"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
We continue our search for the man beyond the legend. Although Bill felt he had learnt to talk to people during his army days his search for perfection would sometimes get in the way. He once recalled talking to Martin Chivers who had just scored in an important game "I told him afterwards that was a sitter that you missed, and then I thought, maybe I should have said, 'well played,' and then told him!"
Even after the 1961 Cup Final which secured the Double. Bill was in reflective mood and was disappointed that the side had not won in the style they were capable of. He is quoted as saying ‘We did nothing. We didn't play. We didn't even start to play’.
As a manager he used 79 players. The first player he gave a League debut to was Bill Dodge in January 1959 at home to Blackburn. Who played five League games and four in the FA Cup for the injured Danny Blanchflower. The only other player he gave a debut to in that first season was Dave Mackay in March at home to Manchester City. The last player to be given his debut was Alfie Conn.
The 40th anniversary of the Double was celebrated on the 24th May 2001. Bill is surrounded by Back row- Dave Mackay, Ron Henry, Maurice Norman, Tony Marchi, Bobby Smith, Peter Baker, Les Allen. Front row: Terry Dyson, Bill, Mel Hopkins.
His record as a manager stands at played 832 games, won 408, drawn 196 and 228 defeats. His League record stands at played 667, won 306, 164 draws and 197 defeats. Scored 1208 conceded 922.
I was just trying to confirm some photo credits on Wednesday when I started following some breadcrumbs and they led me to this rather lovely piece. Its from the archive of the excellent Spurs Odyssey site and gives an insight of Bill away from football. I am sure Paul Smith will forgive me if I give the link so that you can enjoy.
Acknowledgements will be at end of the series but special thanks to THFC, Bob Goodwin and Top Spurs for some of the figures included in this part. Images - 1 & 5 - Popperfoto/ Getty Images, 2 & 4 - THFC, 6 - BBC
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