Clinical Biostatistics: Lucky for Spurs?

This is a revised version, 10 May 2006.

This website is for students following the M.Sc. in Evidence Based Practice at the University of York.

Tottenham Hotspur football club ("Spurs") have won major trophies in the following years: 1901, 1921, 1951, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1991, 1999. Hence, during the 20th century, Spurs won something in eight of the nine football seasons that “end in a one”. Of the remaining 81 they won something in eight. (Wartime years have been excluded.) It is said to be "Lucky for Spurs if the year ends in one".

Whether Totenham Hotspur won a trophy by last digit of year at the end of the season
Ends in a “1” Doesn’t end in a “1” Total
Trophy 8 8 16
No trophy 1 73 74
Total 9 81 90
Fisher's exact test: P<0.00001
(1915-18 and 1940-45 excluded)


1. What is the null hypothesis being tested here?

Check suggested answer 1

2. Where do you think this null hypothesis came from? Did someone decide to investigate it out of curiosity?

Check suggested answer 2

3. Why is it wrong to apply a significance test to this table?

Check suggested answer 3

4. Could we use a Bonferroni correction to adjust this P value?

Check suggested answer 4

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Last updated: 31 July, 2006.

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