As we continue to look back at The Lane and its wonderful history we remember when international football’s first visits came to the ground. We mix in a little trivia with the images of White Hart Lane taken over the years and then squeeze up please as there are a lot of people who have wanted to watch Spurs play over the years.
White Hart Lane first saw international action on September 21st 1901 when a team of touring German players playing as the German Association met an FA XI made up of amateur players.
The English won 12-0. The only Tottenham connection that day was the FA’s goalkeeper Wilf Waller. Strangely considering the backdrop to the German full international played here in 1935 this tour was unpopular in Germany because at the time they opposed Britain’s involvement in the Boar War in South Africa.
The South African born Waller had played a handful of games for us over two seasons, his last game being in a 7-0 win over Thames Ironworks (West Ham) in November 1899. He then accepted an invitation to tour Germany with the FA. Upon his return he joined Bolton and became the first South African to appear in the Football League. At the time of this game he had moved on to Southampton. That's Wilf top picture left clearing a German attack.
The same day Tottenham were playing at Reading in teh Southern League, a 1-1 draw with Tom Morris scoring for us from a penalty
The England Amateur team wasn’t formed until 1906 and their first ‘home’ game (and fourth in total) was played at White Hart Lane on 7th December 1907. The captain that day was our own Vivian Woodward who scored in the 6-1 win over Ireland in front of 10,000 or 3,000 people, depending on what you check. see image at end of article.
The national amateur side next visited WHL in April 1909. Woodward was again the captain and scored twice as Belgium were beaten 11-2, having been 7-1 up at half time, in front of 4,000.
We had to wait till November 1929 for their third and last visit when just under 5,000 watched as South Africa led at half time before England won 3-2. Two of the goals came from Frank Hartley (1).
Lane Trivia - As the nineteenth century gave way to the new one there was a team called Tottenham Thursday made up of local shopkeepers who played games on early closing day. Some of their games were played at WHL and they actually wore white.
White Hart Lane has certainly drawn the crowds over the years from that 11,000 who attended the first competitive game (2) the figure grew as the ground capacity was increased. Remembering various sources always disagree, after a lot of cross checking.
A new record was set within a month when 18,000 attended the visit of Gravesend. The record next fell for the FA Cup game with Bury (the Cup holders) in 1901 when 20,250 crammed into the ground.
Right - Still the German game, I like the English forward with his hands on his hips.
After that looking at when each ten thousand barrier was reached. It was 32,000 for Aston Villa again in the FA Cup in 1904. This was the game that was abandoned because of a pitch invasion.
The forty thousand barrier was breached on Boxing Day in 1908 when Oldham played us in Division 2, a 3-0 win. Christmas Day 1911 and there was 47,109 to see us meet Arsenal in a League game, a 5-0 win. It wasn’t until March 1920 that we reached 52,179 as we played Villa again in the FA Cup. This was actually the second of three visits by Villa that would break the record. In January 1935 Newcastle and 61,195 attended another FA Cup game. The following month and Bolton in the same competition brought in 70,347. The visit of Preston in the Cup March 1937 saw a new record 71,913. Then in March 1938 the current record of 75.038 for another Cup game this time with Sunderland.
Some more crowd records later in the year.
Below - (possibly) the only remaining images from the England V Ireland game on 1907. This was only Ireland's second game at this level. The first was a defeat by England the year before in Dublin, Woodward scored then as well.
Do check the series running on Facebook marking the Milestones along the Lane throughout the year as well as the other articles featuring White Hart Lane.
Gilpin Park, The Ring, The Edmonton End, The Marsh Lane End, The East Side,
Hotspur Towers 58, 33, 16 and 5.
Hotspur Towers 50 - The Cockerel, Hotspur 46 - Ground Sharing,
Talking Tottenham - At The Lane, White Hot Lane, Come all ye faithful
Rowels Park, One of the suggestions for the grounds name. A rowels is the little wheel on a riding Spur.
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You can my full archive at - View Full Bio
Thanks again - THFC, Andy Porter, Tony Mathews, Bob Goodwin, Northern Ireland's. Footballing Greats,
Notes – 1 – Frank was the subject of - Tottenham Mysteries – The Missing International.
2 - See Gilpin Park.
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