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A Month in the Illustrious History of Spurs


(Compiled by Logan Holmes)



Intertoto Victory.  Every season as Spurs fail to achieve automatic qualification for Europe, the argument rages – should they enter the Intertoto Cup.  In 1995 Spurs, Wimbledon and Sheffield Wednesday agreed to enter the competition to assist  the Premiership when no other club would participate. However, their reluctance was clear as they extracted certain conditions from the authorities – they would not play at their home ground, they could play weakened teams and could play loan players.  Spurs played at Brighton and put out a reserve team which lost their first game against FC Lucerne, 0- 2, at the end of June.  They won the second game away to Rudar Velenje of Slovenia by 2 – 1, their only success, although it was not considered a first-team match.



Spurs appealed against the penalties imposed by the F.A. enquiry into the charge of misconduct.  Chairman, Alan Sugar, presented Spurs’ case against the 12 point deduction, F.A.Cup ban and the £600,000 fine.  Having considered the case, the Appeal panel halved the points deduction to six but increased the fine to £1,500,000 as well as maintaining the Cup ban.  Sugar was not satisfied and immediately announced that Spurs would again appeal against the penalties that had been imposed against the club.  Sugar felt most aggrieved that the misconduct charges had been under a previous regime at the club and also that he had tried to co-operate with the F.A. over the investigation.



BETRAYAL!! Every Spurs fan knows exactly who and what I am referring to.  After months of rumour, speculation and denial the Spurs Captain betrayed the club and the fans by signing for the other North London club on a Bosman free transfer.  Having maintained for months that he had no reason to leave the club and having been offered incredible amounts to stay, he eventually showed his true colours and made the most detestable move possible.  If he had signed for any other club, the fans would have been disappointed but would have wished him well but by going to Arsenal he brought scorn and hatred upon himself.  



This date marks the passing of one of Spurs heroes from the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.  Eugene ‘Taffy’ O’Callaghan was born in Ebbw Vale and was working in the pits and playing for his local side when he was invited to join the groundstaff in 1925.  He signed professional in September, 1926 and made his debut in the following January at Everton.  He was considered a good prospect and replaced Jimmy Seed, a long time hero of the club.  He played in twelve of the final thirteen games of the season, scoring five goals.  So well had he played that Seed was transferred and O’Callaghan went on to make 252 League appearances for the club and scored 92 goals before his transfer to Leicester City in March, 1935.  In the 1933 – 34 season he was part of one of the most exciting teams ever fielded by Spurs.  They were known as the ‘greyhounds’ and having just been promoted they finished third. It was a ball-hungry side that played with speed and a style that had the enthusiasm of the fans at fever pitch throughout the season.



Following the Falklands War, tensions were running high between Britain and Argentina and it was thought best if Ossie Ardiles did not make an immediate return to Britain.  He had left Spurs the previous April to prepare for the World Cup with Argentina.  It was announced that Ardiles would be joining French club, Paris St Germain on loan for one year.  However, he only stayed there for a number of months, returning to Spurs the following December.



On this day Ossie Ardiles who had been appointed manager in the aftermath of the departure of Terry Venables following his acrimonious fall-out with Alan Sugar, announced his management and coaching staff.  Steve Perryman was to be the Assistant Manager and Pat Jennings was returning to the club as the specialist goalkeeping coach.  This meant that the Venables’ coaching duo of Clemence and Livermore was broken up. Ray Clemence left the club while Doug Livermore remained to oversee the scouting.



Vinny Samways who had joined the club as an apprentice in 1985, handed in a transfer request.  He claimed that he wanted a new challenge but the punishment imposed by the Football Association was obviously making the club an unattractive proposition for players at the club as well as for players the manager might try to sign. He eventually signed for Everton and ironically was present at White Hart Lane as Jurgen Klinsmann inspired Spurs to victory in the first home match of the season a few weeks later.



In the World Cup Final in Italy, Germany defeated Argentina by one goal to nil.  A member of the German team was Jurgen Klinsmann who four years later would sign for Spurs at a time when they were at their lowest ebb following the severe punishment imposed by the Football Association.  In that one season he would lift Spurs to unexpected heights but was to leave them dashed as he moved on twelve months later.



This day marks the birth of a goalkeeper who helped Spurs avoid relegation at the end of their first season in Division 1.  Tommy Lunn was born in Bishop Auckland and had made a name for himself with Wolverhampton Wanderers, playing for their F.A.Cup winning team in 1908.  In April, 1910 Spurs were facing relegation and signed Lunn from Wolves.  He played in the final two games, making his debut in a 2-0 win at Bolton and ensuring another vital win with a number of important saves to ensure that Spurs defeated Chelsea 2-1 in the final game of the season, leaving Chelsea relegated.  He played regularly over the next two seasons but was replaced by John ‘Tiny’ Joyce in 1912.  He played two more games in early 1913 but on taking out a publican’s licence he was suspended for breach of contract.  He joined Stockport County in June, 1913 but a serious leg injury after two games for Stockport brought his career to a premature end.



.Transfer Coup! Spurs and Keith Burkinshaw shocked the football world by signing two stars of the successful Argentine World Cup team. The signing of Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa brought a great lift and buzz to the club which was looking to re-establish itself in the 1st Division following promotion that summer.  Ossie and Ricky became firm favourites at WHL and although taking time to acclimatise to English football they were important members of the successful team of the early 1980s.



.The opening game of the 1966 World Cup saw Jimmy Greaves taking up his usual position in the England team for their match at Wembley against Uruguay.  However, in an uninspiring performance England could only manage a scoreless draw.  The following two group games produced satisfactory results against France and Mexico although Greaves failed to score.  In the final group game against France, Greaves sustained an injury which meant he was unable to play in the knock out stages.  Geoff Hurst took his place and although fit for the Final, Greaves was not selected. History tells the rest of the story and many link Greaves’ subsequent difficulties to the disappointment of failing to be part of that successful England team.



This date marks the birthday of Tony Galvin who came to Spurs from non-league Goole Town in January, 1978 for a fee of £30,000.  He came to professional football late as he had completed a degree in Russian Studies and also a teacher Training course before signing for Spurs.  He took time to make an impact having made his debut in a 0-3 defeat at home to Manchester City in February, 1979.  That would have been enough to end the hopes of many a player and although it was his only appearance of that season and he only made a few appearances at the end of the next season, at the beginning of January, 1981 he was given an opportunity to establish himself in the team and was an ever present in the team that went on to win the F.A.Cup against Manchester City. He now became a very important member of that successful team under Keith Burkinshaw.  He also played for the Republic of Ireland and made 194 League appearances before his transfer to Sheffield Wednesday for £130,000 in August, 1987.



A pre-season opening victory over Stevenage Borough.  These early games are set up to give some young players an opportunity and are a gentle stroll to fitness for the experienced professionals.  Spurs scored eight while conceding one.  Poyet managed three, too youngsters, Ferguson and Kamanan scored two each, their moment in the spotlight.  But who scored the eighth goal?  Those who were there were fortunate to witness the only successful strike of the player who some saw as a ‘folk’ hero.  It became embarrassing at WHL as every time he got the ball and approached goal, some sections of the crowd screamed ‘ssshhhoooottt’.  The scorer was none other that the German midfield player signed by George Graham, Steffan Freund.  He had some near misses in his career at Spurs but never managed to score a meaningful goal!



Spurs were looking for a new manager.  Less than two years after replacing Bill Nicholson, Terry Neill resigned.  It was reported that he had fallen out with the directors during the close season tour to Australia.  After deliberating for three weeks, not long by today’s standards, the appointment of a new manager was announced.  Keith Burkinshaw who had worked under Neill at White Hart Lane was appointed as his replacement.  After a difficult opening season, Burkinshaw showed his worth and became a very successful manager  at Spurs.  Neill took up the vacant post at Arsenal, no surprise there then.



Pre-season games can be very deceptive.  Players who make an early impression, frequently flatter to deceive.  This was the case with our new Italian left back signed by Christian Gross.  On his debut in a six goal win at Peterborough, he scored the opening goal.  From that point on it was down hill.  In total he only played six times for Spurs and those performances were far from impressive.  Injured in an early game, the appointment of George Graham further ensured he had no future at White Hart Lane. Paolo Tramezzani was signed from Piacenza in June, 1998 and left mid-season the following year.



The third game of the Intertoto competition saw Spurs under-strength team lose by two goals to one against Osters IF of Sweden.  The game was a home match but was again played at Brighton. The team consisted of young reserves and guest players signed on loan. The Spurs goal was scored by Gerard McMahon who later went on to make a few appearances in the first team and played for Northern Ireland at full International level..



Lysekils FF 1 Spurs 7 (Pre-season).  Steffan Iversen was an exciting young player with European experience when he was signed by Gerry Francis.  While making a promising start to his Spurs career, he struggled to fulfil that promise and often struggled with injury.  However, in preseason 1999 – 2000 he appeared to be on the way back to his best form.  He was on fire where goal scoring was concerned. In the pre-season games he scored eleven goals including a hat-trick in this game and another in the following 3 – 0 win over GAIS.  In the season to follow he managed 14 in 36 League games and three in eight Cup appearances, his highest return for Spurs.  Injury and loss of form led to his subsequent departure.



Fredrikstad FK 0 Spurs 0 (Pre-season) Gerry Francis signed David Ginola from Newcastle United  to add skill and excitement to the Spurs team.  He became a firm favourite at White Hart Lane and this game marked his first appearance in a Spurs shirt.  He played for the last twenty five minutes when he replaced that other former Newcastle favourite Ruel Fox.  Not fully fit, it took time for Ginola to lose some weight and get match fit but his performances brought excitement to the games and spectacular goals and in his second season as well as being a member of the Worthington Cup winning team he was the ‘Double’ Footballer of the Year.’



Leyton Orient 0 Spurs 2 (Pre-season) Managers have different ideas for pre-season preparations.  For a number of years Spurs had travelled to Scandanavia to play a number of early games to build up fitness before embarking on some more strenuous matches.  However, Glenn Hoddle’s preparations required the team to play a series of games against lower league opposition around London and the south-east of England.  This game was won with goals scored by Simon Davies and Sergei Rebrov who was trying to impress his new manager.  Although scoring in this game and another four in subsequent friendlies he failed to make an impression, most of his League appearances were as a substitute and he only managed to score once during the year.



Oxford United 0 Spurs 3 (Pre-season) Spurs continued their pre-season preparations by overcoming Oxford United.  After seasons of deliberation, they had finally signed Bobby Zamora from Brighton for a fee of £1.5 million two days previously.  He made his debut in this game and played in the first half.  He immediately showed his potential by scoring twice, first after twenty minutes and then on the stroke of half-time.  He was replaced for the second half by Robbie Keane who scored the third.  Subsequent events were to suggest that Zamora was best suited to scoring against lower league opposition.  A player of great heart, his first touch often let him down and he went to West Ham the following January as part of the Jermain Defoe transfer.



A Sad Loss.  Spurs lost a great player with the tragic death of John White who was killed when struck by lightning while sheltering under a tree on Crews Hill Golf Course at Enfield.  John White had been an important member of the successful ‘Double’ team in the early 1960s.  He had been signed from Falkirk in October, 1959 and was a firm favourite, still having much to offer the club.  A Scottish international he brought great skill and vision to the team and was a sad loss to Spurs, Scotland and football but more importantly to all his family..



The Intertoto fiasco finally came to an end with a humiliating defeat to 1FC Cologne.  The team of reserves and loanees went to Germany and suffered an eight goal defeat.  While Spurs can claim they did not recognise it as a first team game and they had stated before the competition that they would field a weakened team, a result like this did nothing for the reputation of the Club in Europe and can have done nothing for the confidence of the young players who were asked to take on an impossible task.  While Spurs didn’t take the competition seriously, Cologne did and gained qualification to the UEFA Cup draw and progressed to the latter stages of the competition.  

On the same day the first team also lost a friendly to Silkeborg by three goals to one.



Spurs announced that Peter Shreeves would be promoted from chief coach to team manager, reporting to Terry Venables.  This would be Shreeves second spell in charge of the first team having been promoted to that position following the resignation of Keith Burkinshaw in 1984.  He had two seasons in charge before being sacked in 1986.  Terry Venables in his role as Chief Executive was planning to spend less time with the team and more on the running of the business side of the club.  Time was to prove that both decisions were wrong, as Shreeves held the role for only a year and Venables was later removed form his executive role by Alan Sugar.



Heart of Midlothian 1 Spurs 2 (Pre-season) Gordon Durie scored Spurs two goals, including one from a penalty in this win over Hearts.  At the end of the previous season Gary Lineker had retired from English football and moved to play in Japan.  This meant that Durie was Spurs only experienced striker.  Although scoring twice in this game it was obvious that Spurs required someone to partner Durie and shortly after the commencement of the new season signed Teddy Sheriongham  from Nottingham Forest.



AFC Bournemouth 4 Spurs 4 (Pre-season) Two months after losing the F.A.Cup Final an almost similar team played out a high scoring draw at Bournemouth.  Glenn Hoddle had departed to Monaco and been replaced by Johnny Metgod  with the other summer signing Chris Fairclough playing while Nico Claesen started ahead of Clive Allen.  According to the Spurs handbook the goals were scored by Chris Waddle, Steve Hodge and Clive Allen (2) who came on as a substitute.



Orlando Pirates 2 Spurs 1 (Pre-season) Spurs undertook a pre-season tour to South Africa to play two games.  This was the first game against the South African champions and Spurs lost their undefeated start to the season.    Spurs went behind midway through the second half but equalised through an own goal from Helder Postiga’s cross within a minute.  However, a late penalty won the match for the Pirates.  The point of note from this game was that so impressed were Spurs by the young Pirates central defender, that they signed him the following week and he returned with the Spurs party at the end of the tour.  Mbulelo Mabizela is the South African Captain and an outstanding prospect.  His Spurs debut was memorable for the equalising goal against Leicester that set up a winning comeback by the team.  Time will tell if he will progress at WHL.



As Ossie Ardiles attempted to raise the spirit at White Hart Lane following the F.A. punishment, it was announced that Spurs were to sign Rumanian International and World Cup star, Ille Dumitrescu.  He had started his career with Steau Bucharest and had made 44 International appearances for his country.  An exciting player, his period at Spurs was not a success, it being difficult to find a role for him within the team formation.  He made 16 League appearances and scored four goals in two seasons before being transferred to West Ham United in March, 1996, having had a loan spell with Sevilla.



Q.P.R 3 Spurs 2 (Pre-season)  Spurs winning run of pre-season friendlies came to an end.  Spurs playing their second game in two days had a central defender with a familiar name, Henry.  It wasn’t the return of the famed ‘Double’ winning full back, Ron, but his grandson, Ronnie.  A promising young player he scored Spurs second goal, the first coming from Etherington, but unfortunately he wasn’t to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become a star at WHl, he was released recently by the club.



A Transfer Coup to match the Argentine success of 1978, Chairman, Alan sugar completed the signing of German World Cup star, Jurgen Klinsmann.  Sugar was determined to lift morale at the club following the unjust F.A. punishment and this signing had the desired effect.  It brought Spurs to the forefront of the football and news media and there was fantastic demand for tickets for Spurs games, home and away.  Klinsmann joined Anderton, Sheringham, Barmby and Dumitrescu to form Ardiles famous five attacking formation.  However, while exciting going forward the team lacked co-ordination in defence and Ardiles stay was short lived.  It was the arrival of Gerry Francis who brought some structure to the team and Klinsmann was able to be seen at his best in what proved to be an exciting team to watch.



Steau Bucharest 3 Spurs 2 (Pre-season Tournament – Glasgow) Invited to appear in the International Tournament at Ibrox, Spurs lost their first game to Sampdoria by two goals to the nil. Having gone into the tournament with a squad weakened by injuries, further injuries in the first game meant that on the following day they  had to play this second game with an even weaker team.  The Spurs goals were scored by two young reserves, Darren Caskey and Andy Turner, both of whom made only a number of  League appearances in their Spurs careers.  As so often with Spurs, the injury problems persisted into the new season.



Spurs 3 Rangers 1(Pre-season) It’s not often that a pre-season fixture remains in the memory for long after the final whistle but this game is memorable for the debut of a young centre half who scored two of the goals.  Peter Collins had been signed from non-League Chelmsford City for £5,500 the previous January and made his league debut in the opening game of the season, a home defeat by Arsenal.  He didn’t appear again until mid-October where he played alongside Mike England for much of the remainder of the season.  He made frequent appearances during the next two seasons but his moment in the spotlight came when England was injured midway through season 1970-71 and Collins replaced him, including a successful League Cup Final appearance against Aston Villa at Wembley. After this success his opportunities were limited and a serious ankle injury further restricted his progress and he retired at the age of 26 in November, 1974.



Acknowledge the work of Graham Betts in his book ‘Spurs Day – to – Day Life at White Hart Lane