Over the first half of this season we have been celebrating White Hart Lane, our home since 1899. In this the last season before the ground regenerates into a new super arena for the future. We have passed various ‘milestones’ in its glorious history as we have traveled along The Lane. This tribute is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the ground, rather a series of snapshots in time.
The top image is from 1923 from the north, the area in the foreground is where the new stadium is springing into life. So long long ago in a football stadium far far away…..
2nd August, 1948 - The first milestone featured in the series. White Hart Lane witnessed its first Olympic Games match played at the ground as Sweden played Austria. The Swedes win 3-0 on their way to the Gold Medal.
6th August, 1900 - The Club is due to hold their fourth annual Military Tournament and the second at White Hart Lane, however bad weather forces its cancellation. One of the events planned was a new idea called ‘a penalty shooting contest.’
7th August, 1899 - The first paying event at the then unnamed White Hart Lane was when the club hosts its third annual military tournament with 5,000 attending.
Many of those would have been attracted by the opportunity for their first look around the club’s the new ground.
8th August, 1908 - Having been one of the pioneers of baseball in this country over the previous few years, indeed we were National Champions twice, Tottenham play their last ever baseball game at WHL.
We should have hosted the British Championship final contest played on the 21st but the game was switched to Leyton at the last minute. I couldn’t find a reason for this but we know the ground staff was concerned about the state of the pitch with the new season looming.
The story of Tottenham’s baseball days is @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-35
12th August, 1961 - Tottenham defeat a thinly disguised England side billed as an FA XI 3-2 to win the Charity Shield. Bobby Smith and Les Allen with two score for Spurs. It’s the last time the Shield has been played at The Lane.
Match details and our other Charity Shield games @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-spurs-and-the-charity-shield
13th August, 1960 - The public trial game held as a curtain raiser to that famous season and a 4-4 draw between the first team and the reserves. Bill Nicholson isn’t very pleased with what he sees just days before that famous season opens.
The programme carried a picture of the team on the way home from a friendly game V Juventus The programme informs us that the previous season Spurs had the highest average attendance of any team in the country.
It also says the club enters the new season - ‘In a spirit of quiet confidence believing we are well equipped to face the hazards ahead.’
The story of that Double season is also been unfolded this season, month by month @http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/the-double-chronicles
13th August, 2011 - Following civil unrest in the days before the game the match with Everton is called off.
14th August, 1926 – The club holds its first public trial game since 1902.
The game attracts a gate of 9,742 and the referee is former player Bobby Steel.
The gate money (£275) is given to local charities.
Bobby Steel (left) and his two Spurs playing brothers were featured @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-spurs-steel
15th August, 2001- After a 52 year gap the England team returns to play their fifth (and to date last) full international at the ground.
The kick off was delayed due to traffic congestion and England having won their previous four games at Tottenham lost this one to Holland 0-2.
The game has a farcical element to it as England make eleven substitutions and the Dutch eight.
16th August, 1921- The proceeds from the previous seasons FA Cup success permits the Club to buy the Red House and convert it from a restaurant into club offices.
18th August, 1971 - Tottenham and Newcastle draw 0-0 but the headlines are concerned with the crowd trouble. Their goalie is struck when a staple fired from a catapult. The game is stopped as police and stewards identify two fourteen year old's who are later prosecuted.
The FA will fine Spurs £200. The Commission took into account “the club’s good record of crowd behaviour in recent years and the fact that it had taken all reasonable precautions to prevent misconduct by spectators.” Indeed this quote comes from that games programme. “In view of the regrettable crowd incidents that have occurred elsewhere, we earnestly appeal for a good standard of behaviour from spectators on this ground. We know this appeal is unnecessary as far as the vast majority of spectators is concerned, but an unruly few can damage the reputation of a club and the image of the game in general.”
19th August, 1950 - Having swept to the Second Division Championship the year before Tottenham start their return to Division One with a defeat at home to Blackpool, They will however recover to secure back to back titles.
19th August, 1992 - The first home game after the formation of the Premiership (later to become the PL) was against Coventry City and ended in a 0-2 defeat.
20th August, 2016 – The first game of the last season at White Hart Lane as we know it before its regeneration.
The visitors are Crystal Palace and a Spurs win, 1-0 with a goal from home debut boy Victor Wanyama.
20th August, 1960 - The first home game of that Double season and a 2-0 win over Everton.
Bobby Smith and Les Allen get the goals.
22nd August, 1899 - The ground hosts its first game with a paying public as a public trial game is held, (there were three others and a junior’s trial played before the official opening). This first game saw the Stripes beat the Whites with the only goal coming from Tom Pratt.
Tom Pratt (right) had joined us from Preston and returned there just a year later having been unable to settle in London. A center forward described as having great courage and determination.
He scored a total of 32 goals in just 43 first team appearances. 24 of those were scored in 30 Southern League in our title winning season.
22nd August, 1992 - Gordon Durie (left) scored our first goal in the Premiership, in our third game as we drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace.
While Neil Ruddock becomes the first Tottenham man sent off in that competition.
22nd August, 2006 - Dimitar Berbatov makes his home debut and scores his first goal for Tottenham, as we beat Sheffield United 2-0.
24th August, 1901 - The Tottenham Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Brotherhood holds their sports day at the ground. You may have guessed they are a temperance movement.
24th August, 2014 - Manager Mauricio Pochettino take charge of his first game at the ground. Spurs beat QPR 4-0 and Chadli 2, Dier and Adebayor score the goals.
The story of this great cathedral of sport continues on social media throughout the rest of the season at the links below and will appear in article form later in the season.
White Hart Lane and the events that shaped its history are also featured in a series of articles and these can be found at http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-archive
White Hart Lane, Now-Then-Forever.
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