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A Month in the Illustrious History of Spurs


(Compiled by Logan Holmes)



Fulham 3 Spurs 4 Spurs had enjoyed a good start to the season suffering only two defeats in the first ten games.  In a remarkable game at Craven Cottage four goals were scored in the first thirteen minutes with Spurs first coming from Jimmy Robertson.  In scoring Spurs second goal, Jimmy Greaves took his scoring sequence to seven successive League games, his best for five years, the third from Alan Gilzean ended his away famine, not having scored an away goal for eighteen months. Before the end Terry Venables scored his first goal since signing for Spurs the previous May.



Spurs 2 Hajduk Split 0 European Cup Winners’ Cup 1st Round (2nd Leg) Spurs entered this game a goal behind from the first leg which had been played in Linz in Austria.  Spurs were looking for an early goal and it came from David Tuttle, a young defender making his European debut and scoring his first and only goal for the club.  The second goal which secured the 2-1 aggregate victory was scored by Gordon Durie.  This was the third occasion that Spurs met Hajduk Split in a European competition and on each occasion they had been victorious.



Spurs 0 Derby County 0 This was Spurs debut season in the Second Division of the Football League and the scoreless draw marked the first occasion when Spurs dropped a point at White Hart Lane.   Their three previous home games had seen them record comfortable victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Barnsley and Bolton Wanderers.  However, their debut season was not going as well as would have been hoped as their two away games had resulted in single goal defeats at Leeds City and Hull City, without Spurs managing to score on either occasion.



Hull City 2 Spurs 0 2nd Division Spurs undefeated record in the Second Division came to an end in this mid-week game at Boothferry Park.  As they tried to regain their place in the First Division Spurs had won five and drawn three of their opening eight games.  They had won all of their home games but had found it more difficult away from White Hart Lane, this game recording their third goalless game on their travels.  Hull, so nearly became the scourge of Spurs that season, as it was only a late, fortuitous Perryman goal in the return game at the end of the season that earned the two points needed to help Spurs to secure promotion in the final match of the season.



Spurs 2 Burnley 3 A certain young ‘Chairman’ to be, attended his first Spurs game to lift the attendance to 18,441.  Spurs were struggling under new manager, Terry Neill and while John Pratt and Mike England scored for Spurs, they both managed to score in their own net in the first half to set Burnley on their way to victory.  Following this game Spurs were one place off the bottom of the First Division, the good news being that Arsenal were below them.  After such a game, it’s a wonder that Jim ever went back to White Hart Lane.  He did and we’ve got ‘Topspurs’ to show for it.



Spurs 4 Arsenal 4 Spurs were third in the League and had thrashed Forest 9-2 in the previous game.  They set off in a similar fashion and were ahead through Dave Mackay after four minutes.  After sixteen minutes John White added a second and ten minutes later Cliff Jones made it three.  A minute later Arsenal scored and then got another in the 33rd minute.  Reports suggest that at this point Spurs could have had six goals but were only one ahead.  Jones scored before half-time and such was their dominance that it was a surprise that they had only scored four goals from the twelve chances they had created. In the second half Arsenal came back to score twice and although Spurs ended the game on top, they failed to add to their score.  A great chance missed!



Spurs 4 Stoke City 3 Spurs were undefeated in their opening five home games of the season, having won four and drawn one.  However, all of the games had been very close with all but one of the victories, home and away, having been by a single goal and this trend continued in spite of scoring four.  Stoke made it a close game that Spurs won with goals from John Pratt(2), Alan Gilzean and Ralph Coates.



Preston North End 2 Spurs 6 2nd Division Following a poor start to the season this game marked the turning point for Spurs.  Having gained only 6 points from the first eight games Spurs were near the foot of the table.  Manager Percy Smith made changes to the team and they proved very successful.  Goals from Davie Colquhoun, Taffy O’Callaghan, George Hunt, George Greenfield and Willie Evans(2) gave Spurs victory in this game and set them on their way for the rest of the season.  They went undefeated for twelve games, including eight convincing victories which took them towards the top of the table.  Although they couldn’t catch the leaders, Stoke City, they gained promotion by finishing second.



Tranmere Rovers 0 Spurs 4 Littlewoods Cup 3rd Round After the disappointment of the previous Premiership game where Spurs allowed Manchester United to overturn a three goal half-time lead, the players showed a determination and commitment that has so often been lacking in away Cup games against lower League opposition. Spurs ensured there was no Cup shock with goals from Teddy Sheringham(p), Darren Anderton, Gus Poyet and Sergei Rebrov.



Spurs 1 Manchester City 1 This was the first time that Spurs failed to gain both points during the ‘Double’ season.  After winning the opening eleven games of the season Spurs allowed City to gain a point at White Hart Lane.  Spurs dominated the first half and went ahead through Bobby Smith but in the second half City managed to equalise against the run of play.  Spurs continued to attack but couldn’t score - their domination reflected in the game statistics: Spurs had 39 shots to City’s 9 and won fourteen corners to City’s two.



Spurs 10 Everton 4 The first match of the managerial career of Bill Nicholson was an amazing introduction to League football.  With only three victories and nine points in the opening eleven games, Spurs season was in danger of becoming a struggle against relegation.  They were only one place off the bottom of the League when Nicholson took charge and his first decision was to restore Tommy Harmer to the team.  He helped to inspire Spurs to an incredible victory.  They were 6-1 ahead at half-time and the goal scorers were Bobby Smith(4), Alf Stokes(2), Johnny Ryden, Terry Medwin, Tommy Harmer and George Robb.  No-one realised that this was only an introduction to the excitement and success that Nicholson was to bring to the club over the next sixteen years.



Spurs 3 Arsenal 1 A poor start to the season saw Spurs struggling in the relegation places.  Injuries had not helped Spurs who had gained only 8 points from the first twelve games and had conceded 13 goals in their previous three games.  Ted Ditchburn, at almost 36, was recalled in goal for this game and Spurs earned a confidence inspiring win.  Bobby Smith scored the opening goal and Terry Medwin added the second before half-time.  A second Medwin goal ensured Spurs victory with Arsenal only managing a late consolation, scoring from the rebound after Ditchburn had saved a penalty.  During the rest of the season Spurs managed to recover sufficiently to climb to third position.



Spurs 3 West Herts 2 F.A.Cup 1st Qualifying Round This was Spurs’ debut in the F.A.Cup against the team who would become known as Watford.  Spurs first F.A.Cup goal was scored by Peter Hunter.  The other two goals came from Donald Goodall. The match played at the club’s old Northumberland Park ground was watched by a crowd of 2,000.  Spurs progressed to the fourth Qualifying Round before losing in a replay to Luton Town.



Coventry City 2 Spurs 3 This was Spurs’ first meeting with Coventry City in the First Division and their first visit to Highfield Road for eighteen seasons following Coventry’s promotion.  The game was entertaining and Spurs won thanks to goals from Jimmy Greaves (2) and Cliff Jones.  It was Spurs third away win of the season and restored some order as they had lost heavily in the previous three away games.



Arsenal 4 Spurs 4 The match was played on a Tuesday evening because of the previous weekend’s International games.  Spurs and Arsenal had both started the season well with Spurs second and Arsenal a point behind in sixth. It was an exciting and ‘storming’ game that entertained for ninety minutes.  Spurs were 4-2 ahead at the interval with goals from Greaves, Smith(2) and Mackay.  However, Arsenal showed never-say-die spirit and battled to the end although they were assisted by two refereeing decisions in the first half that probably robbed Spurs of the points.  The referee awarded a harsh penalty when Spurs were two up and then disallowed a goal which would have made the score 4-1but a minute later Arsenal made it 3-2.  With five minutes remaining Spurs still held the two goal lead acquired by half-time but Arsenal pulled one back and then equalised with only seconds of injury time remaining.  As a newspaper report of the day says, ‘Spurs were robbed!’



Spurs 5 Manchester United 1 A game that is remembered for the score line and also for the outstanding goal scored by Jimmy Greaves.  He picked the ball up inside the United half, ran at their defence , going past a number of defenders before rounding the keeper to tap the ball into an empty net - a classic Greaves goal!  All five forwards scored that day – the other goals coming from Jimmy Robertson, Alan Gilzean, Eddie Clayton and Neil Johnson making only his third appearance.  Amazingly and unfortunately for Spurs, the return game in December also ended 5-1 to the home team.



Spurs 5 St Albans 2 Spurs played their first competitive match in the London Association Cup.  Prior to this, all of Spurs games had been friendlies.  Four hundred spectators attended the game against St Albans, a London-based business house.  The Spurs team included six of the club’s founder members but the goal scorers were not recorded.  Spurs’ Cup success was short lived as they lost heavily in the next round to the Casuals, one of the biggest names in football’s early history.



Spurs 2 Arsenal 1 Going into this game with two successive victories, Spurs form under Terry Venables was showing improvement.  Newspaper reports, at the time, saw the victory as their most important result under Venables, laying the North London hoodoo which Arsenal had maintained since his arrival.  Spurs won following five frantic minutes during the first half when a ‘red’ mist descended upon Tony Adams and from two free-kicks conceded by him, scored both goals through Vinny Samways and Paul Walsh.  Despite a second half goal conceded, Spurs won with the help of goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt.



Spurs 4 Feyenoord 2 UEFA Cup 2nd Round (1st Leg) The game matched Glenn Hoddle against an ageing Johan Cryff in a head to head contest.  It was the younger star who was to stamp his class on the match as Cryff failed to live with Hoddle’s creativity and control.  Spurs were four ahead by half-time and Glenn Hoddle had played a part in all of the goals.  He controlled the game and Spurs were supreme, going ahead after eight minutes through Steve Archibald. Ten minutes later a Hoddle cross was headed in by Tony Galvin. Archibald scored his second five minutes later with Galvin getting his second five minutes before half-time from a forty yard Hoddle pass. In the second half Feyenoord came more into the game but Hoddle had displayed his master class and Spurs were almost assured of qualification to the next round.



Spurs 1 Bayern Munich 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup 2nd Round (1st Leg) Spurs went into this game under strength due to injuries to a number of key players.  Perryman, Hoddle, Roberts, Hughton and Galvin were missing, being replaced by young players and squad members.  They performed creditably with Steve Archibald scoring their goal after only three minutes and Garry Brooke hitting the bar.  Spurs also had two possible penalty appeals turned down but in the second half Bayern scored the important away goal following a poor clearance.  The away leg proved too much and Spurs European campaign ended earlier than anticipated.



Spurs 3 Derby County 1 Going into this game with only one point from the previous four games, Spurs were looking for improvement against a Derby team which was struggling at the bottom of the Premiership without a win to their name.  Spurs started brightly and scored within four minutes through Oyvind Leonhardsen.  However, after putting Derby under further pressure, they failed to score and Derby equalised six minutes before half-time.  Stephen Carr regained the lead for Spurs scoring on the stroke of half-time with a low shot from 30 yards.  A second goal from Leonhardsen after three minutes of the second half gave Spurs a comfortable victory.  Leonhardsen’s day ended disappointingly with an injury that was to keep him out for the next two months.  Pressure was mounting on George Graham with the fans showing their dissatisfaction at the style of play.



Spurs 9 Bristol Rovers 0 2nd Division What a memorable game, what a debut for Colin Lee and what an important game, come the end of the season when Spurs won the final promotion place on goal difference from Brighton, exactly nine goals better than the south coast club.  The game got top billing on ‘Match of the Day’ and showed Spurs at their best. Injuries meant that Lee made his debut two days after signing from Torquay United for £60,000.  Lee opened the scoring after twenty minutes and headed his second four minutes later. Peter Taylor scored before half-time and in the second half Lee scored two more, his strike partner, Ian Moores completed a hat-trick and the rout was completed with a goal from Hoddle who had created so many chances throughout the game.  This is Spurs record Football League winning margin.



Spurs 3 FC Porto 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup 2nd Round (1st Leg) Spurs were back in Europe after a six year absence due to the ban on English clubs.  Early progress over Stockerau and Hadjuk Split had set up a potentially more difficult tie against Porto.  However, Spurs set about the first leg in a determined fashion and won with goals from Gordon Durie and Gary Lineker (2).  Although Porto scored an important away goal, in the away leg, a fortnight later, Spurs defended their two goal lead to earn a scoreless draw.  The perfect way to progress in a European competition.  



Spurs 6 Manchester United 2 Spurs home record in seven games was five wins, one draw and one defeat.  In those games they scored 29 goals. The rich vein of scoring continued against United who were struggling in the early season games.  Spurs were three ahead by half-time with goals from Jimmy Greaves and Terry Medwin who scored twice.  Unlike in recent times, Spurs didn’t let the advantage slip and increased the pressure in the second half with Greaves’ second.  Cliff Jones scored number five and Greaves completed his hat-trick for the sixth. United came back to score two late consolation goals.



Manchester United 0 Spurs 3 Littlewoods Cup 3rd Round Having struggled to overcome Fourth Division, Southend United over two legs in the previous round, only progressing on the ‘away goal’ rule after extra-time in the away game, a trip to Old Trafford was not something to be anticipated with relish.  However, United’s own form was poor and Spurs won comfortably with the goals being scored by Gary Lineker, Vinny Samways and Nayim. Spurs progressed to the 5th Round of the competition before losing a home replay to Nottingham Forest the following January.



Notts County 3 Spurs 0 Coca-Cola Cup (3rd Round) The end of Ossie Ardiles’ time as manager was drawing near.  His attacking five of Klinsmann, Sheringham, Anderton, Barmby and Dumitrescu which had brought such excitement earlier in the season was failing to deliver as Ardiles continued to spurn defence and Spurs were unable to prevent other teams from scoring.  Although he wasn’t sacked after this humiliating defeat, it was certainly the final nail in the coffin.  A week later, in spite of a convincing win at White Hart Lane against West Ham United, Alan Sugar bowed to the demands of the most vociferous of the spectators and sacked Ardiles.



Stoke City 2 Spurs 0 (2nd Division) A bad day for Spurs.  Not only did they lose but they had full back Cecil Poynton sent off   The reason for this game being remarkable is that the next Spurs player sent off in a League game was Frank Saul who was dismissed in a game at Burnley in December, 1965.  Thirty seven years of League football without a sending off – an amazing record. Cecil Poynton served the club loyally as player, trainer and physio for over fifty years until his retirement in 1975.  There had been one player dismissed in that period in other competitions.  Unlikely as it may seem, Jimmy Greaves was sent off in the ECWC semi-final against OFK Belgrade in April, 1963 and all those years later, it was Cecil Poynton who was the first person to meet Greaves as he made his way from the pitch in his role on Bill Nicholson’s staff on the Tottenham bench.



Manchester United 1 Spurs 4 An exciting score line with all of the goals being scored by Martin Peters.  Spurs had lost all of their previous nine League visits to Old Trafford but they over turned that record in style.  United were having a poor season and although Spurs form to that point hadn’t been great they managed to put on a stylish display that day to win comfortably.



Newcastle United 3 Spurs 4 The demand to see Spurs is illustrated in the attendance at this game which was 17,000 more than any of Newcastle’s previous games.  After thirty minutes Newcastle took the lead but Spurs had equalised within two minutes with a goal from Maurice Norman.  Newcastle regained the lead before half-time, the first time that Spurs had been behind at the interval. Bill Nicholson’s half-time talk saw Spurs raise their game and they scored twice through John White and Cliff Jones.  However, a mistake by Bill Brown allowed Newcastle to equalise.  With a draw looking the likely outcome, Bobby Smith scored the winner from a Les Allen cross with only three minutes remaining.



Spurs 2  Middlesbrough 1(aet)League Cup 3rd Round (2nd Replay) In the days before European football demanded central place in the football calendar, there were no penalty shoot-outs and Cup ties went to second and third replays as required.  In this tie Spurs had drawn the first game 1-1 with Boro at Ayresome Park through a goal from Jimmy Pearce.  The replay at White Hart Lane, the following week, had been scoreless so a third game was required.  Spurs won the toss to be at home and the game  was played on a Monday evening. It was another very close affair with Martin Peters scoring for Spurs in normal time. However, with the score at 1-1, extra time was required and Alan Gilzean scored the goal to take Spurs in to the next round and a home game against Millwall which was played two nights later. In the space of five days, Spurs had defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford, defeated Middlesbrough in extra time and then overcame Millwall.  Nine of the players played in all three games and they earned a point at Birmingham the following Saturday. This was a very successful campaign for Spurs as they went on to win the trophy at Wembley against Norwich.



Spurs 5 Glasgow Rangers 2 European Cup Winners’ Cup 1st Round (1st Leg) This England/Scotland clash gave Spurs a comfortable lead to take to the second leg. John White, a Scottish International, was the star of the night in this hard fought game which was all about pride.  He headed Spurs first goal after four minutes from a Jimmy Greaves corner but Rangers equalised five minutes later.  Another Greaves corner enabled White to head his second before Les Allen made it three.  The Rangers defence were under pressure and conceded an own goal for 4-1 but almost immediately Rangers managed to score a second.  Ten minutes from time another Greaves corner saw Maurice Norman score the fifth and final goal.


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