English clubs · English cups · Esoteric · Records & statistics

Spurs And Years Ending With “1”


A widespread belief, especially among Spurs fans, used to be that Spurs would win the FA Cup in a year ending with the digit “1”.  Spurs have won the FA Cup 8 times, of which 5 have been in years ending with “1”, namely, 1901, 1921, 1961, 1981 and 1991.  The other three wins were in 1967, 1962 and 1982.  Spurs’ one and only defeat in an FA Cup Final was in 1987.

However, Spurs did not win the FA Cup in 1911, 1931, 1951, 1971 and 2001 (no competition in 1941 due to World War II).   How about this – since 1900, Spurs have won the FA Cup in years ending in “1” except where in the preceding year (the year ending with “0”):

  • Arsenal or Chelsea win the FA Cup; or
  • A Yorkshire club (other than Huddersfield Town) are the beaten finalists.

Check it out below.

FA Cup winners and beaten finalists in years ending with “0” and “1” since Spurs first won the Cup

Year FA Cup Winners FA Cup runners Score Factors
1900 Bury Southampton 4-0 Preceding year’s final:
(1) Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea are winners.
(2) The losing finalists are not a Yorkshire cub other than Huddersfield Town
1901 Tottenham Hotspur Sheffield United 2-2, 3-1
1910 Newcastle United Barnsley 1-1, 2-0 Preceding year’s final:
The losing finalists are a Yorkshire club other than Huddersfield Town
1911 Bradford City Newcastle United 0-0, 1-0
1920 Aston Villa Huddersfield Town 1-0* Preceding year’s final:
(1) Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea are winners.
(2) The losing finalists are not a Yorkshire cub other than Huddersfield Town
1921 Tottenham Hotspur Wolverhampton Wand 1-0
1930 Arsenal Huddersfield Town 2-0 Preceding year’s final:
Arsenal won.
1931 West Bromwich Albion Birmingham 2-1
1950 Arsenal Liverpool 2-0 Preceding year’s final:
Arsenal won
1951 Newcastle United Blackpool 2-0
1960 Wolverhampton Wand Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Preceding year’s final:
(1) Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea are winners.
(2) The losing finalists are not a Yorkshire cub other than Huddersfield Town
1961 Tottenham Hotspur Leicester City 2-0
1970 Chelsea Leeds United 2-2, 2-1* Preceding year’s final:
(1) Chelsea won.
(2) The losing finalists are a Yorkshire cub other than Huddersfield Town
1971 Arsenal Liverpool 2-1
1980 West Ham United Arsenal 1-0 Preceding year’s final:
(1) Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea are winners.
(2) The losing finalists are not a Yorkshire cub other than Huddersfield Town
1981 Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City 1-1, 3-2
1990 Manchester United Crystal Palace 3-3, 1-0 Preceding year’s final:
(1) Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea are winners.
(2) The losing finalists are not a Yorkshire cub other than Huddersfield Town
1991 Tottenham Hotspur Nottingham Forest 2-1*
2000 Chelsea Aston Villa 1-0 Preceding year’s final:
Chelsea won.
2001 Liverpool Arsenal 2-1

*After extra time

After reply

We won’t be able to test the theory again until 2011 – Perhaps it will have to be modified further.

(First written for Totalworlds Football Writings)

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4 thoughts on “Spurs And Years Ending With “1”

  1. In Reply To

    … it’s just coincidence. ….

    Of course it is.

    Coincidence is an unlikely combination of otherwise random events. The more unlikely, the greater the coincidence.

    The randomness of apparently non-conscious phenomenon is inherent in science. The question of what is the source of non-conscious phenomenon and its apparent randomness is currently beyond human knowledge or understanding – even taking the Big Bang at face value, where did all that energy and matter come from?

    Finding patterns that “fit” non-conscious phenomena is, if nothing else, fun, at least for me.

    Spurs haven’t won every FA Cup Final in years ending with “1”. However, for every year ending in “1” in which an FA Cup Final has been played since 1901, Spurs have won it except where in the preceding year (the year ending in “0”):

    Arsenal or Chelsea won the FA Cup (which “fits” with Spurs not winning the Cup in 1931, 1951, 1971 and 2001, Arsenal having won the Cup in 1930 and 1950 and Chelsea having won the Cup in 1970 and 2001).

    A Yorkshire club other than Huddersfield Town lost in the FA Cup Final (which “fits” with Spurs not winning the Cup in 1911 and 1971, Barnsley having lost the FA Cup Final in 1910, and Leeds United in 1970).

    Spurs won the FA Cup in the remaining years ending with “1” since 1900 – 1901, 1921, 1961, 1981 and 1991.

    The Huddersfield Town exclusion is required to take into account 1921, when Spurs won the FA Cup even though Huddersfield lost in the Final the year before. Although Huddersfield also lost in the Final in 1930, 1931 falls into the Arsenal/Chelsea rule above – Arsenal won the Cup in 1930.

    The pattern won’t be tested again until 2011. It might have to be refined or modified then.

    (First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

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