Former Tottenham striker Len Duquemin, a member of the team that won the club's first league title in 1951, has died at the age of 78. (Article written April 2003)
Duquemin scored 144 goals in 275 appearances for the club and was part of Arthur Rowe's famous "push and run" side.
My thanks go to Brian Judson for most of the following. Len Duquemin will be featured in Brian's "Heroes of Tottenham" series (soon to be published at Spurs Odyssey)
Len Duquemin was born at Cabo, Guernsey, on 17th July 1924. He worked as a
gardener in a monastery during the occupation of the Channel Islands by
the Germans during WW2. He thus became fluent in French as the Monks did
not speak English.He was playing for the Vauxbelet club in 1945 when he
was recommended to Tottenham. They gave him a trial in December 1945 and
signed him on amateur forms. He turned professional in September 1946,
having already made his first team debut in a wartime match in the
Football League (South) on 9th March 1946.
Spurs loaned him to Chelmsford City, then managed by Arthur Rowe, as they did not have a reserve team at that stage. His Football League debut was made in a Division 2 match
against Sheffield Wednesday on 30th August 1947. 'The Duke' as he became
known was a chunky, workmanlike player, who was not as skilful as others
of the Rowe team. But he was a very hard worker and scored many crucial
goals in the two seasons that saw Rowe's team win the Second and First
Division. It was a tragedy for the team that they never qualified for the
Cup Final. They would probably have lost the 1948 Cup Final but might have
won the 1953 Final. They would certainly have been favourites for the 1953
Final. But the following season, the writing was on the wall when Spurs
signed Dunmore from York.
But Duquemin fought back, also resisting a
challenge from Alfie Stokes, and did not leave Tottenham until November
1958, by which time Bobby Smith had arrived from Chelsea. Len played for
Bedford Town, Hastings United and Romford, before retiring. After that, he
ran a newsagents business and a public house before retiring. Until very recently, Len would attend matches in company with Bill Nicholson. (Ed:Len was one of the company of friends that accompanied "Sir" Bill on a recent parade in front of the White Hart Lane crowd. My recollection is that was around the time of Mr Nicholson's 80th birthday.)
Duquemin played 275 Football League matches (including one abandoned
match), scoring 114 goals. He also made one appearance in the Football
League (South) transitional season of 1945-46. In the FA Cup, he made 33
appearances, scoring 17 goals. Len lies fourth in the table of all-time top scorers for Spurs, behind only Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith and Martin Chivers. (Based on goals in ALL games including friendlies. Len stands sixth in the list of scorers in competitive games, with Cliff Jones and George Hunt behind Chivers) (2018 edit:- Len Duquemin is 8th in the list of all-time Spurs goalscorers, overtaken by Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane since original publication) God bless you, Len. You were a Spurs legend.
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