White Hart Lanes official attendance record is set at 75,038, not bad for what was then a second division team. It was back on March 5th 1938 that that vast number congregated to set a record that won’t be equaled even when the new stadium is completed.
It was Jack Tresadern’s last season in charge and while promotion never seemed likely he had taken us to the quarter finals of the FA Cup for the third season running and the mighty Sunderland and cup holders would be the visitors.
To reach this stage we had beaten Blackburn at home 3-2 before struggling against the third division north side New Brighton. Having drawn away 0-0 on a pitch in a poor state we eased in the next round by 5-2. This was followed by a trip to Chesterfield and another draw, 2-2 before winning 2-1 in the replay.
Now the cup holders were the visitors, and they had not conceded in the competition to that point. Some of those squeezed in are reported to have queued for ten hours; some think it was even longer.
Top Image- The cockerel relaxes the night before the game and dreams of Wembley. The caption reads ;'may nothing happen today to disturb his peaceful dream.'
All pictures are match day action and doesn't the East Stand looked crowded.
The match reports tell us that ‘until ten minutes from time both defenses prevailed so emphatically that the great crowd must of anticipated a draw.’ Another states ‘keeping the play even Hotspur by their speed and sureness in dealing with the ball looked the more dangerous when approaching goal. Mapson (Sunderland goalie) twice in the course of a minute punched away the second time the ball bouncing so high that it looked like going over his head and under the bar. In the second half Hotspur came near scoring when Morrison headed for goal and Mapson just got his right hand to the ball on the line. This save may be said to have carried Sunderland to victory.’
Left - The Sunderland goal and a vein attempt to prevent the ball entering the net.
In that tightly contested game Colin Lyman had the ball in the net for Spurs only for it to be ruled out for handball. Despite Tottenham’s protests the goal was chalked off.
A fan present on the day told me ‘Yes it was handball but from where I sat it looked like the ball was over the line and had been punched into the back of the net in celebration by Jack Gibbons. There was certainly no advantage to be had from handling.’
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