Stanley was born in Hackney but his family moved to Kent and he started playing football at school locally before returning to London and later joining Spurs in 1892 at just 20 years of age. At which time he was already considered one of the finest amateur players in the country.
He would lead the FA XI on their first overseas trip and help make Spurs one of the finest amateur teams in the south on England.
He turned down a number of opportunities to turn professional, both from Spurs and teams in the north. One writer claiming at the time if he were to join one of the northern professional clubs he would become one of the leading players in the land but he held a strict view on remaining a professional.
Playing at a time when the records are not complete we believe his debut came in January 1892 V Westminster. He would play over a hundred games for Spurs at a time when the majority of the fixtures were friendlies.
He did play 33 competitive games including the first game in the Amateur Cup (where he scored) and the first match in the FA Cup. He also appeared in our first venture into league competition, the Southern Alliance competition. We know he scored at least eight times for Spurs.
Described as being tall and strong he played in the half back line and could play an accurate pass as well as having a fierce shot he was a tireless worker.
In December 1895 despite being the team’s captain he declined to attend the meeting where the club voted to become professional.
He remained with the club until the end of the season but then moved to Clapton.
pictured here with Clapton in 1897.
He however had played a part in Spurs become one of the leading amateur clubs in London.
He regularly played for both London and Middlesex. Briggs played in an international trial game and in 1899 was the skipper when the FA sent a team on its first overseas trip to Germany. England did not tour Europe for another nine years. A tour covered in more detail in the forthcoming Connections-Germany series. It is believed he later became the manager of several hotels and would emigrate to Canada.
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