Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Crest 2006
Full name Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Nickname(s) Spurs, Lilywhites
Founded 1882 as Hotspur F.C.
Ground White Hart Lane
Capacity 36,240
Chairman England Daniel Levy
Manager Netherlands Martin Jol
League FA Premier League
2005-06 Premier League, 5th
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Home colours
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Away colours

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club are an English football club, which play in the FA Premier League. The club is also known as Tottenham and Spurs, while their own fans also refer to them as the Lilywhites because of their traditional white shirts. Their home ground is White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London.

Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960-61 season. In 1963, Spurs became the first English club to win a European trophy - the European Cup Winners' Cup.

The club enjoys a long-standing rivalry with near neighbours Arsenal, and matches between the two are known as the North London derbies part of the many London Derbies that take place during the season.The club motto is Audere est Facere (lit: "To dare is to do") and their emblem is the cockerel and ball.


Formation to first league title

In 1882 the Hotspur Football Club was formed by young men from a local grammar school and Hotspur cricket club. It is thought that the name Hotspur was associated with Sir Henry Percy (Sir Harry Hotspur) who lived locally in the 14th Century. The team later became Tottenham Hotspur to distinguish itself from another team called London Hotspur.

At first Hotspur played in navy blue shirts. The club colours then varied from light blue and white halved jerseys, to red shirts and blue shorts, through chocolate brown and old gold and then finally, in the 1899-1900 season, to white shirts and navy blue shorts as a tribute to Preston North End, the most successful team of the time.

In 1888 Tottenham moved their home fixtures from the Lee River marshes to Northumberland Park where the club was able to charge for spectator admission. They turned professional just before Christmas 1895 and by 1896 had been admitted to the Southern League and were attracting crowds sometimes nearing 15,000. Charles Roberts became Chairman from 1898 to 1943.

In 1899 Spurs made their final ground move to a former market garden in nearby High Road, Tottenham. In time the ground adopted the name of a local thoroughfare, White Hart Lane. The move proved successful as in 1900, Tottenham won the Southern League title and crowned this achievement the next year by winning the FA Cup - becoming the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League.

Tottenham achieved election to the Second Division of the Football League for the 1908-09 season, immediately winning promotion as runners-up to the First Division. Their record between 1910 and the Great War was poor and when football was suspended at the end of the 1914-15 season, Tottenham were bottom of the league.

There were shenanigans in 1919 when Arsenal - who had finished only fifth in Division 2 the previous season - were elected to the First Division in Spurs' place. Their relocation into Tottenham's hinterland and this duplicity triggered the derision Spurs fans feel for the Gunners. Tottenham were Division Two Champions in 1919-20 and in the following year, on April 23, 1921, Spurs went all the way to their second FA Cup Final victory beating Wolves 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

After finishing second to Liverpool in the league in 1922, Spurs experienced a steady decline, culminating in 1928's relegation. Spurs were unable to advance beyond the quarter finals of the FA Cup, getting that far three years running 1935- 1938. On September 3, 1939, as Neville Chamberlain declared war, Spurs were seventh in the Second Division. League Football was abandoned for the "duration".

By 1949 Arthur Rowe was manager, and had devised and developed the “ push and run” tactical style of play. This involved quickly laying the ball off to a teammate and running past the marking tackler to collect the return pass. It proved an effective way to move the ball at pace with players' positions and responsibility being totally fluid. Rising to the top of the Second Division, Tottenham ran away with their first ever league title. In 1951 they won the First Division Championship and became the first side to win Second and First Divisions in successive seasons. Playing heroes included Alf Ramsey, Ronnie Burgess, Ted Ditchburn, Len Duquemin, Sonny Walters and Bill Nicholson.

1960s to 1990s

Bill Nicholson joined Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice in 1936. The following 68 years saw him serve the club in every capacity from boot room to president. He guided Tottenham to major trophy success three seasons in a row in the early 1960s: the double in 1961, the FA Cup and European Cup Semi-final in 1962, and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963. Key players included Danny Blanchflower, John White, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones and Jimmy Greaves.

After 1964, the Double side began to disintegrate due to age, injuries and transfers. Nicholson rebuilt a second successful team with imports like Alan Gilzean, Mike England, Alan Mullery, Terry Venables, Joe Kinnear and Cyril Knowles. They won the 1967 FA Cup and finished third in the league.

Nicholson added the League Cup (1971 and 1973) and the UEFA Cup (1972) to Tottenham's illustrious history before he resigned at the start of the 1974-75 season due to both a poor start, and his disgust at seeing rioting fans in Rotterdam in a UEFA Cup final, which Spurs lost.

Tottenham slipped out of the First Division at the end of the 1976-77 season, and the club installed Keith Burkinshaw as manager in a bid to revitalise their fortunes. They won promotion to the top flight and lifted the FA Cup in 1981 beating Manchester City in a replay, with Ricardo Villa scoring a memorable solo goal. Spurs retained the trophy the following year, beating QPR. Key players in this successful Tottenham side included Steve Archibald, Garth Crooks, Glenn Hoddle, Osvaldo Ardiles, and Steve Perryman who, in seventeen seasons, played 655 league games for Spurs. These players inspired Tottenham to UEFA Cup glory in 1984, but Burkinshaw walked out on the club within days to be succeeded by Peter Shreeves.

In 1982 the club was bought by Monte Carlo-based property tycoon Irving Scholar. He arrived in a boardroom which had seen just one or two proficient directors since 1943. The challenge for Scholar was to reinstate financial stability after the construction of a new West Stand had almost bankrupted the club.

Peter Shreeves was in charge for two seasons, achieving a third place finish in his first but losing his job after a slump in 1985-86. Luton Town manager David Pleat was appointed the new manager, and for much of 1986-87 it looked as though it would be a very successful season.

Playing with a five man midfield (Hoddle, Ardiles, Hodge, Paul Allen, Waddle) supplying the prolific Clive Allen, Tottenham mounted a serious challenge on all fronts. At one point in March, if they had won their remaining 13 matches, they would have won all domestic honours. As it was, they were defeated in the League Cup semi final by rivals Arsenal. After faltering at the final hurdle in the league, Spurs' hopes hinged on the FA Cup. Spurs had never before lost a domestic cup final while their opponents, Coventry, had never even reached a Cup Final before. Spurs were the favourites but suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of John Sillett's team. Pleat quit the following October following allegations over his private life.

Spurs veteran Terry Venables was named Pleat's successor, and after two league seasons, guided the club to third place in 1989-90 and an FA Cup win in 1991. The new-look Tottenham team included two players who starred in England's run to the semi-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup – Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker.

In 1990, a slump in the property market left chairman Irving Scholar on the verge of bankruptcy, leaving him with no option but to sell the club. Venables joined forces with businessman Alan Sugar to take over Tottenham Hotspur PLC and pay off its £20 million debts, part of which involved the sale of Gascoigne. Venables became chief executive, with Peter Shreeves again taking charge of first-team duties. His second spell as team manager lasted just one season, before he was dismissed in favour of joint coaches Ray Clemence and Doug Livermore. Tottenham's first Premier League season ended with a mid-table finish and Venables was removed from the club's board after a legal dispute with Sugar. Several years later the High Court ruled Venables to be unfit to be concerned in any way with the management of a company, in part due to his dealings at Tottenham.

Premier League era

Having just won the Division Two playoffs as manager of WBA, former star Ossie Ardiles became the club's next manager in 1993. He was renowned for pronouncing Tottenham as Tottingham as well as helping them win two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup as a player.

Ardiles captured three expensive players - German striker Jürgen Klinsmann and Romanian midfield duo Gheorghe Popescu and Ilie Dumitrescu. Tottenham employed the Famous Five: Teddy Sheringham and Klinsmann up front, Nick Barmby just behind, Darren Anderton on the right and Dumitrescu on the left. Klinsmann was a sensation, scoring freely and becoming a firm fan favourite. Ultimately these expensive signings made little difference to Tottenham's form and Ardiles was sacked in September 1994.

During the 1994 close season, Tottenham was found guilty of making illegal payments to players and given one of the most severe punishments in English football history: 12 points deducted for the 1994-95 season, a one year ban from the FA Cup, and a £600,000 fine. Alan Sugar protested against these penalties on the grounds that the people involved were no longer at the club, and the FA Cup ban and points deduction were both quashed.

Ardiles was replaced by former QPR manager Gerry Francis, who turned around the club's fortunes dramatically. Tottenham climbed to seventh place in the league, and took advantage of their reinstatement to the FA Cup by reaching the semi-finals, a 4-1 defeat against eventual winners Everton preventing them from reaching the final.

1996-97 saw Tottenham finish in 10th place. Striker Teddy Sheringham requested a move and was sold to Manchester United. In November 1997, with Spurs second from bottom and in danger of relegation, Francis was sacked. Christian Gross, coach of Swiss champions Grasshoppers, was appointed. He re-signed legendary striker Jürgen Klinsmann, whose second spell proved a key factor in securing Premiership survival.

George Graham was hired to lead the club before the 1998-99 season. Despite heavy criticism from club fans due to Graham's previous dealings with bitter rivals Arsenal, in his first season as Spurs manager the club secured a mid-table finish and won the League Cup by defeating Leicester City at Wembley. However, another mid-table league finish followed in 1999-2000.

At the start of 2001, Sir Alan Sugar's patience broke. He sold his controlling interest in Tottenham to ENIC Sports PLC, run by Daniel Levy.

Team management passed to Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle who took over in April 2001 with the team lying thirteenth in the table. His first match in charge was an FA Cup semi-final defeat to rivals Arsenal. Another humiliation followed when club captain Sol Campbell defected to Arsenal on a Bosman free transfer. With limited funds to improve the squad Hoddle turned towards more experienced players in the shape of Teddy Sheringham, Gus Poyet and Christian Ziege for inspiration.

Season 2001-02 saw an improvement, as Spurs finished in ninth place. However, a League Cup Final defeat to Blackburn Rovers left Hoddle under pressure for the following campaign. Only limited funds were available and the only significant outlay was £7 million for Robbie Keane, who joined from Leeds United. 2002-03 started well, with Tottenham remaining in the top six as late as early February. But with just seven points in the final ten games, the club finished in tenth place. Players publicly criticised Hoddle's management style and communication skills. Six games into the 2003-04 season, Hoddle was sacked and David Pleat took over on a caretaker basis until a full-time successor could be found.

Robbie Keane prepares to take a penalty at White Hart Lane
Robbie Keane prepares to take a penalty at White Hart Lane

In May 2004, Tottenham signed French team manager Jacques Santini as head coach, with Martin Jol as his assistant and Frank Arnesen as Sporting Director. Despite much hype, Santini quit the club in bizarre circumstances after just 13 games in charge and was replaced by Jol. It didn't take long for the big Dutchman to become a favourite with the often fickle Spurs crowd and inspite of a 9th place finish in his first season, it was clear progress was being made and the club was heading in the right direction. However a change of plans was forced on Spurs when at the end of the season Frank Arnesen controversially headed to Chelsea, with Tottenham angrily accusing their London neighbours of tapping up their employee. With the threat of Premier League action looming, Chelsea eventually paid Spurs compensation of around £5 million, with the latter swiftly appointing Damien Comolli as their new Sporting Director in September 2005 as Arnesen's replacement.

2005-06 proved to be Spurs' best Premiership season to date. During the campaign the club spent six months in fourth place, which they only relinquished to rivals Arsenal on the last day of the season after a defeat to West Ham in a loss that was controversial as ten members of the Spurs first team had come down with a mysterious stomach bug only hours before kick off. Fans were left to settle for fifth position and a place in the UEFA Cup for the coming season. Although it wasn't the Champions League as hoped, the return to European football to the lane was welcomed by the fans.

In the 2006-07 season, Tottenham beat Slavia Prague in the first round and then won their first three UEFA Cup group stage matches, including a resounding 2-0 win away at Turkish club Beşiktaş who gave the players a standing ovation after the game, and a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen, thus qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition. On November 5th, Tottenham beat the reigning champions Chelsea for the first time in the league since 1990, and in 19 years at White Hart Lane.

Club ownership

Billionaire Joseph Lewis owns 29.8 per cent of the club through his investment company ENIC Sports Ltd. ENIC have also held significant stakes in SK Slavia Praha and AEK Athens. Daniel Levy, Lewis's partner, is Executive Chairman of the club, and it is widely believed by fans, players and management, that he has played a significant part in the club's turnaround, not least through the acquisition of players and of current Head Coach, Martin Jol. Former chairman Sir Alan Sugar retains a 13 per cent stake through Amshold Limited, while Stelios Haji-Ioannou has 9 per cent through Hodram Inc.

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies

Tottenham's ladies team was founded in 1985 as Broxbourne Ladies. They started using the Tottenham Hotspur name for the 1991/2 season and play in the South-East & London Regional Women's League (the fourth tier of the game).


Tottenham have a large fanbase, with home matches traditionally attracting high attendances. In several seasons during the 1950s and 1960s, Tottenham had the highest average attendance in England., In more recent years, attendances have been lower, partly due to the reduction in capacity caused by White Hart Lane's conversion to an all-seater stadium. In the 2005-06 season, Tottenham had the eighth largest average attendance in England.

The club have a reputation for having a large Jewish following, with some Tottenham supporters referring to themselves as Yids a slang term for Jewish people deriving from Yiddish. The term was originally used as a racist provocation, but was co-opted by Spurs fans in the late 1960s, after years of having had anti-semitic racial abuse directed at them by opposing supporters, to deflect its impact and to differentiate themselves from other clubs' fans. A small element among the Tottenham crowd (including many gentiles) developed the use of chants such as Yiddos! and Yid Army! in an effort to fire up the team.

Tottenham's biggest rivalry is with fellow North London club Arsenal, against whom they contest the North London derby.


  • Football League First Division / Premier League 2
    • 1950-51, 1960-61
  • Football League Second Division 2
    • 1919-20, 1949-50
  • FA Cup 8
    • 1900-01, 1920-21, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1966-67, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1990-91
  • League Cup 3
    • 1971, 1973, 1999
  • FA Community Shield 7
    • 1920-21, 1951-52, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1967-68, 1981-82, 1991-92
  • Southern League 1
    • 1899-1900
  • Western League 1
    • 1903-04
  • Football League North and South 2
    • 1943-44, 1944-45
  • UEFA Cup 2
    • 1971-72, 1983-84
  • European Cup Winners' Cup 1
    • 1962-63
  • Anglo-Italian League Cup 1
    • 1971-72
  • FA Youth Cup 3
    • 1970, 1974, 1990
  • Peace Cup 1
    • 2005
Preceded by:
Atlético Madrid
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Winner
Runner up: Atlético Madrid
Succeeded by:
Sporting Lisbon

Statistics and records

Current squad

No. Position Player
1 England GK Paul Robinson
2 Guadeloupe DF Pascal Chimbonda
3 South Korea DF Lee Young-Pyo
4 Côte d'Ivoire MF Didier Zokora
5 Netherlands MF Edgar Davids
6 Finland MF Teemu Tainio
7 Canada DF Paul Stalteri
8 England MF Jermaine Jenas
9 Bulgaria FW Dimitar Berbatov
10 Republic of Ireland FW Robbie Keane ( vice-captain)
11 Egypt FW Mido
12 Czech Republic GK Radek Černý (on loan from SK Slavia Praha)
13 England MF Danny Murphy
14 Egypt MF Hossam Ghaly
15 France MF Steed Malbranque
No. Position Player
16 Switzerland MF Reto Ziegler
18 England FW Jermain Defoe
20 England DF Michael Dawson
22 England MF Tom Huddlestone
24 England MF Jamie O'Hara
25 England MF Aaron Lennon
26 England DF Ledley King ( captain)
27 England DF Calum Davenport
28 England FW Lee Barnard
29 England DF Philip Ifil
30 England DF Anthony Gardner
32 Cameroon DF Benoît Assou-Ekotto
35 France DF Dorian Dervitte
39 England FW Andy Barcham

Out on loan

No. Position Player
17 Hungary GK Márton Fülöp (on loan to Sunderland until Jan 07)
21 England MF Wayne Routledge (on loan to Fulham until Jul 07)
38 England DF Charlie Lee (on loan to Millwall until Dec 06)


  • Sporting Director: Damien Comolli
  • Head Coach: Martin Jol
  • First Team Coach: Chris Hughton
  • Development Coach: Clive Allen
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Hans Segers
  • Skills Coach: Ricardo Moniz

Managers and head coaches

Listed according to when they became managers for Tottenham Hotspur:
  • 1898 England Frank Brettell
  • 1899 Scotland John Cameron
  • 1907 England Fred Kirkham
  • 1912 England Peter McWilliams
  • 1927 England Billy Minter
  • 1930 England Percy Smith
  • 1935 England Wally Hardinge (caretaker)
  • 1935 England Jack Tresadern
  • 1938 England Peter McWilliams
  • 1942 England Arthur Turner
  • 1946 England Joe Hulme
  • 1949 England Arthur Rowe
  • 1955 England Jimmy Anderson
  • 1958 England Bill Nicholson
  • 1974 Northern Ireland Terry Neill
  • 1976 England Keith Burkinshaw
  • 1984 England Peter Shreeves
  • 1986 England David Pleat
  • 1987 England Trevor Hartley and Doug Livermore (caretakers)
  • 1987 England Terry Venables
  • 1991 England Peter Shreeves
  • 1992 England Doug Livermore and England Ray Clemence
  • 1993 Argentina Ossie Ardiles
  • 1994 England Steve Perryman (caretaker)
  • 1994 England Gerry Francis
  • 1997 Republic of Ireland Chris Hughton (caretaker)
  • 1997 Switzerland Christian Gross
  • 1998 England David Pleat (caretaker)
  • 1998 Scotland George Graham
  • 2001 England David Pleat (caretaker)
  • 2001 England Glenn Hoddle
  • 2003 England David Pleat (caretaker)
  • 2004 France Jacques Santini
  • 2004 Netherlands Martin Jol

Tottenham under Jol

 Played  Won Drawn Lost
97  45 (46%)   24 (25%)   28 (29%) 

* includes his one match as caretaker manager after Santini's resignation.

Martin Jol currently has the best record for any manager in 20 years at Tottenham based on the percentage of games won, drawn and lost.

» Highest ever finish in a Premiership season.
» First Tottenham manager to qualify for Europe via the league in the Premiership.
» Lead Tottenham to their first league victory over Chelsea in 16 years.
» Took Tottenham to the round of 32 in European competition for the first time in 14 years.

Top 10 managers of the last century

Based on win % in all competitions
Manager(s) Years  Played   Won   Win % 
1 Arthur Turner 1942-46 49 27 55.10%
2 David Pleat ¹ 1986-87 117 58 49.57%
3 Bill Nicholson 1958-74 832 408 49.03%
4 Arthur Rowe 1949-55 283 135 47.70%
5 Martin Jol ² 2004-Present 97 45 46.39%
6 Jimmy Anderson 1955-58 153 72 46.58%
7  Doug Livermore & Ray Clemence  1992-93 51 23 45.09%
8 Peter Shreeve  1984-1986 & 1991-92  177 79 44.63%
9 Jack Tresadern 1935-38 146 65 44.52%
10 Peter McWilliam 1913-27 701 311 44.36%

¹ Includes caretaker manager stints in 1998, 2001 and 2003-04
² includes his one match as caretaker manager after Santini's resignation.

Noted former players

Listed according to when they debuted for Tottenham Hotspur:
  • 1901 England Vivian Woodward
  • 1936 England Bill Nicholson
  • 1939 England Ronnie Burgess
  • 1939 England Les Medley
  • 1940 England Ted Ditchburn
  • 1945 England Sonny Walters
  • 1946 Guernsey Len Duquemin
  • 1948 England Tommy Harmer
  • 1949 England Alf Ramsey
  • 1954 Northern Ireland Danny Blanchflower
  • 1955 England Maurice Norman
  • 1955 England Bobby Smith
  • 1958 Wales Cliff Jones
  • 1959 England Les Allen
  • 1959 Scotland Bill Brown
  • 1959 Scotland Dave Mackay
  • 1959 Scotland John White
  • 1960 England Peter Baker
  • 1960 England Terry Dyson
  • 1960 England Ron Henry
  • 1961 England Jimmy Greaves
  • 1962 England Phil Beal
  • 1963 England Jimmy Robertson
  • 1964 Scotland Alan Gilzean
  • 1964 Northern Ireland Pat Jennings
  • 1964 England Cyril Knowles
  • 1964 England Alan Mullery
  • 1965 Republic of Ireland Joe Kinnear
  • 1966 Wales Mike England
  • 1966 England Terry Venables
  • 1968 England Martin Chivers
  • 1969 England Steve Perryman
  • 1970 England Martin Peters
  • 1975 England Gerry Armstrong
  • 1975 England Glenn Hoddle
  • 1977 Republic of Ireland Chris Hughton
  • 1978 Argentina Osvaldo Ardiles
  • 1978 England Mickey Hazard
  • 1978 Argentina Ricardo Villa
  • 1980 Scotland Steve Archibald
  • 1980 England Garth Crooks
  • 1980 England Graham Roberts
  • 1981 England Ray Clemence
  • 1982 England Gary Mabbutt
  • 1983 England Danny Thomas
  • 1984 England Clive Allen
  • 1985 England Paul Allen
  • 1985 England David Howells
  • 1985 England Chris Waddle
  • 1986 Belgium Nico Claesen
  • 1986 England Steve Hodge
  • 1987 England Chris Fairclough
  • 1988 England Paul Gascoigne
  • 1988 England Paul Stewart
  • 1988 Norway Erik Thorstvedt
  • 1989 England Gary Lineker
  • 1991 England Nick Barmby
  • 1992 England Darren Anderton
  • 1992 England Sol Campbell
  • 1992 England Teddy Sheringham
  • 1993 Republic of Ireland Stephen Carr
  • 1994 Germany Jürgen Klinsmann
  • 1994 Romania Gheorghe Popescu
  • 1994 Israel Ronnie Rosenthal
  • 1997 England Les Ferdinand
  • 1997 France David Ginola
  • 2000 Ukraine Serhiy Rebrov
  • 2001 Uruguay Gustavo Poyet
  • 2001 Germany Christian Ziege
  • 2002 England Jamie Redknapp
  • 2004 England Michael Carrick
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