Who was Walter Tull? Special meaning behind trophy up for grabs in Rangers v Spurs friendly

Rangers and Tottenham is more than just a friendly match – coming a week before the cinch Premiership kicks off.

But the match is not only the final first-team tweaking exercise for Giovanni van Bronckhorst before the league campaign begins, nor simply another chance for Rangers fans to see new signings like Ben Davies, Malik Tillman, Tom Lawrence and Rabbi Matondo.

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The match will have an added element announced by both clubs this week – dedicated to the memory of an iconic and historic figure for both sides, Walter Tull.

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Is Rangers v Tottenham a friendly?

Yes, the match will be the final pre-season preparation match for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, but will have a silver lining – the teams will be playing for The Walter Tull Memorial Cup.

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Who was Walter Tull?

Britain’s first black outfield footballer had links to both clubs during his playing career – but died during World War One.

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Antonio Conte and Giovanni van Bronckhorst will lead Tottenham Hotspurs and Rangers into the Walter Tull Memorial Cup, dedicated to the WWI soldier who signed for both clubs. (Pictures: Getty)

Tull first played for Spurs in 1909 and scored twice in ten appearances. He went on to Northampton Town before war was declared in 1914.

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Fighting during the Battle of the Somme as part of the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, he later signed for Rangers but would never turn out for the club during the war years.

He returned to the front-line and the Somme as a second lieutenant with the British Army – the first British-born black combat officer – but was shot and died on March 25, 1918 – little over a year since he signed at Ibrox.

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Walter was posthumously awarded the British War and Victory Medal and was inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame last year.

The sides met for the same trophy in 2004 when Rangers won 2-0. (Picture: SNS)
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Have the sides met before?

Yes, while the Walter Tull Cup isn’t a competitive match the teams previously competed for the invitational trophy back in 2004. Rangers won that game 2-0.

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They have also met in the Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1962. Spurs won both legs, progressing 8-4 on aggregate.

Can I get tickets for Rangers v Tottenham?

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Ibrox was busy for the midweek match with West Ham, though Rangers did not open the upper Club Deck level on the main stand. All areas will be open on Saturday but tickets have now sold out.

The match will be streamed online by both clubs’ TV subscription services.

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Anything else?

Yes, the trophy will be presented by Jermain Defoe who, of course, turned out for both sides. He scored 143 goals for Tottenham in two spells and then another 32 at Ibrox before leaving Rangers in January.

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