The first London derby


In one of my former articles, I mentioned regarding the first London Derby between the Woolwich Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur. We now have many more people on the TheSpursWeb site who may not be aware of this first ever match, so with game coming up on Sunday, i thought it would be worth a re-visit.

The first Tottenham vs.Arsenal game was played on 19th November 1887 on Tottenham Marshes. Royal Arsenal as the Gooners were then known, had yet to move to North London so it was not actually a North London Derby but they exhibited all the traits that would become familiar to them over the years and that they still have to this very day.

After arriving for the match ‘late’, Royal Arsenal scored an early goal and proceeded to defend their 1-0 for the rest of the game. Obviously, that indicated an early preference for the song “One nil to the Arsenal” and an approach that would become infamous over a century later.

However, this proved a mistake as Tottenham scored to make it 1-1, and then notched a second on 75 minutes to lead 2-1.

At this point with 15 mins remaining the Arsenal players began to complain to the referee about the ‘lack of light’, and the referee decided because of their persistence to call off the match. The match was therefore abandoned with no official ‘score’ allowed in the record books.

They have been bad losers ever since, and I wonder what underhanded ideas Arsenal have up their sleeve for this weekend’s match?

Have something to tell us about this article?



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.