Tottenham Hotspur, known then as The Hotspur Football club, moved into the White Hart Lane ground in 1899, at the time it was a disused nursery and it actually still had loads of sheds and greenhouses on it. It was owned by a brewery and as part of the deal the club had to promise they would provide crowds of at least 1000 for home games so the White Hart Inn could make some money !!
In 1910 the world famous cockerel was attached to the top of the stand, legend has it that the ball it sits on is actually a time capsule with historic docements and artefacts … this fact though isnt yet proven.
Along with lots of other grounds White Hart Lane was taken over by the army during the 1stWorld War and was a used a rifle range for target practice, the picture below was taken from a 1970’s Football Review magazine and shows how it looked, without sheds, greenhouses or rifle ranges !!
The text on the picture reads as follows;
“Tottenham Hotspur have played at White Hart Lane since 1898 and the grounds capacity today stands at 56,000 with seating for 18,250. The record attendance was set in March 1938 when 75,038 spectators watched the sizth round FA Cup tie against Sunderland. The playing surface measures 110 yards by 73 yards. Inset: Tottenhams captain and England International Martin Peters.”
I have also found an absolutely stunning piece of old film footage on Google that shows the old White Hart Lane ground as it used to be in the 1970s.
Older fans will find this brings back some great (and not so great) memories while younger fans who never experienced what these football grounds used to be like might just get a feel for why us “older” fans go on about the “good old days” !!