As the new season approaches we take a look at Tottenham’s involvement in the seasons traditional curtain riser, The FA Community Shield. Tottenham have won the trophy seven times in nine appearances. Plus two more victories in its predecessor.
Our most famous involvement came at the start of the 1961/62 season with our victory over a very thinly disguised England team posing as an FA XI at White Hart Lane. The Times led with the headline ‘Tottenham back in the old routine.’
Whilst sports journalist Bernard Joy wrote ‘The new deal soccer era was off to a brilliant start here at White Hart Lane, with an exciting and vastly entertaining FA Charity Shield match between Cup holders and League champions Spurs and an FA XI – virtually the England team.’
The FA XI team consisted of seven of the team that had played for England the month before and only two of their side were not full internationals. Whilst the visitors got off to a good start and took the lead. Tottenham soon took control and scored three times, Bobby Smith, a regular in the England side at the time, and Les Allen twice. Before the FA got a late goal for the game to finish 3-2. This was the sixth and last time the trophy was competed for at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham’s first appearance came in the first season after World War 1 on May 15th 1920. Tottenham had just won the Second Division trophy and played host to West Bromwich Albion the First Division Champions. The visitors winning 2-0. We did not have to wait long however to record our first win in the Shield. The following season this time as FA Cup Winners we welcomed the League Champions Burnley to White Hart Lane and goals from Bliss and Cantrell saw us win 2-0.
Left - Bobby Smith scores in 1961
In 1974 the trophy move to Wembley. Our first appearance there was in 1981 when we drew with Aston Villa 2-2 . Mark Falco scored both our goals. Then in 1982 we lost to Liverpool 0-1, only our second defeat and the first since 1920.
The Charity Shield (or the Community Shield as it became) was first played for in 1908 and the game was originally between the winners of the Football League and the Southern League. Tottenham’s first involvement actually came in 1912 when we hosted the game between Blackburn Rovers and QPR. The following year the format was changed to the English Professionals V the Amateurs and Tottenham’s Fanny Walden became the first Tottenham player to appear, playing right wing for the Pros. The Daily Mirror described his performance as he ‘outplayed the defence on his side of the field.” Fanny was involved in three of the goals as the professionals won 7-2. The skipper of the amateur side that day was Spurs legend Vivian Woodward who by then had moved to Chelsea.
The 1925 game saw the competition return to White Hart Lane in a Monday afternoon in October. That day the Amateurs beat their Professional counterparts by six goals to one. The professionals that day included in their side Cyril Poynton and Jack Elkes (who hit the post). Both players having recently returned from the three month FA tour to Australia (see
Right - Mark Falco right, with the Shield. Alongside Villa's Peter Withe who had indulged in some early shirt swopping.
Top- 1967 Dave Mackay and Manchester United Dennis Law.
From 1930 onwards the game was generally played by the league champions against the cup winners. That changed in the 1950 game which was played on a Wednesday in September. The FA having sent two teams on tour that summer. One to the World Cup in Brazil and the other to Canada (2) The two teams then met for the Charity Shield. Alf Ramsey and Eddie Baily played for the World Cup side and Baily scored the third goal in a 4-2 win.
The following year,1951, saw the match return to White Hart Lane and Tottenham beat Newcastle 2-1, Murphy and Bennett getting our goals in front of 27,660.
Our 1967 appearance saw one of the most famous goals in the competitions history. Jimmy Robertson and Frank Saul both scored (as they had done in the FA Cup Final a few months earlier) Our second goal that day came when Pat Jennings with another long downfield punt from the edge of the area (Not a goal kick as some resources claim) fell between the onrushing Alan Gilzean and the out-coming United keeper, Alex Stepney, the ball bounced over the keepers head and into the net. The game ended in a 3-3 draw and the trophy was shared by both sides.
Left - Players appearing in the Charity Shield receive a 'mini shield' instead of a medal. This one is from the 1961 game.
One of the most satisfying performances for the Shield came in 1962. Tottenham having just missed out on a second double traveled to the League Champions, Ipswich Town. Greaves and Smith gave us a 2-0 lead at half time. Greaves again and White made it four before Town scored one. Medwin rounded things off. 5-1 to The Spurs as we retained the trophy. The Times led with the headline “Tottenham give Ipswich a rude awakening.”
1991 and a disappointing 0-0 with Arsenal saw us yet again share the trophy. In what to date is our last appearance. That took us to seven triumphs in the Shield, only four teams have recorded more. Two years after this stalemate the FA introduced penalty shootouts to avoid the trophy being shared again. In 2002 the title was changed to the Community Shield after concerns raised by the Charities Commission. The competition had become the seasons curtain raiser as we know it today in 1959
Prior to the Charity Shield there was another competition The Sheriff of London Shield. This was first played for in 1898 between leading amateur and professional sides. Sometimes referred to as the Dewar Shield after the Whiskey magnet who donated the trophy. It was last competed for in 1907 after the Football Association fell out with the leading amateur clubs and this dispute in turn led to the formation of the Amateur FA being formed.
Right - Tottenham on the attack at Ipswich, 1962.
Tottenham won the Sheriff of London Shield in 1902 beating the Corinthians 5-2. In a game played at White Hart Lane in front of 9,000 people. John Cameron striking a hat trick with Brown and Kirwan scoring one each. The following year the game was again held at WHL between Corinthians and Sunderland.
The competition was revived twice for short periods and Tottenham won it again in1934. Once again by beating the Corinthians club 7-4 again at White Hart Lane this time George Hunt struck a hat trick, O’Callaghan and W. Evans hit two each, in front of just 5,117 supporters.
On our next visit to the archive we will remember some of the opening day games.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
Notes -1 - Talking Tottenham 62
2 - Flying Down to Rio 29.
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