No More Heroes: Spurs push 'n' runner Arthur Rowe
As improbable as it may now seem, the passing game was invented in Scotland.
Nice idea, passing, as opposed to trying to charge or dribble the ball the length of the field – even if the upper-crust English clubs derided it as ‘cowardly’ in the 1870s.
The all-conquering Spiders of Queen’s Park perfected the style, just in time for English clubs such as Preston North End and Aston Villa to steal a march in the trophy stakes by illegally importing and paying jinky, one-touch wonders in the supposedly amateur age.
Still, it was an Englishman who raised the tactic to new level of efficacy by inventing passing and then moving...
Arthur Rowe captained a decent Tottenham Hotspur side in the 1930s, and earned one England cap; but he made his mark when he returned as boss after the war, having been coaching in Hungary and Chelmsford.
His style of play, dubbed ‘push and run’, enabled Spurs to win back-to-back second and first division titles in 1950 and ’51.
And, talking of legacies, Rowe’s first signing was Alf Ramsey, his last Danny Blanchflower.