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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Charlton, 02.11.98

This preview was written by Brian Judson

Full Record of Spurs -v- Charlton Athletic

Premier         Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home             0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Away             0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Total (Prem)     0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Lge Div 1 
Home            11   6   1   4    22-15  15
Away            11   6   4   1    20-11  18
Total (Div 1)   22  12   5   5    42-26  33
Lge Div 2
Home             6   5   1   0    20-5   11
Away             6   1   0   5     5-9    2
Total (Div 2)   12   6   1   5    25-14  13
Total (Premier)  0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Total (Div 1)   22  12   5   5    42-26  33
Total (Div 2)   12   6   1   5    25-14  13
Grand Total     34  18   6  10    67-40  47

This will be the first occasion on which Spurs and Charlton have clashed in the Premier League. Charlton were relegated from the old First Division in 1989-90, having been promoted as runners-up to Norwich City in 1985-86. Throughout that spell, Charlton struggled to avoid relegation, seemingly looking down and out and then clawing their way to safety at the last minute. But eventually they went to the wall once too often and went down.

Charlton were elected to Division 3 South in the close season of 1921. That was the year Spurs were Cup Winners for the second time, bringing the cup south of Birmingham for the first time since 1901. For much of their first decade in membership, Charlton did not set the world on fire but in season 1928-29 they won the championship of Division 3 South and were promoted to Division 2, which was when they first played Spurs for League points, Spurs having been relegated to Division 2 at the end of season 1927-28. In 1932-33, Spurs and Charlton went their separate ways : Spurs promoted to Division 1 as runners-up to Stoke City and Charlton relegated to Division 3 South (very nearly accompanied by West Ham United).

In 1934-35, Spurs finished bottom of Division 1 (after finishing 3rd the previous season) and Charlton won the Championship of Division 3 South. But whilst Spurs required time to absorb the shock of relegation, Charlton were promoted as runners-up to Manchester United, who had not so long ago came within one point of being relegated to Division 3 North. In their first ever season in Division 1, Charlton were runners-up to Manchester City.

Charlton's best years in Division 1 were just before the war, finishing 2nd, 4th and 3rd before Hitler unleashed his armies against Poland. After the war, Charlton reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing to Derby County in 1946 but winning the Cup the following year when they beat Burnley.

By now, of course, Charlton's manager was ex-Spurs player, Jimmy Seed. He was manager of Charlton for the incredible period from 1933 to the Autumn of 1956 when Charlton's relegation from Division 1 began to look inevitable and he took ill with the worry of it all.

It was around this time that Charlton played in one of the most incredible football matches of all time. Losing 5-1 at home to Huddersfield Town in a Division 2 match, Charlton fought back to win 7-6. The incredibly brave Johnny Summers scored five of the goals. Summers later died from cancer, I believe.

Over the years, Spurs and Charlton's paths have infrequently crossed though two meetings were in Division 2 in 1977-78 when Spurs spent a solitary season there. There will be several listees who can remember our 4-1 thrashing at the Valley that season with Spud Taylor scoring our only goal.

But it is the first time I saw them that I remember most. It was Easter Monday 1957 and we thrashed Charlton 6-2. The fourth goal of the game was Tottenham's 100th of the season. There were a few people who were sad to see the game because our win condemned them to relegation. It was a very long time before we saw Charlton climb back to the top tier.

Looking ahead to Monday night, there should be no doubt about the outcome of the match. We *ought* to win fairly easily but, Tottenham being Tottenham, we won't make any assumptions about that. But as I'm supposed to go out on a limb, I will hazard that Charlton will get the usual early goal, GG will go incandescent on the touchline and Spurs will finally redeem themselves and win 4-1.

Cheers, Brian

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