Len Duquemin, who scored the goal that secured Tottenham their first League title in 1951 stands seventh in Tottenham’s all time scorers list.
He scored a total of 134 goals in his career in 308 games (including one abandoned match), including three hat tricks.
He was also the first Spur to score twenty goals for the club in the FA Cup. A major contributor to Arthur Rowe's Championship winning side and a man with a remarkable story.
Len was born in Guernsey in 1924 and he was 15 years old when the island was invaded by the Germans in the Second World War. He worked as a gardener in a monastery where he was taught to speak French by the monks. They helped him avoid being deported under the Nazi labour rules.
After the war played for the local Vauxbolets club and was recommended to Spurs and after a trial signed as an amateur in January 1946. Len made his Football League South debut in March 1946. Tottenham did not run a reserve side that season and he was loaned to Chelmsford City (then managed by his future Spurs manager Arthur Rowe) and scored in his one appearance. In August 1946 he turned professional and that season, 1946/7, he topped scored for the reserves with 15 in 30 games. The following year he made his full league debut and scored V Sheffield Wednesday and went on to the seasons top scorer with 24. Scoring six in his first five games.
Left - August 1950 and his presence forces the Bolton defence to concede an own goal.
Len scored 16 league goals as we swept to the Division Two Championship in 1949 /50 and added 14 more the following season (in 33 games) as Tottenham won the title. Including the only goal V Sheffield Wednesday on the day we won the title.
Len would become the first Spurs player to record 20 goals in the FA Cup. His only representative honour came in May 1949 when he played for the FA XI strangely against the Channel Islands. His best season was 52/53 when he finished with 24 league and cup goals. He also scored in two Cup semi-finals, 48 & 53.
He retained the number nine shirt into his thirties when he was replaced by Bobby Smith. In 1957 he scored in his last game for Spurs and the following year after 12 years he stepped down to play in non-league football for Bedford where he won the Southern League, scoring 22 goals in 22 games and another 33 goals the next season. He then played for Hastings and Romford and well into his forties he was a regular in Charity matches.
Known as a quiet gentle man off the pitch on it he was described as perpetual motion and ‘whose honest sweat was an important lubricant of the smooth running machine in Rowe’s team’. Hence his other nickname ‘Reliable Len.’
The more common nickname ‘The Duke’ comes from his surname and Eddie Baily is credited with being the first to dub Len with the title.
A quick and strong player who was immensely effective in the air. His movement is said to have created as many goals as he scored and he was a great favourite of the terraces, His own goals coming either from headers or a strong shot.
Len would later run a shop in Northumberland Park and later several public house’s He lived a few minutes from White Hart Lane and was a regular on matchdays till just before he passed away in 2003 aged 78 shortly after celebrating his Golden Wedding.
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