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Numbers Famous Four

This month we take a look at our Famous Fours as we focus on our quartet of brave title bids that just failed to lift the ultimate prize.

With our incredible history, it remains a stunning statistic that we have only twice won the Championship. Yet there have been some very close run challenges that deserve recognition.   

Since we gained Football League status in 1908, we have finished as runners up in Division One on four occasions - 1921-22, 1951-52, 1956-57 and 1962-63.  

At the end of World War One, manager Peter McWilliam immediately took Spurs back to the top flight when we finished Division Two champions. We then won the FA Cup for the second time the following season when we also consolidated ourselves in the First Division with an impressive sixth place finish.

But we looked the real deal in 1921-22 when McWilliam’s consistent team selection – he only gave two debuts to players all season – almost took us close to glory on two fronts.

Our defence of the FA Cup came to a close at the semi-final stage when Preston North End beat us at Hillsborough while we pushed eventual champions Liverpool all the way.

In the end we finished six points adrift of the Reds at the top of the final table having managed just one win in our final four games at the conclusion of a campaign that had seen some big wins – ironically including a 5-0 triumph over Preston who we beat home and away.

Yet it was our successive meetings with Liverpool in October that proved our undoing. We lost by the only goal at White Hart Lane and had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Anfield the following week when Jimmy Dimmock was our goalscorer.

Still we recovered to go on a 16-game run with just the one defeat in mid-season yet, ultimately, it was not quite enough.

Arthur Rowe’s ‘Push and Run’ team had just seen us win the title for the first time in 1951 with Manchester United second. But the Red Devils reversed that order the following year.

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