Skip to main content

100 years ago today - the fascinating tale of Cameron's war

Posted on 2 May 2015  - 09:15

Today marks the 100-year anniversary of a match that illustrated again how football can bring people together in the most testing of times - and at the heart of it, one of the most influential figures in our history, John Cameron.

john_cameron730

The tale of the 'Christmas Truce' of 1914 is well-versed - where soldiers from both sides of the trenches put down their weapons to play football in no man's land - and here, almost six months later, another incredible footballing story from the First World War.

The driving force behind this tale is one of the first true giants of Tottenham Hotspur.

Initially joining us from Everton in May, 1898, Cameron soon replaced departing manager Frank Brettell to become our first - and only - player-manager-secretary at the age of 26.

He inspired us to an historic FA Cup triumph as a non-league side in 1901 and installed the foundations that have lifted us to the world famous club we have since become.

Cameron retired in March, 1907 and went to Germany to coach Dresdner SC and when the First World War broke out, he was interned as a 'citizen of a hostile power' at Ruhleben, a civilian detention camp in the district of Spandau, seven miles west of Berlin.

On May 2, 1915, an England XI featuring a number of former professional players took on a World XI inspired by Scotland international Cameron, who captained the side in the first of two special meetings.

John Fennelly details these matches, what life was like for Cameron and his fellow interns and the influence this Spurs great had at Ruhleben in a fascinating feature in our official matchday programme for tomorrow's match against City.

You can read the feature in full via the pdf links of the pages below as they will appear in the programme.

John Cameron feature - pages 1, 2 and 3

John Cameron feature - page 4