Why is Tottenham’s Motto “To Dare Is to Do”?


A glance at the Spur’s emblem from yesteryears and you will notice the Latin phrase Audeat-est-facere, or as it is known in English, ‘To Dare is to Do’.

But what does it really mean behind the marketing façade and why did Spurs adopt it for them?

The meaning behind the words

To Dare is to Do does not take a rocket scientist to understand the meaning behind the words however, a step back in time is needed to understand why the motto was chosen.

All the way back to the 14th Century and the motto is linked to how Tottenham also adopted the name Hotspur.


The year 1364 is a significant one in Tottenham’s history as it was the year Sir Henry Percy was born.

Even though Percy was born in Northumberland (a long way from North London), Tottenham have taken their inspiration from the nobleman who rose to fame during the Anglo-Saxon wars and earned the nickname Haatspore by the Scots.

Naturally, you can see where this is leading, and it was because of his bravery, fame, speed and penchant for wearing Spurs that earned him that Hotspurs nickname.

Despite the difficulty of travel, Percy travelled Europe for England’s cause and in 1388 was made Knight of the Garter.

In 1403, Sir Percy was struck down and killed at the absolute height of his power at the battle of Shrewsbury but his legacy stuck (even though he was declared a traitor posthumously a year later).

The link

The reason why Tottenham took the association with Sir Henry is because his family owned large chunks of land where Tottenham is today making it a seamless link and the perfect way to differentiate the club.

It is believed (but unconfirmed) that the motto Audeat-est-facere was chosen as it reflects Sir Henry’s fighting spirit, speed and unwavering bravery as despite only living to 39, lived a life more intense than most would in a hundred years.

Without a doubt, Tottenham would not be the club it is today without the history of Sir Percy and it is more than likely a different motto would have adorned the club crest.

As it is, Tottenham continues to go from strength to strength as they prepare to move into their brand-new stadium and commence battle once more on a brand-new home patch.

Who said history lessons were boring?

Cheers Sir Henry.