Tottenham’s (post-)Jewish identity

Journey through the history of Spurs, between reality and legend.

North London, 1882. As the epic of the Industrial Revolution draws to a close and at a time when the capital of the British Empire is growing rapidly (from a million inhabitants in 1800, it will rise to 6.7 million at the beginning of the year) . In the 20th century, Hotspur Football Club was founded, later Tottenham Hostpur FC, named after the suburb where it was born. These were years in which football clubs in London multiplied along with the population. And especially between the two centuries, many villages and suburbs began to create their own teams in which they recognized themselves.

He does Tottenham Hale, an area that has been home to a large Jewish community since the 1880s: Many Jews from Eastern Europe came here thanks to their escape from the anti-Semitic pogroms in Russia (it is estimated that around 800 people were killed in 1905 alone, especially between Odessa and Rostov), ​​ending up in England and moving mainly to the East End. Many then move north, precisely towards Tottenham Hale, taking advantage of large Jewish companies and fast-growing industrial sites in search of unskilled work. It is from this context that the more or less true legends about the Spurs’ Jewish identity arise.

According to what Martin Cloake and Alan Fisher reconstruct in their “A People’s History of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club”, a text very accurate about the history of the club; initially, despite having its first three Jewish presidents, Tottenham did not present itself as a Jewish community team; But later, at the beginning of the 20th century and thanks to the massive consolidation of the community, the bond tends to tighten. The Jewish ChronicleA Jewish newspaper in London writes that in the 1920s almost all Jewish football fans supported Spursa number expected to increase in the 1930s.

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