The latest in Martin Cloake’s series about some of the key figures who made the club what it is.
Alexander ‘Sandy’ Brown is the original swashbuckling centre forward in the Tottenham Hotspur story, and another famous Scot. Signed from Portsmouth in 1900, where he had been top scorer as the south coast side finished runners- up to Spurs in the Southern League in 1899, he went on to score 96 goals in 113 appearances over two years. In the 1901 FA Cup run, he scored 15 goals, netting in every round.
"It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low.
And we of Spurs have set our sights very high,
so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory."
- Bill Nicholson.
"He was way ahead of his time in terms of coaching, When I arrived from Cardiff, I was used to doing training which was dominated by running, but Bill Nicholson was doing things which most clubs hadn't even thought of. He also had a lovely manner with the players. He treated us as individuals and that helped us to blend as a team. Sometimes I used to go past the club late at night and the office light would still be on, he was just devoted to the club." - Terry Medwin
We remember the night Spurs ran in ten before half time on their way to their record win, in February 1960 in a FA Cup 4th round replay. Three men scored a hat trick that evening, the only time that's happened in a competitive game in our history. All this in front of more than sixty four thousand.
"Bill Nicholson was totally dedicated to this club. He was the first person to arrive in the morning and the last person to leave at night. He's a fantastic man and it was an honour to serve under him.
It was the lure of playing for Nicholson that made me decide to join Spurs.”
- Martin Peters
"He took over with the club fourth from bottom and within two years we had won the Double, it didn't take him long.…When you talk about great managers Bill is one of very few….He never let us forget that we were out there to entertain the public…. He was straight as a die, 100 per cent honest and 100 per cent Spurs…. Bill was the perfect gentleman and he was a brilliant manager," - Dave Mackay
"Bill Nicholson is the name that is synonymous with Tottenham. His achievements, and the way in which he achieved them will always be remembered by anyone with a Spurs connection.
Off the field Bill is a gentleman in the true sense of the word, Bill lived a life which revolved around Tottenham Hotspur. Nobody had a bad word to say about him.
- Gary Mabbutt
As we have no game to look forward to in mid week I thought you might fancy another quick trip down Memory Lane? Seeing Swansea’s Chinese dragons at the weekend reminded me of the various wildlife we have at White Hart Lane. There’s two bears, a tiger, camels, horses, a chimpanzee, a beast, cats and dogs and yes I’m sure we will find you a cockerel.
"My respect and admiration for him just grew the more I saw of him. He knew more about the game than anyone I ever met, and knew how to convey it. He was the complete manager. I cannot speak highly enough of him….
Bill was the main man, he was Tottenham through and through. He knew more about the game than any of us, he ran the club from the boot room to the Board room, and he gave us values and leadership. You have to respect that….
To Bill the fans were the most important people at the club and he made sure we gave value for money.”
- Cliff Jones
"Oh, magic man. There's no doubt - not only in football during my career but he's had the biggest influence on my life, generally.
..When you thought of Tottenham you thought of Bill Nicholson , one of the legendary figures in football. Bill was a major servant to English football and a fantastic man. It was an honour to serve under him."
- Pat Jennings
“His legacy is to have left forever something that all Spurs teams and staff
should aspire to: that is to play football in a correct, honourable and
…Bill was one of the greatest blokes, if not the greatest, that I have ever
- Jimmy Greaves
Ron Henry was at Tottenham for 50 years. He won the Double, the FA Cup again in 1962 and the European Cup Winners Cup the following year. He was man of the match in the FA Cup Final. A former first team captain who played more than 600 games for Spurs at all levels. At one point he missed only one game in a run of 188.
Ron, with Peter Baker, made up our great full-back pairing in the early 1960’s. He was born in Shoreditch, like Peter Baker not more than a few miles from the Lane. At school he was a outside left and played at District and County levels.
I was interested to note the number of royal connections with the club whilst having a wander around this week.
Lets start by looking at actual fans. You should be aware if you read my twaddle on a regular basics that King Harald V of Norway follows the Spurs (2).
What you may not know is that Mark Phillips, Olympic Gold medalist and former husband to Princess Anne and their son Peter are both Tottenham supporters. Also to be found in the Royal Box, HRH Sheikh Nader Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the nephew of the King of Bahrain.
I've also been informed, that we also have a royal supporter in the King of Malaysia King Syed Sirajuddin. I will try and confirm that one.
For years I’ve sat across the television, dreaming of the day when I would be amongst the thousands shouting my lungs out in support of my beloved Spurs. A day when I could soak in the atmosphere on match day at White Hart Lane and feel the electricity as the ball moves across the lush green surface. Unify my voice with fellow fans as we inspire those on the pitch to push on and strive for greatness.
A few years ago, sitting half way across the world, this was merely a far-fetched fantasy, but that's the funny thing with life – if you keep believing, eventually things just fall perfectly into place.
on 1st December 2013, that dream came true. I was off to White Hart Lane to see the mighty Spurs in action!!
New Year’s day fixtures were fairly regularly events up to the Second World War then it seemed to out of fashion for several decades. Over the years we haven’t had too much to cheer about on this day. Most of those games have been played in bad weather and on dreadful pitches. This top picture is from 1969.
A quirk of fate is that we did not actually play at home on this day until 1944. When we beat West Ham in the Football League South.
One result that does stand out is the against this years opponents Manchester United from 1996 here at the Lane.
Flying Down to Rio
History of T.H.F.C.
Tribute to Bill Nicholson
The Road to Turin
Most Read Articles
The 100 Year War
Interview with Marina Sirtis
A Long Dark Shadow
By Royal Appointment
School Report: An Insight into the Younger Eric Dier
All Change At Spurs
History Of THFC: Part 1
Passage to India: Rohan Rickets
Thanks For The Memories
Our Tommy Carroll
The AVB Files: Part1
You The Jury
The Hand Of Hugo
Connection - Argentina
Creating a Reputation
Flying Down To Rio