The rock at the heart of Tottenham's defence when they won the FA Cup in 1901.
The most famous story about Sandy Tait is (the minor points differ in different sources) when he was in the army, on parade the inspecting officer, stopped, looked very closely into Sandy’s face and then turned to the junior officer with him and said ‘Good grief, for a moment I thought that was the great Sandy Tait.’
Alexander Gilchrist Tait, one of 13 children was born in the same Scottish village as his team mate from the 1901 Cup winning side, Sandy Brown, in 1873. Working down the mines before he started his footballing career he would play for several clubs including Rangers and Motherwell before heading south to Preston. He moved to Spurs for the start of the 1899-00 season which saw Spurs win the Southern League.
Sandy made his debut at Millwall on the opening day remaining an ever present in the title winning side as well as playing in other competitions. The following season he played in every round as Spurs recorded their first FA Cup trophy winning season. In the third round at Reading he appeared to punch the ball away off the goal line, preventing a winner, something seen by everyone in the ground except the referee. In 1902 he played in the side that won the Dewar Shield (Charity Shield forerunner).
Sandy earned the nickname ‘Terrible Tait’ due to his fierce tackling, always hard but fair. Off the pitch he was described as a gentle quiet man and was often called the best left back in the country.
The Daily Mirror described him as a model professional.
He played in an international trial game for Scotland but never won a full cap. It is widely believed that he suffered from being ‘an Anglo.’ At that time the Scottish selectors would rarely pick players who earned their living south of the boarder.
He became club captain and applied for the manager’s post when John Cameron left the club. He later coached players, turned out as linesman for some of our friendly games and wrote for the press.
Pictured at his daughters wedding ?1920.
In 1908 he moved to become player manger at Leyton Orient just as Spurs entered the Football League.
He played over 400 games for Spurs the majority competitive games and struck 12 goals.
He managed a second half hat trick in the 9-6 game V the German Association in 1901. During World War One he served in France not far from his son and another story is that one Christmas the son walked twenty miles to see his father. Sandy passed away in 1949.
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