When Alex Steel made his debut on this day, January 29th in 1910 he did something nobody else has done before or since. He lined up with his two brothers, Danny and Bobby, in the Tottenham team in a competitive game.
The only match to feature three brothers was played at White Hart Lane against Bradford City during the clubs first season in Division One.
Sadly there was no fairy tale ending as the game ended 0-0.
Picture left - Bobby
The Steel brothers came from Newmilns in Ayrshire, Alex was the middle brother and was born in July 1886. He had played for Ayr United and Manchester City before being the last of the brothers to arrive at White Hart Lane in August 1908. Alex played as a half back alongside Danny who was center half.
This was the only appearance for Alex who stayed with Spurs till 1911 before moving back to Scotland and Kilmarnock. He later returned south to Southend and then Gillingham in November 1919 when he was later joined by Bobby a month later.
The eldest of the three Danny, was two years older than Alex and joined Spurs in May 1906. He was a reserve in his early days playing just 12 games that first season. Described as a commanding player with a strong tackle he was a calm and collected player who made the center half position his own.
During Tottenham’s first four seasons in the Football League he and Bobby were main stays of the side. He was selected to play in the international trial game Anglo Scots V Home Scots three times, 1908, 1910 and 1912 although he never won a cap for his country.
At the end of 1912 he moved to Third Lanark and later returned to London to Clapton Orient. He scored three goals in his 213 appearances for Tottenham.
Left Bobby on the left and on the right Danny
Bobby the youngest, was born in 1888 and joined us from Greenock Morton (although he had been playing for Port Glasgow) in May 1908 two years after Daniel and a few months before Alex. He made his debut in Tottenham’s first ever Football League game on September 1st 1908 in the victory over Wolves, Danny played in the same game. Bobby was an inside forward and also played in one international trial, 1909, one of the years Danny wasn't playing. Sadly Bobby also never won international honours. In 1913-14 he moved back to play at center half and then when World War One started he would feature in a number of different positions before joining the army. He returned to Tottenham after the war but was soon released. Bobby registered 62 goals for us in 316 appearances.
At first he became a referee but soon joined Alex at Gillingham. He went on to captain the England Bowls team.
The only usable photo I can find of Alex is this team picture from 1910-11. As you will see Alex is front row on the left..
After that Bradford game it wasn’t until March 1990 that Tottenham featured two brothers in a League match when John and Andy Polston played in the game at Crystal Palace. By coincidence John was a center half playing 27 goals with one goal while Andy came on as a substitute for his only appearance at Spurs.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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Thanks to -Bob Goodwin (stats) THFC and Logan Holmes.
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