In 1948 a group of Spurs fans grouped together and identified the benefits of forming a a supporters club for the Tottenham Hotspur fans. Their first step was to hand out leaflets around White Hart Lane before and after one of the home games. This gave details of a meeting that evening that was held in British Legion hall at High Cross, Tottenham.
It was decided the ‘club’ should be called the Spurs Supporters Club (SSC). Tottenham Hotspur being copyrighted. From humble beginnings the club set up a small kiosk outside the White Hart Lane public house which stood near the gates to the ground. From here they conducted their business and arranged travel to away games. Later on another kiosk was added next to the “office” and this sold rosettes, hats and scarves to help raise funds. The committee would usually meet in the Hotspur cafe and before long they found a base in a church hall opposite the ground, also now disappeared. Like the club itself the supporters changed their home several times in the early days. The next was the Whitehall Tavern and later by 1956 they had moved to the White Hart public house.
1963 was a landmark year as they obtained the lease for Warmington House which stands next to the ground. It is this building that conservationists wanted to use to prevent the planned building of a new stadium even if it has fallen into a state of some disrepair in more recent times.
When the Supporters moved in they had to undertake a number of maintenance and decorating jobs. A license to sell alcohol was obtained and a bar and basic catering facilities were provided. From this base the club arranged rail and coach trips to games. This new home saw an increase of members which rose to over 10,000. Just outside the doors to Warmington House they repositioned the old ‘office kiosk.'
This became the first stop on many a trip to White Hart Lane for boys of my generation, proudly wearing our SSC badges, as they sold programmes from any games you missed and the previous weeks away match.
THFC supported the club with tickets, especially for major games such as Cup finals when they would be balloted between the members. The Club organized trips to European matches with the help of various travel companies. Its first trip had been in October 1961 when a small holiday company called Riviera Holidays helped to organize a one day air trip to Rotterdam for the European Cup match with Feyenoord. The trip itself cost the princely sum of £8.10s and this included air travel to Rotterdam and all coach transfers.
One story that did not receive the attention maybe it should of done at the time was that following the 1974 UEFA Cup Final. The game between Tottenham and Feynoord in Rotterdam that became infamous for the fact that crowd trouble caused the banning of Tottenham from European competition for a period of 8 years. The Spurs Supporters Club decided to offer an olive branch to the supporters of Feyenoord and invited them to attend a Spurs match at White Hart Lane and to visit the club house afterwards. The invitation was accepted and some 50 members of Feyenoord Supporters Club came over to England. The Club obtained match tickets for them and organized a wine and cheese party afterwards. And what an evening that was! The wine flowed like water and the two sets of supporters entertained each other with football songs from their respective countries.
The SSC also produced its own monthly magazine, The Lilywhite. In later days this was incorporated into the THFC magazine ‘Team’. The first vice-president of the SSC was former player Willie Hall (1)
Each year a Spurs Supporters Club Player of the Year dance was held and the Club also entered a Spurs Football Queen for the competition run by the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs, of which the Club was a member. The Player of the Year dances continued right up until the late 1990’s. By this time a lot of football matches were being televised and it was difficult to pick a date when the players would be guaranteed to attend.
The picture right is the entrance from the High Road into Warmington House.
strange I don't remember the cockerel being that way round but it was a longtime ago. To the left would stand the 'programme stall.' This image was passed to me sometime ago when I mentioned the article was being planned. I believe it originated on 'the club Bill made.'
Other social evenings organized over the years included annual Dinner and Dance held at Bruce Grove Ballroom and Sunday evening film shows with full length feature films of the day held in Warmington House. As the club continued to grow a sports section was formed and several Sunday league teams entered local leagues.
In 1969 the Club celebrated its 21st Birthday with a party at the Lyceum Ballroom attended by 1,500 members. The Club also played host to supporters’ quiz nights with other supporters clubs taking part.
Then in 1989 after 26 years the Supporters Club vacated Warmington House due to the rising cost of rent, lighting and heating and moved its HQ into the Chapel Snooker Club premises in White Hart Lane where they remained for the next four years. Once again the club moved it s base of operations several times. The T.L & R Club in Tottenham High Road provided hospitality, as did the Haringey Irish Centre in Pretoria Road opposite White Hart Lane Rail Station.
Left - "The Lilywhite" from January 1964. The logo top left is the design used for the clubs badges.
On the 11th April 1999 Spurs Supporters Club held it 50th Anniversary dance in the Irish Centre. Some 200 supporters attended the dance. Bill Nicholson and his wife were guests of honour and ex players attending included Dave Mackay, Martin Chivers and Len Duquemin. Representatives from Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and the Mayor of Haringey were also present.
Dave Mackay, who had travelled down from Nottingham especially for the occasion, presented Bill Nicholson with two crystal glass decanters and a silver salver suitably inscribed. A buffet consisting of a selection of meats, whole salmon, chicken and other delicacies was provided and members received a souvenir key ring on production of their membership card.
Warmington House is now a Grade 11 listed building and is one of the four listed buildings included in the redevelopment. These buildings are shown in the image of the redevelopment right.
For those of you not sure of the geography. Those four builders lit up at the bottom right of the stadium are from the right, The White Hart public house and the Red House
which currently stand on either side of Bill Nicholson Way. Then it's the Tottenham and Edmonton Dispensary and on the right with the lower level in white is Warmington House.
That top image - The Spurs supporter is from 1949 and is at the Arsenal away game that year.
The Spurs Supporters Club was proud of the fact that it had remained independent of THFC during its lifetime. When THFC set up their own Members Club numbers started to decline as the members had the monopoly on both match tickets and travel. Eventually the SSC closed its doors. For over 50 years the Spurs Supporters Club was there for its members, providing match tickets and travel. It also helped many fans feel connected to the club.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume reserved for THFC matters)
Notes - 1- Hotspur Towers – Willie Hall.
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