In our latest part of our celebration of White Hart Lane in its last season in its current format. Two former players share with us their memories of the ground.
While a former chairman recalls how the ground was developed during those early years.
There are some more attendance records that were set at The Lane and a little more trivia. As well as a few more images from across the years featuring White Hart Lane.
Earlier in the season we recorded the higher gates at the Lane. Today we have space to spread out as we note slightly lower attendances. The smallest attendance for a league game came the week before Christmas in 1914 as just 5,000 saw the Sunderland game.
Grasshoppers from Zurich is the smallest European gate at 18,105 in 1973. The League Cup sees Barnsley hold that record in 1986 with 12,299 and the FA Cup managed only 11.600 when Reading came in 1901. The ‘best’ is the Super Screen cup game (1) with Everton in 1986 which dragged in just 7,548.
What did Jimmy Greaves think of WHL ‘‘Playing at WHL was always worth a goal start. The roar of the crowd at your back was like a gale force wind and it made you raise your game and go that extra mile.”
Left - 1988
Lane Trivia - From 1908 to 1972 WHL was one of the few grounds in the country not to have advertising hoardings around the pitch.
We previously looked at how WHL was slowly developed, if we return to The Romance of Football (2) it recalls before the 1901 -02 season commended there were ‘considerable ground improvements’. That the 1902-3 season brought ‘further ground and stand alterations were carried out and the whole began to take on an appearance resembling the present enclosure. ‘Then as League Football became a reality ‘considerable ground improvements were made in anticipation of increased gates.’
One of these developments was to bring in the architect Archibald Leitch. He was asked to design the two tiered West Stand. Much later he would add the East Stand and we will look back at Leitch and his legacy later in the season.
Right - Everton come to The Lane in 1912 & The Paxton (Edmonton) End.
The West Stand was ready in time for the first game at the Lane in the Football League First Division. The visitors were Manchester United and the game would end in a 2-2 draw (4).
Leitch’s West Stand seated 3,500 and it had a Paddock in front where a further 6,000 could stand.
At the end of that season saw an addition to the Mock Tudor gable on the West Stand. A bronze cockerel, story of which can be found at (3).
left - Paxton Road on the 2nd May 1934.
1909 also saw the then East Stand fully covered and two years later concrete terracing replaced the wooden tiers (see below).
This saw the capacity now increased to 50,000.
The book (romance) further draws on the recollections of the Chairman talking about the 1910-11 season saw –further ground improvements such as ferro-concrete terracing – distributing passages etc. which was designed said Mr. Roberts to ‘save us from our everlasting bête noire of insufficient accommodation and the continued expense on woodwork. When we look back at it seems astonishing that all this has been done out of revenue from the first, for we have no wealthy men behind us, as most of the large clubs luckily had at some point or other. But then I do not suppose any other club had such men to work as my colleagues who for years have spent endless time summer and winter.’
Lane Trivia – When Roger Morgan moved to Spurs from QPR his first impressions of WHL were “terrific, I was breathless, WHL was vast and he was full of praise for the amenities, an indoor gymnasium and the weight training. It was like moving to Buckingham Palace. ”
The top image - I have to thank Darren Attwood for this brilliant picture. For those who don't know the geography. The curling road on the left is Northumberland Park. Halfway round that bend would be the 'Park' ground. Where it meets Park Lane (Marsh Lane) on the right at the top of the page is the level crossing leading to the old Marshes ground.
Above right - The 1960's.
Previous articles featuring White Hart Lane. include - Rowels Park, The High Street Ground, Gilpin Park, The Ring, The Edmonton End, The Marsh Lane End, The East Side, Hotspur Towers 58, 33, 16 and 5. Hotspur Towers 50 - The Cockerel,
Hotspur 46 - Ground Sharing, Talking Tottenham - At The Lane, White Hot Lane, Come All Ye Faithful
They can be found at http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog
Next month we recall White Hart Lane, Under Fire.
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Notes – 1 - Super screen cup - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-football-league-super-cup
2 – The Romance of Football. Published by The Weekly Herald in 1921.
3 – The Cockerel - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-50-the-cockerel
4 - This story and press reports of this game can be found @ Hotspur Towers - Manchester United 1909. Which will appear later this week.
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