1900 - 1919

Tottenham Hotspur who played in the Southern League, won the FA Cup, the only non-league side ever to win the trophy.  They beat three Division I sides to get to the final, Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and the holders, Bury.  Alexander “Sandy” Brown was a Spurs player for only two years, but the 96 goals in 113 appearances he scored, particularly the 15 he scored as Spurs won the 1901 FA Cup, make him a Spurs legend.  Tottenham faced Sheffield United on April 20th, 1901 in the final at Crystal Palace in front of 114,815 spectators and the game ended in a 2-2 draw thanks to a disputed goal that allowed Sheffield to equalise.  The replay was held at Burnden Park, Bolton in front of a sparse crowd of 20,470 with Spurs winning 3-1.  Sandy Brown scored in both games.

As some of the top clubs in football began to show healthy balance sheets it wasn’t long before players began to demand a bigger share of the football “cake”.  In April 1901, a new maximum wage of £4 per week was introduced.

Alex James was born in Mossend, Lanarkshire.  He played for Preston North End where a very young Tom Finney described him as “an inspiration, pure magic” before moving to Arsenal.  Alex suffered with severe rheumatism and wore long, baggy shorts to hide the long johns he wore to keep warm.


George Camsell was born in Framwellgate Moor, Durham City.  He scored 59 goals in 37 games for Middlesbrough in 1926-27, only bettered by Dixie Dean a year later.  After WWII, he worked as a scout for Middlesbrough and discovered Brian Clough.

Alf Common of Sheffield United is transferred to Sunderland for £500.

Manchester United founded when brewer, John Davies, bought up a bankrupt team, Newton Heath.  The names Manchester Celtic and Manchester Central were considered before Manchester United was settled upon.


FIFA, Federation of International Football Associations is formed with seven members.


England joins FIFA.

Alf Common is transferred from Sunderland to Middlesbrough for a fee of £1,000.

Billy Meredith of Manchester City is suspended after attempting to bribe Aston Villa’s captain to help his team win the League.

When Fulham turned down an offer to buy Stamford Bridge, the owners decided to create Chelsea to play there.


William Ralph “Dixie” Dean was born in Birkenhead.  He began his career at Tranmere Rovers before moving to Everton in 1925.


England play Austria in Vienna, its first international against foreign opposition, winning 11-1 with captain Vivian Woodward of Tottenham Hotspur scoring four.

Football was first introduced as an Olympic sport at the London Olympics at White City.  England went on to win the gold medal beating Denmark 2-0.

The first FA Charity Shield was played between the FA Cup winners and League champions.


Walter Tull of Tottenham Hotspur, becomes the first black outfield player in the First Division.


Morecambe crowned champions of the North Lancashire League with Carnforth Rangers and Warton in 2nd and 3rd place.


It became illegal for goalkeepers to handle the ball outside the penalty area.

Danny O’Shea of West Ham Utd is transferred to Blackburn Rovers for £2,000.

The Stockholm Olympics sees England take their second gold medal by beating Denmark 4-2 in the final.


Woolwich Arsenal move from South-East to North London in a bid to attract more supporters amid financial difficulties.


Football League games suspended for the duration of the war, although a limited regional programme was introduced later.

The FA Cup Final is played and won by Sheffield United.  The event became known as the Khaki Cup Final because of the large number of servicemen in the crowd.


Walter Tull was killed in action on March 25th in the Second Battle of the Somme.  His body was never recovered.


Leeds City are expelled from the Football League for allegedly making illegal payments to players.  The club was replaced with Leeds United.

The Football League is enlarged to 44 clubs.


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