The Tottenham Hotspur team of 1901 is known as the only 'non-league' team to win the FA Cup. This creates images, to our modern minds, of a part time or obscure amateur team punching well above their weight. At this point in the games development, however, the term 'team from outside the Football League' is far more accurate a description of their status. Tottenham, professionals since 1895, had been Southern League champions in 1899-1900 season, but did not apply to join the Football League.Of the 36 teams competing in the two divisions of the Football League in 1900-1901 only one (Woolwich Arsenal) was from the south.
The final, against Sheffield United, was the first FA Cup final to be filmed (the footage is very brief). 110,000 watched the first match, a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace. United's second goal was highly controversial. Following a scramble in the goalmouth the referee awarded a corner, only then to decide that the ball had crossed the goal line earlier in the melee.
In the replay at Burnden Park, Bolton, Tottenham won 3-1.
Tottenham's winning XI was:George Clawley (England),Harry Erentz (Scotland), Sandy Tait (Scotland), Tom Morris (England),Ted Hughes (Wales), Jack L Jones (capt. Wales), Tom Smith (England), John Cameron ( player-manager- Scotland), Sandy Brown (Scotland), David Copeland ( Scotland), Jack Kirwan* (Ireland).
Sandy Brown- his 15 FA Cup goals in a single season remains a competition record.Tottenham joined the Second Division of the Football League for the 1908–09 season.
In their early years Tottenham underwent many changes of club colours. At one point they wore blue and white halves in imitation of Blackburn Rovers. They adopted white shirts in 1899-1900 in tribute to Preston North End, the team they defeated in the first round of the FA Cup the following year.
* Kirwan went on to manage Ajax.