Jack Tresadern took over as Spurs manager on July 1st 1935 following Percy Smiths departure and Wally Hardinge’s brief spell as caretaker. Jack was seen as a ‘promising young manager’ who had done well at Northampton and Crystal Palace and it was hoped would lead Spurs back to Division One.
Tresadern the former England player (just the one cap) is best remembered however for being the captain of West Ham at the 1923 Cup Final, (1). He was in charge at Spurs for three seasons, finishing 5th, 10th and 5th again.
Left - Jack right with trainer George Hardy.
The club had attempted to bring back Peter McWilliam who had been so successful in the early 1920’s. McWilliam at that point was a scout with Arsenal and they refused to release him forcing Tottenham to advertise the post and over 200 people applied.
Only in his first season was Tresadern seen to really mount a challenge for promotion and that fell away in the latter part of the campaign. He wanted to strengthen the squad and kept asking the Board for new players as he felt the team needed more depth to cover for injuries but they declined to pay the fees that his targets commanded, (4).
That fifth place finish in 1936 saw us top score in the division with 91 goals, Johnny Morrison finished with 25, Willie Evans 15 and George Hunt with 11 goals. That season saw us beat Port Vale 5-2 at home and 5-1 away, Morrison had a hat trick in both games and when we beat Swansea 7-2 Willie Hall who scored five in one game for England got his only Spurs hat trick. We also put eight past Southampton.
Above, Freddie Sargent and Johnny Morrison, Chesterfield 1938.
The next two seasons saw a few highlights with two mid table finishes. 1937 started badly with just one point from three games. Les Miller hit four at Blackburn and notched 12 from 23 from outside left. The following year 1938 may have been another 5th place but it was nine points away from the promotion places. We did score plenty of goals with Morrison adding 35 and 25 goals in those two years.
During his time in charge we saw the sale of George Hunt, (to Arsenal) where he did well. Hunt had scored 23 goals in 31 games in those first two seasons under Tresadern.
Taffy O’Callagham was also sold and went on to help Leicester win promotion. Neither sale was well received by the fans.
Right - Percy Hooper
A few interesting people in this club photo for the 1937 season. Jabez Darnell who played for Tottenham in 1905 and served the club for 40 years. Bill Edrich the England cricketer, William Over the son of John the first WHL groundsman in 1899, and the legendary Billy Minter.
Maybe fittingly it was the FA Cup that delivered any cheer to the supporters. In all three seasons the Second Division club reached the 6th Round. The first year saw us start with a 4-4 draw at home to Southend before we disposed of Huddersfield and Bradford before going out to Sheffield United.
1937, and the cup run started with a dream result, a 5-0 win at high flying Portsmouth with a Morrison hat trick, Duncan and Miller scored the others. Fans watching the reserve game at WHL received 15 minute updates put up on boards and many just could not believe the score was correct. Next it was Plymouth before the famous Cup tie with Everton when we won 4-3 in a replay (left). The game was featured previously, (2). We exited to Preston at home in the quarter final.
The 1938 campaign saw us overcome Blackburn and non league New Brighton (in a replay) and Chesterfield (another replay). The on March 5th came the game with Sunderland that set the ground attendance record at White Hart Lane of 75, 038. The first division side putting us out with the only goal (3).
Below - Jack Gibbons scores one of his two goals V New Brighton in a 5-2 win. Morrison2 and Lyman also score.
Whilst the club and its fans enjoyed a goal cup run there was little evidence to suggest a return to the top flight and the supporters and the Board were becoming restless.
Tresadern was never happy at Spurs and was never liked by the supporters. Rumors started to spread halfway through his last season that he was going to be replaced.
He was later quoted as saying ‘They were my unhappiest years in football, and I always kicked myself that I gave up an enjoyable job at Crystal Palace to move to Spurs The players were set in their ways and did not want to take on new ideas, and the directors did not really need me there because they wanted to manage the team themselves. It was clear they were getting ready to sack me, and so I saved them the trouble and resigned. Not a time I like to reflect on.”
The Board announced almost immediately that Peter McWilliam would be returning to Tottenham but he did not take up his post for nearly a month. In the meantime Chief Scout and Assistant Manager Ben Ives (the man who had invited Bill Nicholson for a trial) took charge.
The mood certainly looked bright on the football pitch, unfortunately off it things were becoming darker as we will discover later in ‘McWilliam’s Return.’
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See also – The Reign of Percy Smith –
And Wally Hardinage -http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-wally-hardinge
Notes 1- – The events of the FA Cup final in 1923 were detailed in –
2 – The great Everton cup tie was featured in -Cup Adventures
And – http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/talking-tottenham-and-then-they-drew
3 – This game will be featured in the near future.
4 - To ensure a balanced view and put aside the Board were still paying for the new East Stand. I found this note from former club historian Andy Porter. In June 1937 the clubs AGM reported a loss of £4,851. £12,217 had been spent on new players whilst only £3,630 had been received from their sale.
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