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Posted on 8 November 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

It is a fact that the Hotspur Football Club was formed in 1882 when a group of a dozen or so teenagers gathered under a gas lamp of what is now the Spurs Megastore at the Park Lane end of the ground to start a football club to run alongside Hotspur Cricket Club, formed two years earlier.

They took their name from the gallant adventures of Harry Hotspur, a Shakespeare character and Hotspur FC was born, soon changed to Tottenham Hotspur to avoid confusion with London Hotspur.

The team's first game was a 2-0 defeat against the Radicals on September 30, 1882 while the first competitive match followed in 1885 with a 5-2 reverse against St Albans in the London Association Cup.

The team soon moved from Tottenham Marshes to Northumberland Park and had moved quickly from a group of schoolboys playing friendlies to a club watched by thousands.

Professionalism was the next step and the club joined the Southern League in 1898 and became a limited company in 1896.

A crowd of 14,000 attended a match against Woolwich Arsenal and it soon became clear that the ground at Northumberland Park was too small. A plot of land was found just off Tottenham High Road next to the White Hart pub - White Hart Lane was born.

The new 30,000 capacity ground was officially opened with a win against Notts County in 1899.

Within a year Spurs had won the Southern League and the first great side led by John Cameron became the first and only non-league club to win the FA Cup in 1901. The remarkable feat was achieved thanks to a 3-1 replay win against Sheffield United at Bolton's Burnden Park.

Spurs eventually joined the Football League in 1908, another early great, Vivian Woodward, scored the club's first league goal, but after winning promotion at the first attempt form dipped and the next few seasons were a battle against relegation.

The club actually finished bottom when the league was suspended on the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

Then controversy. The league decided to increase the top flight to 22 clubs but instead of Spurs maintaining their place, they were voted out with Arsenal, who had finished fifth in the Second Division, taking their place.

Spurs responded by romping to the Second Division title in 1919-20. It took just a year hit the big time again. No southern club had won the FA Cup since the club's success in 1901 but with manager Peter McWilliam at the helm, that all changed with a Final win against Wolves at Stamford Bridge in 1921.

The semi-finals were reached the following year and the club finished in its highest league position, runners-up behind Liverpool, in 1921-22. But then a decline. Spurs did not finish above 12th in the next five years, McWilliam soon resigned and we were relegated in 1927-28.

The club remained in the Second Division until 1933 when boss Percy Smith's side banged in goals galore - Hunt, Evans and O'Callaghan scoring 75 goals between them. The trio continued in the top flight as we finished third but the club was relegated again in 1934-35 and stayed there through the Second World War years until 1949-50.

But greatness was just around the corner this time.

Arthur Rowe took over the manager's hotseat in 1949 and soon built one of the most famous Spurs sides that first stormed to the Second Division title in 1949-50 before pipping Manchester United to claim their first League Championship the following season.

Rowe's now famed 'push and run' style delighted fans who flocked to the Lane to watch demolitions of Stoke 6-1, Portsmouth 5-1 and Newcastle 7-0.

But once again the success was short-lived. Spurs had to settle for second spot the next season but by 1952-53 the players were starting to show their age.

Rowe's health suffered as results dipped and he was eventually replaced by Jimmy Anderson. He in turn was always seen as a stop-gap to the next manager. That manager was Bill Nicholson…

The most influential man in Spurs' history, Nicholson underlined exactly what he was all about by hammering Everton 10-4 in his first game in charge in October 1958.

Two seasons later and with the likes of Dave Mackay, Bill Brown, Cliff Jones and Maurice Norman on board, joining the enigmatic Danny Blanchflower, the impossible was achieved - the league and FA Cup double.

They kicked-off that season meaning business with 11 straight wins and went on to win 31 games, sealing the main prize with three games to spare. One further match would mean history and goals from Smith and Dyson delivered the 2-0 win at Wembley against Leicester City.

Nicholson continued to build though. In came Jimmy Greaves for a then-record £99,999 - he went on to become the club's record goalscorer - as the team retained the FA Cup against Burnley and finished third.

It was runners-up in 1962-63 but the glory, glory European nights had arrived as we triumphed in the European Cup Winners Cup - the first British side to win a European trophy.

But the double-winning side started to break up. Smith was sold, Blanchflower and Medwin retired, Mackay broke his leg twice and, most tragic, John White lost his life at just 26 when he was struck by lightning.

Nicholson had to build again and he did just that. In came Gilzean, Robertson, England, Jennings, Knowles, Venables and Mullery as we lifted the FA Cup again in 1967.

Martin Chivers then inspired the side to the League Cup in 1971, a success repeated in 1973 and in-between more European glory via the 1972 UEFA Cup.

All things must come to an end though and Nicholson's great era did just that after he resigned following four straight league defeats in 1974. A black day for Spurs.

Terry Neill replaced Nicholson but the club was now fighting at the wrong end of the table. He resigned in June 1976 to be replaced by Keith Burkinshaw but we were relegated in his first season in charge.

The club needed to bounce back and did just that. With a young Glenn Hoddle starting to make an impact, we gained promotion back to the First Division in 1977-78.

It was time for a new chapter to open and it did so thanks to one of the great transfer coups as Burkinshaw brought in Argentinian World Cup winners Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa.

Mid-table finishes followed but the arrival of a new strikeforce in Archibald and Crooks completed Burkinshaw's team.

Villa went on to inspire the FA Cup win of 1981 with his famous replay goal against Manchester City and we held onto the cup by beating Terry Venables' QPR the following year. We lost the League Cup in 1982 and reached the semi-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup, losing out to Barcelona.

But European glory wasn't far away and the name of Tony Parkes was engraved in Spurs history with his heroics in a penalty shoot-out in the second leg of the UEFA Cup against Anderlecht. Burkinshaw left the club in 1984.

The next, and arguably last, great Spurs team followed in 1986-87.

With David Pleat in charge the team, playing an attacking five-man midfield including Hoddle and Chris Waddle, finished third in the league, runners-up in the FA Cup and the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Terry Venables' arrival from Barcelona to take over from Pleat sparked more memorable days. In came Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker and the club survived a financial crisis to win the FA Cup in 1991 - Gazza famously scoring that free-kick against Arsenal in the semi-final before badly damaging his knee in that tackle in the final, which we won 2-1 against Forest.

Gazza eventually moved to Lazio - and enter the Premiership.

We finished eighth in the first season of football's new era in 1992-93 before the bombshell of Venables being sacked as chief executive by chairman Sir Alan Sugar.

Ossie Ardiles' appointment promised much, not least with the arrival of Jurgen Klinsmann, but attacking flair did not produce results and Ardiles left, his last game in charge was at home to West Ham.

Gerry Francis arrived as boss, helped stave off any threat of relegation and took us to the brink of the FA Cup final as the Klinsmann-Sheringham partnership blossomed.

But Klinsmann left after a year and despite the Sheringham-Armstrong partnership eventually firing, we could not finish higher than eighth.

The big-money arrivals of David Ginola and Les Ferdinand at the start of 1997-98 was followed by Francis' resignation and the ill-fated appointment of Christian Gross, who had the returning Klinsmann's four goals in a 6-1 win at Wimbledon to thank on the penultimate weekend of 1997-98 to avoid the drop.

Gross lasted three games into 1998-99 before the arrival of ex-Arsenal boss George Graham and another new era. Graham ended the threat of relegation and triumphed at Wembley in the Worthington Cup in his first season in charge.

That meant the club was back in Europe but 1999-2000 ended in disappointment as we were knocked out of all three cup competitions in the space of a month.

Onto this season then and Graham's shock exit despite reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the much-welcomed arrival of Lane legend Glenn Hoddle.

Sadly, the second coming of one of our greatest ever players did not lead to a return to European football and, after a sequence of poor results, he departed in September 2003.

He was replaced on a caretaker basis by former boss and director of football David Pleat.

At the end of the 2003-04 season, chairman Daniel Levy installed a new, continental-style management structure at the club. In came a new Sporting Director in Frank Arnesen, who spent almost 20 years in the same role at PSV Eindhoven, discovering the likes of Ronaldo and Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

Soon after, French national team coach Jacques Santini was named as Head Coach, with Martin Jol from Dutch side RKC Waalwijk as first assistant. Dominigue Cuperly, with Santini at Lens, came in as coach with Chris Hughton retained and Clive Allen named development coach.

There was great sadness at White Hart Lane on Saturday October 23 when it was announced that the great Bill Nicholson had passed away following illness. Emotions ran high at the stadium later that afternoon when we played host to Bolton Wanderers and, before the game, many of Bill's ex-players paid tribute. A Memorial Service in honour of Bill was held at the Lane on Sunday November 7 and 85 white doves were released to mark each year of his life.

Santini's reign at the Lane was not a lengthy one, after a good beginning to season 2004-05 that started with a draw against Liverpool and included wins over Newcastle, Birmingham and Everton. Santini left the club for personal reasons on Friday November 5 after 13 games in charge.

Martin Jol took over for the game the following day against Charlton Athletic and, despite a stirring late fightback, he oversaw a 3-2 defeat. He was, the following Monday, appointed Head Coach on an initial two and a half year contract.

And we await the next new chapter...