Planet Spurs where we recall some great tales and pictures embroidered in the clubs rich tapestry.
In this edition we find a quick thinking captain, there is confusion on tour and a tragedy at The Lane.
top- The Goodyear airship over White Hart Lane.
My recent look at touring North America in the 1950’s (1) provoked this response from a reader with this tale from the ‘57 game in New York and a souvenir hunter. "The game had its lighter moments with the mystery of who stole the ball taking the biscuit. The ball had gone behind and a spectator beat the goalkeeper in a race for the ball, which was lying on the track, then jumped back over the barrier and made off with it out of the stadium under his arm.” And if that wasn’t enough, “at half time the crowd was entertained by a brass band and a pipe band. Unfortunately neither had worked out who would play first and they both claimed that honour. Both struck up at the same time and fought against each other for ascendancy much to the amusement of the crowd, till the brass band gave up and left the field to the pipers.” This was accompanied by this pic of the teams entering the fray, from the 1951 tour.
If you know any stories that deserve to be retold do contact me.
Next a rather sad tale from Boxing Day 1908. Tottenham’s first season in the Football League and Oldham were the visitors. Till that point the biggest gate of the season had been 25,000 against Bolton (promoted with spurs) and Birmingham. The two teams had been watched by 24,000 the day before away.
For the reverse fixture 40,000 turned up at White Hart Lane, although the press said it was nearer sixty thousand (2). However we know that the game was held up for a while when the large crowd slipped over on to the field (the press called it an invasion). The game restarted with people sitting inside the perimeter fence. During the crush there were a number of cases of fainting and one man died. The press claimed he had been trampled to death although the actual cause is unknown. Strangely a man also died at a fixture at Bristol on the same day. Spurs would maintain their unbeaten home record with a 3-0 win, Minter, Woodward and Middlemass scoring, having only conceded three in ten home games to that point as they went on to be league runners up.
The Then and Now and this time we take a look at pre-season training. From 1951 and 2017.
The first time Ron Burgess skippered the side he won the toss when the Birmingham captain called heads wrongly. The following week he called tails and again won. After that he always called tails. This however didn’t work when we met FC Austria in a game in Belgium in the summer of 1952. Ron went up for the toss and the ref used a coin red on one side blue on the other. The ref pointed to Ron and red, he nodded and again won the toss.
Then when the game ended in a draw it was decided again to toss the coin to see which team would be presented with the trophy. There was some confusion as there was no common language. The ref tossed, it came down red.Neither captain having called Ron said ‘Red that’s me.’ He took the trophy from the official and walked off before either had a chance to disagree.
Above Right - Ron with trophy and a bunch of flowers which he said he was embarrassed to receive.
A quick note to close- I recently mentioned Jimmy Townley (3) well his dad was an England international and scored a hat trick for Blackburn Rovers in the1890 Cup Final. Jimmy only played three games for us, scored twice then broke his leg.
t- Keith 16024542
f - https://www.facebook.com/keith.harrison.9659
My profile / archive is @ - View Full Bio
Previous "Planets" can be explored @
Big thanks - Mike & John, for endless pics and bits.
Notes – 1 – link - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/touring-north-america-fifties-style
2 - All attendance figures during this era are likely to be questioned for various reasons. The press would often report figures vastly different from both the official figure and other newspapers.
3 - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/tottenham-mysteries-the-game-time-remembered
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