A Month in
the Illustrious History of Spurs
(Compiled by Logan
beginnings, eternal optimism – ‘this WILL be our year!’
Spurs 1 (Pre-season
Friendly) Little of
note occurred on this day, bringing me to a match arranged as part of the
transfer of Gerard McMahon to Spurs.
Terry Venables as chief guest opened the new
stand that the club had just built and Spurs set about winning the game with
a goal from Vinny Samways. A good passing movement between Nayim and Durie sent Samways clear and with just the goalkeeper to beat he side-footed home.
McMahon played against his old team mates and went on to make twenty
League and Cup appearances for Spurs (including 8 as substitute), scoring
once before being transferred to Stoke City.
Spurs 0 Fiorentina 2 (David Howells Testimonial) David Howells was a loyal player to
Spurs. He made his debut as a striker,
scoring in a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday
in February, 1986. He took time to
establish himself and it was as a defensive midfielder/defender who could
score important goals that he will be remembered. He made 277 League appearances, scoring 22
goals, 58 Cup games brought 5 goals and was a member of the 1991 Cup winning
team. This game was the first opportunity
for the Spurs fans to see the new summer signings playing at WHL – David Ginola and Les Ferdinand who were signed from Newcastle.
Hearts 1 Spurs 1 (Pre-season Friendly) On holiday in Edinburgh
I went to this game and when Spurs scored I was the only person celebrating
in the stand – much to the concern of my girlfriend. The game was very low key, Spurs were
playing their first pre-season game and were without Chivers,
injured, and had Chris Jones leading the attack. Spurs goal was scored by substitute John
Pratt when he equalised late in the second half from what looked like a
decidedly off-side position – but they all count! My girl friend then insisted on walking
away from the ground as close to the nearest policeman that she could find.
Town 0 Spurs 7 (Pre-season Friendly) This game is of note among an
increasing number of pre-season friendlies because
Spurs fielded two members of the Argentinean World Cup winning team. Ossie Ardiles was joined by Mario Kempes
who was on a two game trial. He had
been playing in Spain
but failed to score in either game and was not offered a contract. The goals in this game were scored by Garth
Crooks(4), Gary Stevens, Garry Brooke and Mike Hazard.
Celtic 3 Spurs 3 (Hampden
Park) The F.A.Cup
winners against the Champions of Europe in a high profile pre-season
challenge game attracted 91,708 spectators.
A newspaper report of the game - ‘In this magnificent football ‘Battle
brimming over with entertainment and loaded with individual genius, the score
see-sawed fantastically.’ Jimmy Greaves scored within a minute but Celtic
were ahead by the 20th minute, goals which could be attributed to
poor clearances from Pat Jennings. Alan Gilzean
equalised before half-time and Greaves restored Spurs lead only for Celtic to
again equalise following a mistake by Jennings
who appeared to be under pressure from the change in the laws restricting the
goalkeeper to four paces before clearing.
1 Spurs 1
announcement that Jurgen Klinsmann
had joined the club, this match was eagerly awaited. Klinsmann made
his Spurs debut and Watford were the
fortunate beneficiaries of media attention and clamour for tickets for what
would otherwise have been another run of the mill pre-season friendly. Jurgen Klinsmann didn’t score in the game but his contribution
was sufficient to show that Spurs had signed an outstanding player.
West Ham United 1 Spurs 0 (Premiership)
The earliest start to
a football season as the European Championships were to be held in Belgium
and Holland the following June. As always, Spurs started the season with
injuries and the situation got worse with Campbell
going off after fifteen minutes. After a poor first half they conceded a goal
just on half-time. George Graham took off Ginola
and replaced him with new signing Leonhardsen. An
improved second half brought no reward and Spurs played the last twenty
minutes with ten men when Edinburgh
went off injured, all the substitutes having been used.
Glentoran 3 Spurs 3 (Pre-season Friendly) The F.A.Cup winners brought the
trophy to Belfast
and received a great welcome. Ardiles, Hoddle, Villa, Hoddle were all present in what
was an entertaining game. New signing
Paul Price played in place of Paul Miller and Mark Falco
replaced Garth Crooks. The local side gave a good account of themselves being
one up at half time and Spurs had to work hard for the draw. Hoddle equalised with a penalty, Mark Falco (called Faldo in a local newspaper report) put them
ahead only for Glentoran to equalise. Ardiles put Spurs
ahead but with three minutes left the home side equalised.
United 3 Spurs 1 (League Division 1) This game marked the earliest start
for the Football League season. The
season didn’t start auspiciously for Spurs with this defeat at Elland Road. The World Cup was to be played in Mexico
the following summer so football made its early start. Martin Chivers
returned to the team following the injury that had caused him to miss three
quarters of the previous season but the Spurs goal was scored by Jimmy
Arsenal 0 Spurs 0 F.A.Charity Shield (Wembley) The Champions against the Cup
winners at the venue of the previous season’s amazing Cup semi-final. Gazza was missing
but Spurs used the same tactics that had been successful in the
was the lone striker with five in midfield but the match failed to reach the
level of the previous meeting. This
was the first time that the clubs had met in the Charity Shield and with no
penalties to decide an outright winner, both clubs shared the trophy.
Town 1 Spurs 5 F.A.Charity Shield (Portman
Road) The defeats by Ipswich in
both League meetings during the previous season had cost Spurs the
opportunity of retaining the Championship and completing a second ‘Double.’.
Managed by Alf Ramsay, Ipswich had played a
system that had taken most teams by surprise but in this game Spurs had found
the tactics to nullify the system and won with ease. The goals were scored by
Greaves(2), Medwin, White and Smith.
F.A.XI 2 F.A.Charity Shield (White Hart
Lane) In 1961
as the ‘Double’
winners Spurs had no-one to play in this traditional curtain raiser to the
season. An F.A.XI provided the
opposition and Spurs won with goals from Les Allen(2) and Smith.
Manchester United 3 Spurs 3 F.A.Charity Shield (Old
Trafford) In 1967, this high scoring
game is remembered for the identity of the scorer of Spurs second goal. After two minutes Spurs took the lead when
Jimmy Robertson scored from a Greaves cross.
Five minutes later, Pat Jennings played a long clearance up-field that
bounced between Gilzean and United’s goalkeeper,
Stepney, went over the keeper’s head and into the net. United pulled both goals back by the
twentieth minute but Spurs went ahead again through Frank Saul, early in the
second half. With fifteen minutes left United equalised and the clubs shared
Burnley 0 After the opening day defeat at
Leeds, Spurs gave a better performance in the Wednesday evening game at WHL
against Burnley. The goals were scored by Peter Collins,
Jimmy Pearce, Jimmy Greaves and Martin Chivers. The following Saturday they lost at home to
Liverpool but the next Tuesday, in the return fixture at Turf Moor, defeated Burnley
2 – 0 with Collins and Pearce scoring again.
At that time Burnley were a hard
working mid-table team with a talent for producing young players whom they
later sold. Spurs were to sign Ralph
Coates in May, 1971 when Burnley’s time in
the top division drew to a close with relegation to the 2nd
United 0 Spurs 1 Ossie Ardiles’ first game in control
took him back to the newly promoted club where he had been manager for twelve
months before being sacked. He had the
last laugh as Spurs won with a first half goal scored by Teddy Sheringham. After the problems of the summer, with the
dismissal of Venables, the departure of Neil
Ruddock and newspaper stories featuring the club, many fans were
disillusioned so Ardiles needed to make a good
start to the season. New signings, Calderwood and Dozzell
made their debuts and the team responded with a good performance.
As part of
their pre-season preparations in 1965 and 1966, Spurs took part
in the Costa del Sol Trophy in Malaga.
On both occasions they were victorious and the final game in both years was
played on this date. In 1965,
they defeated Valencia
2-1 (Clayton & Jones) to reach the Final against Standard Liege
which was won 1-0 with a goal from Alan Mullery.
The following year they
defeated Benfica 2-1 in the
Final. The goals were scored by Robertson
& Greaves. To reach the Final
they had beaten Malaga
CD 2-1 with Mullery & Gilzean the goal scorers.
The Costa del Sol Trophy
was over four feet tall and valued then at £1,200 and on being asked to
receive the trophy, Jimmy Greaves, as Captain, summoned up all the decorum
his position had afforded him and retorted, ‘I’m not picking that ***** thing
up – I’ll kill myself.’
0 (1st Division) The opening day of the season with
the usual high expectations. For the
previous two seasons Spurs were short of a goal scorer but during the summer
Keith Burkinshaw signed two players in an attempt
to resolve this problem. Steve
Archibald was signed from Aberdeen and Garth
Crooks came from Stoke
City and a very
successful partnership it was to prove, setting Spurs on the way to further
success. Both made their debuts in
this game and Crooks scored the second goal, Hoddle having given Spurs the
lead with a penalty. Archibald scored
in the next game, Crooks scored twice and another in his third game. The team then hit a difficult spell not
scoring for the next four games but they had shown their worth.
Rovers 0 Spurs
2 A good opening
to the Premiership season but at a high cost.
The good result and three points were overshadowed by the injury to
Captain and inspiration, Gary Mabbutt. After twenty minutes of the first half he
broke his leg and was to be ruled out for the rest of the season. At the time of the injury the game was
scoreless. However, thirteen minutes
later Chris Armstrong gave Spurs the lead and then doubled the score mid-way through
the second half. In spite of Mabbutt’s injury and
the injury of his replacement within nine minutes, Spurs managed to
re-organise themselves and deservedly won the three points.
United 0 This
match marks my first visit to White
Hat Lane for a first team game. Spurs had opened the season with a 2-2 draw
at Wolves, coming from two down to earn a late point. This game had little to commend it and the
main point in the papers the next day was the crowd trouble behind the goals
at the Park Lane
end of the ground. The match had to be
stopped for several minutes while the trouble was sorted out. The Newcastle
goalkeeper was hit with a staple fired from a catapult, the referee appealed
to the crowd to identify the culprits.
Spurs closed off this section of the ground for the next games.
Forest 1 Spurs 1 Newly promoted Spurs had to play Champions
Forest on the opening
day. The game marked the start of a
new era, the League debuts of the Argentinean Internationals, Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa. Demand for tickets was immense; Spurs had
created an excitement that was unbelievable and the kick off had to be
delayed to allow everyone into the ground.
Many people were waiting for them to fail, ‘they wouldn’t be able to
adapt to English football’ being a familiar comment. However, while it took time for them to
establish themselves, Ricky Villa had the perfect start scoring late in the
first half to equalise for Spurs and earn a deserved point.
Spurs 4 What a
debut for Jurgen Klinsmann!
Fellow world cup star Dumitrescu also made his
debut and just like sixteen years previously, the demand to see Spurs was
incredible. Ardiles selected a team with with five attacking players, Klinsmann,
Sheringham, Barmby, Anderton & Dumitrescu,
suggesting excitement and no-one was disappointed. Spurs went two ahead in the first half
through Sheringham and Anderton. Early in the second half Wednesday
equalised before Spurs went ahead again with goals from Barmby
All Spurs fans had been waiting for this and he celebrated in style
with a beautiful ‘dive’, noting the comments that had been made about him
being a ‘diver’ in trying to win penalties.
Wednesday scored again and before the end Klinsmann
was carried of the pitch on a stretcher suffering
from a facial injury.
1 Spurs 0 F.A.Charity Shield at Wembley. Newly signed from Bristol Rovers,
Gary Mabbutt made his debut in Spurs midfield. Spurs were without influential players like
Perryman and Roberts with Price also unavailable through injury. The game was
a robust affair and many competitive tackles came in from both sides – this
may have been something left over from the previous season’s Milk Cup Final
when Liverpool set about unsettling Spurs early on in the game which left
Galvin to play most of the game bearing the pains of some hefty tackles which
greatly reduced his effectiveness.
Villa 2 Spurs 2
F.A.Charity Shield at Wembley. Spurs gave a debut in goal to Ray Clemence in place of Cup winner Milija
Aleksic. Clemence had been signed from Liverpool
for £300,000 to help strengthen the defence.
However, he had a poor debut with handling errors and his mistake
brought about Villa’s first goal to give them the lead after thirty
minutes. He eventually went on to
establish himself and prove his value to the club. Spurs goals were scored by Mark Falco who was playing in place of the injured Garth
Crooks. The goals came either side of
half time but Spurs only held the lead for a few minutes before Villa
levelled the scores. This was a game
that Spurs could have won but both teams shared the trophy.
Poopers!’ Spurs 1 Aston Villa 4 An Argentinean style World Cup
ticker tape welcome was prepared for the home debuts of Ossie
Ardiles and Ricky Villa. The ground was throbbing with excitement
and anticipation but the wrong Villa made the headlines. Aston Villa came to spoil the party and
ruined Spurs and the Argentineans’ big night.
Spurs goal was scored by Glenn Hoddle from the penalty spot but it was
inconsequential. Spurs had come back
down to earth with an almighty crash – they had discovered that life back in
the First Division was going to be very difficult.
Everton 1 The atmosphere was electric as 24,553
spectators packed into WHL for Jurgen Klinsmann’s home debut.
The reduced capacity was due to the ground redevelopment and Spurs
could have filled the stadium twice over such was the demand for tickets. Jurgen, as in his debut didn’t fail to deliver. The crowd had come to see him and within
twenty two minutes he had put Spurs ahead with a spectacular volley. Thirteen minutes later he had added a
second. On half time Spurs won a
penalty and everyone in the ground was willing Klinsmann
to take it. Everyone, except Sheringham who elected to take it and ballooned it over
the bar. In the second half Everton
scored and Spurs had to hang on to the end to achieve the win their play
deserved. Klinsmann showed what he was capable of
in his first two games but the difficulty of achieving a balance between
defence and attack was to bring about Ardiles’
departure from WHL.
City 1 The World Cup in Italy
during the summer brought Paul Gascoigne to the attention of the world in
general and the nation in particular.
His play had inspired the nation and he came home a hero. The phenomenon known as Gazza
had been born and so there was incredible media attention for this game as Lineker and Gascoigne appeared in the opening game of the
season. Both played a major part in this victory as Gazza
opened the scoring and Lineker scored the other
Arsenal 3 (First Division) Spurs defence of the League
Championship started with a win at Blackpool
and a home draw against West Ham. For
the second consecutive game they were without Dave Mackay and John White both
injured. The unexpected hero on this day was Terry Dyson who scored a
hat-trick and remains the only Spurs player to score three against
Arsenal. Spurs took an early two goal
lead through Allen and Dyson but then Arsenal struck back and were 3-2 ahead
with about fifteen minutes remaining.
However, with seven minutes left Dyson scored twice inside two minutes
for Spurs win and to put himself in the history records.
Off!’ While the
rest of the football world got their season under way, Spurs had to call off
their home game against Coventry
City because they could
not get a safety certificate. Work on
the redevelopment of the East Stand had been going on through the summer and
although the work was not complete, they had been assured that they would
pass the necessary safety regulations.
However, six hours before kick-off the safety authorities refused to
issue the certificate. The fans were
very upset as they had been awaiting the home debut of the new summer
signing, Paul Gascoigne.
Bolton Wanderers 2 (1st Division) After winning promotion Spurs made
a difficult start to life in the 1st Division. They lost their first game at home to
Blackpool by 4-1 but then won at Bolton
(4-1) and drew at Arsenal (2-2). They
completed the ‘double’ over Bolton with
goals from Len Duquemin(2), Eddie Baily and an own goal.
The results for the next few games were unconvincing until the ‘push
and run’ team found its feet at the end of September when they commenced a
run of eight successive victories.
end of an era’ Following four defeats in the
opening games of the season, Bill Nicholson announced his resignation as
manager of Spurs, bringing to an end his association with the club that
stretched back to 1936, as player, coach and manager. Although the Board, players and fans tried
to persuade him to stay he was not for turning. The club’s greatest manager was leaving,
citing the need for a rest from football.
He had found the circumstances of the UEFA Cup Final defeat the
previous May difficult to accept and was finding it more difficult to relate
to ‘modern’ players. He remained in
charge until a replacement was appointed but it was a great shock to everyone
connected with the club. Bill
Nicholson’s name was synonymous with Tottenham Hotspur and he had known
success as a player being a member of the ‘push and run’ team that won the 1st
and 2nd Division Championships in successive seasons and as
manager. He managed the successful
‘Double’ team, F.A.Cup and League Cup winning teams
as well as successful teams in Europe. He set the standards for THFC and the club
has been striving to achieve them ever since.
Many managers and teams have found him a hard act to follow. It was a sad end to a glorious managerial
career and unfortunately the Board chose to ignore his suggestions regarding
City 0 Spurs 2 (2nd Division) The first season after the War saw
Spurs in the 2nd Division following relegation in the pre-war
season and in unsatisfactory circumstances as the 1st Division had
been increased by two teams but Spurs claim had been overlooked in favour of
the North London interlopers who had finished fifth in the 2nd Division in
1915. However, Spurs set about
righting the situation on the field and defeated Coventry
handsomely with goals from Arthur Grimsdell, Bert
Bliss (2) and Jimmy Chipperfield (2). They went on win twelve of the opening
thirteen games and amassed 70 points, a record, and won the Division by six
Southampton 1 Prior to this game Spurs announced
the signing of the Republic
of Ireland International
forward, Robbie Keane from Leeds United.
The team then proceeded to gain the three points which took them to
the top of the Premiership table, having won three and drawn one of their
opening games. Spurs took an early
lead through Les Ferdinand and won with an injury time penalty scored coolly
by Teddy Sheringham after the usual furore
surrounding the dismissal of the Southampton
defender. As the game was followed by
a break for International games, Spurs remained proudly at the top of the
League for the next week and a half.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last and normal service was resumed very