John Joyce
Goalkeeper  1903 &  1909-1915



Born on 26th June 1877 in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

Height :  1.83m (6′ 0″)

Weight :  90kg (14st 0oz)

Although he did not spend an auspicious time with Tottenham, goalkeeper John Joyce did make an impact for some unusual reasons !

With his early career spent with minor clubs in and around his home town of Burton, Joyce’s first big move was to Southampton, where he was signed for £80 as number two goalkeeper to England international Jack Robinson in May 1898.  It was over a year before he made his debut, but unable to oust Robinson, John began his long association with the Lions.  Two years at the Den was briefly interrupted by a season with Blackburn Rovers before a quick return to South London, where he spent the next six seasons, he is reported to have spent a short time at Spurs, although he didn’t feature in any matches for the club.  His game was noted for his ability to punt the ball up-field much further than most other goalkeepers, turning defence into attack very quickly.

With a lack of first team opportunities and with Spurs struggling in their first First Division campaign, Joyce moved to N17 to replace Fred Boreham and give the back line some experience.  He fended off the challenge for his position by Tommy Lunn and Arthur King, but was replaced by Bill Jacques and although he stayed with Spurs until 1916, he was welcomed back at Millwall on departing White Hart Lane.

Staying with the Lions until he retired from playing in 1919, he then went into the coaching side as assistant trainer, but in the same year he went out on loan to Gillingham to cover their goalkeeping injuries.

Dedicated to Millwall, he helped in the building of their ground and also stood in as manger when the incumbent suffered illness in the 1930s.  Remained as assistant trainer until 1938, when he became a member of the ground-staff.

To this day, he is still the only Spurs goalkeeper to score a Football League goal, when he converted a penalty against Bolton Wanderers on 10th April 1914, adding another on tour against Bayern Munich in May of that year.

His time at Tottenham saw “Tiny” record some impressive feats.  Joyce was involved in a competition in 1906 with Chelsea goalkeeper ‘Pom Pom’ Whiting to see who could a dead kick the ball the furthest.  John’s kick was recorded at 94 yards 2 feet 2 inches before the ball touched the ground and in 1911, it was reported that Joyce punched the ball 76 feet 2 inches in a reserve match against Peterborough United.

His great grandsons are Mark Bostridge (a critic and writer of historical biographies) and Ian Bostridge (classical singer, who appeared at Covent Garden Opera House).

John “Tiny” Joyce died in June 1956 in Greenwich, South London, England

Career Record

Club Signed Fee     Debut Apps Goals
Burton Pioneers 1895 ?? ?? ?? ??
Woodville 1896 ?? ?? ?? ??
Overseal Town 1897 ?? ?? ??
Southampton May 1898 £80  21st October 1899 v Queens Park Rangers  (won 5-1) 7 0
Millwall May 1900 ??  ?? ?? ??
Blackburn Rovers May 1902 ?? ?? 14 0
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1903 ??  ?? 0 0
Millwall 1903 ??    – ?? ??
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR November 1909 ??   27th November 1909 v Sheffield United (First Division) (home) (won 2-1) 96 2
Millwall 1916 ??    – ?? ??
Gillingham November 1919 ??  ?? 2 0
Northfleet United January 2004 Loan  ?? ?? ??

Tottenham Hotspur career

73 League appearances; 1 goal
8 FA Cup appearances; 0 goals
15 Other appearances; 1 goal


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