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A Month in the Illustrious History of Spurs


(Compiled by Logan Holmes)

Success, disappointment, survival, failure and the down-right mundane.



Spurs 3 OFK Belgrade 1 European Cup Winners Cup Semi Final (2nd Leg). Holding a one goal lead from the 1st Leg, Spurs progressed to their first European Final. However, it was a difficult match and Spurs were made to fight all the way.  Without Greaves who was suspended, having been sent off in the first game, Spurs took the lead through Mackay.  OFK fought back to equalize and put Spurs under considerable pressure.  In a tense game, Brown and all of the defenders had to be at their best and it was a relief to everyone when Jones restored Spurs lead before half-time. Smith completed the scoring in the second half to make Spurs the first English club to reach a European final.



Wimbledon 2 Spurs 6 Survival and what a way to do it!  After a long and difficult season Spurs were still fighting to retain their place in the Premiership.  Christian Gross’ appointment had not been successful and there was discontent among the players over his style of management.  The return of Jurgen Klinsmann had not brought about the hoped for revitalisation of the team and he had struggled to make a major impact in his second spell at WHL.  However, Klinsmann rectified that situation in just one game. Spurs had taken an early lead through Ferdinand but were a goal behind as half time approached, until Klinsmann equalised.  In the second half Klinsmann scored another three goals inside five minutes and then set up the sixth goal for Saib.  



Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Spurs 2 UEFA CUP FINAL (1st Leg) An all English Final, disappointed players and supporters alike who had been hoping for further success on foreign fields.  Both teams played cautiously and it was as the hour approached that Martin Chivers broke the deadlock with a majestic headed goal from a long free kick taken by Mike England. Wolves equalised from a quick free-kick, twelve minutes later and Spurs were under pressure until Chivers awoke from his ‘famed’ lethargy and collected the ball out wide and headed for goal to crash home a shot from thirty yards - a goal worthy of any final.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles; Mullery (Captain), England, Beal; Gilzean, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Coates (Pratt).



Spurs 4 Sheffield United 2 Another Jimmy Greaves goal scoring record.  In this season Spurs were looking to Europe for success but Greaves continued his phenomenal goal scoring feats by setting a new record for the number of League goals scored in a season.  The record of 36 had been set in 1930-31 by Ted Harper when Spurs were in the Second Division and equalled in 1957-58 by Bobby Smith. Greaves created a new record of 37 when scoring Spurs third against United.  The other goals came from Saul, Jones and Dyson.  Although three games remained, he failed to add to his total for the season.  The following year he scored 35 League goals and since then only Clive Allen has come near to his record, scoring 33 in 1986-87.



Spurs 3 Burnley 1 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley. My first memory of Spurs, as a young boy, watching the game on the television in a furniture shop.  What a way to start, although it was a couple of years before I would become devoted to the club and the fanatic that I have been for the last forty years.  Burnley had finished second in the League, ahead of Spurs who had the perfect start with Greaves scoring, as he predicted, in the opening minutes and securing victory, after Burnley had equalised early in the second half, with further goals from Bobby Smith and a penalty from Danny Blanchflower.  Spurs had retained the F.A.Cup and secured a place in Europe which was to bring further success the following year.

Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower (Captain), Norman, Mackay; Medwin, White, Smith, Greaves, Jones.



Spurs 2 Leicester City 0 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley.  Spurs became the first club to win ‘The Double’ in the 20th Century.  Having won the League, Spurs won the cup in unspectacular style, overcoming a team who had won at WHL earlier in the season.  The tension of the day prevented Spurs from performing as they had on many occasions during their memorable season and it was not until late in the game that Spurs took control.  Leicester overcame the early loss of their full back, Chalmers, to injury and battled gamely as he ‘hobbled’ on the wing.  Bobby Smith scored a ‘magnificent solo goal’ after 69 minutes and Terry Dyson ensured victory seven minutes later with a headed goal from Smith’s cross.

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



Manchester City 5 Spurs 0.  The darkest day that I can remember in Spurs history.  Spurs have suffered heavier defeats but this one meant that they had lost their place in the1st Division for the first time in 27 years.  For so much of that time Spurs had seemed above such difficulties, winning trophies and being comfortably placed in the League.  This season brought about the reality of their position and threatened with the drop throughout the season, the team had rallied in the final few games but it wasn’t enough and this defeat brought about the ultimate penalty of relegation.  Players who had previously experienced success and young developing players had failed to retain the club’s position in the top flight but most remained to fight another day.



Bolton Wanderers 1 Spurs 3 An end of season game with nothing at stake for either team.  Spurs had not tasted victory for ten games and were sitting in mid-table while Bolton were to finish six places below them.  This game was the debut of a young forward who had been a regular goal-scorer in the youth and reserve teams. Mark Falco scored on his debut and was to play his part in Spurs success of the early eighties and was Spurs top scorer in seasons 1984-85 and 1985-86.  While not a classic goal-scorer he was strong and skilful, working hard to succeed where others had failed and is the only successful young goal-scoring forward that Spurs have produced since Len Duquemin in the fifties. In 162 League appearances, Falco scored 68 goals.  He scored another 8 goals in Cup competitions and 13 in Europe.  The other goal scorers against Bolton were Ricky Villa and Jimmy Holmes.



Spurs 1 Manchester City 1 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley (aet).  The 100th F.A.Cup Final produced a disappointing display from Spurs in a game which is best remembered for the long, lonely walk of a disconsolate Ricky Villa as he slowly trudged around Wembley, having been substituted.  Spurs record of being undefeated in Cup Finals was still in place but it was a close run thing and they were eternally grateful to City’s Tommy Hutchinson for deflecting Hoddle’s shot from a free kick past his own goalkeeper with ten minutes left. Hutchinson had given City the lead after half an hour and Spurs were glad of an opportunity to redeem themselves on another day in the replay.

Team: Aleksic; Perryman(Captain), Miller, Roberts, Hughton; Ardiles, Hoddle, Villa(Brooke), Galvin; Archibald, Crooks..



Spurs 1 Southampton 1 Job completed, Spurs said farewell to Jurgen Klinsmann for the second time in three seasons.  This second period had not brought the same success as previously but he had scored six goals in Spurs final three games of the season which had helped ensure Premiership survival.  He signed off from White Hart Lane by scoring Spurs equaliser.  Also leaving Tottenham that day were Gary Mabbutt and David Howells who had served Spurs loyally over many seasons.

On this day in 1995, a former player became immortalised in Spurs folklore with his winning goal in the last minute of extra time for Real Zaragossa in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Arsenal – it was, ‘Nayim from the halfway line.’



Arsenal 1 Spurs 3 The final game of the season and the last occasion when Spurs left Highbury with three points.  Arsenal put out a weakened team due to their Cup commitments but that didn’t detract from the pleasure of the Spurs supporters as the team completed the double over their North London rivals to finish eighth, two places above them.  Spurs goals were scored by Teddy Sheringham and a young Scottish player, John Hendry who got two. However, unknown to the mass of Spurs supporters around the world, was the behind closed doors activities in the Board Room that was about to bring to light the great fall-out between Alan Sugar and Terry Venables and drag the club’s good name through the newspapers and the courts for some considerable time.  This would be Venables’ last game with any responsibility for Spurs and what had seemed to be a glimmer of hope for a brighter future was to be extinguished beyond repair.  



Spurs were still suffering the consequences of the great fallout between Chairman, Alan Sugar, and Chief Executive, Terry Venables. The previous year Venables had been sacked and the club’s business had been dragged through the media and the courts.  On this day, the F.A. formally charged Spurs with misconduct for alleged irregular payments to a number of players.  These had come to light following the court case between Alan Sugar and Terry Venables and were allegedly paid to players between 1985 and 1989.  In an attempt to assist and co-operate with the F.A. Spurs had handed over documents which appeared to show that the payments had been made.  This story would continue to dominate the whole club for some considerable time.



Spurs 2 Sheffield United 0 A successful end to a season as Spurs, undefeated from mid-January, climbed to third place in the League and were looking forward to a Cup Final appearance against Chelsea in a week’s time.  With a full strength team playing, the goals to ensure Spurs 24th win of the season were scored by Jimmy Greaves and Frank Saul.  Spurs had won nine of their previous ten games, the only blemish on that record was a scoreless draw at Liverpool.  Having lost on Boxing Day, the team suffered only one defeat in twenty League games and were unbeaten in eight Cup games.  They won 13 of the League games and drew six.



Spurs 3 Manchester City 2 F.A.CUP FINAL REPLAY at Wembley.  If the first match was a disappointment, the Replay made up for it.  Many thought that Ricky Villa had missed his chance in that game but Keith Burkinshaw kept faith in him and he was repaid handsomely.  Within seven minutes Villa had given Spurs the lead but this only lasted three minutes as City equalised with a spectacular goal. Both teams were creating chances and City went ahead five minutes into the second half from a penalty.  The match became tense with tackles flying in on both sides.  In the 71st minute Spurs equalised with a goal from Crooks.  Seven minutes later, Ricky Villa stepped forward and dribbled around and through the City defence to score the most incredible Cup Final winner of all time – Saturday’s ‘failure’ had become the Hero with a never to be forgotten goal.

Team: Aleksic; Perryman(Capt), Miller, Roberts, Hughton; Ardiles, Hoddle, Villa, Galvin; Archibald, Crooks. Sub:Brooke



Atletico Madrid 1 Spurs 5 EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS’ CUP FINAL in Rotterdam.  Spurs produced their best ever display in a Final to overcome difficult opponents who were the holders of the trophy.  Spurs went into the game without their inspiration, Dave Mackay who was injured.  Nicholson was reportedly very worried about the Spaniards and built them up but Blachflower reminded the players of their own success and capabilities.  Greaves gave Spurs an early lead and White added a second. Then Atletico came back at Spurs putting them under intense pressure, eventually conceding a penalty but Terry Dyson, playing the game of his life, increased Spurs lead with a long cross that sailed over the keeper’s head.  Greaves scored his second and Dyson did likewise to complete a glorious European night for Spurs - the first British club to win a European trophy.  All of Tottenham had moved to Holland for that game and they celebrated long into the night.

Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower(Captain), Norman, Marchi; Jones, White, Smith, Greaves, Dyson.



Coventry City 3 Spurs 2 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley (aet).  The unthinkable had happened, Spurs lost an F.A.Cup Final.  A season that had promised so much had ended disappointingly with Spurs having nothing to show for all their exciting play and effort – the ‘nearly’ team – beaten semi-finalists in the League Cup and third in the League.  Spurs were favourites to win the Cup against unfancied Coventry and it had started so well with Clive Allen scoring his 49th goal of the season after two minutes. Coventry equalised shortly afterwards only for Gary Mabbuttt to restore Spurs’ lead.  In a very open game Coventry drew level to take the game into extra time and eventually won the Cup when a cross hit Gay Mabbutt and looped over Ray Clemence’s head into the goal.  Great disappointment and very hard on the great club player Mabbutt.  A very disappointing end to a long season.

Team: Clemence; Hughton (Claesen), Thomas,M.; Hodge, Gough (Captain), Mabbutt; Allen, C.,Allen, P.,Waddle, Hoddle, Ardiles (Stevens)



Spurs 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 UEFA CUP FINAL (2nd Leg) Although ahead from the first game, this was a close, hard fought game. Playing their 68th competitive game, Spurs were drained but Alan Mullery increased their lead in the 29th minute when he threw himself full-length to head in a Peters  free-kick, injuring himself in the process.  However, he was able to continue and although Wolves equalised before half-time, they were unable to gain the ascendancy and threaten Spurs overall lead.  Alan Mullery went on to lift the trophy to give Spurs their second European trophy, the first British club to achieve that.  It was to be his final competitive game for Spurs and while the rest of the weary squad retreated to the dressing rooms, he completed his own personal lap of honour surrounded by the jubilant fans.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles: Mullery (Captain), England, Beal; Gilzean, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Coates.



Spurs 2 Nottingham Forest 1 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley (aet). A difficult season ended in glory but at the expense of injury to the star who had single-handedly brought the team to the Final. Paul Gascoigne had been the talisman throughout the early rounds of the competition and inspired the team in the semi-final.  However, he was so fired up for the Final that he appeared to be almost out of control and in fact lasted only 13 minutes when he was carried off injured. Spurs were a goal down from the free-kick that had been awarded for his reckless challenge and he could have been sent off for an earlier indiscretion.  The rest of the team responded positively to these set backs and gradually pulled themselves back into the game. Lineker had a goal disallowed for off-side and then had a penalty saved after being pulled down.  Into the second half and Paul Stewart stepped forward and proved himself the hero by scoring the equaliser to take the game into extra time.  From a corner, Des Walker deflected the ball into his own goal and Spurs had won their eighth F.A.Cup, a new record. The future of the club was still in doubt and Gascoigne’s career never really reached the heights that had promised before his serious injury.

Team: Thorstvedt; Edinburgh, Van den Hauwe; Sedgley, Howells, Mabbutt (Captain); Stewart, Gascoigne (Nayim), Samways (Walsh), Lineker, Allen.



Spurs 4 Celtic 3 in New York (Friendly) End of season tours were a feature of the 1950’s and Spurs had been to America for a series of exhibition matches five years earlier.  On this occasion this was the only game to be played in America with the rest taking place in Canada.  Celtic took an early two goal lead before Bobby Smith scored.  Celtic again went two up, only for Smith to pull one back before half-time.  In the second half, Smith completed his hat-trick and Dulin scored the winner. Spurs and Celtic were to meet on three more occasions in Canada, Spurs winning twice with Celtic winning the final game of the tour.



Spurs 2 Chelsea 1 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley.  Spurs won the first all London Cup Final in a comfortable manner.  It was only in the last few minutes that Chelsea became the force that everyone had expected them to be.  The Spurs defence marshalled the Chelsea forwards and Mullery and Mackay dominated the game although the ‘star’ was Joe Kinnear, at right back, who played as if he was a seasoned professional but had only come into the team because of an injury to Phil Beal earlier in the year.  Jimmy Robertson scored the first after Mullery’s shot had rebounded to him and Frank Saul added the second in the second half.  Chelsea scored just before the end but the Cup was returning to White Hart Lane. Spurs had five F.A. Cup wins from five Cup Final appearances.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles; Mullery, England, Mackay (Captain); Robertson, Greaves, Gilzean, Venables, Saul. Sub: Jones.



Spurs 2 Feyenoord 2 UEFA CUP FINAL (1st Leg) Spurs had reached their third European Final, the first English club to achieve this, and were undefeated through the early rounds.  In a thrilling game, Spurs led twice but were pulled back by the soon to be crowned Dutch champions. Spurs started well and it was twenty minutes before Jennings touched the ball, from a back pass.  They took the lead in the 39th minute, Mike England scoring with a header from a Ray Evans’ free-kick.  However, they held the lead for only four minutes, a free-kick being bent round their defensive wall. Spurs regained the lead after an hour from another free-kick with England involved but a Dutch defender got the final touch.  With nine minutes remaining, Phil Beal went off injured and three minutes later Feyenoord equalised to give them the upper hand going into the second leg.

Team: Jennings; Evans, Naylor; Pratt, England, Beal (Dillon); McGrath, Perryman, Chivers, Peters (Captain), Coates.



Spurs 1 Queen’s Park Rangers 1 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley (aet). In their Centenary year, it was now down to this game if Spurs were to have any reward for a long and exhausting season which at one point had looked so promising.  Fourth in the League, they had reached the League Cup Final and ECWC semi-finals and now success depended on this one game against 2nd Division Q.P.R., managed by Terry Venables.  It wasn’t a great game, Spurs, without Ardiles and Villa, were lethargic with weariness taking over and the doggedness of QPR making it very difficult.  Scoreless after ninety minutes, Spurs went ahead in extra-time with a shot from Hoddle only for QPR to level and another replay was required.

Team: Clemence; Perryman (Capt), Miller, Price, Hughton: Hazard (Brooke), Roberts, Hoddle, Galvin: Archibald, Crooks.



Spurs 1 RSC Anderlect 1 UEFA CUP FINAL (2nd Leg) (aet) [Won 4-3 on penalties] The 1st Leg in Belgium had ended 1-1, thanks to a Paul Miller goal and this match developed into a titanic struggle as Anderlect went ahead on the hour.  Spurs were without Clemence and Hoddle injured and Perryman suspended after being booked in the first game.  Their stand-in Captain, Graham Roberts, now became their inspiration and drove them forward in search of the equaliser.  It came six minutes from time when from a corner, Ardiles hit the bar and the ball rebounded to Roberts who blasted it home. Extra time was tense and then the penalty shoot-out brought forward and unexpected new hero, Tony Parks.  Roberts led by example and scored the first penalty, then Parks deputising for Clemence, saved the first penalty and after Danny Thomas had missed what would have been the winning score he saved the final shot before setting off on a jubilant stampede across the WHL pitch followed by his exultant team mates.  The other penalties were scored by Mark Falco, Gary Stevens and Steve Archibald.  Spurs had won the trophy for their departing manager, Keith Burkinshaw and the celebrations went on long into the night.

Team:Parks; Thomas, Roberts(Capt), Miller(Ardiles), Hughton;Hazard, Stevens, Mabbutt(Dick), Galvin; Archibald, Falco.



Stuttgart 1 Spurs 1 (Friendly)  During the close season Spurs played a series of games in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. They won seven of the nine games, drawing the others.  Details of the tour are sketchy but it is recorded that in Germany the atmosphere was tense and there was general hostility towards Spurs by their German hosts.  With the outbreak of the First World War only two months away, almost anything was allowed when Spurs went on to the pitch.  So bad was the situation that the Chairman, Charles Roberts, declared that ‘no Spurs team would ever again visit Germany while he was still alive.’  And they didn’t, only returning for a tour in 1950, seven years after his death.  It was reported in the Tottenham Weekly Herald of the time that Spurs had returned from Germany, having signed a six-foot tall German centre forward from Berlin called Fred Strechfuss. (Does South Africa 2003 come to mind?)  However, by the time the club Handbook was produced at the end of August, no reference was made of this new signing.



The outcome into the Football Association’s enquiry into the financial irregularities over alleged payments to players that had come to light because of the Alan Sugar/ Terry Venables court case was not known but the F.A. were putting in place arrangements should Spurs be found guilty and demoted to the 1st Division as punishment.  They announced on this day that Sheffield United who had finished 20th in the Premier League would take their place for the following season.



Tel Aviv Select XI 1 Spurs 2 (Friendly) The F.A.Cup winners went on a two game tour to Israel in the close season.  With Maurice Norman, Jimmy Greaves and Cliff Jones unavailable, it was an otherwise full strength team that played in these games.  Spurs won this game through goals from Dave Mackay and Eddie Clayton while the final game four days later against Haifa Select XI was won by 5-0 with the goals being scored by Mackay, John White, Frank Saul, Les Allen and Clayton.



Spurs 1 Queens Park Rangers 0 F.A.CUP FINAL REPLAY at Wembley.  This was Spurs 66th competitive game of the season and Captain Steve Perryman had been an ever present.  It was hoped that the replay would be more entertaining than the first game and Spurs started brightly, taking the lead from a Hoddle penalty after Roberts had been brought down on a strong run from midfield.  Spurs controlled the game without looking like adding to the score but in the second half Q.P.R. came at Spurs who had to defend doggedly with Clemence making a number of good saves.  In the end Spurs were just relieved to hold on and have some reward for their long and exhausting season.  They had retained the Cup and were still undefeated in seven F.A.Cup Finals.

Team: Clemence; Perryman (Capt), Miller, Price, Hughton; Hazard (Brooke), Roberts, Hoddle, Galvin; Archibald, Crooks.



Saskatchewan F.A. 1 Spurs 18 (Friendly) The second game of the North American tour threw up this record score.  Conflicting details of the scorers and half-time score exist but Spurs official handbook for 1952-53 states that as Spurs were 14-0 ahead at half-time, the teams exchanged goalkeepers and Ted Ditchburn’s display ensured that Spurs only scored four in the second half. In other records, Sid McClellan is credited with scoring nine goals, Les Bennett (3), Len Duquemin (2), Dennis Uphill (2) and Chris Adams (2), although these don’t match the statistics and account given in the Handbook.



Feyenoord 2 Spurs 0 UEFA CUP FINAL (2nd Leg) Spurs knew that they were facing a very difficult task in this game as they were going into it on level terms from the 1st Leg.  The task became even more difficult as fans rioted before, during and after the game. Feyenoord went ahead in the first half and during half-time when Bill Nicholson should have been trying to  focus the team on the task on hand, he was having to appeal to the fans for calm.  In the second half, Feyenoord continued to be in control and scored a second to end Spurs record of never having lost a major Cup Final. The behaviour of the rioting fans brought discredit on the Club, the team and those who went to loyally support the players as they tried to win another European trophy.  Bill Nicholson was disappointed and disillusioned and his resignation a few weeks into the new season could be linked to the events in Holland, bringing to an end his long association with Tottenham Hotspur.

Team: Jennings; Evans, Naylor; Pratt (Holder), England, Beal; McGrath, Perryman, Chivers, Peters (Captain), Coates.   



FC Zurich 0 Spurs 2 (Friendly) The F.A.Cup winning team went on a three game tour in Switzerland.  They remained unbeaten in all of the games and won this opening game with two goals scored by Jimmy Robertson.  Only Cyril Knowles of the Cup winning team was not available, with young reserve, Tony Want, replacing him for the three games. The Cup winning team played in this game and the final game with some of the reserves getting an opportunity in the second game. In the other matches, Spurs beat BSC Young Boys 3-2 and completed a 4-1 victory over FC Servette.



NSAFL Invitation XI 1 Spurs 5 (Friendly) Having won the European Cup Winners’ Cup, Spurs undertook a three match tour to South Africa.  This was their first visit to the country and in this first game, Welsh International, Terry Medwin broke his leg during the first half.  So severe was the injury that Medwin was unable to play again and in spite of a lengthy battle to regain fitness, he had to retire through injury in the summer of 1964.  Medwin’s injury overshadowed the match in which the goal scorers were Frank Saul, Les Allen (3) and Cliff Jones.


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