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A Month in the Illustrious History of Spurs


(Compiled by Logan Holmes)

A month when the hum-drum and the ordinary is mixed in with the sheer exhilaration of semi-finals, Finals and European success along with some disappointments.



Spurs 2 Liverpool 1 Spurs were in an excellent sequence of League and Cup games.  Undefeated since mid-January, this win was their fourth successive League victory and they went on to win the next two League games as well.  The season ended with Spurs in third position and as F.A.Cup winners. Both goals were scored by Jimmy Greaves, the second coming direct from a corner with the Liverpool defender on the near post ducking under the ball.



Spurs 1 Huddersfield Town 0 Controversy surrounded the only goal scored by Len Duquemin and added to Huddersfield’s problems as they tried to avoid relegation.  With only a minute remaining, the lowest attendance of the season saw an amazing goal to Spurs.  From a corner taken by Eddie Baily, the ball hit the referee and rebounded to Baily who immediately centred for Duquemin to head the winning goal.  The goal should have been disallowed because Baily had played the ball twice without another player touching it.  Huddersfield appealed but the result had to stand and they were relegated at the end of the season.



Spurs 2 Leicester City 0 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park.  Ossie Ardiles played his last game of the season for Spurs as  he returned to Argentina to prepare for the World Cup.  However, there was the additional problem of the Falklands War and Ardiles was constantly booed by the Leicester fans.  Leicester were in the 2nd Division and Spurs eventually wore them down in the second half.  After 56 minutes Ardiles centred for Crooks to score.  Leicester lost a player to injury and their ten men battled gamely but in the 76th minute conceded a soft own goal. The defender with many options to clear lifted his back pass over the goalkeeper’s head.



Spurs 5 Arsenal 0 Ignoring the Cup semi-final defeat in 1993 to the same opponents we concentrate on the handsome League victory at White Hart Lane over our North London neighbours.  Before the game Spurs were one point ahead of Arsenal but went into the game without Perryman who was suspended. It was a famous victory for Spurs and an embarrassing humiliation for Arsenal.  Spurs were three ahead after fifteen minutes and could have doubled the score by half time.  Having lost the previous match at bottom of the league, Brighton, Spurs restored the faith of their loyal support with two goals from Hughton, two spectacular volleys from Falco and Brazil’s first goal for the club, having missed several opportunities to score it earlier.



Spurs 2 Benfica 1 European Cup Semi Final (2nd Leg) (Lost 3-4 on agg.)  Spurs came so close to reaching the Final but they couldn’t pull back the two goal deficit against the reigning European Champions..  In the first leg in Lisbon Spurs had two goals ruled out for offside and they were determined to comeback strongly as they had in earlier rounds of the competition.  However, their task became even more difficult when they went a goal behind after 15 minutes.  From then on Spurs pounded the Benfica defence, Greaves had another goal disallowed for offside but eventually equalised in the 35th minute when Smith scored.  Spurs continued to force the visitors back and in the second minute of the second half, Blanchflower scored from a penalty after a foul on White.  The supporters roared Spurs on and they threw everything at Benfica, hitting the bar and missing some chances but couldn’t get that extra goal.  Benfica were greatly relieved to hear the final whistle.



Spurs 6 Southampton 1 Spurs had four consecutive home games from mid-March to Easter and won all of them.  They scored 16 goals, conceding only two.  This was the third of the victories, having previously overcome Stoke City (3-0) and Burnley (5-0) which included Jimmy Greaves 300th League goal.  The goals against Southampton were scored by Alan Mullery, Jimmy Greaves (2) (1 pen), Martin Chivers, Cliff Jones and an own goal.  The final game in the sequence was a 2-1 victory over Leeds United on Good Friday.  They then lost the next two away games, including the return against Leeds in mid-week before returning to winning ways at White Hart Lane.



Spurs 1 Barcelona 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup Semi-Final (1st Leg) Spurs second semi-final in four days was a brutal affair.  With the reputation of a footballing team, Barcelona left White Hart Lane with the chant of ‘animals’ echoing from the terraces.  They used every trick possible to stop Spurs playing and unfortunately they achieved what they set out to do, leave London with a draw.  Ineffective refereeing encouraged Barcelona in their tactics and it was not until early in the second half that he eventually sent off a Spaniard.  Then to make matters worse Clemence let a shot from 40 yards slip through his hands into the net.  With five minutes left Roberts scored from a Hoddle free kick.  A night of European football at WHL that is remembered for the wrong reasons.



Spurs 4 West Bromwich Albion 0 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park The Spurs hero was Sandy Brown who scored all four goals as Spurs comprehensively defeated their League opponents. Brown had scored in every round of the Cup and now had a total of 12 Cup goals. All of the Spurs players deserve credit for this performance.  The game was scoreless at half-time but from the time that Brown headed the first goal just after the restart from a centre by Kirwan, there was no doubting the result. The second came from a corner, the third was a shot from thirty yards and the fourth came after a passing movement took Spurs the length of the pitch.



Spurs 1 Everton 4 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Elland Road This could be described as the day that we lost a semi-final and the day that we lost Jurgen Klinsmann.  The result was a shattering blow to the fans and the club.  Having progressed to this stage with memorable victories and performances the team did not perform on the day.   The team was hit by injuries and went two goals behind. Klinsmann scored from a penalty but Everton scored two late goals to further embarrass Spurs.  So Spurs adventure in the Cup from which they had originally been banned was over but the further ramification was that Klinsmann later announced that he would be leaving at the end of the season.  He had brought vitality to the club but with the team not being able to offer him European football the following season he decided to return to Germany.  This was an even greater blow to the Club and one that they have been striving to recover from since that fateful day.



Spurs 0 Leeds United 0 I could have selected a European semi-final victory or a defeat but selected instead the game that was played on the day that I was married.  Spurs had won their previous five League games including a 2-0 victory at Highbury the previous weekend.  Spurs, with Terry Neill as manager, had had a better season than the previous year when they required a last match home victory over Leeds to avoid relegation but still only finished in 9th position. A team with Jennings, Young, Perryman, Pratt, Chivers and Duncan should have been doing better.  The day is also noteworthy for my local team winning the Irish Cup for the only time in their history, emulating Spurs of 1901, by being a non-League team at the time.  Friends and relations were not best pleased at missing the Final to attend the wedding.



Spurs 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 (aet) F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough. Spurs were on their way to Wembley until the referee intervened and awarded Wolves a last minute penalty for a fair tackle by Hoddle on Hibbitt who fell to the ground. Wolves equalised and extra time remained goalless.  Spurs had scored through Archibald after four minutes but Wolves equalised a minute later. Just before half-time, Hoddle gave Spurs the lead from a free kick, that could justifiably have been a penalty. Spurs defended resolutely until the referee played his part but then we would have missed the excitement of Highbury.



Spurs 6 Birmingham City 0 F.A.Cup 6th Round Replay The first game the previous weekend had remained scoreless as 2nd Division Birmingham had battled bravely to deny Spurs.  The nearest they had come to scoring was late on when Jennings in catching an awkward dropping centre from under the bar, let it slip from his grasp and had City claiming a goal but the referee disagreed.  The replay saw Spurs in total control.  Venables scored twice, after 90 seconds and after 18 minutes.  Two minutes later Gilzean scored the third.  In th second half, Greaves (2) and Saul completed the goal feast.



Spurs 2 Manchester United 1 The penultimate game of the season, although the final game wasn’t until early May. Following the difficult period in mid-season Spurs had reshaped the team, the senior players had re-established themselves, Peters was settling into the team and Perryman was gaining experience and influence in the team.  Also and importantly, Gilzean and Chivers were developing a goal scoring partnership that was to blossom in the next few seasons.  It was this combination that was to ensure victory over United but despite the stronger finish to the season, Spurs could only finish in 11th position.



Spurs 3 Arsenal 1 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Wembley.  ‘St Hotspur Day’- a day never to be forgotten by Spurs fans around the world.  Arsenal were humbled as Gazza returned from injury to score and inspire Spurs to a fantastic victory.  Spurs were not expected to win this game, the first semi-final to be played at Wembley, but Venables had them firing on all cylinders from the start.  After five minutes Gascoigne scored from a 35 yard free kick that was hit with such power and accuracy that it left Seaman clutching at thin air.  As Venables said afterwards, “Paul was probably the only player who could do anything like that.”  Five minutes later Lineker increased Spurs lead.  Arsenal didn’t know what had hit them. They scored before half-time but Lineker scored the third to take Spurs to the Final.  Gazza played for only an  hour but left to an ovation – ’Spurs Hero of Wembley’ but all the players played their part in this memorable victory.



Spurs 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 F.A.Cup Semi-Final Replay at Highbury.  The perfect place for Spurs to win an exciting replay.  Determined not to be deprived of their place at Wembley as they had been the previous Saturday, Spurs were fired up for the game from the outset and took an early lead when Garth Crooks headed the opening goal.  Wolves came back strongly but couldn’t get an equaliser.  Then just before half-time Crooks scored the second when taking a Hoddle pass, he finished with ease.  Spurs were celebrating and Ricky Villa sealed the victory with a great goal scored from thirty yards.  A great victory and a stylish performance as ‘Spurs were on their way to Wembley’ again.



Spurs 3 Sheppey United 0 In their non-League days, Spurs played in the Southern League for twelve seasons.  Season 1899 – 1900 was the only time that they finished as Champions.  On two occasions they were runners-up and on two further years they finished third.  The victory over Sheppey in the penultimate game of the season, ensured they had won the League. The goals were scored by Hyde, Pratt and Kirwan and the team contained six of the players who were to be part of the Cup winning team in the following season.



Spurs 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1 A Monday evening game at White Hart Lane against their closest rivals for the title, was the setting for this game.  Wednesday had been the first team to beat them earlier in the season but Spurs had marched on and were now nearing the final glory.  In an exciting and tense match, considering all that was at stake, Wednesday went ahead after thirty minutes.  With three minutes of the half remaining Spurs equalised through Bobby Smith.  One minute later they were ahead when Les Allen scored.  The second half was a tough affair but when the final whistle blew, Spurs were Champions for the second time in their history.  Pandemonium broke out around White Hart Lane as the fans rushed onto the pitch.  They chanted, “We want Danny!” and refused to leave until until the Captain led the players out to acknowledge their cheers.

Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.



Barnsley 1 Spurs 1 From the excitement of League, Cup and European achievement to the anxiety of trying to avoid relegation.  All season Spurs had been battling to avoid the drop and changing the manager from Francis to Christian Gross hadn’t seen any improvement. It was now coming down to the wire – who could hold their nerve and scrap for points, not something that any Spurs team is famous for.  This was a real six pointer against another relegation candidate.  Spurs had lost at Barnsley in the Cup and went a goal down after 19 minutes of the first half.  They had chances to equalise but it wasn’t until the 47th minute that Colin Calderwood redirected a Nielsen shot into the goal.  With 25 minutes remaining Ramon Vega was sent off for a professional foul but this seemed to further inspire Spurs who held out for their point which set them up for the final three games of the season.



A C Milan 1 Spurs 1 UEFA Cup Semi-Final (2nd Leg) In the early stages of the 1st Leg at White Hart Lane AC Milan had given Spurs a footballing lesson in retaining possession and generally having them chasing shadows, taking the lead after 25 minutes.  However, as the game progressed, Spurs came more into it, particularly due to the leadership of Alan Mullery and the tenacity and determination of Steve Perryman who equalised after 33 minutes and scored the winner in the second half after an Italian player had been sent off.  For the return, Milan were confident that the away goal would be vital to them.  However, Spurs produced a most accomplished and assured performance to progress to the Final.  Captain, Alan Mullery was the inspiration, giving Spurs an early lead (7th minute) to score the important away goal.  With twenty minutes remaining Milan were awarded a penalty to equalise but Spurs held out to reach their second European Final.



Spurs 2 Sheffield United 2 F.A.CUP FINAL at Crystal Palace The non-League Giant Killers had reached the Final but no-one expected them to win again.  An attendance of 114,815 watched as Spurs took on the experienced League team who took the lead after twelve minutes.  Spurs equalised through Brown, thirteen minutes later and he put them ahead five minutes after half time.  However, a dubious refereeing decision gave United an equaliser one minute later.  Clawley, the Spurs goalkeeper, fumbled a shot but when challenged managed to scramble it clear for a corner as signalled by the linesman.  However, the referee awarded the goal that never was.  From this point the game drifted to a draw and a replay.  Two nights after the Replay, cinematic newsreel shots showed that the ball had not crossed the line and the United equaliser should not have counted.  



Barcelona 1 Spurs 0 European Cup Winners’ Cup Semi Final (2nd Leg) Following the brutal game there were many concerns over this match and while it never reached the same level of hostility, Barcelona carried on in much the same vein.  The tie was settled in the second half and although they pushed forward Spurs could not find a way through the Barcelona defence.  The trophy targets that Spurs had had earlier in the season were gradually slipping away and now they were left with the F.A.Cup as their only chance of silverware.  Could they overcome the weariness of an arduous season to have something to celebrate?  



Spurs 2 Sunderland 3 It was getting very close for the three promotion spots out of the 2nd Division.  Earlier in the season, Spurs had been sitting quite comfortably but now four teams, Bolton, Southampton, Brighton and Spurs were in pursuit of promotion.  In their two previous games Spurs had overcome Bolton at home but lost away to Brighton and were sitting in second place. However, this result put another dent in the Spurs promotion bid and created additional anxiety and uncertainty among the players and the supporters.  Spurs had taken the lead within 30 seconds through Peter Taylor but Sunderland equalised before half time and went 3-1 up midway through the second half.  Spurs tried to retrieve the situation and scored through John Duncan who was returning from injury, but it wasn’t enough.  The pressure was on with two games remaining.



Spurs 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0  F.A.CUP FINAL at Stamford Bridge The year ends in ‘1’ and Spurs have reached their second final against 2nd Division, Wolves.  Just before kick off a torrential thunderstorm turned the pitch into a quagmire making it very difficult for both teams to play any football, the ball constantly sticking in the mud.  One piece of inspiration from 20 year old winger, Jimmy Dimmock, after 55 minutes was enough to won the trophy for Spurs.  Picking up the ball on the left wing he made progress then cut in, ignoring other team members, he escaped the defenders and his shot from fifteen yards skidded off the greasy surface, under the body of the Wolves goalkeeper.

Team: Hunter; Clay, McDonald; Smith, Walters, Grimsdell (Captain); Banks, Seed, Cantrell, Bliss, Dimmock.



OFK Belgrade 1 Spurs 2 European Cup Winners’ Cup Semi-Final (1st Leg) Spurs took the lead in this tie after 25 minutes when John White volleyed home a shot after Bobby Smith had nodded down a Tony Marchi free kick.  OFK equalised nine minutes before half time from the penalty spot.  Into the second half Spurs continued to attack but they lost Jimmy Greaves who was unluckily sent off after 55 minutes.  Not deterred, Spurs continued to push forward and took the lead when Terry Dyson scored with twenty minutes left.  Greaves was the first Spurs player to be sent off in over 39 years.  On the night, Greaves was consoled by the Spurs trainer, Cecil Poynton, who had been the last player dismissed all those years earlier.



Spurs 1 Hadjuk Split 0 UEFA Cup Semi-Final (2nd Leg)  Having lost the first leg game by 1-2 with Split scoring twice in the second half Spurs were under pressure to regain the initiative.  They scored after six minutes when at a free kick outside the penalty area, Micky Hazard managed to bend the ball round the wall and inside the post.  If the score line remained unchanged Spurs would progress on the away goals rule.  Hadjuk attacked and Spurs survived a scare when Parks parried the ball onto the bar which it rolled along before dropping to the ground where a flapping and relieved goalkeeper fell on it. Earlier in the season manager, Keith Burkinshaw, had announced that he would be leaving at the end of the season and the players were determined to give him a leaving present, the UEFA Cup.  At least, they had reached the Final.



Spurs 1 Hull City 0 The previous weekend, Spurs had increased the pressure on themselves in their promotion bid by losing at home to Sunderland.  This time there could be no mistakes against Hull who were bottom of the Division.  They say that fortune favours the brave and this was the case as the only goal was scored by Captain, Steve Perryman.  The game had reached the last ten minutes with the Hull goalkeeper standing firm to deny Spurs a goal when he caught a cross from a corner. As a forward challenged him he dropped the ball for Perryman to score. The relief around White Hart Lane was unbelievable.



Spurs 3 Sheffield United 1 F.A.CUP FINAL REPLAY at Bolton Only 20,740 were present to see Spurs go a goal behind, five minutes before half-time.  The goal had been against the run of play and Spurs continued to take the game to United and equalised after 55 minutes from John Cameron.  Spurs then went ahead when winger Smith scored and Brown ensured victory with a header from the third of three quick corners, with seven minutes remaining.  Brown had become the first player to score in every round of the Cup, scoring 15 goals. On the final whistle joyous Spurs fans invaded the pitch and when the team returned to London at 1.00am the next morning, the fans who had been waiting for three hours, gave them a tremendous reception.

Team: Clawley; Erentz, Tait; Morris, Hughes, Jones (Captain); Smith, Cameron, Brown, Copeland, Kirwan.



Spurs 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0 Amazingly, when Spurs won the League in 1951 and 1961 Wednesday were the opponents against whom they clinched the victory.  In 1952 the title race had been very close and any slip up would have proved costly.  With two games remaining, Spurs went into this game knowing that the outcome was in their own hands and duly won with a goal scored by Len Duquemin. Following a poor start to the season, it was a remarkable turn round to become Champions for the first time in the club’s history, only a year after winning promotion from the 2nd Division.  The ‘push and run’ team managed by Arthur Rowe had put Spurs in the spotlight.

Team: Ditchburn; Ramsey, Willis; Nicholson, Clarke, Burgess (Captain); Walters, Murphy, Duquemiin, Baily, Medley.



Southampton 0 Spurs 0 The conclusion to the 2nd Division was very close.  On the final Saturday both teams needed a point to ensure promotion at Brighton’s expense.  The match was an extremely tense and nail-biting affair.  There were many dramatic moments and Southampton could have scored on a number of occasions but Spurs held on for the point they needed.  Spurs finished two points behind Bolton, a point behind Southampton and level on points with Brighton.  However, Spurs were promoted thanks to a superior goal difference.  Spurs were top scorers in the division and their goal difference was nine goals better than Brighton’s, the exact score by which they had defeated Bristol Rovers, the previous October.



Spurs 2 Chelsea 1 Having won promotion to Division 1 in their first year in the Football League Spurs had found life very difficult in the top flight.  This was a crucial last day of the season victory against fellow relegation threatened strugglers.  The situation was clear, which ever team lost would be relegated.  Spurs won before a crowd of 35,000 with goals from Billy Minter and the all important second goal from centre forward Percy Humphreys who had previously played for Chelsea.  Spurs victory ensured their 1st Division survival and so close was it at the bottom that the two points enabled them to move up to 15th place, while condemning Chelsea to relegation.

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