Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Christmases Past (Written in 2006)
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Christmases Past - 2006

Last year, for the first time, I wrote an article called "Christmases Past", looking back at Spurs at Christmas time down the years. I thought it would be nice to continue this theme, so once again, let me take you back down the Spurs time-tunnel to see what we were doing 100, 75, 50, 25 and 5 years ago!


Still managed by John Cameron, Spurs had nearly two years to wait before embarking upon their illustrious Football League career. 100 years ago, we were still in the Southern League and were to finish 6th this season. Spurs played at home to Millwall on Christmas Day, winning 3-1 with goals from Charlie Hewitt, Herbert Chapman and James Reid. Yes, this was the same Herbert Chapman who went on to manage the team down the road! Chapman was making his first appearance of that season for Spurs.The Spurs team was Reilly; Chaplin, Watson; Morris, Bull, Hughes; Walton, Hewitt, Chapman, Reid, and Brearley.

The next day (Yes, times were tough in those days!), Spurs travelled to Southampton and were beaten 2-1. Reid scored again, and was Spurs top scorer that season with 18 in 26 Southern League games, and 6 in other matches. The only team change was Sandy Tait at left back for Watson.


Managed by Percy Smith (no relation!), Spurs were in Division Two, finishing 8th. Promotion was to follow the next season. Again, Spurs played on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but they were spared long distance travel, as their opponents were Charlton.

We were at home on Christmas Day and lost 1-0. The team was Taylor; Lyons, Hodgkinson; Colquhoun, Arthur Rowe (later to manage Spurs to consecutive Championships in 1950 and 1951),Alsford; Davies, Brain, George Hunt (scorer of 150 goals in his Spurs career), O'Callaghan, Willie Evans.

Full revenge was exacted the next day, as we ran out 5-2 victors at The Valley. Tom Evans replaced Alsford in an otherwise unchanged team and George Hunt got a hat-trick, with further goals by Jim Brain and Will Davies.

Over 36,000 had seen the White Hart Lane game and 26,000+ were at The Valley. George Hunt scored 24 league goals that season, and got another hat-trick in Spurs next game at Wolves! I have to report another connection to our local rivals, as Hunt eventually signed for them in 1937.


Spurs were in Division One, managed by John Anderson and were to finish runners-up (by 8 points) to Manchester United. Our home and away opposition this year was Everton. Two years before the famous 10-4 thrashing in Bill Nicholson's first game as manager, Spurs handed out a 6-goal beating at White Hart Lane on Christmas Day in front of 27,761. Spurs had many larger attendances during the season, so perhaps transport problems were beginning to have an effect on the ability to attend on Christmas Day. The practice ended two years later.

Spurs scorers in the 6-0 win were - Terry Medwin (2), Tommy Harmer(pen), Bobby Smith (2) and Alfie Stokes. The full team was Ted Ditchburn; Peter Baker, Mel Hopkins; Danny Blanchflower, John Ryden, Tony Marchi; Terry Medwin, Harmer the charmer, Bobby Smith, Alf Stokes and George Robb.

Terry Dyson replaced Medwin the next day when we drew at Goddison Park, 1-1, with our goal being scored by Robb. Several elements of our Double winning side were in place, but modern day football history would have to wait for four more years!


Spurs were of course, the FA Cup holders, under the leadership of Keith Burkinshaw, and partly thanks to that marvellous goal by Ricky Villa. The 81-82 season was not as successful as it might have been. We were competing in all 4 competitions we entered, losing our first domestic Cup Final to Liverpool (League Cup), going out to Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Cup-Winners' Cup, and finishing fourth in the League. It sounds strange, but to win the FA Cup Final by a penalty, and in a replay (again) was almost a disappointment after such a promising season.

The fact that the weather prevented us playing a competitiive game between 12th December and January 2nd had an impact as we had to play 10 games in May, and only managed to win 2 of our last 9 League games.

I'm going to slip in another Arsenal reference here, as when we did start playing after Christmas, it was an FA Cup Third Round game at home to the gooners, which we won 1-0! Garth Crooks scored the goal. Pat Jennings was the opposition keeper, but at some stage during the game he was replaced by Raphael Meade.

Links to reports mentioned this season can be found here

This was a Glenn Hoddle year, when we finished 9th in the Premiership, but were 7th over Christmas. It was to be a season when we lost another Cup Final, at Cardiff to Blackburn (League Cup), and sadly, during three consecutive 4-0 defeats, we exited the FA Cup at home to Chelsea.

One of those 4-0 defeats (at Old Trafford) was refereed by Mike Riley, one of our nemeses dressed in black (or green, as the case may be!). Mr. Riley refereed our home game against Ipswich on December 22nd, when he sent off Teddy Sheringham, and we lost in front of a full house, 2-1.

Simon Davies had given us an early lead but goals by Finidi George and substitute Alun Armstrong were to give Ipswich the spoils. Ipswich also beat us at Portman Road, but were still relegated that season.

The Spurs team was:- Sullivan; Perry (sub Gardner, 46), Richards, King; Taricco, Freund, Davies (sub Poyet, 75), Anderton, Ziege; Sheringham (Capt), Rebrov (sub Ferdinand, 67)

On Boxing Day, at 12 noon, Spurs played before the biggest crowd Southampton had so far had at their new Stadium. Spurs' dismal Christmas form continued, and we lost 1-0. The team this time was:- Sullivan; King, Richards, Gardner (sub Davies, 75); Taricco, Freund (sub Sherwood, 71), Anderton, Poyet (sub Rebrov, 86), Ziege; Sheringham (Capt), Ferdinand

At the end of the report, I wrote the following:-

"I fear for our ability to get a result at Coventry in the FA Cup, and of course in that Worthington Cup Tie against Chelsea. The senior players had two parties in the run-up to Christmas, one of which involved them flying to Dublin last Tuesday night. I wonder if that was one or two parties too many? "

Well, what did I know about future results, as we comfortably beat Coventry, and of course thrashed Chelsea 5-1 in the home leg of our semi-final!

I hope that your Christmas festivities and Spurs results this year are just tip-top!

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