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It was 75 years ago...

Posted on 16 November 2013  - 09:45

Willie Hall left an indelible mark on English football 75 years ago.

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The inside forward who played over 200 league and FA Cup games for us between 1932-1944 scored five goals for England in a 7-0 victory against Northern Ireland at Old Trafford on November 16, 1938.

In doing so, Willie - pictured above on the right, training at the Lane with George Hunt and Arthur Rowe - became the third player and one of only four to score five goals for England in a match and the first in the 20th century.

Howard Vaughton (Aston Villa) first scored five for England against Ireland in 1882, Steve Bloomer (Derby) matched it against Wales in 1896 and only Malcolm Macdonald (Newcastle) has done it since, against Cyprus in 1975.

Incredibly though, Willie's five-star show included a hat-trick in the space of four minutes - still the fastest hat-trick for England.

The club paid tribute to Willie in the next matchday programme, a reserve game on November 19, 1938 and there was a cartoon highlighting his five goals on the cover of the programme for the league game against Chesterfield on November 26, 1938 - pictured below.

Under the headline 'Willie Hall's Great Achievement', the programme column ended with this paragraph:

'Hall, we salute you! You have made football history, and in doing so you have brought renown to the football of the country, and you have enormously enhanced your own reputation. We are proud all of you. Accept through this programme a tribute of the most sincere admiration from the Directors, the Staff, the Players, and the many thousands of Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur'.

Willie scored 29 goals in his league and FA Cup ties for us. Unfortunately, a serious leg disease forced him to retire in 1944 and subsequently, the lower parts of both legs were amputated.

He later had spells as manager at Clapton Orient, Chelmsford City and Chingford. He passed away in 1967.

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