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stiv bagnall investigates what a hotspur is WITH A FAIR BIT OF HUMOUR THROWN IN!

What even is a Hotspur?

Last night I lay in bed, my mind adrift with thoughts like:

“my belly button used to be my mouth” and “if human food has a picture of what’s inside the can, beans on a can of beans for example, then why does dog food have a picture of a dog? Shouldn’t it be a horse?”

After contemplating these things for some time, I then wondered, as Wolves prepare to face Spurs this weekend, what is a Hotspur?

Google to the rescue, a Hotspur by definition, is an impetuous or rash person, so with that in mind shouldn’t it be Tottenham Darwin Núñez?

Apparently Tottenham’s Hotspur comes from a 14th century bloke called Sir Harry Hotspur. A soldier and fierce fighter, as legend goes and his ancestors ended up living in the Tottenham area of London, poor things. At that time all this were but fields, well marshy swamp land really, but eventually it became Tottenham. After Shrek kicked all the fairy-tale characters off the land first obviously.  So the football team adopted Harry’s surname after, I can only assume, they got married and didn’t fancy double barrelling it.

This Harry chappie was also in Bill Shakespeare’s play ‘Henry the IV’. Although what that has to do with anything I’m not sure, but it was prominent in all the research I did. I say all the research, but really it was just  a single google search and the first link from it, as it was late and I realised pretty soon that I didn’t care too much and would rather sleep.

I closed my eyes again, begging the sweet release of slumber, when my mind suddenly went “Hang on, why is the badge a bird then? Why not Harry’s coat of arms or something?”

Damn it, back to google again. 

Turns out this Harry fella really loved him some cock fighting. Nice. I suppose there wasn’t really a sudoku section in the local shop back in the 1300’s but still, state of your hobby mate! 

So Tottenham have a cockerel, a young rooster, as their logo because some dude that lived 700 years ago liked watching them rip each other to shreds. Is this is the best they could come up with? I mean what did the chap like that could have been worse than this? Nailing puppies to a dart board? So it was back to google once more.

Hang on a moment, this chaps name wasn’t even Harry Hotspur! He was Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland. Ahh Northumberland, home of that famous northern team Tottenham H, oh no wait, they play 350 miles south of there. Now I really am confused. Turns out ‘Hotspur’ isn’t even ‘Hotspur’ it was Haatspore. A name the Scots gave him as he ran at them and hit them with a metal stick. It seems his readiness to attack the fierce Scottish warriors and the speed at which he did it, led the Braveheart folk to give him the moniker Haatspore. He took this as a good thing, a noble dedication from his foe’s, a mark of his vigour in battle. As these things tend to happen, over time it became anglicised into Hotspur. Which we already know means ‘Impetuous or Rash’ so the Scots where basically saying he was an idiot who ran into battle without thinking, probably kicking a chicken to death on the way.

I’m not sure what we’ve learnt from all this, but I’m glad we’re the Wolves. Short for Wolverhampton. Nice and straight forward, unlike Spurs, which are the spikey things on the back of cowboys’ boots which are used to dig into their horses to make them run faster. They do love a bit of animal cruelty in Tottenham don’t they?

Stiv Bagnall, Always Wolves Fan TV

article by stiv bagnall

Born and raised in Wolverhampton, Stiv is a lifelong wolves fan, watching his game in 1990 on the old red seats of the family enclosure. He is a published author and an award winning stand up comic and he can normally be found in the back office of his shop, MouseBench, in the Mander Centre.


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