Arthur Rowe starred as a player for Spurs for a number of years, until the outbreak of the Second World War, but his theory about how to play the game and the introduction of the "Push and Run" team made him a pivotal figure in Tottenham's success in the early 1950s.
Born in Edmonton, attending Parkhurst school, Arthur represented London schools and was selected for England schools, but an injury put paid to any hopes of getting a cap.
While Spurs were winning the FA Cup in 1921, Rowe was a member of the team that secured the Dewar Shield (London Schools competition).
as an apprentice upholsterer before being signed by
Spurs manager Peter McWilliam as a professional,
becoming a centre half with an aptitude for passing the
ball out of defence. He played for Tottenham with
great effect and spent three seasons as captain of the
team until, in 1939, a second cartilage operation caused
a lot of thigh muscle wastage that lead him to retiring
In the summer of 1939, Arthur went to Hungary for a coaching job, but war broke out. He joined the Army and served with the Army Physical Training Corps and became a Company Sergeant Major Instructor. He was responsible for coaching Army team on tours of Ireland, Greece and Italy and in 1944, he was picked as an England team Attendant for a game against Wales.
On his return to civvy street following the end of the war, Rowe was appointed Chelmsford City manager in 1946 and he worked there “twenty-six hours a day.” In four seasons the Clarets stayed up near the top of the Southern League and their reserves won the Eastern Counties League three years running.
His success and the link with the Spurs brought him back to White Hart Lane in 1948 to manage Tottenham. Tolerant, forthright and a decision maker, Rowe took charge of a Tottenham team, leading them to the Second Division title in just his first full season in charge. Introducing a style of play that relied on fitness and skill, he made players aware that they should move into space when they had played a pass, being ready to receive it back from their team-mate. This was what the world came to know as the "Push and Run" style, which swept teams away in gaining promotion to the First Division and then as Tottenham made it back to back Championship winning seasons, as they went on to win the First Division in 1950-51.
The players at his disposal were well
suited to the way he wanted them to play and there were
natural leaders of men in the team, who had served in
the Army during the war, so were fit from their duties
during the conflict allowing them to adapt to Rowe's
instructions with ease.
Arthur was always keen to learn and studied many other teams way of playing to allow him to play against them and to take anything that could enhance Tottenham's own game.
Arthur Rowe died 5th November 1993