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Club connections - which players link Spurs with Rochdale?

Posted on 15 February 2018  - 16:30

This Sunday’s FA Cup clash will be the first time we have ever played Rochdale and we’ve not even met before in friendly action, so there aren’t too many club connections! But we’ve delved into the history books to uncover a collection of players who have links to both teams and we’ve profiled some of them here...

From left - David Button, Kevin Dearden, George Hunt, Andy TurnerDon McAllister in action

Ted Birnie

Sunderland-born half-back Ted Birnie was the first-ever captain of Crystal Palace during his one season in south London in 1905-06, before spending four seasons with Chelsea. He joined Spurs in July, 1910, and made his league debut away to Middlesbrough in the October. But he was with us for just one season, appearing five times in total and scoring once – in a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford. Ted ended his senior playing days with Rochdale during the 1912-13 season before returning to the club as a trainer in June, 1921, spending six months there ahead of a 14-year spell as Southend United manager.

Charlie Briggs

Goalkeeper Charlie Briggs was on the books of Halifax Town when he made his three war-time guest appearances for us. The first was when he arrived for a Football League South game at White Hart Lane as Aldershot’s reserve keeper in October, 1942, only to be asked to stand in for us at the last moment as our selected goalie was unavailable! He kept a clean sheet in our 4-0 win and played against Millwall the following week, before waiting a year for his next appearance, against Aldershot again. He moved to Rochdale in May, 1947, after a spell with Clyde following the war and played 12 times for Dale.

Below: David Button pictured in action for Fulham in December, 2017

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David Button

Another goalkeeper with links to both clubs, David Button came through our Academy but struggled to break into the first team set-up. His solitary senior appearance for us came off the bench in a League Cup tie at Doncaster Rovers in August, 2009. David did gain experience during many loan spells at clubs including Bournemouth, Crewe Alexandra, Shrewsbury, Plymouth Argyle and Barnsley and he spent a month on loan at Rochdale in March, 2008, but didn’t make an appearance for them. He is currently first choice at Fulham.

Kevin Dearden

Goalkeeper Kevin Dearden spent the majority of his time with us on loan to other clubs, one of them being Rochdale. Having signed professionally for us in the summer of 1988, he had temporary spells with the likes of Cambridge United, Hartlepool United, Oxford United, Swindon Town, Peterborough United, Hull City, Birmingham City and Portsmouth. While with the Posh, he was recalled to make his Spurs debut in October, 1990, as we were without Erik Thortsvedt, Bobby Mimms and Ian Walker for a Rumbelows Cup tie against Hartlepool. He made one league appearance in our colours, coming on for Thorstvedt against Nottingham Forest in April, 1993. His loan spell with Dale came in August, 1991, playing the first two games of the season, while he eventually made a name for himself at Brentford and Torquay United.

John Hall

In the 1935-36 season, only Manchester United stopped us from scoring in both our league meetings and much of that was down to the outstanding performances of United goalkeeper John Hall. At the end of that campaign, we signed Hall and he made his debut for us at West Ham United in August, 1936, featuring in 39 of our 42 games that term. But he lost form the following campaign and was replaced by Percy Hooper and Hall was then unavailable to us during the war years. It was during that time that he guested for Rochdale, among other clubs, and after the war he left us for Stalybridge Celtic.

Sid Hoad

Sid Hoad made his league debut as an amateur with Blackpool before joining Manchester City, where he played until the end of the First World War. Engaged in the London area on transport work for the Army, he made four appearances for us in the London Football Combination in January, 1917, featuring against Clapton Orient, Fulham, QPR and West Ham United. Spent another season with City after the war before joining Rochdale, making 17 appearances for them in their debut Football League season in 1920-21.

Below: Prolific 1930s striker George Hunt at White Hart Lane

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George Hunt

With 138 goals in 198 appearances for Spurs, George Hunt remains sixth on our all-time top goalscorers list over 80 years after he last kicked a ball for the club. Signed by Percy Smith in June, 1930, after a year with Chesterfield, Hunt was a goal machine for the next seven years at the Lane. He led us to top-flight promotion in 1933, winning three England caps that year, before leaving for a sixth-month stay at Arsenal in 1937. He then moved to Bolton and it was during World War Two that his association with Rochdale occurred as he guested for the Lancashire side.

Don McAllister

After featuring over 150 times for first club Bolton Wanderers, Don McAllister joined us in February, 1975, and went on to make almost 200 senior appearances in our colours. A strong, versatile defender, he helped us won promotion back to Division One at the first attempt in 1977-78 and re-establish ourselves in the top flight the following season. He left us for Charlton Athletic in August, 1981, and after a trial with Rochdale, he joined the club as a non-contract player in November, 1984, featuring four times for them.

Andy Turner

Speedy winger Andy Turner became the Premier League’s youngest-ever goalscorer when he netted for us against Everton in September, 1992, aged 17 years and 166 days, in only his fourth league appearance. He went on to feature 23 times for us, scoring three more goals, before moving to Portsmouth in September, 1996. Andy featured regularly for Pompey until he moved onto Crystal Palace, Wolves and Rotherham United and it was while with the latter that he played on loan with Rochdale, in March, 2001. His debut came in a 3-2 defeat at Hull City in Division Three, the first of four appearances for Dale, while he was player-coach at Chasetown FC when they became the lowest-ranked club to reach the FA Cup third round in 2007-08.