Ten claims to fame: Tottenham Hotspur

They invented 'Total Football' and 'tiki-taka', were the first English side to win a UEFA competition, and Arsenal killed their parrot; UEFA.com's Mark Pettit hails the pride of north London.

Tottenham Hotspur celebrate winning the 1991 FA Cup - their last major trophy
Tottenham Hotspur celebrate winning the 1991 FA Cup - their last major trophy ©Getty Images

Formed: 1882
Nicknames: Spurs, the Lilywhites

UEFA club competition honours
• European Cup Winners' Cup: 1963
• UEFA Cup: 1972, 1984

Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
• League title: 2 (1961)
• FA Cup: 8 (1991)

• Stylish competitors and eternal outsiders, Spurs are named after a notable medieval rebel nobleman, Sir Henry Percy (1364–1403), youngest son of the Duke of Northumberland, whose derring-do earned him the nickname 'Harry Hotspur' – and a key role in Shakespeare's play Henry V. Originally a cricket club, Hotspur FC branched out into football to give themselves a sport to play in the winter; they became Tottenham Hotspur in 1884 to avoid any confusion with another club, London Hotspur.

What it means to be a Spurs fan
What it means to be a Spurs fan

• Tottenham became the only non-league club since the 1888 advent of the English league to win the FA Cup, when they secured their first success in 1901. Forward Sandy Brown hit a record 15 goals in that campaign, and scored in every round of the competition – another as-yet unrepeated feat. In winning the competition, Spurs also established a new tradition – tying ribbons in the winning team's colours to the trophy.

• The club's unique logo is a cockerel wearing riding spurs – another nod to 'Harry Hotspur', whose fighting cocks were reputedly similarly attired. In 1909, a former player named William James Scott made a bronze cast of a cockerel standing on a football to be placed on top of the West Stand at their home stadium, White Hart Lane, and that logo began to feature on Tottenham's badge after their 1921 FA Cup final triumph.

• Bad light and a dead parrot helped intensify Spurs' rivalry with north London neighbours Arsenal. In November 1887, Spurs were 2-1 up in their first meeting with the Gunners only for the game to be abandoned due to bad light with 15 minutes remaining. Then, Tottenham's pet parrot – a gift from a ship's captain during a 1908 tour of Argentina and Uruguay – died on the day that Arsenal were given Spurs' place in the enlarged top division of English football in 1919. Some claim the common phrase "as sick as a parrot" originated here.

Vic Buckingham and Arthur Rowe
Vic Buckingham and Arthur Rowe©Getty Images

• Tottenham laid the ground for 'Total Football' and 'tiki-taka' when Arthur Rowe's revolutionary 'push-and-run' side won the club's first league title in 1951. Rowe's team included future Spurs manager Bill Nicholson and Alf Ramsey, who steered England to FIFA World Cup glory in 1966. Rowe also encouraged former Spurs wing-half Vic Buckingham to move into coaching – he eventually went to Ajax, where he is credited with discovering Johan Cruyff and introducing the short-passing style that later went viral. Key Buckingham quote: "Whether you are playing well or badly, all of you must want the ball and look for it."

Bill Nicholson addresses his players in 1963
Bill Nicholson addresses his players in 1963©Getty Images

• Spurs were the first club to win an English domestic double in the 20th century, doing so in 1960/61 under ultimate one-club man Nicholson – he played for the club from 1938–55, then managed them from 1958–74, and never worked for any other side. Interestingly, Tottenham had taken their all-white kit from Preston North End's 'Invincibles', who claimed football's first double in 1889. Nicholson's double winners won the first 11 matches of that 1960/61 campaign – still the best-ever start to an English top-flight season.

1963 Cup Winners' Cup final programme
1963 Cup Winners' Cup final programme©UEFA.com

• Spurs were the first English club to win a UEFA competition, Nicholson's men hammering Atlético Madrid 5-1 in the 1963 European Cup Winners' Cup final; Jimmy Greaves – England's all-time top scorer in top-flight games with 357 goals – netted twice. Tottenham then beat Wolverhampton Wanderers to land the inaugural UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to capture two different UEFA trophies.

• Spurs' last FA Cup final victory in 1991 made them the competition's undisputed kings with a record eight final wins. Unfortunately, they have since been overtaken by Arsenal (12) and Manchester United (11). However, their reputation as a great cup side will be put on hold if Mauricio Pochettino's men win this season's league championship – which would be their third, their first since 1961 and their first of the Premier League era.

Chivers on 1972 Spurs glory
Chivers on 1972 Spurs glory

• Tottenham scored the Premier League's fastest-ever goal (Ledley King on target after nine seconds against Bradford City in 2000), and share the record for the most goals scored in a single match (having thrashed Wigan Athletic 9-1 in 2009). Spurs' Erik Thorstvedt was also the first goalkeeper to come on as a substitute in the Premier League, replacing Ian Walker in August 1992 – the 1992/93 season being the first where three substitutes were allowed, with one having to be a keeper.

• Tottenham set a record in their only UEFA Champions League campaign in 2010/11, a side featuring Luka Modrić, Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale becoming the first team to score two or more goals in every group stage game. They beat AC Milan at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in the last 16 before bowing out to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals; the Merengues, subsequently signed Modrić and, in 2013, made Bale the most expensive signing in football history.

Gareth Bale and Peter Crouch celebrate a UEFA Champions League goal for Tottenham
Gareth Bale and Peter Crouch celebrate a UEFA Champions League goal for Tottenham©Getty Images

 

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