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7

Bobby Buckle

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Bobby Buckle

1882-1900
Founding member of Hotspur FC, 1882
First captain and known goalscorer, 1883
Key to Club turning professional and moving to White Hart Lane

Born on Stamford Street (now Penshurst Road), just off White Hart Lane, on 17 October 1868, Bobby Buckle is one of the key figures in the Club's history.

Back in 1882, he was one of three youngsters from Hotspur Cricket Club who, legend has it, met under a gas lamp on the High Road with the motion to form a football club.

Buckle, John Anderson and Hamilton Casey formed Hotspur FC with the first subscriptions from members collected on 5 September, 1882, regarded ever since as the date the Club was formed. The first match followed 25 days later, a 2-0 loss to the Radicals. The Club was re-named Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in 1884.

Buckle was the Club's first captain, first known goalscorer (in a 3-1 loss against Grange Park on 20 October, 1883) and played in our first-ever competitive match in the London Association Cup on his 17th birthday - 17 October, 1885 - a 5-2 win against St Albans.

Yet it's off the pitch where Buckle's influence cannot be underestimated.

Alongside Casey, Jack Jull and Frank Hatton, Buckle urged the Club to move to a ground of their own and helped spearhead the switch from our first home on Tottenham Marshes to Northumberland Park in 1888.

He was only 21 when he took the position of honorary secretary in 1889, the first of four stints in that role.

On 16 December, 1895, he proposed that the Club should turn professional, a motion carried and in 1898, he was a director when the Club became a limited company.

Buckle then played a huge role in the Club moving to the site that would become known across the world as White Hart Lane - the site that remains home for our new stadium.

Responding quickly to a rumour that a new football club was planning to take over a plot of land called Beckwith's Nursery, attached to the White Hart pub and near to the Club's Northumberland Park home, Buckle and chairman Charles Roberts negotiated and secured a lease with owners Charrington by guaranteeing crowds of 1,000 on matchdays.

The first official match on this new site followed on 4 September, 1899 against Notts County in front of 5,000 spectators.

A little over 10 years later, having won the FA Cup (1901), secured Football League status (1908-09) and promotion at the first attempt, the same site housed a stadium capacity of 50,000 for our opening Division One fixture against Manchester United on 11 September, 1909.

By then, Buckle had moved on. He married Ethel Brown in 1901, moved to South London and no longer played a part in Spurs, although he retained a lifelong interest in the Club's progress. He passed away aged 90 in 1959.