Centenary celebration – Looking back at Tottenham’s famous FA Cup triumph in 1921

Image: SpursWeb

With our Fifth Round FA Cup tie, away at Everton on the horizon, we wanted to take the chance to reflect on a previous triumph, exactly 100 years ago.

On 21 April 1921, fans converged on Stamford Bridge to watch the FA Cup Final between Tottenham Hotspur and their Second Division opponents, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

They came by train, bus or walked, all wearing coats and hats or flat caps to protect them from the elements.

The match drew a crowd of 72,805, with only 5,000 lucky enough to join King George V and his entourage in the covered Archibald Leitch-designed stand on the east side.

Early arrivals could stay at pitch level, sitting on the vast pitch surround normally reserved for Greyhound racing.

The rest scrambled for a view on the tall mounds of soil, on the other three sides, which had been excavated from the recent construction of the Piccadilly underground line.

King George was introduced to the teams by their captains, Arthur Grimsdell, for Spurs (looking dapper in his upturned collar), and Val Gregory for Wolves. During the introductions, the heavens opened and there was a tremendous rainstorm.

The match kicked off but the deluge continued and the players struggled to keep on their feet.

The Wolves keeper, Noel ‘The Giant’ George was by far the busiest player on the pitch and, despite some acrobatic saves, managed, throughout the match, to keep his cloth cap on his head.

Defying concerted pressure from Spurs, Wolves held out to keep the score 0-0 at half-time.

Early in the second half, Jimmy Dimmock, the Spurs outside left, collected the ball on the left edge of the penalty area and struck a rasping, angled shot which beat the last defender and the unfortunate Noel George.

Despite some late pressure from Wolves, the match finished 1-0 to Tottenham.

At the final whistle, the elated Spurs fans surged across the sodden pitch towards the stand to see the King present the FA Cup.

The Spurs team led the way with Arthur Grimsdell accepting the trophy. He came down the steps, and, briefly (with a modest and slightly embarrassed look), lifted the silverware for the fans and then disappeared down the tunnel.

Times have changed and, should we lift the trophy in 2021, I expect the celebrations will be a little less restrained, albeit from the comfort of our own sofas!

Footage of the 1921 FA Cup Final can be found HERE.

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