The media like to make much of the fact Tottenham went a long time without winning at Liverpool, 73 years in fact. However never letting the facts get in the way of a good story they even suggest we played there 73 times, which isn’t the case. It still may not be a story to warm the cockles of the heart but at least lets put the story straight. Here are all the facts I could uncover regarding Tottenham and the Titanic.
On 16th March 1912 Tottenham went to Liverpool and won 2-1. Our goals coming from Tom Mason, a header in the fifth minute and Ernie Newman increased the lead before half-time. After the restart Liverpool pulled one back in front of 15,000 spectators.
The only matchday report I could find comes custody of the Liverpool historian and was featured in their next programme. I’ve included a few snippets, written by Red Shirt, who commented ‘the luck is not with the Livers as time and again they deserved more points than they gathered and they certainly deserved both against Spurs.’ It states that ‘Spurs were being swamped but could not locate the goal area with sufficient accuracy. The Spurs on the other hand broke away and McTavish by a superb effort took a cross from Middlemass and placed it back for Mason to head through.’ He lays the blame with the goalie for not positioning himself correctly and for Tottenham’s second ‘he never seemed to divine the destination of the shot. Thus although the general midfield play was in favour of the Reds the score board was 2-0 against them.’
He continues that ‘the second half was absolutely one sided, rarely has a team had so much play and done so little of a tangible character.’ Liverpool did score once in the 47th minute but this is not described. The failure to score again lay with the forwards ‘who only have themselves to blame, (and showed) ‘a lack of judgment in front of goal.’ He summed the home forwards up as ‘Goodness knows they had brilliant opportunities but none were smart enough to take advantage.’ Tottenham however went close ‘just before the end Tottenham broke away dangerously and Minter from six yards placed the ball over the cross-bar.’
His ‘man on the field’ was our goalkeeper Lunn, who got through an immense amount of work. He was occasionally rather rash’ and ‘but brilliantly as he played he was assisted by his opponents who persisted in putting the ball to him.’ He didn’t think the Spurs defence were very good but Brittan.
Prior to that visit Tottenham had only visited Liverpool twice, both in the league and lost one (our only defeat in the seven previous meetings) and won one, the season before, again by 2-1.
Tottenham had not had the best of seasons. Registering just eight wins in eighteen games before on Christmas Day beating Woolwich Arsenal 5-0 at home. This run had included a hat trick for Newman in the 6-2 home win over Preston. Back on 11th November we had beaten Liverpool at home 2-0 (Minter & Middlemass) in front of 23,000. After Christmas the team had a bad patch and recorded just two more wins before they went to Anfield taking seven points from nine games. Strangely some sources seem to offer different figures but I having rechecked the results these figures are correct. After that game they then won just twice more in the season. To finish 12th in the table, Liverpool were 17th.
The Titanic would sail from Southampton the following month. Since that date Tottenham’s record at Anfield isn’t quite as bad as the 73 years that is banded about, but certainly isn’t something to enjoy. Tottenham drawing on 15 of the just 43 trips to the ground until we won again, strangely on the same date in 1985. That game saw us visit Anfield second in the table and return with a deserved win. Gareth Crooks scoring the only goal. That night with the old joke about the Titanic laid to rest some wag in the dressing room announced I bet the captain of the QE2 isn’t sleeping well tonight ! (actually that is not the exact wording but it cant be used here).
1911-1912, team picture, taken New Years Day 1912. Back row, left-right, J,Over, C,Rance, J,Joyce, T,Morris, A,H,Coleman, 3rd row, standing left-right: H,Carter, M,Cadman, T,Forman, T,Collins, T,Lunn, F,Wilkes, Webster, H,Middlemiss, J,Kennedy, A,W,Turner (Secretary), T,A,Deadcock, 2nd row, Seated, left-right, W,Minter, R,Steel, J,McTavish, D,Steel (captain), R,McTavish, F,Bentley, W,Tull, J,Darnell, On ground, left-right, E,Bowering, J,Nie (Trainer) behind, E,Lightfoot, J,Curtis, A,Young, P,Humphreys, E,Newman, E,Crompton, D,Clark, T,Warren
Our scorers that day in 1912 were, Thomas Mason who was born in Portsmouth in 1886 and joined Spurs during the 1911/12 season. He would play just seven games spending most of his time in the reserves before moving on to Southend (then in the Southern League) in 1913. His debut had come in the game against Middlesbourgh the month before Titanic Day.
The other was Ernest Newman normally an inside left he was born in Birmingham in1887 and played for Walsall, Stockport and Coventry before joining us in April 1910 and making his debut V Bolton in the same month. Moving to outside left to cover for an injury to Bert Middlemass. Ernie was with Spurs for four years but also spent most of his time in our reserve side. During the 1911/12 season he had an extended run in the side after Billy Minter moved from the wing to center forward. In all he played 31 league games (this includes one game that was abandoned) and scored six times for us with another two appearances in the Cup.
That isn’t the end of our connections to the vessel, on the 29th April we played Woolwich Arsenal at Park Royal, North West London, in a game to raise funds for the Titanic Fund.
Then on 4th May the Charity Shield was played at White Hart Lane for the first time between Blackburn Rovers and QPR and all the proceeds from that match were also sent to the disaster fund.
Prog The programme for that Charity Shield game show Rover and Queenie the Rover saying ‘Come on Queenie, Bedsides the fact that one of us with have the satisfaction on annexing the Shield we shall both enjoy the pleasure of helping those who cant help themselves.’
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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