Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Christmases Past (Written in 2005)
Spurs Odyssey Banner

Over 25 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey

Main Page
News and views from Paul Smith, and links to the interactive features of the Spurs Odyssey Site. [more..]
Articles, reports, views, opinions, comments and other features all related to Spurs. [more..]

Harry Hotspur's Tribute Pages to the late great Bill Nicholson

Match Reports
Christmases Past - 2005
Christmases Past

I thought it would be interesting to look back at some Spurs history during Christmases of 100, 75, 50, 25 and 5 years ago. Bearing in mind the fact that several Premiership managers have suddenly decided to bemoan the programme they face over the forthcoming holiday period (It’s funny they didn’t mention it at the start of the season), some of you will be surprised to learn of the intensive fixture programmes that teams had to face even 100 years ago. As late as the 1958-9 season, matches were still being played on Christmas Day!

On four out of the five Christmases referred to in this article, Southampton provided our opposition. I hope you will find one or two other snippets below of interest during your festivities


In 1905, Spurs were still in the Southern League, managed by John Cameron, who had guided us to our famous FA Cup victory in 1901. On Christmas Day we played in front of 33,000 at White Hart Lane and beat Portsmouth 3-1, with goals by Chapman, Kyle and Carrick. Yes, Spurs had a Carrick playing for them 100 years ago! This was Christopher Carrick, who with fellow goalscorer Peter Kyle was suspended by the club the following March, and never played in the Lilywhite and Blue again. Quite what their offence was I don’t know. Let’s hope that Michael Carrick can emulate his namesake (by scoring that is!) this Christmas.

On Boxing Day that year, we travelled to Southampton and lost 1-0. Spurs finished 5th that season, and had to wait another three years for entry to the Football League.


Spurs were in Division Two and just missed out on promotion that year. At Christmas they played on three consecutive days! There was a home defeat to Southampton on Christmas Day (1-3); revenge on Boxing Day at The Dell, by 3-0; and a 2-1 win at Reading on 27th December. “Taffy" O’Callaghan scored in each of these three games. Ted Harper was our top goalscorer that season, with 36 goals in 30 League games, but he did not play over Christmas.


50 years ago saw another intensive campaign. We beat Luton and West Brom at home on December 24th and 26th (2-1 and 4-1 respectively), and then on 27th lost the return match at West Bromwich Albion. It wasn’t a glorious season for Spurs, who finished 18th in Division One.


Boxing Day that year saw us in an exciting 4-4 draw at home to The Saints, with Gary Brooke (2), Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks on the Spurs scoresheet. The next day we went to Norwich and drew 2-2, with Archibald and Hoddle on the mark. 10th was our final League position that year.


By now, Premiership campaigns had become less compact at Christmas, although some years, the calendar is kinder than others. Spurs had drawn 0-0 at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday 23rd December, and played in front of the SKY cameras at The Dell on Wednesday 27th. This match saw a managerial tussle between Glenn Hoddle and George Graham. It still seems strange to think that Graham was our manager and Glenn was yet to take over from “Gooner George”. Hoddle had the last laugh this time with a 2-0 win, thanks to goals by Beattie and Davies – now plying their trade in other Premiership colours. The match report can be read here.

The following Saturday saw a grim defeat by 3-0 at Ipswich, and that was witnessed by the TV audience too. I remember the ironic cheers for our first shot on target mid-way through the second half.


As we know only too well, five years is a long time in football, and only Ledley King survives that period in the Spurs squad. Times look better now, and there is genuine optimism about the points on offer in the next 12 days, when Spurs play 4 Premiership matches. Let’s hope we are all still smiling when the New Year dawns.

May I repeat my good wishes to you and your loved ones this Christmas, and for 2006?

Look out for more articles of this nature in the future at Spurs Odyssey.

Top of page | Back to On This Matchday

Fixtures, appearances, current league table, form guide, reserves fixtures, and Spurs Honours. [more..]
Find match reports, appearances, goalscorers and features from previous seasons. [more..]
Pick of the Week
Every week we select a Spurs related site from the whole world wide web and highlight it in this section. [more..]
View a comprehensive list of links to other Spurs related sites. (With a few extras) [more..]
About this site
· Overview
· History
· Contributors
Site Owner
· Paul Smith

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Full details van be found via the Spurs Odyssey Privacy Policy