In part 2 we discover that Tottenham have played several Olympic teams over the years and we look back at the last Olympic's in London, but before that we remember Tottenham’s first two Gold’s and a Silver medal in the Games. We find an amazing penalty story as Tottenham’s contribution to the Gold Medal winning sides of 1908 and 1912 came under the leadership both times of Vivian Woodward who captained the Great Britain side.
The London Olympics of 1908 saw the first official football competition; the previous two games had held trial events (6). Just eight teams entered, including a France B side. Hungary and Bohemia both withdrew before the event for political reasons.
The competition kicked off on 19th October with all the games being played at the new White City Stadium (1). Day 2 saw the Great Britain side, which was the England Amateur side (6), beat Sweden 12-1 in front of an estimated 2,000.
Left - GB 1908- Woodward is center front row. Like the Union Jack badge.
Vivian Woodward scored the second and seventh goals. The first goal came in the 15th minute and GB were 7-0 up at half time. The Swedes goal came in the 65th. GB then racked up another five late on. Two days later they played Holland in the semi final and won 4-0, with a crowd of 6,000 watching a much tougher tie. The other semi saw Denmark beat France 17-1. France was so surprised by the size of the defeat they withdrew from the Bronze Medal game and Sweden stepped into take their place, That Medal being won by Holland 2-0.
Then on the 24th Great Britain beat Denmark in the final in front of 8,000 by 2-0. The Danes unusually for that time tried to man mark Woodward who was the inspiration leader and it was not until the twentieth minute GB took the lead. Woodward increased the lead after 65 minutes with a magnificent shot.
The last part of the game saw both sides produce their best football but the score stayed the same and Woodward secured the Gold medal. The only other player in the GB squad with a Spurs connection I could find was Kenneth Hunt who was a guest player for us in World War One.
Right - rare action pic of GB's first goal.
There was however a Spurs link to the Danish side. Their coach was one Charlie Williams. Charlie described as an unorthodox goalkeeper and played for several sides before joining Spurs in 1902. He played 51 games for Spurs before moving to Norwich in 1905. He became the coach for the Danish Olympic side and later coached in France, Holland and Brazil.
Left - Woodward, here in his England shirt.
Meanwhile in N17, with the competition being held during Tottenham’s first season in the Football League we played just one game that week, on the day of the final, when we drew at Gossip 1-1.
Vivian Woodward had played three games for Tottenham before the Olympics scoring three times. The week after the final he returned to the Spurs side and finished the season with 18 goals from 27 games as we won promotion, (3).
The 1912 event in Sweden was held in June. Woodward again captained the Great Britain side, (again it was the England Amateur side).
Right - GB V Denmark 1912.
and Below- V Hungary.
I’ve read that the winner’s certificate states it was England and not GB. At that time it was a strictly Amateur team not only could the players have never have received any remuneration for playing they could not be paid for coaching in any sport or from selling (including pawning) any prize they may have won.
Woodward was the oldest competitor in the competition at 33 years and by this time he had left Tottenham and was playing for Chelsea. Woodward carried the Union Jack at the Games Opening Ceremony.
Thirteen teams entered but again two withdrew as amazingly the medals table was the same as four years earlier. GB was given a bye in the first round and then again met Hungary who started well and even had a penalty saved. GB took a two goal lead before Woodward added the third despite GB having a man leave the field injured.
The second half saw Woodward score again as GB won 7-0. Various sources differ on who scored the other goals but Harold Walden of Bradford City, has been credited with them all.
right - GB 1912.
India Spurs readers may like know he was born in Umballa in 1887 and at 14 became a drummer boy in the British Army.
In the semi final GB rested a number of players for the ‘easy’ game V Finland and GB were two up in ten minutes. Then they were awarded a penalty which the GB team thought was harsh and when the kick was taken Woodward placed the ball wide of the posts. In the second half they scored twice more, Woodward hitting the last.
In the final they again beat Denmark 4-2. The Danes being reduced to ten men after an injury after half an hour when a player fell badly after a heading duel with Woodward. Thus Great Britain won their second Gold Medal. Alongside the medals presented by the King the GB teams were also presented with a ‘Challenge Trophy’ which had been donated in 1908 by the English FA.
left the programme for GB V Finland.
Meanwhile in N17, Tottenham had finished 12th in Division One, (4).
The London games four years ago saw four Spurs men involved. Sandro was in the Brazilian side (Silver medal). Danny Rose In GB strip at top) and Stephen Caulker were in the GB side. The Gold medal was won by Giovanni Dos Santos (below) with Mexico.
Team GB started with a 1-1 with Senegal and then beat the UAE 3-1 and Uruguay 1-0 to top their group. Then in the quarter final they drew with South Korea and went out in a penalty shootout. Caulker played in all four games, Rose three (twice coming off the bench).
Brazil topped their group with Sandro playing in all six of their games, scoring once V New Zealand before losing to Mexico in the final 1-2.
Giovanni was involved in five games, scoring twice V Gabon in the group stage, one was a penalty. In the quarter final he scored in extra time V Senegal. The one game he missed was the final when he remained on the bench.
Over the years Tottenham have played a number of sides from other countries classed as their Olympic teams including The Russian side on their tour in 1959 (5). As far back as 1912 we met the ‘Olympic Players’ when we toured Austro-Hungary empire and played them in Budapest twice and again in Vienna. Then in 1928 we played the Dutch Olympic side in Amsterdam.
I believe there are several other Olympic links to be Spurs but when I went in search of confirmation I was unsuccessful. If you know of any Spurs / Olympic connections not mentioned in this series please let us know.
Coming soon – There are several tales about Olympic football that are not Spurs related but I think you might enjoy as we relax before the new season. These will appear next under the title ‘Olympic Tales’.
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Notes -1 – The White City was also used for the World Cup 1966 and has since been demolished. One unusual point about the stadium was the running track was longer than normal and only three laps measured a mile rather than the usual four.
3 – Two Seasons - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-two-seasons
4 – Five seasons - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-five-seasons
5 – This side has been labeled by various names, but at that time all full time sportsmen in Russia at the time were ‘amateurs.’ See – http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-russia-1959
6- See Olympic tales published in a couple of days.
Thanks – The FA, FIFA, IOC, THFC, England on Line, England Stats, Norman Jacobs, British Olympic Organisation, the Belgium Olympic Committee.
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