Sandy Brown Scored Four As Tottenham Reach FA Cup Final 8th April 1901


Tottenham centre forward Sandy Brown scored all four goals as non-League Tottenham defeated West Bromwich Albion to reach their first FA Cup Final. Albion were overwhelming favourites to win the semi-final played at Villa Park but Tottenham’s giant-killing act continued.

Sandy Brown early Tottenham FA Cup hero [Photo:]On This Day

8th April, 1901

Tottenham Hotspur 4 West Bromwich Albion 0 (at Villa Park) FA Cup semi-final

Scorer: Sandy Brown (4)

As a Southern League side Spurs had progressed to the 1901 FA Cup semi-final having disposed of Preston North End after a replay, the Cup holders, Bury, and the only other surviving non-League side, Reading, with another replay required, in previous rounds. First Division, West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park were Spurs next opponents while Sheffield United and Aston Villa contested the other semi-final. Although the game was like a home game for Albion, Spurs took thousands of spectators to the Birmingham venue.

The Spurs’ hero was Sandy Brown who scored all four goals in a comprehensive win. Brown had scored in every round of the Cup and now had a total of twelve goals in the competition. Spurs were very much the under-dogs and all of the Spurs’ players deserved credit for this performance. Although the game was scoreless at half-time Spurs had more of the play and from the time that Brown headed the first goal just after the restart from a centre by John Kirwan, there was no doubting the result. He scored twice more in the next twenty minutes – his second from a corner and the third, a shot from thirty yards. The fourth came five minutes from the end, after a passing movement which had taken Tottenham the length of the pitch.

Following a replay Spurs discovered they would be meeting Sheffield United in the Final to be played at Crystal Palace.

Early Record in FA Cup

Tottenham were founded in 1882 and less than twenty years later would be contesting their first FA Cup Final while still playing their football in the Southern League. Spurs entered the FA Cup for the first time in October, 1894 when they played West Herts in the 1st Qualifying Round. West Herts were the fore-runner of Watford FC and Spurs won  3 – 2. Six seasons later they were to be in the Final and lift the trophy as a non-League club. The furthest Spurs had progressed in the competition during those early years was two years prior to winning the Cup when they reached the 3rd Round but lost to Stoke City, having played 10 matches in the Cup that season.

Sandy Brown

Brown had joined Tottenham in the summer of 1900. He was the only change that manager, John Cameron, had made to the previous season’s Southern League title winners. The leading scorer in that team, Tom Pratt, had decided to return to Preston so Brown was signed from Portsmouth who had finished as runners-up in the battle for the Southern League title. Brown who was from Ayrshire had also played for Preston North End. He was a prodigious goalscorer but his Tottenham debut saw the team lose at home by three goals to Millwall Athletic. The team and Brown, however, soon found their form, winning the following week by five goals with Brown grabbing a hat-trick. Through the first half of the season, results were disappointing but there were signs of improvement as the FA Cup approached.

Brown went on to score a further three goals in the Final taking his total in the FA Cup to fifteen, a record that still stands and he became the first player to score in every Round. He played for one more season with Spurs before returning to Portsmouth in 1902. He scored 96 goals in 113 appearances for the club but he will be forever remembered as the player who scored the goals as Tottenham enjoyed their first FA Cup triumph.

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