New Year’s day fixtures were fairly regularly events up to the Second World War then it seemed to out of fashion for several decades. Over the years we haven’t had too much to cheer about on this day. Most of those games have been played in bad weather and on dreadful pitches. This top picture is from 1969.
A quirk of fate is that we did not actually play at home on this day until 1944. When we beat West Ham in the Football League South.
One result that does stand out is the against this years opponents Manchester United from 1996 here at the Lane.
United came as reigning champions and would retain the trophy. The Tottenham attack that day of Teddy Sheringham and Chris Armstrong were too hot for the United team. Sheringham gave us a lead just after the half hour. Andy Cole quickly pulled them level. Sol Campbell that day playing in midfield restored our advantage. The in the second half Armstrong with two headers won the game. Colin Calderwood our center back that day (and now assistant manager at Norwich)recalls the game with affection, "My memories are of walking off at the end of the game because we'd played particularly well. Even though we were 3-1 up, Andy Cole scored an overhead kick but dangerous play was given because he took it off my head. I remember feeling that would have put the cat amongst the pigeons“.
Another game that throws up good cheer was 1913’s visit to Goodison Park when we recorded our first win in front of 30,000 on the ground beating Everton with two goals by Billy Minter. The hosts pulled one back but we held on. Billy Minter who later became a manager was replaced by Percy Smith who was appointed at New Year in 1930. Percy who had been at Bury helped introduce a style of pass and move which helped us win promotion to the First Division a couple of years later.
We have met the neighbours only twice. The first time in 1985 when we won 2-1 at Highbury and the at the same ground a year later in a 0-0 draw.
The first day of the twentieth century saw Tottenham draw 2-2 at Middlesbrough. While a hundred years later we did not have a fixture. Our first game on this date was in 1898 when we lost a United League game at Rushden by 5-2. Our first Football League game that fell on this day was in 1910, again a defeat, this time at Blackburn 2-0. The first time we had played Blackburn in the League. Whilst 1949 saw us lose at home to Lincoln City, the only time we have done so. The 2-1 win at home to Watford in 1988 saw Paul Moran score his first goal while Terry Fenwick made his debut.
1987 saw us beat Charlton 2-0 in Paul Millers last game and Tony Galvin scored what turned out to be his last goal. Paul Gascoigne was sent off in the 1991 game with United which we lost 1-2. It seemed to be for something he said. I have a feeling that at the time he was the first player to be sent off in a televised League game. Another largely forgettable game came in a 1-2 defeat at Villa Park in 2008 Defoe scored for us and it would be his last in his first spell at the club.
We really should mention the game where Dean Richards scored on the stroke of half time as we beat Blackburn by the only goal in 2002. This game is worthy of mention as in the 84th minute Gus Poyet was substituted and replaced by a chap called Tim Sherwood. Steffan Freund and Ledley King were also in the Tottenham team that day. In the Blackburn goal was a chap called Brad Friedel.
Thanks to - THFC, THOS, Top Spurs, myhstg.com, BBC, Bob Goodwin,
About the author:
Keith Harrison, Nilgiris, TN
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