Why is Tottenham called Hotspur?- The 139 year history behind Spurs’ team name

Why is Tottenham called Hotspur?- The 139 year history behind Spurs’ team name

Tottenham Hotspur have one of the most intriguing names in world football. One of the many clubs not really named after a region in England, ‘Hotspur’ as a club name continues to baffle people. Tottenham, after all, is a place in London, England.

But was that enough to name the club? If it was so, we are glad they still went ahead and added another word to it. It gives them a unique identity and more importantly, links them with their geographical past in a very intimate way. And we at Alley Sport help you figure out the history behind Tottenham’s full name.

Why is Tottenham called Hotspur?

The team was formed was Hotspur Football Club in 1882 by members of the Hotspur Cricket Club that had started two year prior. The meeting to form the club was done just 100 yards down the now-demolished White Hart Lane and resulted in one of the most iconic teams being formed.

Why is Tottenham called Hotspur?- The 139 year history behind Spurs' team name
Why is Tottenham called Hotspur?- The 139 year history behind Spurs’ team name

And just like the cricket club, the founding members went with the name ‘Hotspur, in honour of Sir Henry Percy. He was a 14th Century English knight that had fought in several wars, most notably against the Scots and against the French in the 100 Years War.

Why was Henry Percy called Hotspur? And why did Tottenham adopt the name?

The nickname ‘Hotspur’ was given to Percy by the Scots for his ferocity, eagerness, and speed in attacking them. He was a brave knight that was known for his combative, fearless, and bold fighting strategy and skill. He got the name Harry Hotspur and became famous as the rebel of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, part 1.

His Northumberland family owned a lot of land in the area- the same region where Percy was himself born in 1364, and this included land in London. The Northumberland Park in Tottenham belonged to them, which served as a landmark for the entire area and served as the inspiration behind the name of the football and cricket clubs.

 Why was Henry Percy named Hotspur? And why is Tottenham called Hotspur? Image: The Guardian
Why was Henry Percy named Hotspur? And why is Tottenham called Hotspur? Image: The Guardian

Due to the club receiving letters from another London club named Hotspur, the team was renamed to Tottenham Hotspur in 1884 as a way to avoid further confusion, and they were referred to as Spurs from as far back as 1883.

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