The Tottenham Mysteries where we examine those stories that appear incomplete or where different sources over the years seem to contradict each other in order to try and clarify the position.
One of the major areas of ‘discussion’ falls on the goal scoring records. Today we open the file on the career of Billy Minter or as we refer to it here at the Mysteries, the case of “The Lost Goal Mine.”
If you haven’t read the recent ‘Talking Tottenham - Is ‘Stat Right?’ (1) which examined why two different sources can give you two different answers, and nether be completely inaccurate. A personal view of researching football history which at least will explain how such situations can arise. The following mystery appeared in an earlier form in an earlier life, (2).
This was certainly the case when Hotspur Towers looked back at ‘The 100 Club’ (3) at the end of last season. I included two people at that time that are missing from some lists. These were Les Bennett. To be honest as far as I can see in his case I suspect he was missed off once and then the error was just copied. The other player omitted was Billy Minter. In Billy’s case the root cause of the mystery is a great deal harder to unravel.
My criteria for the ‘100 Club’ was goals scored in the Premier & Football League’s, FA & League Cups and ‘major’ European competition. As I attempted to clarify Billy’s goal scoring feats I discovered various sources record Billy Minters goal tally as 95, 96, 100, 101 or 102 goals. After some extensive tracking back and fro I think I have ‘an’ answer, at least to some of the confusion. Simply put some people can’t count or is that use a calculator. At least one source includes the goals in the match stats but when it comes to tallying them up the figures for the season they missed off five goals. Thus his total would rise from 96 to 101.
Unless you can prove different, I believe his goals for Tottenham were (as taken from more than one source), starting in our first Football League season 1908/09 – 16 (again one source claims it was 14 goals.)
Then the next two years 15 and 19. That’s 50 League goals in three seasons plus five more in the FA Cup to that date, (55). 1911/12 he top scored for the third season running hitting 17 (that’s 72). Again one source says it was 18 that season. Then in 1913 he added 11 goals (83).
1914 is the season were I believe people ‘missed counted’ he scored five in the League and one in the FA Cup, (89). Another five in 1913/14 (94).
After the war the League recommenced in 1919/20, Minter who also played at center half for part of that season added 7 to his tally. This gives us 101! 95 league goals and 6 in the FA Cup, (4).
He did also score 4 goals in 1907/08 when our first team competed in our final Southern League season, although they fall outside our criteria. He also scored 14 during the war in the Football Combination League competition that replaced the League when his army duties permitted him time to play but that certainly would not count as first class game. He also scored goals in ‘acceptable seasons’ but are not included in this total, these goals came in the London FA Charity Cup, London Professional Football Charity fund and The Victory Cup. Billy also added to his career total on the clubs tours to South America (1909) and France (1913) plus various friendly games.
Therefore Billy is entitled (until I’m proved wrong) to be included in any list of scorers of one hundred goals or more for the club. I repeat my statement from the previous article. I am not being critical of anyone who produces this lists etc after great time and effort and normally purely for the love of the game. Just attempting to seek if we can find daylight. The above is presented in all good faith. If anyone feels any of the ‘facts’ I’ve placed before you or incorrect please feel free to illumine my darkness. Apologies to any statisticians out there, you do a wonderful job.
The Mysteries will return and next time there isn’t a stat in sight. Billy who served Tottenham for 33 years and his marvelous career will be profiled in the near future.
t- Keith 16024542
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Notes –1 - Talking Tottenham – ‘Is Stat right?’
2- Back in the long lost days when talking was a regular magazine style.
3 – 100 club - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-100-club
4 – Although I found another reference stating it was 95 +6 ?
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The Road to Turin
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