There are a number of incomplete stories in our history or where the accounts contradict each other.
Tottenham have rocked the footballing world at various times over the years with great transfer swoops.
This time in the Tottenham Mysteries we look back at when the club signed one of the top international goalkeepers of the time.
Or did they?
In May 1913 Tottenham visited France and played two games in Paris. Manager Peter McWilliam was so impressed with the goalkeeper of the Red Star club, Pierre Chayrigues that after the games Peter McWilliam signed him for Tottenham. At that point the story slips into the Tottenham Mysteries. He was featured in our Club handbook for the coming season but there is no evidence he ever played for the club.
I can’t help thinking that if the French international goalie at that time arrived at Tottenham there would be some evidence that he played in some games, at some level. Certainly you would expect that the local press would have mentioned his arrival. Therefore I find it hard not to come to agreement with several sources that although he agreed to join Tottenham, and the club felt they had signed him, it seems quite plausible that he never actually arrived at the club. The story of that tour to France is told in The French Tours (3).
When I approached them both the French FA and the Red Star club were unable to offer any further information to what I had already discovered.
Pierre Chayrigues was born in Paris on May 2nd 1892, (1). He first played for CA Socialiste de Levallois, FEC Levallois and US Clichy before joining Red Star Amical during 1910.
Various sources either state he stayed with them until 1925 or that he returned to Red Star in 1921, but they fail to suggest where he was in the meantime, one assumes that the date 1921 indicates the recommencement of football after World War One. None of the sources I explored suggest a move to Tottenham.
In 1911, two years before his Tottenham involvement, he won the first of 21 caps for France. At the age of 19 he is still the youngest man ever to play in goal for their national side. He played against England three times, including the first meeting between the countries in May 1923, (2). All three games (the others were 1924 & 25) were played in France and won by England.
Pierre was a member of the Red Star Amical side that later won the French Cup three times from 1921 - 1923. Then in 1924 he was a member of the French side in the Paris Olympics’.
The following year he was forced to retire from playing after an injury. Pierre later worked as a coach for Perpignan and Avranches. He passed away in 1965.
Next time in the Tottenham Mysteries, ‘The Madrid Affair,’ when we uncover a game that time forgot.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
My full archive and bio can be found at View Full Bio
Notes – 1 - Various sources give three different dates for his birth.
2 – See - Tottenham Mysteries – The Missing International
3 – The French Tours - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-french-tours
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