Tottenham On This Day: 17th October – Beginnings and Endings


Two contrasting events in this day, 17th October, from Tottenham’s past – their first competitive match in 1885 and a match to celebrate the service of their greatest ever goalscorer, Jimmy Greaves.

[Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

17th October, 1885
Tottenham’s First Competitive Match

Tottenham Hotspur 5 St Albans 2 (London Association Cup 1st Round)

Scorers: Harston, Mason (2) and Amos (2)

Tottenham played their first competitive match in the London Association Cup. Prior to this, all of Spurs games had been friendlies. Four hundred spectators attended the game against St Albans, a London-based business house.

The Spurs team included six of the club’s founder members and they pulled off a surprise 5 – 2 win. The goals were scored by Harston, Mason (2) and Amos (2). Spurs’ Cup success was short lived as they lost heavily (0 – 8) in the next round to the Casuals, one of the biggest names in football’s early history.

This was the start of Tottenham’s close affinity with Cup competitions which has remained with them throughout their long history.

Team: Bumberry, Jull, Tyrell, Bull, Lovis, Casey, Buckle, Harston, Mason, Amos, Cottrell.

On 13th October, 1894 Spurs played their first FA Cup tie against West Herts who later became Watford Football Club.

17th October, 1972
Jimmy Greaves’ Testimonial Game

Tottenhan Hotspur 2 Feyenoord 1

Scorers: Greaves, Evans  

Jimmy Greaves was the first player to be given a testimonial game by Tottenham. In recognition of his great service to the club it was decided to reward him with this game. Greaves had left Spurs in March, 1970 when he was transferred to West Ham United as part of the deal which saw Martin Peters move to Tottenham. Greaves retired at the end of the 1970-71 season at the age of 31.

Greaves who, unknown to most, had been suffering from alcohol related problems, turned back the years to score for Spurs. Such was his performance that it was thought that he might be tempted out of retirement but it was only in non-League football that he was to appear.  Ray Evans scored Spurs’ other goal in front of 45,799 spectators.