DISCOVERY OF MYSTERIOUS SPURS SHIELD – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY

 

 

 

We recently received a most interesting message regarding an old Tottenham Hotspur Shield. It transpired that someone had bid for the contents of a storage unit for a legal site clearance. The former occupants had owned the storage unit for over 30 years. To their surprise they discovered within the storage unit an old Plaque/Shield that had been presented to the Tottenham Hotspur Development Society in December 1967 by a then local firm of Bookmakers.

 Our immediate thoughts in finding an explanation were:

·   Development Groups were quite popular at Football Clubs back in the 60’s & 70’s. This was before the time of large sponsorship deals and high wages paid to players. In addition, this was well before the days of large TV Deals with companies like Sky and BTSport etc.

·    Many years ago, a near neighbour of mine was the manager of the Chelsea Development Group and they would sell scratch cards at the match with the time of the ‘First Goal’ and also organised other fund-raising events. He later moved to Fulham in a similar role.

·    As most Spurs fans would be aware, 1967 also marked the FA Cup win over Chelsea so perhaps the presentation of the shield had some connection with this event. I suspect that back in 1967 perhaps this was a publicity event to raise awareness of the club. ‘The Eagle’ was a large pub that was situated immediately behind the Police Station in Tottenham High Road. It was also a stone’s throw from the famous Tottenham Royal dance hall.

·   The shield has a No 1 on it so perhaps there was more than one shield presented.



When referring to the splendid ‘Bobby Buckle’ book it revealed an early connection with Spurs and ‘The Eagle’ pub in Chesnut Road, Tottenham. It would appear that Bobby Buckle’s later wife was the stepdaughter of the publican named Alan Ainsley. Also, it was at ‘The Eagle’ in 1895 where the decision was made for Spurs to apply for Professional status.

The picture below shows 'The Eagle' in the 1890s' at the same time the Spurs held their early meetings.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS OF SHIELD PRESENTED TO THE TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY
 
 





DESCRIPTION OF EMBLEMS DISPLAYED ON BADGE

In the top left-hand corner, you will note a ‘Tower’ that represents the Round Tower that can be found at the Bruce Castle Museum in Tottenham. On the right-hand side, you will note seven trees that represent ‘The Seven Sisters’, an ancient group of trees that can be found in Tottenham High Road near Seven Sisters underground station. This marks the start of Seven Sisters Road in Tottenham that runs S.W from this point in London towards Kings Cross. The Cockerel itself and the Lions Rampant are a reference to ‘Harry Hotspur’ or Henry Percy a former Duke of Northumberland. Henry Percy was a brave and courageous knight who fought alongside King Henry IV. The Percy family once owned large estates in Tottenham.

 

CONTINUED RESEARCH EFFORTS

It then occurred to us that perhaps the Tottenham Hotspur Development Society (THDS) once performed a similar role to the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation today and engaged with the local community by organising fund raising and publicity events. To our surprise nobody at the Spurs had any recollection of the THDS. Our contacts had included several of the Spurs historians both past and present, but they could find no mention in their records and could offer no further explanations.  We also contacted a few sports journalists who had written about the Spurs but once again no further information was forthcoming.

We then sought the help of the wonderful Bruce Castle Museum in Tottenham to see whether they had any useful information on the THDS in their archives. They started by checking their newspaper archives for December 1967 and into January 1968 to see if the presentation of the shield had been covered in the local press but that regrettably drew a blank.

They then suggested we check the local telephone directory for 1965 and to our surprise we found an entry for the ‘Tottenham Hotspur Development Association’ at 738 High Road Tottenham which we suspect could have been Warmington House that had once housed the ‘Spurs Supporters Club’ .

WARMINGTON HOUSE BELOW

 

 

Unfortunately, we are no further forward with our enquiries. So was the organisation known as an ‘Association’ or a ‘Society’ and indeed were they one of the same ?

 We had hoped that once we had more information on the shield it could somehow be saved and perhaps displayed in a prominent Tottenham location. However, our hopes in that regard have been dashed as we now hear the shield had been sold.

 If you are able help and have any recollection of the THDS and this mysterious shield, then We would love to hear from you !

 

Article prepared by Alan Swain - November 2023