Centre half Arthur Rowe was born in Tottenham, London and began his career at Tottenham Hotspur as an amateur in 1923, joining Chesthunt in 1924 and Tottenham’s nursery club Northfleet in 1925, before becoming a professional with Spurs in 1929. He was a Tottenham player for eight seasons, making his Football League debut against Burnley in October 1931, in which time he played 202 matches in all competitions without ever scoring. He missed only one game when Spurs won promotion to the First Division in 1932-33 as Second Division runners up and was ever present the following season as Spurs came third in the League Championship. However he was injured in December 1934, and didn’t play again that season as Tottenham were relegated, and he struggled with injury over the following seasons, playing irregularly and making his final appearance for Tottenham in April 1938, before he was forced to retire in 1939 due to a cartilage injury.
He earned his single cap for England when he played in a 4-1 win over France at White Hart Lane on 6th December 1933.
After the Second World War Rowe had a career as a football manager. Initially Rowe took a coaching job in Hungary although this was halted due to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. He returned to Britain and joined the military as a physical training instructor. He joined Chelmsford City, as secretary-manager, in 1945 and made the club into a leading non-league team, winning the Southern League Championship and Cup double in 1945-46.
Tottenham Hotspur were in the Second Division when Rowe returned to the club as manager in May 1949 and his task was to gain promotion. This was achieved by winning the Second Division Championship in 1949-50 and the following season the League Championship was won as well. These back-to-back championships made Spurs the first post war team to win back-to-back titles. This was achieved through the use of ‘Push and run’ football. Defending the title, Tottenham Hotspur finished runners up in the League Championship in 1951-52 but after three further seasons Rowe was forced to resign as Tottenham manager in July 1955 due to health issues.
After leaving Tottenham, Rowe took time off to recover and after a spell as Chief Scout for West Bromwich Albion under Vic Buckingham in 1957 and 1958, Rowe joined Crystal Palace in November 1958 as an assistant to George Smith. He was promoted to manager when Smith resigned in April 1960 bringing the club a promotion to Division Three in the 1960-61 season as Fourth Division runners up. The club consolidated its position in Division Three in 1961-62, but a poor start to the next season coincided with failing health for Rowe and he resigned in December 1962 to be replaced by assistant manager Dick Graham. Rowe returned to assist Graham in the 1963-64 season (when Palace were promoted to the Second Division) and when Graham was dismissed by Palace in January 1966, Rowe was appointed caretaker-manager. After Bert Head was appointed as manager in April 1966, Rowe continued with Palace in a scouting capacity.
He subsequently managed the Hall of Fame in London and also assisted Leyton Orient briefly in 1972. Arthur Rowe’s testimonial match took place on 26th November 1969, between Crystal Palace and an All Stars XI, managed by Sir Alf Ramsey and featured many of the England World Cup winning team.