Willie Hall signed for Spurs in December, 1932, and helped us to promotion to the First Division in his first season. The skilful inside-forward went on to play 222 senior games for us, scoring 29 goals and setting up many more for others.
Yet his biggest claim to fame came when playing for England. Hall scored five goals against Northern Ireland at Old Trafford in November, 1938, including what was probably the fastest-ever international hat-trick in England’s 7-0 win.
He scored all his goals in a 30-minute period either side of half-time with the first three arriving in just under four minutes.
Sadly Willie suffered from ill health in later life and had both legs amputated, yet he remained in the game with coaching and management roles.
He was such a popular player with our fans that 30,220 turned up for his benefit game against an FA XI at the Lane in 1946. His former club Notts County also staged a testimonial match for him at the time.
When Willie died in his home town Newark in 1967, the Club donated a trophy in his memory to the newly-formed Newark Alliance and it was presented annually to the winners of the league’s main cup competition. After almost half a century, it has now been replaced by a new trophy.
“Willie Hall is the most prestigious player from our area and that is why his memorial trophy is still played for by every team in the league to this day,” said Dennis Rawle, from the Newark Alliance. “He is the best player Newark has ever produced.”