Takes some real guts to cross the north London divide, which is probably why only a handful of players have done it.
While 45 players have played for both Merseyside clubs, 39 for both Manchester clubs and 20 for both Old Firm sides, only 15 have dared to don both the red of Arsenal and the white of Tottenham Hotspur since the Gunners moved north of the river.
But who are these 15 brave mavericks who have played at either end of Seven Sisters Road? Let’s have a look…
1. Jimmy Brain
232 games for The @Arsenal
1 league title
A debut goal in a 1-0 win against that lot
Joint 5th with Ted Drake in the clubs all time goalscoring chart
Jimmy Brain ?⚪??? pic.twitter.com/wxbJc026yh
— ArtByCharlie (@ArtBy_Charlie) September 17, 2021
Years at Arsenal: 1924-31
Years at Tottenham: 1931-35
If you need to know where his allegiances probably laid, Brain is the joint fifth-highest scorer in Arsenal’s history. He also boasts the distinction of being first to play for both north London sides after the Gunners left Woolwich.
While he made a whopping 232 appearances for Arsenal, he only managed to rack up 34 with Spurs.
2. George Hunt
Jimmy Greaves scored more Hat-Tricks for Tottenham Hotspur (15) than any other player.
George Hunt, Harry Kane and Bobby Smith all have 12 Hat-Tricks#COYS #THFC https://t.co/qVlTMCVFrI pic.twitter.com/cFoTHSLMJU
— Soccer Facts (@Soccer_Stats) April 3, 2021
Years at Arsenal: 1937-38
Years at Tottenham: 1930-37
While Brain’s Arsenal career was winding down, George Hunt’s at Spurs was just beginning.
After arriving from Chesterfield, he bagged 138 goals in 198 games during his time at White Hart Lane. Hunt never won anything with Spurs, so obviously he won the league in his only year at Arsenal.
3. Freddie Cox
https://t.co/35f3ef5M2Q Freddie Cox scores from a corner as Arsenal come back from 2-0 down to draw the 1950 semi final 2-2 with Chelsea.
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) April 16, 2015
Years at Arsenal: 1949-53
Years at Tottenham: 1938-49
Winger Freddie Cox’s career spanned either side of World War II, serving as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force in the meantime.
That was probably a lot more eventful than his spells with either club, even though he did assist the winning goal in the 1950 FA Cup final. Light work.
4. Vic Groves
Years at Arsenal: 1953-64
Years at Tottenham: 1952-53
The one that got away for Spurs.
Vic Groves was let go despite scoring three goals in his four games for the Lilywhites. After brief spells with Walthamstow Avenue and Leyton Orient, he signed for Arsenal, making 201 appearances and becoming club captain.
Did alright for himself, then.
5. Laurie Brown
#OTD 1964 ⚽️ 24 hours on from joining Tottenham Hotpsur from Arsenal, defender Laurie Brown lines up for his new club against the Gunners’ in a centre-forward role.
Alas, the drinks will be on Laurie tonight. pic.twitter.com/3VKv6FDQv4
— ⒷⓇⒾⒻⒻⒶ (@goonerbeau) February 22, 2020
Years at Arsenal: 1961-64
Years at Tottenham: 1964-66
Just as Spurs were truly establishing themselves as powerhouses of the English game, they raided Arsenal to sign Laurie Brown in 1964.
Back in those days, centre forwards and centre backs were pretty interchangeable. Brown, who would score a measly three goals in 65 games for Spurs, somehow displaced legendary forward Bobby Smith up front.
6. Jimmy Robertson
Great to see 1967 FA Cup winners Joe Kinnear, Jimmy Robertson, Mike England and Alan Mullery at White Hart Lane today! #COYS pic.twitter.com/8Vdj4lhstF
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 19, 2017
Years at Arsenal: 1968-70
Years at Tottenham: 1964-68
After signing from St Mirren in 1964, Jimmy Robertson would play 181 times for Spurs before earning the distinction as one of the two players to be swapped between the two north London sides.
So who went the other way?
7. David Jenkins
69/70 no 22. Two images of David Jenkins : Arsenal and Tottenham pic.twitter.com/ZlZiW1ABNU
— FA Book for Boys (@FABookforBoys1) October 9, 2020
Years at Arsenal: 1966-68
Years at Tottenham: 1968-70
History will remember David Jenkins as part of that swap deal, largely because there’s little else to go off.
He made only 90 appearances in his professional career.
8. Steve Walford
Happy birthday to Steve Walford who turns 62 today. Signed in 1977 by Arsenal in a deal worth £25,000. Walford went on to play as a substitute in Arsenal’s victorious 1979 FA Cup Final side. He made 98 appearances and scored four goals for the Gunners altogether. pic.twitter.com/9FnrAdAesg
— The N5 History (@TheN5News) January 5, 2021
Years at Arsenal: 1977-81
Years at Tottenham: 1975-77
Steve Walford definitely isn’t the most glamorous name on this list, but he technically had a successful career with both clubs.
He scored a goal in his only game for Tottenham, and would win the FA Cup with Arsenal. Everyone’s a winner, right?
9. Willie Young
Years at Arsenal: 1977-81
Years at Tottenham: 1975-77
‘Big Willie’ (seriously) followed the same path as Walford, leaving Spurs for Arsenal to play under Terry Neill.
Insert Spider-Man pointing at other Spider-Man meme.
10. Pat Jennings
Years at Arsenal: 1977-85
Years at Tottenham: 1964-77
While he is largely remembered as a legend at Spurs, Jennings is a fondly thought of figure at both clubs.
11. Sol Campbell
Years at Arsenal: 2001-06, 2010
Years at Tottenham: 1992-2001
When you think of players crossing this divide, Sol Campbell is probably the first person to enter your thoughts.
He was a Judas. He won the double. He has some weird political views and social media posts. He is a one of one.
12. Rohan Ricketts
Years at Arsenal: 2001-02
Years at Tottenham: 2002-05
Squeaking his way onto this list with a solitary League Cup appearance for Arsenal is Leatherhead legend Rohan Ricketts.
The most interesting fact about his career is that, after falling way out of the footballing limelight, he made his way back to White Hart Lane in 2011, playing Spurs in a Europa League game with Shamrock Rovers. Time is a flat circle.
13. David Bentley
Years at Arsenal: 2001-06
Years at Tottenham: 2008-11
A decent spell at Blackburn was sandwiched between two pretty nothing spells in north London for David Bentley.
You know, apart from that screamer he scored at the Emirates Stadium in a 4-4 draw in 2008.
14. William Gallas
Years at Arsenal: 2006-10
Years at Tottenham: 2010-13
One of the most underrated footballers of his generation, Gallas became the first player to ever play for Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea.
He joined the Gunners as a makeweight for Ashley Cole, took the number 10 shirt, became skipper, cried on the pitch at Birmingham, joined Spurs on a free transfer, and captained them to their first ever win at the Emirates.
Name a better career arc. We’ll wait.
15. Emmanuel Adebayor
Years at Arsenal: 2006-09
Years at Tottenham: 2011-15
Ok, maybe Emmanuel Adebayor has a better career arc.
His prolific spells with both Arsenal and Tottenham pale into insignificance when compared to his true career highlight – sprinting the length of the pitch at the Etihad Stadium to celebrate in front of angry Gunners fans.Internet Explorer Channel Network