Cherry-picking; then and now


The ‘Glenbuck Cherrypickers’, were a football club in East Ayrshire, Scotland, from the 1870s until their demise, in season 1931-32.

Glenbuck was a mining village, of some 1000 persons. In addition to producing Sandy Young and Sandy Tait, who played for Tottenham Hotspur, in the early 1900s, this little enclave produced some 50 professional footballers in all: an amazing statistic!

The ‘Cherrypicker’s term is thought to derive from the miners sifting out the good coal, from the stones etc. Thus cherry-picking the good stuff from the bad, as it passed on a conveyor belt.

Ian Cameron, who was from Ayrshire and became player-manager of Spurs in 1899, cherry-picked both Brown and Tait and brought them to Spurs, having been aware of their prowess for Glenbuck and the other teams they played for, in the interim.

Brown was known as the ‘Glenbuck-goalgetter’ and Tait was previously dubbed, ‘Terrible-Tait’, when he played for Preston North End, before playing for Spurs. He was hard but fair and never booked.

Brown was chosen to score goals and Tait, to prevent them.

In the FA Cup run of 1901, Brown scored 15 goals, including one in every round! Tait went on to be captain of the club, in his latter years there.

In the 1901 final with Sheffield United (and after a 2-2 draw) Brown scored the 3rd goal in the replay, as Spurs ran out 3-1 winners.

Of course, the most famous Glenbuck export was Bill Shankly, born 1913 Glenbuck and died in Liverpool in 1981. He is famed for his managership of Liverpool football club, whom he served from 1959 -74.

Fast-forward to present day and we find AVB cherry-picking some of the most gifted players from all around the globe, to attempt to revive the glory days for Tottenham. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Have he chosen well? Time will tell.

Anyone for cherries?

Have something to tell us about this article?


    • the word 'this' can be a pronoun, adjective and adverb:

      * 'Is this your bag'? – pronoun

      * 'Don't listen to this guy'. – adjective'

      * He has never stayed out this late'. – adverb

      Hope that clear 'this' up!

  1. good article, sorry for the wankers above, you always get those with a bit of knowledge who think they are wise but as I said 3 wanker , real wanker replies above me. Thanks for a great article on old spurs

    • Thanks for that big g. I enjoyed writing the piece.

      I'm old enough to remember the players of the
      50s and 60s. Those were the days!



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