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Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal Match History 1887 – 2010

Tottenham Hotspur visit the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the 14th round of Premier League matches in the early Saturday match.

This will be the 238th time the two teams have met.

Spurs v Arsenal is now one of the great rivalries in World Football but the fixture had very different beginings back in November 1887 when the clubs first met in a friendly played on Tottenham Marshes.

Arsenal, then called Royal Arsenal, had been formed just a year earlier as Dial Square and were essentially the works team for the munitions factory situated in Woolwich, Kent, while Spurs who had been formed some five years earlier in 1882 still had many of the youngsters who founded the club playing for them. Spurs won that first encounter 2-1, although the game was cut 15 minutes short due to poor light conditions because of Arsenal turning-up late.

Seven more friendlies were played between the two clubs from 1888 to 1896 with Spurs winning four and Arsenal winning three before their first competitive match in March 1899.

By this time, Arsenal were re-named Woolwich Arsenal and the clubs met in the United League with the Gunners winning 2-1 at the Manor Ground in Plumstead while Spurs won the return match 3-2 at Northumberland Park.

Two matches were played within the same week in April 1900 in the Southern District Combination League with Spurs winning 4-2 at White Hart Lane which was followed by a 2-1 win to Arsenal at Plumstead in a game abandoned after 75 minutes due to “bad language”. History doesn’t provide the answer as to who was the guilty party!

From 1901 to 1920, the clubs met in various minor competitions, friendlies and matches played during the First World War.

September 1913 proved to be a hugely important date in the history of both clubs as Arsenal controversially moved from south of the River Thames into the territory reserved for Tottenham Hotspur and Clapton (later Leyton) Orient, in clear violation of the rules and regulations governing such relocations as stipulated by the Football League. Despite bitter protests, Arsenal’s move to Highbury (more correctly called Arsenal Stadium) was allowed.

White Hart Lane was requisitioned by the Army during WWI, so Spurs played many of their wartime matches at Highbury.

When League football resumed after the war in 1919, it was decided to once again expand the First Division from 20 teams to 22. The normal way of doing this had always been to add the top two clubs from the Second Division to those who were already in the First Division.

However, there were complications arising from allegations of match-fixing from Liverpool and Manchester United during the final matches of the last season played before the League was suspended and it was felt that they would forfit their Top Flight status as a result.

From nowhere, Arsenal, who had finished sixth (later corrected to fifth) in the Second Division before the war were ‘elected’ to take Tottenham Hotspur’s place in the First Division.

Allegations of bribery persist to this day and Henry Norris (Arsenal’s Chairman) was later given a lifetime ban from football from the Football League for underhand financial activities.

Spurs and Arsenal finally played their first Football League match in the First Division in January 1921 with Spurs winning 2-1 at White Hart Lane while Arsenal won the return match at Highbury 3-2. All 138 League games played to date have taken place in the Top Flight of English football.

Highbury was taken over by the Army during the Second World War and Spurs returned the favour by allowing Arsenal to play their wartime matches at White Hart Lane.

Arsenal won the first FA Cup meeting between the two teams 3-0 in the 3rd Round in January 1949. The clubs have played five FA Cup matches to date with Spurs winning two and Arsenal winning three.

The first Football League Cup match took place in November 1968 with Arsenal winning the first leg of the Semi-Final 1-0 at Highbury and Spurs drawing 1-1 at White Hart Lane the following month. Of the 12 League Cup matches played so far, Spurs have won 3, Arsenal have won 6 and three games have been drawn.

Both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were founder members of the Premier League in season 1992-93 and both clubs are among the seven (Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Manchester United and Aston Villa are the other five) who have been ever-present during the 19 seasons of the competition.

Overall, Spurs have won 85 of the 237 matches played against Arsenal with the Gunners winning 96 and 56 matches drawn.

Full History of Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal Matches 1887-2010

They Played for Spurs & Arsenal….

Clive Allen
Charlie Ambler
Bob Arber (Arsenal player, Spurs reserves manager)
David Bentley
David Black
Anton Blackwood
Jimmy Brain
Laurie Brown
Walter Bugg
Lycurgus Burrows
Sol Campbell
Herbert Chapman (Spurs player, Arsenal manager)
Damien Comolli (Director of Football at both clubs)
Freddie Cox
James Delvin
Wilf Dixon (Spurs assistant manager, Arsenal trainer)
Jack Eggett
Tom Fitchie
Theo Foley (Arsenal assistant manager, Spurs reserves manager)
William Gallas
George Graham (Arsenal player, Spurs manager)
Vic Groves
Tom Hatfield
Stewart Houston (Assistant manager at both clubs)
Joe Hulme (Arsenal player, Spurs manager)
George Hunt
David Jenkins
Pat Jennings
Bill Julian
Peter Kyle
Neil Lacy
Bill Lane (Spurs player, Arsenal scout)
Peter McWilliam (Spurs manager, Arsenal scout)
Tom Meade
Billy Minter
Terry Naylor
Terry Neill (Arsenal player, Spurs manager)
Jamie O’Hara
Tom O’Shea
George Payne
Ron Piper
Tom Pratt
Rohan Ricketts
Jimmy Robertson
Andrew Swan
Walter Thomas
Erik Thorstvedt
Steve Walford
Ernie Walley (Spurs player, Arsenal coach)
Charlie Williams
Willie Young

This article was originally published in forum thread: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal Match History 1887 – 2010 started by THFC6061 View original post