Its that time of the year when India Spurs rolls out its seasonal spectacular, yes it’s a Tottenham Christmas III - A Lilywhite Awakens. What an amazing title for this years blockbuster reflecting the mood and progress of our own dear lads. In fact its such a good title you watch some low budget film will steal the title. I’m sure you have all read the first two titles in this series (1). So wrap up warm and join us on our walk down a glistening White Hart Wonder Lane as we look forward with anticipation whilst warming our hands on the glow of memories from Christmas past.
I know there was actually a call here in Southern India that people should cancel their Christmas this year (honest). As if that was going to happen. Here in the hilly hideaway with 486 mince pies in the fridge we decided to go ahead and therefore for your seasonal delight and to take your mind off the serious things such as what the line up will be for Norwich game, cue space ship from bottom of screen, we bring you, The Lilywhite Awakens and a seasonal look at Tottenham and the footie world in general which I hope will bring a smile. So while Ebenezer passes around the humbugs.
This iconic photo is from the programme for the Christmas Eve game in the Double Season 1960/61. In the game that followed V West Ham we won 2-0 with White and Dyson scoring, then on Boxing Day we won the reverse game 3-0 away White and Allen for us with an own goal.
You may well know, especially if you read the first two seasonal specials, and if you didn’t you should of done, that we beat Everton 6-0 at home on Christmas Day in 1956. What you might not have known was after the game the two teams traveled up to Liverpool and had Christmas dinner together on the train before the return game the next day.
One hundred years ago on Christmas Day with World War One raging Tottenham met Croydon City in the London Combination Cup and won 3-0.
OK you shouldn’t have any problems with this years secret Santa
pictured below ?
When he made his Spurs debut on Christmas Eve in 1955 Bobby Smith described it as ‘an ideal Christmas present.’
How did he do on the day, well according to Bobby ‘I gave the photographers behind the goal more trouble than I did their goalkeeper.’
Top image - 1969.
Previously we have asked the Ghost of Christmas Past to come up with a few gems from previous Christmases. Well this year he has dug out a few Boxing Day memories.
Starting with Norwich City who we meet this year. It seems instead of Turkey we are having Canary for Christmas! We have met three times before on Boxing Day and all away. With Boxing Day games dating back to 1884 The first City clash was not until 1992 when we drew 0-0, two years later a 2-0 win brought home the festive points and then ten years later in 2004 we won again 2-0.
Left - Cliff Jones enjoying the Christmas spirit at the staff party.
Other Boxing day’s gone by include Ted Bassett (guesting for us from Notts County) has a hat trick in the home game with Brentford played at Homerton in 1916 which we won 5-2, having won the away match 5-1 the day before, Ted scored once that day. Then in 1931 another hat trick boy is George Hunt as we beat Charlton 5-2 away. We wait until 1962 for the next hat trick and you wont be surprised that it was the great Jimmy Greaves as we beat Ipswich 5-0 at The Lane.
Right - The players children's party 1975
Below - The hospital visits are always a highlight and this is from last years.
Steve Perryman remembers Boxing Day as in 1969 he scored his first goal ( a win at home to Palace) and in 1985 his last goal (a win at home to West Ham) for the club. Then just last year young Harry Kane played his 50th game for the club as we beat Leicester away.
Luke, put that neon light down or I’ll tell your father.
Ok its not Tottenham, but spare a thought for a chap called Ambrose Brown, he was playing for Wrexham in 1936. The Christmas Day fixture was away to Hull, not a good journey at any time. Ambrose was sent off in the first minute.
Or this story from Manchester United ‘s winger Charlie Mitten, he played just after the war and at that time oranges were still being rationed and were a special treat. So every Christmas game the fans would save the peel and then pelt the players with it when they came near the touchline, and not just the opposition according to Charlie.
Right - So thats what he does the rest of the year he works for Swansea's ground-staff.
Footie isn’t what it was you will hear people say, these two little nuggets were mined from the archives at the Telegraph. The old Orient striker Ted Crawford remembers a game down at Bournemouth on the 25th. He recalled that the players meeting up at Waterloo Station to catch the train and we were all worse for wear from partying the night before. The manager decided that ‘the hair of the dog’ mind just help sober us up and arranged a barrel of bear for them on the train. Crawford remembered every time he jumped for a header that day he had to decide which of the two balls he should try for. On one occasion he chose correctly, headed the ball and then landed flat on his back. Whilst he lay there the ref ran over and said are you hurt at which point a wag behind the goal shouted ‘no ref, he is just as pissed as the rest.’ The game was a draw so maybe Bournemouth were not much better.
Another suggestion that the Christmas Spirit got the best of players comes from 1935. Tranmere and Oldham played out their usual derby game and Oldham won 4-1. However the next day in the reverse fixture Tranmere managed to overturn the result and won 13-1.
Right - Ossie and Ricki, Christmas 1982
I wondered what to get people for Christmas this year and knowing how shy you are I did ask a few people over the last week what they could suggest, silly or serious, witty if possible and I did mention it was the time of goodwill to all men, (well do your best).
Here are a few of their thoughts - Danny Rose - an England Cap, Harry Winks - a first team debut, which would tie in with our exclusive interview with him (2).
For Pochy - a points filled Christmas stocking and an empty treatment room. Sepp Blatter - an allergy to brown envelopes (well so much for goodwill!). Anyway the shops are still open so there is still time for you to add any suggestions.
Above - Jimmy Greaves, Tony Marchi and Terry Dyson tuck into the mince pies.
Right - I'm sure they were joking when they said this is next years away strip, well fairly sure.
Did you ever wonder what footballers give each other for Christmas ? Things got rather out of hand in Newcastle back at the end of the nineties. The Italian full-back Alessandro Pistone was given a sheep’s heart, as a sign of his perceived lack of commitment. Whilst the German player Dietmar Hamann was given a copy of Mein Kampf, the book written by Adolph Hitler and Duncan Ferguson, who had just finished a three month jail sentence was given a prison shirt.
Jimmy Greaves does however recall his first Christmas at the club that “Bill Nicholson, had sent our trainer Cecil Poynton over to haul us out of the pub, I can still remember him coming in now only to be greeted by a cloud of nuts, fag boxes and sausages on sticks, forcing him to retreat, hands on head, back into the road. It launched a food free-for-all. The youth team players, desperate to stay on good behaviour, were like sitting ducks."
Next we take you back to a Christmas I missed, well it was 1890, Blackburn in their first season at Ewood Park, were due to meet local rivals Darwin on Christmas Day and the much tougher Wolves the next. On Christmas morning Rovers only named three first teamers for the Darwin game while Darwin fielded their complete second team. The fans were not impressed. In an amazing exhibition of unity between the two sets of supporters, about 3,000, who normally hated each other.
The Manchester Guardian reported the events that followed. The fans ‘combining from each allegiance, stormed the pitch, dismantled both goalposts and tore up the brand new carpeting in the VIP seats. ‘The hat of a Rovers’ official was knocked off and a dressing-room window also broken,’
Before I go I shall leave you with the this seasonal message from the ground staff, ‘get that **@!!* reindeer off the pitch.’
I bet you were wondering if I was going to mention beating Woolwich 5-0 on Christmas Day in 1911 - don’t be silly I mention it very year, its traditional.
The Secret Santa was of course Danny Rose.
To everyone out there his week celebrating have a wonderful Christmas and everyone in Tottenham land and beyond have a happy and peaceful new year. This time of year we think of the wise men and what they would be doing , well what else would they be doing but checking out the blog page to see what wonderful, presents they missed recently. Then if they were really wise they would leave insightful / witty / or plain like it comments.
Until then ‘May the Spurs be with you’ and COYS.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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Notes - In case you missed our two previous Christmas Specials they were
A very Tottenham Christmas and A Tottenham Christmas II - The Elves Strike Back.
2 - Winks - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/talking-tottenham-with-harry-winks
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