In the last Hotspur Towers (1) we looked back at the great FA Cup win in 1921. This time we reflect on the amazing scenes following that game, a second trophy in the season, our highest league finish, seven players representing England and a host of new records set
That 1921 Cup wining team had Hunter in goal. Having only made his debut a month earlier when Bill Jacques was injured. Clay, Bobby McDonald, Bert Smith, Waters, Grimsdell, Banks Seed, Jimmy Cantrell who was approaching his 39th birthday, Bliss and Dimmock.
Hunter, McDonald and Waters were all amateurs.
This side was the one that had run away with the league the year before except for Seed joining in the previous April replacing Banks. Banks having returned to the side in mid-season to replace the injured Walden. Two weeks before the final Grimsdell had captained Dimmock, Bliss and Smith this time in the England team. Whilst a total of seven Spurs players represented England in this period (2).
Whilst the earlier Cup winning side of 1901 had no local players this time Dimmock was a local boy and the idol of the fans. He won both the Cup and his first England cap before his 21st birthday. He was also the first Spur to reach a 100 goals for the club.
The Final wasn’t the climax of the season we have now. This was a busy time for the club. The FA Cup Final had been played on the 23rd April (4). Two days later we had a game at Huddersfield and then on the Wednesday another at Everton. No surprise we returned with one point from the two games. We still had another three games to play and on the weekend after the Cup Final we beat Huddersfield at home with a Banks goal.
Before the game our groundsman John Over paraded the Trophy around the ground to the Tottenham faithful.
The finale of the season arrived on the 16th May with another appearance in the Charity Shield at White Hart Lane. This time we met Burnley (League Champions). Spurs won their second trophy of the year as goals from Bliss and Cantrell gave us a 2-0 victory.
At the end of the season there was a celebration dinner at the same restaurant that had hosted the 1901 team’s success.(see below). All the players from that earlier success attended, apart from George Crawley who had passed away a year earlier.
The third season of that great team came in 1921/22 which saw us finish as league runners up. The highest finish by any London team in the league to that point. We also reached the semi-finals in both the FA Cup and the London FA Charity Cup. Only two players made their debuts that year and the first wasn’t until March. We scored 65 goals in the league and the top scorers were Wilson 11+2 and Seed 10+3. As we won 21 of our league games.
We went back to Hillsbourgh to face Preston who we played there in the semis the previous season. Legend tells the story that Preston’s game improved so much in the second half because they were given Champagne at half time. Tottenham can certainly feel they were robbed the way they lost this game. Seed had given us the lead then Preston equalised. Bliss then scored only for the ref to disallow the goal as a Preston player was laying injured in the center circle. The player recovered and did not require attention. With the Spurs players concentration broken Preston scored almost immediately and held on to stop us reaching our second successive final. We would not reach the semi-final again until 1948 (5). Maybe justice was partly done when Preston lost the final after the ref awarded a penalty for an offense outside the box.
At the end of that season a number of our players left the club and the directors were unwilling to pay large transfer fees. It was thought partly due to McWilliam having assembled the league/cup wining team for very little outlay.
This saw McWilliam come to an agreement with Northfleet United who played in the Southern League to act as our nursery club. Many of our younger players would gain valuable experience over the coming years.
Sadly the team that promised so much faded away after those three magnificent seasons.
f- peter shearman (old non de plume reserved for THFC matters)
Notes - 1- Hotspur Towers 37
2 - You should remember at this time Internationals were rare events with England only playing three or four times a season. Clay, Walden and Seed also featured for England.
3 - See Mrs Cadman - Hotspur Towers 35
4 - Regular readers will not be surprised to learn one usually reliable source manages to actually get the Cup final date wrong and another the Charity Shield a few weeks later gives the wrong scorer and score.
5 - Hotspur Towers 31.
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