Alexander (Sandy) Brown was only with Spurs two seasons but in that period he wrote himself a special place in our club’s history and there is little doubt that the achievements of himself and his team mates helped change the clubs destiny.
Sandy was born in the same Scottish mining village as his Cup winning teammate Sandy Tait, he first played in his local side and earned the nickname the ‘Glenbuck Goalgetter.’
He turned professional at sixteen and soon after moved south to Preston and after a couple more years he joined Portsmouth under former Spurs boss Frank Brettell.
There he finished as their top scorer as they were second behind Spurs in the Southern League. When Tom Pratt returned to Preston John Cameron knew he was the man he wanted at Spurs and signed him. Brown was never pretty to watch and considered by some to be lazy but he knew his job was to score goals and that’s what he did with stylish players around him providing chances Sandy could finish off with either foot or head. Sandy sat at the center of a Scottish ‘inside three’ alongside Cameron and Copeland. His goals could come from 'belters' or delicate chips and nobody could accuse him of for being brave as he was willing to dive into the mix if it meant getting the ball over the line. The Portsmouth Evening News said of him after the semi-final tie in 1901 “Brown may not be an ideal center but he has a keen eye to the main chance and discriminates nicely as to when to score with the head and when with the foot and this very pronounced unselfishness was one of the features of Tottenham’s display.”
Score he did, that first season at Spurs with 33 goals , 12 in 20 of the Southern League and 6 in 10 in the western league.
It is of course the FA cup where he established himself scoring fifteen in the season, (a record that still stands) and netted in every round (another record).
Left - As seen by the Lancashire Evening News, April 1901.
That run saw him score against his old club Preston and then a hat trick in the replay. This was the first Spur hat trick in the competition ‘proper’ although we had one in the qualifying round previously. He then scored both as we beat the Cup holders Bury, two more V Reading. In the semi final V West Bromwich he scored all four goals and added two more in the final as that was drawn. He finished by scoring the last of our three in the Final replay.
After his Cup exploits the following season he was chosen to play in an international trial game and then the match with England that followed. This was the game where the stand collapsed and the match was downgraded from a full international.
Sandy would win one Scottish cap two years later in his Middlesborough days.
That January he also scored twice V a German Association side in the first game Spurs played international opposition at White Hart Lane.
In that second season he added eighteen more in 26 games the Southern League as we finished runners up and seven in six in the London League. He featured in both games V Hearts for the unofficial World Championship title and was in the side that beat The Corinthians as we won the Dewar Shield (the forerunner of the Charity Shield). In his time at Spurs he played a total of 113 games with 96 goals.
At the end of 1902 season he returned to Portsmouth and a year later on to Middlesborough. He did return to WHL to play one last game in Spurs colours when he was in the 1901 Cup winning side against a 'team of the south' in a benefit game for trainer Sam Mountford.
Later he played for Luton, where he became a landlord and ended his playing days at Kettering. Some reports claim he later emigrated and died in New Zealand.
Despite his short stay at Spurs he and his team mates by wining the FA Cup certainly changed Tottenham’s destiny.
At this time neither Sandy nor any of his colleagues from that great achievement have been recognised by induction into the Tottenham Hall of Fame.
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