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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Barnsley, 20.12.97

"It was Twenty Years ago today!"
article published December, 2017, but first written in 1997 by the late Brian Judson

· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full Record of Spurs -v- Barnsley

Prem           Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home            0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Away            0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Total (Prem)    0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)    0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Away (Div 1)    0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Total (Div 1)   0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   13  11   1   1    36-10  23
Away (Div 2)   13   2   3   8    11-24   7
Total (Div 2)  26  13   4   9    47-34  30
Total (Prem)    0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Total (Div 1)   0   0   0   0     0-0    0
Total (Div 2)  26  13   4   9    47-34  30
Grand Total    26  13   4   9    47-34  30

1908-09  4-0  Middlemiss 2       1-1 Minter
              Walton Woodward
1919-20  4-0  Grimsdell Banks    0-3
              Cantrell Bliss
1928-29  2-0  Osborne Elkes      1-4 Scott
1929-30  2-1  O'Callaghan Cook   0-2
1930-31  4-2  Harper 2 Hunt 2    1-0 Bellamy
1931-32  4-2  O'Callaghan 2      2-3 O'Callaghan, Hunt
              Brain Bellamy
1935-36  3-0  Morrison 2 Duncan  0-0
1936-37  3-0  Meek Duncan Edrich 0-1
1937-38  3-0  G W Hall Gibbons   1-1 Sargent
1946-47  1-1  Dix (penalty)      3-1 Burgess, Medley, 
1947-48  0-3                     1-2 Duquemin
1948-49  4-1  Baily 2            1-4 Bennett
              Bennett Duquemin
1949-50  2-0  Duquemin Baily     0-2

There can be very few Spurs supporters who can claim to have seen the last visit of Barnsley to Tottenham. At the very least, such supporters will be in their '60s and '70s, particularly anyone who saw the pre-war matches.

As we have no matches of any kind to discuss from recent times, I thought I'd discuss some of the players mentioned above.

Willie Hall was a midfield (as we would call him now) player who Spurs signed from Notts County shortly after a very talented youngster called George Greenfield broke a leg that ultimately ended his career. Hall was the catalyst that shot Spurs back to the old First Division so briefly in the 1930s but Hall and Tottenham were soon back in the old Second Division. In those days, it was not so difficult for players to catch the eye of the selectors to play for England. In one game, Hall scored 5 goals in a 7-0 romp for England against Northern Ireland in November 1938. During the war, Hall succumbed to a disease following a serious football injury that ultimately cost him both his legs. Later, he ran a pub as well as acting as a manager for non-League teams.

George Hunt was called the Chesterfield tough. He was signed from Chesterfield as Percy Smith rebuilt a Tottenham side that had crashed into Division 2 in a farcial situation at the end of 1927-28. For seven years, Hunt led the Tottenham line, eventually scoring 138 goals, overtaking Billy Minter's record. (Hunt's record survived until Bobby Smith passed it in 1960.) Hunt was a predator in probably much the same way as Greaves was later. But eventually Hunt was dropped and asked for a transfer. When he left, he signed for Arsenal. He stayed but six months with Arsenal but scored enough goals to help them win the Championship before he left with Bolton, for whom he became a trainer. In the '50s and '60s, when Bolton played at Tottenham, Hunt was always given a warm welcome back. He said himself, "I always feel I'm coming home to Tottenham!"

Eddie Harper was another predator who left his mark on Tottenham. He didn't stay long with us but scored 36 League goals in a season in 1930-31, which was a record for Tottenham until Greaves surpassed it in 1962-63 with 37. It was Harper's goals that took us to the brink of promotion in 1930-31. Undoubtedly, we would have gone up if Harper hadn't been injured for a vital 6-week period in the spring of 1931.

One name not on the list but one of the very few who can claim to have played for Barnsley and Tottenham is, of course, Danny Blanchflower. Danny began his career with Glentoran, in Northern Ireland, before signing for Barnsley in 1949. In his autobiography, 'The Double and Before', Danny tells of his time with Barnsley. Each season they began well and were on the fringe for promotion. But they were always worrying about November, when Barnsley traditionally played awful. Blanchflower couldn't understand this attitude, perceptively seeing they were worrying so much about it they became conditioned to believing they would play badly when November came. And so it proved.

Blanchflower left Barnsley because he felt his career was stagnating and signed for Aston Villa. But his three-year spell there saw him branded as a trouble maker. Blanchflower wanted to practice his skills with a football. Eric Houghton, the manager, didn't believe in it, saying, "If you don't see the ball all the week, you'll want it all the more on Saturday." So, frustrated by the Villa attitude, Blanchflower sought a transfer again. This was granted and negotiations for his transfer were conducted by the board. Whilst the Chairmen of the clubs involved lunched in the dining room, Blanchflower had to dine in the kitchen. When everything was agreed, he was summonsed to the dining-room to sign for Tottenham. Such were the feudal ways of the '50s.

Blanchflower was appointed captain at Tottenham but soon upset manager Anderson, changing the team around without managerial permission. Sacked by Anderson, Blanchflower was then dropped by Nicholson. "Danny is a very brilliant player," Nicholson said, "but in a very poor team, he is a luxury." Blanchflower asked for a transfer but it was not granted and he was restored to the team at the beginning of March 1959, thus paving the way for the triumphs that are now a millstone around the club's neck.

WE MUST WIN THIS ONE! If we don't, we can start looking forward to trips to Watford, Bristol City, Reading, Sheffield United, Port Vale and other exotic locations in the Nationwide Football League. If we can't beat Barnsley at home, we do *not* deserve to stay up. It is as simple as that.

Cheers, Brian

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