“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
This coming week sees the ninety-fifth anniversary of the birth of Bill Nicholson. Later this year we will mark the tenth anniversary of his passing. The Tottenham fan base in India grows in strength daily. Some of the India Spurs members have followed Tottenham for years whilst many have joined the faithful more recently attracted to the club because of the style of football we play. I’ve tried in my own humble way to compile a tribute that will reflect not only his life and achievements but the high regard that he is still held in by those that knew him both well and from afar. Lets celebrate the mans life and the legacy that stretches out across the years and still touches football lovers today for who just winning isn’t enough. Its winning “The Tottenham Way.”
Bill recalled "When the letter came no-one knew what to do. We weren't even sure exactly where Tottenham was. My mother and father had never once seen me play football. They knew I was keen, but had no idea whether I was any good or not."
This was the depression and jobs were hard to find, his brother had helped him obtain one at the laundry where he worked on the drying machines. Finally deciding to risk it Bill quit his job to try his luck at becoming a footballer.
At the end of his trial he was taken on as a member of the ground staff, at two pounds a week. Bill later described that time
"We were cheap labour really, I think I painted every single girder under those stands out there, eight to five we worked, every weekday. We trained two afternoons a week, including a lot of running around the pitch." This early experience at the club and his upbringing ensured that for the rest of his life he found time to speak to everyone at the club.
Bill signed professional forms for Tottenham during August 1938 and made a further nine appearances for the second XI prior to making his Football League debut at Ewood Park in a 1-3 defeat by Blackburn Rovers on October 22. He picked up a thigh injury and spent the latter part of the match playing at outside right. At the time he was the tenth youngest player to have featured in our League team.
Notes 1- There is a picture of the letter on the Spurs.ru. website.
Image's - Top - Actually a little later in 1950. 3 & 4 only credit I can find for these are Google and Spurs.ru. ? origin
Thanks- A full list of acknowledgements will appear at the end of the series, but particular thanks in this section must go to. John Fennelly, THFC and THOS
About the author:
Keith Harrison, Nilgiris, TN
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