Tottenham on This Day: FA Cup Match Abandoned At Nottingham – Snow


Tottenham’s FA Cup match at Nottingham Forest was abandoned after 15 minutes due to heavy snow. Spurs supporters had a treacherous journey back home.

Ian Walker [Photo:]

Tottenham on this Day

19th February, 1996

Nottingham Forest 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 FA Cup 5th Round
(abandoned after 15 min – snow)

Team: Walker; Austin, Calderwood, Mabbutt, Campbell; Fox, Dozzell, Wilson, Rosenthal; Sheringham, Armstrong

The 1996 5th Round game at Nottingham Forest is remembered by travelling supporters for their lengthy journey home through thick snow after the game.

Only 15 minutes could be played as blizzard conditions made it impossible and the match was abandoned  due to the snow. Driving snow cut visibility to just a few yards and obliterated the lines, leaving the referee with no option but to abandon the game. A fierce blizzard raged over the City ground after ten minutes and the referee changed the white ball for an orange one and allowed another four minutes of play before bringing the match to its inevitable premature conclusion.

Gerry Francis [Photo: Alan Hill]

Tottenham manager, Gerry Francis said,

"It became impossible. Everyone on the line would have got pneumonia if they had stayed out any longer. We would have turned into snowmen."

The snow had started to fall and hour before kick-off and the pitch was soon covered in a blanket of snow. The referee said that the pitch had been playable at kick-off but shortly afterwards it was obvious that it couldn’t continue.

On the match, Francis said,

"No arguments, it had become ridiculous. I’m disappointed, of course, because we had started well."

The Tottenham’s manager’s only concern was whether Jason Dozzell’s booking in the 4th minute would stand now that the match had been abandoned.

In his book, ‘The Glory of Spurs’, Jim Duggan describes the plight of the travelling supporters.

It was quickly apparent that this game was not going to go the distance as the snow kept falling and spawned a number of heroic tales of how Spurs fans managed to get back to London in adverse conditions.

The match was the 18th abandoned game in which Spurs have been involved and the first since a floodlight failure at White Hart Lane in December, 1969. Since then there has been the one addition to the list when the Spurs FA Cup match against Bolton was abandoned in March, 2012 when Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch and medics fought to save his life.

Spurs drew the re-arranged tie but lost the replay at Tottenham on penalties.

****If you were at the abandoned game in Nottingham, what are your memories of your journey home? Let us know.****