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Johnny's Spurs Sketchbook

Johnny Dowers has his own place in our history as the youngest player to feature in a senior Spurs side since the club turned professional in 1895.

Dowers_headshotHis opportunity came at Watford on December 30, 1939, when he was called into the first team at the age of 16 years and 83 days. However, the game was in the war-time Football League South Group A which sadly is not recognised by the club as a first class game.

Yet the teenager deserves our respect and admiration as on that day he was part of a Tottenham team that was packed with renowned high level performers who clocked up many appearances for Spurs.

They included Wales international defender Bill Whatley, the great Les Bennett, England war-time international Vic Buckingham and renowned marksman Johnny Morrison plus Albert Hall, George Ludford, goalkeeper Percy Hooper, Arthur Hitchins, Isaac Spelman and England amateur international George Burchell, a guest player from Romford.

For Burchell, who had been on our books at one stage, the game at Vicarage Road would also be his only senior Spurs outing. Unfortunately, we lost the game 6-1 with Hall scoring for us. It was our seventh game that month and only attracted an estimated 2,000 crowd.

We had started the season in Division Two with a three-game unbeaten run but with the outbreak of war, football was switched to a more localised programme to avoid travel and so free up the roads for the military. We finished second from bottom in the 10-club Football League South Group A but topped Group C.

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