The following season of 1893/94 would see Tottenham invited to play in the first FA Amateur Cup competition. We started well with a 3-1 win at home to the Vampires, Briggs, Mills and Taylor scoring our goals. The Vampires came from Crouch End in North London and incidentally would play a part in our first FA Cup controversy later.
In the next round of the competition we should have played Clapham Rovers however Tottenham had to miss the game as they had been suspended by the FA. This came about as the club got embroiled in a major controversy that made the sporting headlines.
The incident that would be part of the catalyst that would help shape the clubs future occurred on 21st October at the London Senior Cup game. Incidentally this game saw the club issue its first ever programme free, at future games it would cost one penny, (1).
The incident however occurred before the game when we gave a new player, Ernie Payne ten shillings to go out and buy a pair of boots. This seemingly simple act would grow into a sensational story and is told fully in ‘Ernie Payne,’ (2).
The club continued to develop the ground and a new entrance from Wagon Horse Lane was introduced to supplement the entrance along a passageway off Northumberland Road between numbers 69&75. An enclosure on the East side of the ground was opened with a two pence admission.
There was also the first meeting with one of the big clubs in the south as we traveled to Southampton on Boxing Day and lost by the only goal in front of 6,000. The size of the crowd was certainly partly due to the notoriety of the Spurs following the ‘Boots affair’.
Indeed after that event, with the FA trying to punish the club, they actually did it a service, the number of clubs requesting friendly ties with Spurs increased (and with them welcome income) The club needed to hire Marriott’s Field in Edmonton for the reserves to fulfill their own fixtures. The reserves liked the new ground winning 14 of the 26 games that season. Another development at that time was the introduction of a youth competition involving the top eight local sides.
The 1894/95 season saw Tottenham make its first appearance in the FA Cup, qualifying competition. Drawn against West Herts, a side that would later merge with other local sides and become Watford. Tottenham won the game by 3-2, our first scorer in that competition being Peter Hunter with a header and Don Goodall scored the other two. The match reports from this game feature in (6). That first FA cup run saw us then beat Wolverton (H) and Clapton (A) before we drew with Luton Town, losing the replay away. These games were drawing crowds of four or five thousand. The first five thousand crowd at The Park being for the Luton game on 15th December in a 2-2 draw.
The week after that first FA Cup game with West Herts we also started our Amateur Cup campaign at Home to Old Harrovians winning 7-0 this was followed by wins over City Ramblers and Romford before meeting London Welsh (3) in the Divisional final which would provide us with entry to the competition proper. The first two games were drawn before we won 4-2 at the Spotted Dog ground (still the home of Clapton). The First Round saw us travel to Nottingham and beat Beeston 2-0 before we bowed out at home to the famous Old Carthusians. Their side contained five current international players and they were the holders of the trophy. Peter Hunter scoring ten goals in that competition, including our last ever goal in the competition, as well as that first ever FA Cup goal.
Tottenham’s exploits were bringing us a widely acclaim and we found ourselves hosting games against teams from further afield. On Christmas day we hosted a side from Sheffield and the next day one from Liverpool while in April we traveled to Bristol (winning all three). The following season would see Accrington, Reading, Middlesborough and Notts County find their way to our ground.
Another game that deserves a mention from this era is the replay in the Luton Charity Cup, on 14th November 1894 as Tottenham beat the Coldstream Guards 7-2 and Cottrell scored five, the first known competitive hat trick for the club.
Off the pitch the club was developing and 1894 saw John Oliver become President with John Ripsher (4) stepping down to become a patron. Oliver ran several businesses including a carpet warehouse in Old Street in the city and was in a position to offer players jobs. This would have been fairly common practice amongst clubs at that time when clubs were struggling with the strict amateur code.
He had also been one of the key movers in the formation of the Southern Alliance League and had previously been involved with the Westminster Criterion side. He was eager to move Spurs towards becoming a professional outfit. Despite this Tottenham ended the year with a debit of twelve pounds and another sixty owed to John Oliver. He had supplied the money for the club to erect its first grandstand at Northumberland Park, possibly a slightly grand description as some reports claim it was a wooden frame with a canvas covering. It sat one hundred and provided shelter to another two hundred and fifty people.
There were also the first press facilities and more importantly purpose build on-site changing room underneath the stand, which had to be lit by oil lamps. Thus bringing an end to the walk to the Northumberland Arms, which had been used as a dressing room to this point. A week after that Luton game, on the 22nd December, it was partly blown down but quickly restored.
Oliver also introduced a professional trainer, Arthur Norris. He was paid ten shillings a week which was exclusive of his traveling expenses. During the season our forward A.W. Cubberly was chosen for Middlesex and it was thought he would become as famous as his brother (who played for Leeds City), sadly injury ruined his chances, (5).
The Weekly Herald also announced in 1895 ‘That a number of people were able to obtain a cheap view of the matches through the enterprise of an individual owning some land which overlooks the ground and who improvised a platform, charging people a modest 2p to see.’ The club quickly erected a screen but the neighbour had installed wagons and moved these along to see past the screens. The club then extended the screens and thus ended the problem.
Thus Spurs entered the 1895/96 season, formed just 13 years earlier, they had been at Northumberland Park for seven seasons. This was the year that would see everything change for Spurs and we discover how we influenced the FA to change their rules.
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Notes – 1 - Image in Hotspur Towers 21 - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-21
2 - Ernie Payne - Due to be published June 26th.
3 – No relation to the rugby side of that name.
4 – The story of John Rispher, the man without whom Tottenham would most likely never survived past those early days is told @
5 – The Weekly Herald in December 1895 tells us that a benefit game for Archie Cubberley was being arranged.
6 - What the Victorians said will be published at the end of this series.
Top Image - Tottenham High Road - 1890
Acknowledgements – can be found at
See Also - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-by-gaslight
See also and the mini series -
A Victorian Hotspur - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/a-victorian-hotspur-part-1
Flying Down to Rio
History of T.H.F.C.
Tribute to Bill Nicholson
The Road to Turin
Most Read Articles
The 100 Year War
Interview with Marina Sirtis
A Long Dark Shadow
By Royal Appointment
School Report: An Insight into the Younger Eric Dier
All Change At Spurs
History Of THFC: Part 1
Passage to India: Rohan Rickets
Thanks For The Memories
Our Tommy Carroll
The AVB Files: Part1
You The Jury
The Hand Of Hugo
Connection - Argentina
Creating a Reputation