Planet Spurs returns with some more tales from across the ages that might otherwise have escaped your notice. This issue we look at a few stories regarding Tottenham Park (or should that be White Hart Lane) that were not included in our tribute to the ground. There is also another ‘Spurs and the Law’ story. The tales also feature people on the roof, a hat trick that wasn’t and a ghost.
I did mention before that when the Cockerel came down from his loft for a spring clean it was discovered the ball contained some coins and an old club handbook. This finally brought to an end the myth that it contained a fortune in cash! This didn’t however stop several people over the years trying to climb on to the roof to reach the treasure!
During our tribute to White Hart Lane, which ran throughout last season (1), we referred to the ground by some of the many names that is referred to during the formative years. One I didn’t mention at the time, (as I had heard but hadn’t tracked down the reference), was Tottenham Park. Further exploration has since revealed that several journals of the time used this title. The one featured here is from the Penny Illustrated from 22nd September 1900, just a few days after our first anniversary at the new site. I chose this clipping from several others, partly as the Penny illustrated was one of the more popular papers of the period but it also mentions the gate receipts from a gate.
The 5-0 win over Chatham mentioned is a Southern League game with Sandy Brown scoring a hat trick. Unfortunately later in the season Chatham withdrew from the competition and the result and hat trick were expunged from the record books. The poor start, well it was the second game of the competition, Spurs having lost at Millwall two weeks before. As for the 8th the first team were winning at Southampton (another Brown hat trick) so this is most likely a reserve game.
Another item I didn’t refer to is ‘the rumour’ that there was a ghost within the stadium. Something I’ve heard mention at various times over the years but nobody seems to be able to offer the spirit any substance. So I was interested to come across this old mention from John Fennelly the clubs historian, ‘People used to say that there were ghosts at the stadium. I don’t believe in all of that but so many people tell you about them. One evening, I remember sitting in the office at the Red House on the High Road and something collapsed behind me. It sounded like the whole ceiling had come down but, when I turned round, there was nothing there. I’ve seen doors open, seemingly, by themselves. It’s strange.’
And talk of the Red House - did you know that back in the 1880’s it was used as a court house for the local coroner?
Left - Hans Seger.
Spurs and the Law, and this time, Hans Segers, our former goalkeeping coach in 2007 and who played in one game for the club was accused of being involved in match fixing during his playing days with Wimbledon for an Indonesian betting syndicate. Liverpool’s Bruce Grobbelaar was the main defendant alongside Southampton’s John Fashanu. A former friend of Grobbelaar’s had sold the story to the Sun newspaper and they set up a sting operation. The court heard recordings and saw video evidence. Segers had first been ‘suspected’ when Wimbledon who had been 2-0 up had lost at Everton 2-3 to ensure that clubs safety, and Segers had appeared to move out of the way of the last goal. Segers cried in the witness box as he admitted lying to his family, the police and Tax officials. He admitted having money paid into his Swiss bank account by the syndicate but claimed he was innocent and the money was for ‘advice’. A first trial the jury did not reach a verdict and the retrial found them innocent. Segers was however found guilty by the FA of breaking their betting FA regulations. None of these events related to his time at Spurs or any of their games.
The Then and Now - Not sure what is happening above left ?
Right - Sheffield Wednesday Sept 1912 at WHL.
Spurs and politics, I know a number of you enjoyed the recent Spurs and Parliament article (2) so let me slip in this from the House of Lords when Lord Bowden during a debate on playing fields referring to the plastic sheeting Spurs had introduced. “I agree with the noble Lord. We have made inquiries about the possibility of getting polythene sheeting. It seems to cost about £1,000 an acre; the sheet weighs several tons, and it requires 24 men to put it down and take it up. It was used at Tottenham Hotspur's ground and they found it not unattractive, since otherwise they lost their "gate" in wet weather. But I am afraid that ordinary schools cannot be expected to finance such enterprises, although they are found rewarding to a First Division football team.”
To finish this White Hart Lane special a lighter note and this comes from Cliff Jones ‘When I first arrived at Tottenham, they used to have a marching band providing pre-match entertainment.
They would march on the pitch and the bloke at the front would throw his baton up into the air. Every now and then there would be a big roar and you’d know he’d dropped the baton’.
t- Keith 16024542
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Notes – 1 - Articles on WHL are @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/the-inside-lane
Previous 'Planets' are @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/the-obit-of-planet-spurs
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