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Class of 51

27 January 2016|Tottenham Hotspur

Manager Arthur Rowe used just 19 players when we won the Division One title for the first time in season 1950-51. Now, 65 years on, we pay tribute to each one. Here John Fennelly spotlights the contribution of squad players COLIN BRITTAN, SYD McCLELLAN and JIMMY SCARTH.

COLIN BRITTANbrittan colin1
Games: 8. Goals: 0.

Colin Brittan started out with Spurs as an amateur in 1948 but had to wait until this Championship season to make his debut in a 1-0 home win over Burnley. He was a good enough wing-half to warrant a more regular place in the side but was up against the likes of Ron Burgess and Bill Nicholson who were not just great players - but also extremely consistent.

In almost a decade at the club, Bristol-born Brittan managed just 45 senior games for us but was always a reliable member of the squad and a massive influence on the young players emerging through our Reserves. And just when he looked set for a run in the team, Danny Blanchflower arrived to take the competition for a starting place to a whole new level!

Colin left for Bedford Town in November, 1958.

mcclellan syd1 SYD McCLELLAN
Games: 7. Goals: 3.

Syd McClellan possessed all the striking qualities to get into most sides. But with Len Duquemin leading the line supported by a number of other able goalscorers, the Dagenham-born McClellan found it hard to get a Spurs outing. Yet his speed added versatility to his game and presented additional opportunities on the wing while the fact that he would go on to score 32 goals in his 70 senior Spurs outings demonstrates how prolific he could have been had he enjoyed a run in the team.

McClellan had come to our attention when he scored a hat-trick for Chelmsford against our Reserves at the Lane in January, 1948, and he was signed in August the following year. He also scored more goals for Spurs in a single match than any other player - nine against Saskatchewan FA in an 18-1 triumph on our 1952 tour.

JIMMY SCARTHscarth jimmy1
Games: 1. Goals: 0.

Once again, Jimmy Scarth had all the qualities to succeed at the highest level. But the tricky little winger was up against the likes of Les Medley and Sonny Walters in our ‘Push and Run’ side and their constant availability and importance to the side gave Scarth just the one chance when the latter was sidelined.

That opportunity came at home to Derby County when McClellan was also called up and responded with both goals in our 2-1 win. But Jimmy, who had made his senior debut the season before, struggled to get a look in.

Born in North Shields, he established a name for himself in local football and when he had a trial with us in July, 1948, we instantly signed him as a professional and he managed two goals in four games that season. He went on to score three times in seven league games before leaving for Gillingham in February, 1952.