France the nearest country to Tottenham outside of the United Kingdom has provided a number of opponents for the club but we have only toured there four times. Although maybe only one of those trips warrants the title tour. France where so many Spurs players will be this summer for the Euros. In this series originally played for last summer we explore how the clubs have changed over the years.
The latest visit was in 2006. Rather than a tour it was more along the lines of a training camp in pre-season with games against local opposition. July 13th saw us beat Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 with our goals coming from Defoe (top) and McKenna.
Just 2,000 watched us use 16 players in the game at Albertville.
The next day in Evian we beat OGC Nice with the game’s only goal coming from Lee Bernard in front of 7,000 spectators. The side included another seven players who had not played the day before. Four days later we played the last game of the tour when we met Spanish side Celta Vigo and won with two goals from Defoe, with two foreign sides meeting the game drew just 750 fans.
Before we have to go back to the year 1955 and the club undertook a five game tour across the continent. The last game was a stop in Paris where we played Racing Club and it ended in a 0-0 draw.
1947 sees the only real ‘Tour de France’ by the club. It was the first tour after World War 2 and also our first game in Europe since 1929. Manager Joe Hulme’s side played the first of four games on June 13th. Just one week after the British season had finished. The latest finish ever to the season domestically.
Harold Gilberg (left) scored our goal as we lost 1-2 in the game with Olympic de Marseilles. Two days later we met Toulouse and again we lost 1-2. This time it was Charlie Rundle with our goal. Having started in the south we moved slowly homeward and on the 19th.
Olympic de Montpellier were the opponents. Len Duquemin was the scorer of the only goal. Two days later and the tour ended in St Etiene where we recorded a 2-0 victory. Rundle and Les Bennett getting the goals this day.
Below - Duquemin - here at The Lane V Bolton in 1950.
Before that we have to go way back to 1913 for our first trip, just eight years after our first overseas trip. We played just two games, both in Paris, so again, hardly best described as a tour. Little information has survived regarding these games. It is however the tour that many fans will be most aware of considering what the team acquired on the homeward trip.
The first game on 1st May was against Red Star Amical, just a week after our domestic season at home had ended. Tottenham won 2-1, Minter and Bliss scoring for Spurs. We only know five of our players that day in a game watched by 4,000 people.
The star of the day was however Pierre Chayrigues the French international goalkeeper at the time. Red Star was just sixteen years old at that time and had been founded by Jules Rimet who would be responsible for the World Cup competition.
We don’t know if Chayrigues was in the line-up three days later when the two sides met again but Spurs won 9-0. Grimsdell and Fleming both picked up hat tricks whilst Minter scored twice and our other goal was recorded by Bliss.
Some sources record this match as being against a French All-Star xi. Quite possibly the Red Star team included a number of guest players.
Above the local press report the first of those two games.
After the games Peter McWilliam signed Chayrigues for Tottenham. The story then becomes a Tottenham Mystery. He was featured in our handbook for the coming season but there is no evidence he ever played for us. Indeed some sources believe he never arrived in England.
Other tours have been explored in – Russia 1959, Around the World in 79 and The Early Tours.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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