Tottenham – the West Bromwich Albion Connections


Tottenham and West Bromwich Albion have many links dating back to Spurs’ non-League days over a century ago. One area where there is no connection is that Spurs have never signed a player directly from Albion although the Midlands club has bought two players from Tottenham.

1. Transfers from Tottenham to Albion

This is the sixtieth season that Tottenham and West Brom have been opponents in League competitions with the vast majority of those taking place at the highest level. There are, however, very few players who have played for 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.

2. Managers

Two former Tottenham players have been manager of West Brom. Vic Buckingham, a Spurs defender before and after the 2nd World War, was in charge for six years in the 1950s and they won the FA Cup and were second in the 1st Division in 1953-54, his first full season in charge.

Ossie Ardiles had one season (1992-93) at The Hawthorns leading them to promotion, before joining Tottenham in July, 1993, following the departure of Terry Venables. His assistant at The Hawthorns was former Tottenham manager, Keith Burkinshaw who succeeded him as manager of Albion for 1993-94.

3. Martin Jol

Martin Jol played for Albion, making 64 League appearances in his two seasons with the club (1982-84). In 2004 he joined Spurs as assistant manager to Jacques Santini and took over control the following October when the Frenchman departed. Jol led Spurs to two fifth place finishes in the Premier League but was sacked in October, 2007.

4. 1901 FA Cup Semi-final

Tottenham made history in 1901 as the last non-League side to win the FA Cup and they defeated Albion 4 – 0 in the semi-final. Spurs were in the Southern League while West Bromwich Albion were in the 1st Division. They met at Villa Park and although it was like a home game for Albion, Spurs took thousands of spectators to Birmingham. The Spurs’ hero was centre-forward, Sandy Brown who scored all four goals in a comprehensive win. Brown having scored in every round of the competition had a total of twelve goals. Spurs were very much the under-dogs but although it was scoreless at the interval Spurs had more of the play and from the time Brown headed the first goal early in the second half, there was no doubting the winner. He completed his hat-trick in the next twenty minutes and added the fourth with five minutes remaining after a passing movement took Spurs the length of the pitch.

5. Tony Galvin and Martin Jol

Tottenham and WBA met in the two legged semi-final of the 1981-82 League Cup. The first match at The Hawthorns ended goalless and both teams were reduced to ten men when Tony Galvin and Martin Jol were sent off. Micky Hazard scored the only goal of the tie at White Hart Lane to take Spurs to the Wembley Final where they lost to Liverpool.

6. First League Defeat at White Hart Lane

West Bromwich Albion were the first team to inflict a League defeat on Spurs at White Hart Lane when on 7th November 1908 they won 3-0. It was Spurs’ first season in the Football League and they won four and drew two of their six opening home fixtures in the 2nd Division.

7. Tottenham’s First Away Win at the Hawthorns

While Albion had a quick start when winning the first League meeting at White Hart Lane, it took Spurs sixteen attempts before registering a win at The Hawthorns. Spurs’ first away win over Albion came in November, 1931, a 2 – 0 success with Ted Harper scoring twice.

8. The Last Match

Jermain Defoe scored the only goal of the game in early January. Albion had numerous injuries and Roy Hodgson came to restrict Spurs and try to take a point. After much endeavour, it was Defoe who broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. Spurs remained in third position in the League.

Team: Friedel; Walker, Gallas (Bassong), Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Van der Vaart, Sandro (Livermore (Kranjcar)), Modric, Bale; Defoe, Adebayor Subs: (unused) Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, dos Santos, Rose

How many of that Spurs team will feature on Saturday?