History of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (1882)

The Spurs Cockerel

Tottenham Hotspur F.C. is an English football club based in Tottenham, London. The history of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. covers the years from the club’s formation to the present day. The club was formed in 1882, as Hotspur F.C., and played in the Southern League until 1908, when they were elected into Football League Two. Prior to this they had won the FA Cup, the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League.

Since then, Tottenham have won the FA Cup a further seven times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup once. The Cup Winners’ Cup vistory in 1963 made them the first English team to win a UEFA competition. In 1960–61 they were the first team to complete The Double in the Twentieth Century.


In 1882, the Hotspur Football Club was formed by grammar-school boys from the Bible class at All Hallows Church. They were also members of Hotspur Cricket Club. It is possible that the name Hotspur was associated with Sir Henry Percy, who was “Harry Hotspur” of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, part 1, and who lived locally during the 14th century and whose descendants owned land in the neighbourhood. In 1884 the club was renamed Tottenham Hotspur Football and Athletic Club to distinguish itself from another team called London Hotspur.

Originally, Spurs played in navy-blue shirts. The club colours then varied from light blue and white halved jerseys, to red shirts and blue shorts, through chocolate brown and old gold, and then finally, in the 1899–00 season, to white shirts and navy blue shorts, as a tribute to Preston North End, the most successful team of the time.

In 1888 Tottenham moved their home fixtures from the Tottenham Marshes to Northumberland Park, where the club was able to charge for spectator admission. An attempt to join an aborted Southern League, instigated by Royal Arsenal (later Arsenal), failed in 1892, when they were the only club of the 23 applicants to receive no votes. They turned professional just before Christmas 1895 and were then admitted to the Southern League and attracted crowds nearing 15,000. Charles Roberts became chairman in 1898 and stayed in post until 1943.

In 1899 Spurs made their final ground move to a former market garden in nearby High Road, Tottenham. In time, the ground became known as White Hart Lane, a local thoroughfare. Tottenham were the considerable beneficiaries of the escalating unionisation of the northern professional game in the 1890s. Both John Cameron and Jack Bell, formerly Everton players, came to play for Tottenham as a result of the conflict caused by their organisation of the Association Footballers’ Union, a forerunner of the Professional Footballers’ Association. As a direct result of this, in 1900, Tottenham won the Southern League title, followed the next year by winning the FA Cup – becoming the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League.

Tottenham won election to the Second Division of the Football League for the 1908–09 season, immediately winning promotion as runners-up to the First Division. Their record between 1910–1911 and the Great War was poor and when football was suspended at the end of the 1914–15 season, Tottenham were bottom of the league.

Arthur Grimsdell displays the FA Cup, 1921

Arthur Grimsdell displays the FA Cup to fans on the Tottenham High Road after Spurs’ victory in the 1921 final.

When football resumed in 1919, the First Division was expanded from 20 to 22 teams. The Football League extended one of the additional places to 19th-place Chelsea (who would have been relegated with Spurs for the 1915–1916 season) and the other to Arsenal. This promotion – Arsenal had finished only sixth in Division 2 the previous season – was controversial, and cemented a bitter rivalry (begun six years earlier, with Arsenal’s relocation to Tottenham’s hinterland) that continues to this day. However, Tottenham could not complain too loudly as the club had only finished seventh in the Southern League when it was elected to the Football League in the previous decade. This was at the expense of Queens Park Rangers. Tottenham were Division Two Champions in 1919–20 and in the following year, on 23 April 1921, Spurs went all the way to their second FA Cup Final victory beating Wolves 1–0 at Stamford Bridge.

After finishing second to Liverpool in the League in 1922, Spurs experienced a steady decline, culminating in 1928’s relegation. Spurs were unable to advance beyond the quarter finals of the FA Cup, getting that far three years running 1935–1938. On 3 September 1939, as Neville Chamberlain declared war, Spurs were seventh in the Second Division. League Football was abandoned for the “duration”.

Following the war, football was an extremely popular interest attracting thousands of supporters each weekend. By 1949, Arthur Rowe was manager at the club and developed the “push and run” tactical style of play. This involved quickly laying the ball off to a team-mate and running past the marking tackler to collect the return pass. It proved an effective way to move the ball at pace with players’ positions and responsibility being totally fluid. Rising to the top of the Second Division, by 1949-50 they were champions. The next year, Tottenham secured their first ever league title, winning the First Division Championship in 1951. Playing heroes at the time included Alf Ramsey, Ronnie Burgess, Ted Ditchburn, Len Duquemin, Sonny Walters and Bill Nicholson.

The years following this period of success saw a relative decline, as age, injuries and other teams adapting to Spurs’ revolutionary style of play meant a struggle for the once-dominant champions. They finished second in 1951–52, grabbing second on goal average as a young Manchester United team beat them to the title. A bad winter, and the terrible state of the White Hart Lane pitch, even by the standards of the day, contributed to this. In 1952–53, Spurs finished tenth, as age began to wear down the “Push and Run” team. 1954 was notable for the signing of one of Spurs’ most celebrated players, Danny Blanchflower, for a record £30,000. Also in that year, Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup by Blackpool.

By this stage, Arthur Rowe had begun to suffer from ill health. He resigned in 1955, with mid-table finishes and boardroom dissent, along with Rowe’s health, contributing to his departure. Long time club servant Jimmy Anderson took over. Spurs were nearly relegated at the end of the 1955–56 season. They finished two points above the drop zone. However, the next season saw the club experience a revival, finishing second, though eight points behind the winners, the “Busby Babes” of Manchester United. Tottenham fared well in the following season, finishing third, but ill health now meant Anderson had to quit, being replaced by Bill Nicholson. Nicholson finished eighteenth in the league in his first season in charge, an indifferent start to Tottenham Hotspur’s most successful manager’s tenure.

The 1960s and 1970s


Spurs shirt badge from 1967–1983

Bill Nicholson had joined Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice in 1936. The following 68 years saw him serve the club in every capacity from boot room to president. In his first game as manager on 11 October 1958, Spurs beat Everton 10–4, Their record win at the time. He subsequently guided Tottenham to major trophy success three seasons in a row in the early 1960s: the double in 1961, the FA Cup and European Cup Semi-final in 1962, and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963. Key players included Danny Blanchflower, John White, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones, Jimmy Greaves and Terry Medwin.

After 1964, the “Double” side began to disintegrate due to age, injuries and transfers. Nicholson rebuilt a second team with imports like Alan Gilzean, Mike England, Alan Mullery, Terry Venables, Joe Kinnear and Cyril Knowles culminating in beating Chelsea to win the 1967 FA Cup Final and finished third in the league.

Nicholson added the League Cup (1971 and 1973) and the UEFA Cup 1971–72 to Tottenham’s long history before he resigned at the start of the 1974–75 season due to both a poor start, and his disgust at seeing rioting fans in Rotterdam in a UEFA Cup final, which Spurs lost.

Nicholson had won 8 major trophies in 16 years and his spell in charge was the most successful period in the club’s history, However, with the squad ageing, Spurs lost their place amongst the elite in English football. Nicholson wished to select his replacement and lined up a ‘dream team’ of Johnny Giles and Danny Blanchflower to take over, but the Spurs board ignored his advice and appointed ex-Arsenal player Terry Neill, who narrowly avoided relegation at the end of 1974–5. Never accepted by the fans, Neill left the club in 1976 and was replaced by his assistant Keith Burkinshaw that summer.

Tottenham slipped out of the First Division at the end of the 1976–77 season, after 27 years in the top flight. This was soon followed by the sale of their Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Pat Jennings to arch rivals Arsenal, a move that shocked the club’s fans and proved to be a serious error. Jennings played on for another eight years for Spurs’ rivals.

Despite relegation, the board kept faith with Burkinshaw and the team immediately won promotion to the top flight, although it took until the final league game to be promoted. A sudden loss of form at the end of the season meant the club needed a point in the last game at Southampton. To Tottenham’s great relief, the game ended 0–0 and Spurs returned to the first division. In the summer of 1978, Burkinshaw caused a notable stir by signing two Argentinian World Cup stars Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa, which was the kind of transfer coup very uncommon in British football at the time.

The 1980s: The Glory Years

Spurs opened the 1980s on a high with an FA Cup replay win over Manchester City, 3–2, thanks to Ricky Villa’s goal. They lifted the FA Cup again against QPR the next season, and were in contention for four trophies, including the First Division title in which they threatened Liverpool at Easter but ended up fourth. Liverpool also denied Spurs the League Cup in extra time and Barcelona won at home in the Cup Winners’ Cup semis after a 1–1 draw at White Hart Lane.

Key players such as Steve Archibald, Garth Crooks, Glenn Hoddle, Osvaldo Ardiles, and long-serving Steve Perryman inspired Tottenham to UEFA Cup glory in 1984, but several weeks before this victory Burkinshaw announced he would be leaving at the end of that season ending his tenure having won three trophies in four seasons

New manager Peter Shreeves and owner Irving Scholar took over with Shreeves managing the club to a third place finish in 1984–85, while Scholar attempted to restore the club’s financial fortunes. Tottenham enjoyed a strong start to the 1984-85 season, topping the table at Christmas, but they were later leapfrogged by champions Everton and runners-up Liverpool. Their final position of third place in the league would have booked them a UEFA Cup place, but on 29 May 1985, the Heysel disaster, which saw 39 spectators crushed to death by a wall when Liverpool fans rioted at the European Cup final, saw all English clubs banned from European competitions indefinitely. Tottenham, along with the other European-qualified teams, excluding Liverpool, (Everton, Manchester United, Southampton) and Norwich City) appealed to have the ban changed to cover Liverpool only, but to no avail. This ruled Tottenham out of the UEFA Cup for the 1985-86.

At the end of the following season, Luton Town manager David Pleat was appointed the new manager following the sacking of Peter Shreeves (after Aberdeen’s Alex Ferguson, who would take over at Manchester United later in the year, rejected the offer to take over), and for much of 1986–87, Spurs Played with a five man midfield (Hoddle, Ardiles, Hodge, Allen, Waddle) backing lone striker Clive Allen, Tottenham remained in contention for all domestic honours throughout the season, however towards the business end of the championship challenges, the endeavours ended in the defeat. In the League Cup, Tottenham lost to eventual competition winners Arsenal in the semi-final. Spurs then missed out on the first division title, and, finally, as favourites for the FA Cup over Coventry, stumbled to a 3–2 loss. The close season of 1987 saw the sale of Glenn Hoddle to AS Monaco, and a year later goalkeeper Ray Clemence retired.

Pleat quit in October 1987 following allegations about his private life. He was succeeded by former player Terry Venables, who had built up an impressive managerial record – two promotions with Crystal Palace that had taken them from the Third Division to the First, an FA Cup final appearance (where they lost to Tottenham in 1982), a fifth place league finish and a UEFA Cup appearance at QPR, and most recently the Spanish league title and a European Cup final appearance with FC Barcelona. However, the Spurs side that he inherited with a quarter of the 1987-88 was struggling in the league and could only manage a 13th place finish – placing them below sides including Wimbledon, Coventry City and Luton Town.

To invigorate the Tottenham side, Venables paid a national record £2million for Newcastle United midfielder Paul Gascoigne in June 1988, and also signed striker Paul Stewart from Manchester City for £1.7million. In February that year, Venables had also boosted his attack with a £500,000 move for Liverpool striker Paul Walsh. Spurs made a shaky start to the 1988-89 season, being second from bottom at the end of October but improving to ninth place by the turn of 1989 and finishing sixth in the final table.

July 1989 saw the arrival at White Hart Lane of England striker Gary Lineker from FC Barcelona for a fee of £1.1million.


In 1990, a slump in the property market left chairman Scholar on the verge of bankruptcy, although they had finished third in a title race in which Liverpool finished champions. Spurs had also finished one place above neighbours Arsenal. The ban on English clubs in European competitions was lifted for the 1990-91 season, but only one place in the UEFA Cup would be granted to the English league – meaning that Aston Villa took that place as league runners-up and Tottenham missed out.


Venables joined forces with businessman Alan Sugar to take over Tottenham Hotspur PLC and pay off its £20 million debt. During the 1990-91 season, Midfielder Paul Gascoigne became a transfer target for Italian club Lazio and when the takeover deal was nearing completion, it became clear that the multi-million pound sale of Gascoigne would be integral to the financial structure of Tottenham Hotspur.

The 1990-91 season enjoyed its share of incidents, quite apart from the financial crisis and Gascoigne transfer speculation. Spurs began the league season unbeaten from 10 games and third in the league behind Liverpool and Arsenal, who also retained unbeaten records. However, the winter saw a downturn in league form and by the end of February Spurs had sunk to eighth and had lost seven of their previous 15 games. Tottenham failed to re-discover their earlier league form and finished 10th in the final table. However, performances in the FA Cup remained a highlight and Tottenham eventually reached the final. They went a goal down in the 16th minute when Stuart Pearce put a goal past them for Nottingham Forest, and a minute later Paul Gascoigne suffered cruciate knee ligament damage when making a reckless tackle on opponent Gary Charles. Paul Stewart equalised for Spurs in the 55th minute, and an own goal in extra time by Forest defender Des Walker made Spurs the first team to win eight FA Cups – a record which was matched by Manchester United in 1994 and surprassed by them in 1996. It is still their most recent FA Cup triumph to date.

When the extent of Gascoigne’s knee injury was confirmed, it became clear that he would be out for most if not all of the following season. His transfer to Lazio was put on hold, and Gascoigne injured his knee again in a nightclub incident five months after the FA Cup final – putting paid to any chances that he would play a game in the 1991-92 season. It also ended his hopes of playing at Euro 92, but by the end of the 1992 close season his knee had recovered and he completed his move to Italy for £5.5million.

In 1991-92, Venables became chief executive, with Shreeves again taking charge of first-team duties. Spurs were competing in Europe that season, in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, reaching the quarter-final where they were edged out by Dutch side Feyenoord. Gary Lineker, who in November confirmed that he would be leaving Spurs at the end of the season to play in Japan, scored 28 goals and was voted Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year, but these goals were not enough to prevent Tottenham from underperforming throughout the campaign, losing 20 games as they finished 15th.

The 1992-93 season saw Peter Shreeves sacked as head coach and replaced by joint head coaches Doug Livermore and Ray Clemence. Spurs became founders of the new Premier League, created by the Football Association as replacement for the Football League First Division as the highest division of English football. To coincide with the massive changes in English Football, Tottenham made a number of major signings. They paid a club record £2.1million for Nottingham Forest striker Teddy Sheringham, £750,000 for Southampton defender Neil Ruddock and £1.75million for Portsmouth’s highly rated 19-year-old winger Darren Anderton. In the first ever Premier League season, Spurs finished eighth, with Teddy Sheringham being the division’s top scorer with 22 goals, 21 for Tottenham Hotspur and 1 for Nottingham Forest, and also reached the FA Cup semi-final, losing 1-0 to Arsenal.

June 1993 saw Terry Venables controversially dismissed from the Tottenham board by chairman Alan Sugar, whose decision was overturned in the High Court but then reverted on appeal.

The departure of Venables saw Tottenham return to a conventional management setup after two seasons of a two-tier structure. Taking charge of the first team was former player Ossie Ardiles, who since starting out in management four years earlier had enjoyed mixed success with his tactical approach which was centred on attacking football, it had seen promotion with Swindon Town and West Bromwich Albion, though the promotion at Swindon Town was cancelled due to financial irregularities which occurred before Ardiles was appointed, but had almost resulted in Newcastle United falling into the third tier of the football league. At Tottenham, Instead of progressing on the eighth place finish and FA Cup semi-final appearance the previous season, Spurs performed poorly and relegation was soon becoming a real possibility. In the end, they achieved survival with a 15th place finish, but were soon under investigation for financial irregularities which had allegedly taken place in the 1980s when Irving Scholar was still chairman. In June, they were found guilty of making illegal payments to players and received the heaviest punishment ever dished out to an English club – a £600,000 fine, 12 league points deducted for the 1994-95 season, and a ban from the 1994-95 FA Cup. However, the points deduction and FA Cup ban were later quashed on appeal, although the fine was increased to £1,500,000.

However, Ardiles was determined that Spurs would succeed in 1994-95, and began the season by signing two players who had appeared at that summer’s World Cup – German striker Jurgen Klinsmann and Romanian winger Ilie Dumitrescu – to bolster a forward line which already included Teddy Sheringham, Darren Anderton and Nick Barmby. But Spurs still struggled as the 1994-95 season got underway, and Ardiles was dimissed on 1 November 1994 with the club standing 17th in the relegation zone, they would have been 11th at this stage but the points deduction stood at 6 points, reduced on appeal from the original 12, before being quashed completely.

Ardiles was replaced by Gerry Francis, who alleviated the relegation fears and oversaw the club’s climb to seventh place in the league – just missing out on a UEFA Cup place. When the FA Cup ban was lifted, Spurs reached the FA Cup semi-final where they were defeated 4-1 by eventual trophy winners Everton. Klinsmann was top scorer at the club with 29 in all competitions, but frustrated by the failure to qualify for European competition he returned to his homeland when he signed for Bayern Munich. Over the next two years, Francis added the likes of Ruel Fox, Chris Armstrong, Les Ferdinand and David Ginola to the ranks at White Hart Lane, while players including Teddy Sheringham, Ilie Dumitrescu and Gheorghe Popescu departed, but his wheeling and dealing failed to deliver European qualification or higher as they finished eighth in 1996 and tenth in 1997.

Francis was sacked in November 1997 after Spurs were crushed 4-0 by Liverpool – a result which left them 16th in the Premier League.

Christian Gross, coach of Swiss champions Grasshoppers, was appointed. He failed to turn around the club’s fortunes, however, and the team battled against the drop for the remainder of the campaign. Legendary striker Jürgen Klinsmann was re-signed in December on loan and four goals in a 6–2 win away to Wimbledon in the penultimate game of the season was enough to secure survival.

Gross, despite having finished the last season on a high by only losing one of their last nine games, was sacked just three games into the following season, and George Graham was soon hired to take over.

Despite heavy criticism from fans due to Graham’s previous association with Arsenal, in his first season as Spurs manager the club secured a mid-table finish and won the League Cup. In the final against Leicester City at Wembley, full-back Justin Edinburgh was sent off after an altercation with Robbie Savage on the hour mark, but Spurs secured a dramatic victory through Allan Nielsen’s diving header in the 93rd minute of the game. Spurs also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they were beaten 2–0 by Newcastle after extra-time. To cap a good season, star player David Ginola won both the PFA Players’ Player of the year 1999 and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year 1999 awards.

Following the 1999–00 and 2000–01 campaigns, Sugar’s patience broke. He sold his controlling interest to ENIC Sports PLC, run by Daniel Levy.

2001-2005: Mid table wilderness

Team management passed to Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle who took over in April 2001 with the team lying thirteenth in the table. His first game saw defeat to Arsenal in an FA Cup semi-final. The club captain, Sol Campbell, after a season in which he made repeated statements in the media outlining his desire to remain at Tottenham, joined Arsenal on a Bosman free transfer that summer. By signing Campbell on a ‘free transfer’, Arsenal were spared a hefty trasfer fee for one of the best defenders in the country at the time. Consequently, they were able to offer Campbell a contract believed to be worth in the region of £100,000 per week. The loss of a transfer fee by Spurs, the move to their bitterest rivals, and the perceived underhanded fashion in which he negotiated his move, led to Campbell being vilified by Spurs fans thereafter. The relationship was further soured several years later (after Campbell had moved to Portsmouth) by false accusations that he had been subjected to racist and homophobic chants during a match against Spurs. While the national media argued Campbell’s part, the police sought prosecutions against 16 fans, some of them children, filmed as taking part in the chants. However, upon arriving at court, none of the prosecutions were successful and many of the bans applied to the accused fans were overturned. Campbell meanwhile has never expressed regret or remorse over his defection to Spurs’ fiercest rivals.

The summer before Hoddle’s arrival as manager, Tottenham had plunged into the transfer market for their first eight-figure signing when they paid Dynamo Kiev £11million for Ukrainian striker Sergei Rebrov. However, Rebrov was not a success at White Hart Lane, managing just 10 goals over the next four seasons (the last of which was spent on loan in Turkey) before joining neighbours West Ham United.

Hoddle turned to more experienced players in the shape of Teddy Sheringham, Gus Poyet and Christian Ziege for inspiration, and Spurs played some encouraging football in the opening months of his management. Season 2001–02 saw Spurs finish in ninth place, as well as reaching the League Cup final, where they lost to Blackburn Rovers, having been the favourites after their 5-1 demolition of Chelsea in the previous round.

The only significant outlay prior to the following campaign was £7 million for Robbie Keane, who joined from Leeds United. 2002–03 started well, with Tottenham in the top six as late as early February, but the season ended with a tenth place finish being the result of a barren final 10 games of the league campaign that delivered a mere seven points. Several players publicly criticised Hoddle’s management and communication skills. Six games into the 2003-04 season, with Spurs struggling at the foot of the table, Hoddle was sacked and David Pleat took over on a caretaker basis until a permanent successor could be found.

Robbie Keane prepares to take a penalty kick at White Hart Lane

In May 2004, Tottenham appointed French team manager Jacques Santini as head coach, with Martin Jol as his assistant and Frank Arnesen as Sporting Director. Santini quit the club in bizarre circumstances in early November. He was replaced by Jol, who turned things around and secured a ninth place finish. In June 2005, when Arnesen moved to Chelsea, Spurs appointed Damien Comolli as Sporting Director.

Since 2005: Revival

During 2005–06 Spurs spent six months in the top four, going into the final game of the season, they led rivals Arsenal by a point, but were forced to play their match at West Ham with half the team suffering from Norovirus, a viral form of gastroenteritis, commonly known as “Winter Vomiting Disease”. Spurs lost and were pipped to a Champions League place, but it was success nevertheless in gaining a place in the UEFA Cup. They finished fifth for the second season in a row in 2006–07.

Martin Jol was sacked early into the 2007–08 season, with Juande Ramos ex-Seville coach replacing the Dutchman. Spurs went on to win the League Cup, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final in February 2008. However, Tottenham endured another dismal start to the season in 2008-09, and in late October a UEFA Cup defeat by Italian side Udinese, combined with terrible league form that saw them bottom of the Premier League, Commoli and Ramos were both sacked. 2008-09 saw the worst start to a season in the club’s history.

The following day Portsmouth Manager Harry Redknapp was appointed as the new manager of Tottenham.Director of Football Damien Comolli was also sacked, after criticism of the sales of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane and failure to replace them adequately. Tottenham returned to a “traditional” setup with Redknapp in charge of coaching and player transfers. In his first two weeks in charge, Redknapp took the club out of the relegation zone, winning ten out of the twelve points available with wins against Bolton, Liverpool and Manchester City and a 4–4 draw against North London rivals Arsenal. The team finished the 2008-09 campaign 8th in the league table. The January transfer window saw the return of Robbie Keane to the club after an unsuccessful six-month spell at Liverpool.

Spurs won the first four matches of the 2009–10 season, with Redknapp subsequently awarded the Manager of the Month award and Jermain Defoe the Player of the Month award for August. On 22 November 2009, Spurs beat Wigan Athletic 9–1 at White Hart Lane – a record win in the top flight for the club. On 14th April 2010 Tottenham achieved their first Premier League victory 2-1 against rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane in eleven years with goals from Gareth Bale and a spectacular volley from Premier League debutant Danny Rose.

On 5th May 2010 Spurs reached the qualifying rounds of the Champions League for the first time in their history. This was the first time in five years that the monopoly of the top four places held by Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool had been broken. As in 2005, the team displaced was Liverpool; 2010 was the first time Tottenham finished above Liverpool in the league since 1971.

Spurs faced Swiss side Young Boys in a two leg play off to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. In the first in Bern, Spurs scored two away goals and the game finished 3-2.

In the second leg, played on August 25, Spurs recorded a comfortable 4-0 win with a goal from Defoe and a hat-trick from Peter Crouch .

The cockerel and ball first appeared in 1909 when a former player W J Scott cast a copper centrepiece to perch on the new west stand. The world-famous ball-and-cockerel emblem is believed to have its origins in cock-fighting, because combative cocks were fitted with tiny spurs. The origin of the cockerel symbol has never been satisfactorily been explained. Harry Hotspur after whom the club was named wore spurs while leading his troops into battle. The spurs which were attached to the legs of fighting cocks were similar and the club’s badge in the nineteenth century was a simple spur. Somewhere along the line a link was made between the fighting cock and the cockspur and the cockerel took over as the symbol. It became firmly established as the symbol in 1910 when the cockerel and ball were erected on the roof of the main stand. The two lions rampant are taken from the crest of the northumberland family who feature heavily in the history of the local area.

The motto “Audere est Facere” is Latin inscription, the literal translation meaning “to dare is to do”. In other words unless you try you will never achieve.