Garth Crooks v Arsenal [Photo: Logan Holmes]

They Played For Tottenham Hotspur And West Bromwich Albion



There have been surprisingly few transfers between Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion with only a small number of players who have turned out for both clubs at some time during their careers.

This is the sixty first season that Tottenham and West Brom have been opponents in League football with the vast majority of those taking place at the highest level. Very few players, however have represented both clubs and the only direct transfers between the two clubs involved Ruel Fox who moved from Spurs to West Brom in 2000 and Garth Crooks who went to Albion in 1985.

Garth Crooks

Crooks was an important member of the successful Tottenham team of the early 1980s. He joined Spurs from Stoke City in July, 1980 for £650,000 and immediately formed an exciting goal scoring partnership with another summer signing, Steve Archibald.  The Tottenham team which had gained promotion in 1978 had struggled to score goals but the Crooks/Archibald partnership solved that problem as the team went on to win successive FA Cup Finals in 1981 and 1982.

Crooks scored in the replays of 1981 semi-final and Final but his contribution to the success tends to be overlooked due to the spectacular nature of the goals scored by Ricky Villa in both matches. Crooks lost form and his regular place in the team and although he did appear more often in 1984-85, he was transferred to West Brom for £100,000 in August, 1985.  After a short period with Albion he joined Charlton Athletic.

There’s Only One – Ruel Fox

Ruel Fox was signed by Tottenham from Newcastle United in October, 1995 for a fee of £4.25 million, making him, at that time, Tottenham’s second most expensive signing behind Chris Armstrong who had been signed for a fee of £4.5 m the previous summer. In five years with the club he made 106 League appearances, scoring 13 goals. In 2000, he went on loan to Albion and joined them in a permanent deal during the summer for £200,000.

Freddie Cox

The first player to play for both clubs was Freddie Cox who was at Tottenham before and after the Second World War. He signed in 1938, making his debut against Swansea Town in November of that year, scoring in a 1 – 1 draw. Although the war took out a large portion of his career, he was still a regular member of the team until 1949. He was a winger but with the emergence of Sonny Walters, Cox was allowed to join Arsenal for £12,000. In 1953 he went to WBA as player/coach and later assistant manager.  On his retirement he went into management and masterminded Bournemouth’s FA Cup success over Tottenham in 1957.

Steve Walford – He left Spurs for Arsenal in 1977 and towards the end of his career had a period on loan with WBA.

Gerry Armstrong – he had a short time with Albion after returning from Spain. He had left Tottenham and joined Watford in 1980.

Graham Roberts – Roberts made his name at Tottenham and was a vital member of the 1980s Cup success. He played in the FA Cup Finals and captained the team in the UEFA Cup triumph over Anderlecht in 1984. He led by example, scoring the equalising goal and taking the first penalty in the shoot-out. He joined Rangers in 1986, Chelsea in 1988 and moved on to West Bromwich Albion in November, 1990.

Two other players to mention:

Tom Evans who was released by Tottenham in 1937 and then signed for Albion but never made it into their league team. Evans was a half-back who spent 8 years with Tottenham and made 101 League and Cup appearances, scoring 4 goals but was only a regular for two seasons in the mid-1930s.

Marton Fulop was a reserve at Spurs and later played one game for Albion when his mistakes in the final game of 2011-12 season enabled Arsenal to take the three points and deny Spurs a third place finish in the league.

Managers

Three former Tottenham players have been the manager of West Brom:

  • Vic Buckingham in the 1950s.  They won the FA Cup and were second in the 1st Division in his first full season in charge.
  • Ossie Ardiles had a season (1992 – 93) at The Hawthorns leading them to promotion, before joining Tottenham following the departure of Terry Venables.

When Ardiles left the Hawthorns for White Hart Lane, his former manager, Keith Burkinshaw who had been his assistant at Albion replaced him. Burkinshaw was there for 16 months.

  • Martin Jol played for Albion and became manager of Spurs when Jacques Santini resigned in October, 2004.

 

Tags: Garth Crooks Ruel Fox Soccer Tottenham Hotspur