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Class of 51 - Len Duquemin

Posted on 19 January 2016  - 10:30

Manager Arthur Rowe used just 19 players when we won the Division One title for the first time in season 1950-51. Now, 65 years on, we pay tribute to each one. Here John Fennelly spotlights the contribution of centre-forward LEN DUQUEMIN.

Len hits our opening goal against Bolton at the Lane in August, 1950.The Duke is thwarted by Manchester City’s Bert Trautmann at the Lane in March, 1956.On the attack at Arsenal in February, 1953.

LEN DUQUEMIN
Games: 33.  Goals: 14.

Len Duquemin scored 16 league goals as we swept to the Division Two Championship in 1950 and then another 14 the following season, playing a major role in our first ever title success.

Yet, although he was the spearhead of our attack, the Duke was not just about goals. His hard-work and commitment created space and opportunities for those around him as Les Medley (18 goals) and Sonny Walters (14) took full advantage in 1949-50 and again throughout that subsequent and historic campaign when Walters (15), Eddie Baily (12) and Medley (11) all chipped in.

Duquemin was a stocky, powerful and ever willing runner who was forever competitive. He led the line with great willingness and intelligence, always looking to bring others into play as our ‘Push and Run’ ethos demanded as much sweat as style.

Born on Guernsey, Len was just 15 when the German occupation of the island began and hid in a monastery where he worked as a gardener and managed to avoid the deportation programme that had been implemented. Then, when hostilities ended, he was recommended to us by a local Spurs supporter and arrived at White Hart Lane for a trial in December, 1945.

He was signed as an amateur the following month and by September was a full professional. He had already made his debut for us in a Football League South game in March, 1946, and then scored on his first Spurs outing when the national league got back underway.

len_duquemin_instory

Indeed, when he first arrived at the Lane, Len struggled to get a game and with it the opportunity to show his value as we did not have reserve team at the time. So Duquemin played much of his early football for Chelmsford City where the manager was - Arthur Rowe.

However, once in the Spurs side, the Duke immediately established himself as a first team regular and when Rowe returned to the Lane in 1949, he stayed loyal to Duquemin who saw off many quality challengers for his number nine shirt - until the passing years - and big Bobby Smith - finally caught up with him.

He left us for Bedford Town in November, 1958, where he helped them win the Southern League Championship that season.
Len later played for Hastings United and Romford before retiring and running a newsagents, near the stadium in Northumberland Park. He was later landlord of the Haunch of Venison, close to our old Cheshunt training ground.

Len Duquemin scored 134 goals in 307 league and FA Cup appearances for us. Sadly he died in April, 2003, at the age of 78.