In 1979 Tottenham undertook an ambitious tour when they set out to circumnavigate the globe.
Along the way Keith Burkenshaw’s men who had finished in mid table would win a trophy whilst the team managed to run out of players before they ran out of games!
The first game coming just 48 hours after the domestic season ended on May 14th.
When Alex Steel made his debut on this day, January 29th in 1910 he did something nobody else has done before or since. He lined up with his two brothers, Danny and Bobby, in the Tottenham team in a competitive game.
The only match to feature three brothers was played at White Hart Lane against Bradford City during the clubs first season in Division One.
Sadly there was no fairy tale ending as the game ended 0-0.
Picture left - Bobby
In this final part we turn out attention to Bill Nicholson's first full season in charge and Spurs got off to a flying start as we won 5-1 at Newcastle and Cliff Jones banged in a hat trick and Bill Brown made his debut. We actually went 12 games undefeated at the start of the season, the trouble was 6 of them were draws (four at home) and they would prove costly. In September we went to Old Trafford and won 5-1 which put us top of the table. The same month we won 5-1 at home to Preston. Then on October 10th we ran up four fourth 5-1 of the season at home to the champions Wolves, Bobby Smith hit four goals that day. The press were singing our praises but wondered if we could keep going once the weather turned bad and the pitches heavy.
The most important part of the tour that took Tottenham to Russia for the first time was what happened off the pitch. The twelve day trip acted as a massive team building exercise. Ron Henry later said that that tour was where it all came together for Spurs. The overwhelming memory from a number of the players and staff echo his thoughts. Bill Nicholson said ‘I was glad of the opportunity of getting the players together. I have said that we would go and see what it was like there. It’s a lot different.’
We are looking back at the period when Bill Nicholson first took charge of Tottenham. Following on from that famous win over Everton (1) Tottenham traveled to Leicester the following weekend and won 4-3. That however was the end to the bright start under the new management. It was followed by defeats to Leeds away and a 1-5 thrashing at Manchester City.
A home point against Bolton and a win at Luton lifted the gloom slightly but then just one point from the next seven games brought us to the end of the year having played 24 games and gained 17 points. We had managed 44 goals but at the same time conceded 59.
Ever since Ledley King announced his retirement in 2012, the White Hart Lane faithful have been seeking a new defensive ‘King’. From the error-prone Younes Kaboul to the muddled Vlad Chiriches, there have been no less than nine center backs, to grace the Lilywhite jersey in those three years. Only one of those nine has been able to impress the fans and cement his place in the starting XI. And he is Super Jan Vertonghen.
Hotspur Towers turns its attention to the period leading up to the greatest period in Tottenham’s history at the start of the 1960’s when we won the League and Cup Double, FA Cup again and then the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963 (7).
This series continues on directly from the events described in ‘The Anderson Era,’ (8) which took us as far as 11th October 1958. At that point Bill Nicholson became manager and The Prologue will take us from that point to the dawn of the golden days. In part one we look back at his first week in the manager’s chair.
Welcome to the Second Celebrity Fan Box and another selection of ‘names’ from across the worlds of entertainment and sport where the only admission criteria is to be a lilywhite supporter. The Celeb box started in the regularly Talking Tottenham magazine and they are brought together here for the first time. Everyone included here has been identified as a Tottenham fan at some point. Please also peruse the first selection (1).
This gathering of Lilywhite’s includes Hollywood A listers Kenneth Branagh (Below) and former James Bond, Piece Brosnan. Then we have Alan Rickman. Alan a distrusted actor (and a wonderful villain) is of course also Snape in the Harry Potter series of films which brings us to Rupert Grint and of course the creator of all things Potter, JK Rowling.
Hotspur Towers turns its focus on to Terry Dyson who holds a special place in Tottenham’s history. He wasn’t just a member of the glorious Double winning team.
He was also man of the match (scoring two goals) in the European Cup Winners Cup final which brought a major European trophy to Britain England for the first time.
There is also the small matter of being our only player to have scored a hat trick for the club V Arsenal.
The latest set of images in Every Picture Tells a Story took the FA Cup as its theme. This is where we try to uncover images that deserve another outing rather than the ones that have been featured regularly in social media. This first picture takes us back to 1981. You will be aware of Ricki Villa’s goal (actually one of two that day) where he twisted and turned his way through the Manchester City defence before scoring the goal that was voted the best at Wembley in the last century. Here we catch up with him moments later as he turns away with Gareth Crooks (the other goal in the 3-2 win) Genn Hoddle and Steve Perryman closing in on him.
In the recent Connections- India we mentioned Bill Edrich. Bill did not play an outstanding part in the history of Tottenham Hotspur featuring in just twenty games with four goals. However his story is worth retelling as he did appear on postage stamps (top image), become a test cricketer and a decorated war hero. He also lived through an earthquake whilst playing As well as being our outside left.
Bill was born in Norfolk in March 1916. He was an amateur with Norwich City and had played for the county before moving to live in London so he would qualify to play his cricket for Middlesex. Tottenham signed him as an amateur in 1935 and he joined the Northfleet nursery side.
The almanac arrives in January as we dig out some of the stories that might otherwise slip past us unnoticed that occurred this month in previous. With goals galore, how to start the year off as well as firsts and lasts not forgetting a few birthday boys and goalscoring keepers.
Let us start back in 1985 for a dream start to the year. Tottenham are top of the table as the year dawns and they travel to Arsenal on the 1st. where we win 2-1. Our goals from Mark Falco and Garth Crooks seal the points.
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