Minter Billy Image 4 Tottenham Hotspur 1913

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Minter Billy Image 4 Tottenham Hotspur 1913

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Woolwich, London born inside forward Billy Minter began his senior football career with a brief spell as an amateur on the books of Southern League Norwich City in 1905 before joining local club Woolwich Arsenal later the same year, spending 1905-06 on their books. However, due to a lack of first team opportunities at Arsenal he joined Southern League Reading in 1906, where he broke through to the first eleven before being signed by Second Division Tottenham Hotspur along with Ernie Coquet for a total fee of £500 for the pair in February 1908.

After making his Football League debut at Leeds City in September 1908, he scored 18 goals in his first season at White Hart Lane and was the club’s joint leading scorer with Vivian Woodward as they won promotion to the First Division as Second Division runners up. Spurs however struggled in their first year in the top flight, but narrowly avoided relegation when they beat Chelsea in the last game of the season with goals from Minter and a former Chelsea player Percy Humphreys, sending Chelsea down instead. He remained a regular goalscorer for the following four seasons, scoring a hat-trick in a win over Blackburn Rovers in March 1910 and managing a career best 20 goals in 1910-11 when he scored all three goals in a 3-2 victory over Bristol City in January 1911 and finished as the club’s top goalscorer. He played for Spurs either side of the First World War, making 264 appearances and scoring 101 goals the club in all competitions.

During the First World War he enlisted in May 1915 and attained the rank of Sergeant in The Royal Engineers, being wounded in 1917. Not long after his return from the conflict he was made Tottenham’s club captain only to announce his retirement at the end of the 1919-20 season in which they had won the Second Division Championship after being replaced in the starting line up by Jimmy Banks, Minter making his final appearance at Hull City on Boxing Day 1919.

Minter remained as a trainer, and following Peter McWilliam’s resignation as manager, he took over the position in February 1927 and remained as manager for three years after failing health, brought on by the stress of an unsuccessful reign, including relegation in his first season, caused him to resign the post in November 1929, being succeeded by Percy Smith. One crucial reason for their relegation may have been Minter’s decision to sell Jimmy Seed to Sheffield Wednesday, whose place in the team was taken by the younger Taffy O’Callaghan. Wednesday were struggling at the bottom of Division One, but Seed not only helped Wednesday escape relegation, beating Tottenham twice in the process, furthermore he led them to the League Championship in each of the next two years. Despite his resignation Minter still remained dedicated to the club and took up a position as the club’s assistant secretary – a post he held until his death in May 1940.

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