1 at home, our goals coming from Darnell, Minter and Humphries. The following Christmas Day we celebrated by beating them 5-0 at home. Then on December 13th 1912 came our first league win away south of the river by 3-0. A draw later in the season at home saw them finish bottom of the table and relegated (1). In November 1913 we beat them in the semi-final of the London Charity Cup. We also played them in April 1912 to raise funds for the victims of the Titantic disaster and in 1914 for the Army Relief Fund.
5 – The London FA Charity Cup is noteworthy as we won the trophy in 1910/11. This despite in the first round being fined 10 pounds when we did not field a complete team in the game with Clapton Orient a game we won 1-0 (2). Then in 1912/13 we beat Bromley in the first round and were drawn against Crystal Palace in the next round. We won the game 2-0 but a replay was ordered as Cantrell (who scored) was not properly registered at the time. The replay was a 3-3 affair. A second replay away saw us lose. Then in 1914 we were beaten finalists.
6 – Having fallen in the FA Cup at the Third Round for the two previous seasons, remember we entered in the first round. The next five years did not see us get past the second round. In January 1913 we played Blackpool in the first round and we drew 1-1 at home. Blackpool. At this time they were drawing very poor crowds and “sold” Spurs the rights to host the replay. Thus the following week we met again at WHL and won 6-1. The 1914 campaign saw us draw at Leicester Fosse 5-5 before we won the replay 2-0. To add insult to injury immediately after the game we signed Tommy Clay from them in their dressing room.
7 – Tommy Lunn our goalkeeper applied in early 1913 to become the license holder for the Chequers public house in the High rd. The club warned him if he went ahead with this he would be suspended. He did, he was and never played for Spurs again. Lunn who joined us in 1909 made 93 appearances for the team.
8 – At the start of the 1912 /13 season we had 3 points from 12 games. Before we won on November 23rd when we beat Newcastle 1-0 at home with a Jimmy Cantrell goal. Jimmy had made his debut the previous month. The team did give the fans a cheerful Christmas with a draw on the 25th at Manchester City and a 4-0 win at home in the reverse fixture the following day, Cantrell hitting a hat trick. Cantrell finished top scorer with 12, Billy Minter top scorer for the last three years hit 11. The following year Jimmy managed 16 goals. In February 1915 Jimmy scored four times away at Middlesbourgh as the team lost 5-7.
9 – That dreadful start in 1912/13 saw the Directors finally appoint a manager and Peter McWilliam was appointed Manager on Boxing Day 1912. He set about slowly building the team that achieved so much after the war (3). A number of the players were already at the club. Rance had joined in 1910, Grimsdell and Bliss at the end of the 1911/12 season. Fanny Walden made his debut in April 1913 and Jimmy Banks and McDonald the following season.
10 – Having toured Europe twice and then South America in 1909 Tottenham did not tour in 1910. They did tour Europe again each year from 1911 to 1914. After the war they would not tour again until 1925.
Tomorrow "The Lost Years" the last part of the series and what happened to Tottenham during the war.
Keith Harrison. ht61
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
Notes -1 – Yes, Arsenal claim they have never been relegated, this is simply untrue. They were relegated but then changed their name dropping the Woolwich, and shortly afterwards moved to North London. Thus “technically” Arsenal has never been relegated. So if they were relegated again we might expect them to change their name, again.
2 - This game could qualify as a Tottenham mystery as historian Bob Goodwin recalls the story whilst Phil Sour and Julian Holland’s histories fail to mention it . Possibly due to it being a minor competition.
3 – see Tottenham and the Roaring 20’s
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