Why are Tottenham Hotspur called Spurs?

When the club was formed in 1882, it was originally entitled the ‘Hotspur Football Club’. The club was established by a few school boys who were members of the Hotspur cricket club which was formed two years earlier.

Sir Harry Hotspur

The Hotspur football club became Tottenham Hotspur in 1884. The name of the football club, as well as the name of the Hotspur cricket club, are both said to be named in honour of Sir Henry Percy. Sir Henry Percy, customarily known as Harry Hotspur, was a late medieval nobleman. His Northumberland family owned the land that covered the Tottenham Marshes. Henry Percy was a key figure in William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, and his legend – and legacy – has been established in the local area ever since the 14th century.

For many years, followers of English football have used ‘Spurs’ and ‘Tottenham Hotspur’ interchangeably to refer to the North London club. Tottenham Hotspur are also nicknamed ‘the Lilywhites’ due to the historical all-white shirt that the team has always sported. However, this is used far less to refer to Tottenham than ‘Spurs’ is, which is probably used just as frequently as the clubs official title.