A footballing half-back, Arthur Grimsdell had a long and successful career at White Hart Lane at a time when the club was on the up.
Arthur was just an 18 year old when Tottenham signed him from Watford as a talented schoolboy player. Compared to the players bought by Spurs these days, he was definitely one for the future, but was put into the first team and even though he was young, he settled in well enough to keep his place. He started the following season as the number two centre-half, but injury struck and he filled in during December and when the new manager Peter McWilliam took charge of the team, he saw that Grimsdell could play as an attacking half-back to great effect.
The player impressed in his new role and was called up for an international trial in late 1913, but the Spurs side went through a bad spell during the 1914-15 season and Grimsdell was replaced in the team as they sought to defend better. With the declaration of war, Arthur was quick to enlist for the First World War and it was only on his return that he found a way back into the starting eleven. Being that much older and stronger from his exertions in the conflict, Grimsdell became a focal point of the Spurs midfield and he won his first England cap in April 1919. His tackling and driving forward runs became the essence of his play
His return to the club saw them cheated out of a place in the top flight, but with Grimsdell in great form in the engine room of the Spurs side and scoring 14 goals, they ran out as Second Division champions. His position in the side saw the manager nominate him as captain from December 1919 and he lifted the Division 2 trophy, followed by the FA Cup the following season after the win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the rain soaked final at Stamford Bridge. The following season, he inspired his colleagues to finish second in the First Division, which was the club's highest finishing position at the time. Such success attracted the approval of the England selection committee and they named him as captain of his country.
Just when everything was going so well, Grimsdell received a knee injury in a FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace and it required a battle of a different kind for Arthur to overcome the set-back. However, like his determination on the pitch, his fierce optimism got him back playing as well as ever and put Tottenham into the leadership of the First Division coming into the Autumn of 1925, but again, disaster struck when he sustained a broken leg in a game at Leicester City and without the leadership qualities Grimsdell brought to the side, they dropped away frighteningly to have to fight to stay in the top flight.
Never one to give up, Arthur came back again in April 1927, his body could not resume playing at the standard he had previously maintained. After two years, Grimsdell was released and moved across to East London where he took on the role of player/secretary/manager, but only stayed in that position for a year before leaving to take up a coaching job, working with schoolboys.
Arthur Grimsdell dies in his home town of Watford on 12th March 1963.