The most famous connection must be when we met Anderlecht in the 1984 UEFA Cup two legged final. The first leg ended 1-1with a goal from center half Paul Miller following a Mickey Hazard corner on the hour,(his first goal of the season) and the Daily Star called his header a thunderclap of a goal.
They equalized in the last five minutes. In a game of ‘robust tackling’ Steve Perryman was booked with twenty minutes to play and would miss the second leg. That match was a heart stopping game and will never be forgotten by anyone who saw the game.
It would be Keith Burkenshaw’s last game as manager and the side was determined to win the trophy. Anderlecht were the holders and had knocked out Nottingham Forrest in the semi final. The visitors took the lead near the hour but till that point Tottenham had never lost at home in Europe. Then Graham Roberts playing like his life depended upon it pulled us level with seven minutes to go. The game went to a shootout at the Paxton Road end. Tottenham scored four times, Roberts, Falco, Stevens and Archibald. Danny Thomas missing his kick (1). The hero was Tony Parks with two saves in the penalty shootout that night (2).
right - Tony Parks during the shootout.
Two of our young players have ended up in that country after leaving us. Ray Clarke a local lad was a center forward and played for England schoolboy and youth levels that made just one appearance for Spurs in the League Cup. He later played for Bruges.
Robert Brace was also a local boy who came through the academy and also made just one appearance for us in 1984 as a sub in a game at Southampton. He was released and moved to Waterschei in Belgium. Whilst Israeli international Ronnie Rosenthal also had spells with Bruges and Standard Liege.
We of course met Anderlecht again this current season in European action on match days three and four of our Europa League group. The first game in Belgium ended with us losing 1-2. Christian Eriksen had given us a very early lead but they were level on the quarter of an hour before getting the winner after 75 minutes. We had started with three Belgium players in the side, Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Dembele. This left us in third place in the group level with our hosts and one point Monaco. The return match on November 5th saw us win by the same score. Once again we took the lead just before the half hour this Harry Kane be the marksman. They pulled level with twenty minutes to go but Dembele got the winner with a couple of minutes on the clock with a long range effort. The same three players were involved with Dembele from the bench after 73. Chadli missed both games through injury.
Another side from Belgium that has played at The Lane is The Belgium Army. In April 1949 they played the British Army in a midweek game on our ground.
An early connection was Arthur Archer, a full back born in 1877. When he signed for Spurs he was under contract to play for QPR in the Southern League so he could only play in our London League fixtures and friendlies. He was later the trainer to FC Ghent but returned home at the start of WW1 but went back to Ghent in 1920.
Above - Dembele, Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Chadli.
At the time of writing we have four Belgium internationals in our squad. Jan Vertonghen made his debut for us in August 2012 and Mousa Dembele made his first start the following month, Nacer Chadli joining us the following summer. You might not realize that Nacer has also played for Morocco against Northern Ireland. This came in 2010 and as it was a friendly he was able to switch his international allegiance and the following year played for Belgium. The latest recruit from that country is Toby Alderweireld (top) who signed Spurs in the summer of 2015.
Steed Malbranque who played for the French Under 21 side was actually born in Belgium but never won a full international cap.
Some later connections on the international stage include, 1964 saw Ramsey as England manager and Maurice Norman and Jimmy Greaves in the side that drew at Wembley, alongside Chelsea’s Terry Venables getting his first cap. Six years later Ramsey was still in charge and Peters, then at West Ham, played. The 1990 World Cup has Gascoigne and Lineker in the side with ex-Spur Waddle when England scored the only goal in the 119th minute in the knock out stage. Ex-Spur Nico Classen comes on for the Belgium’s as a substitute.
1998 and the teams met in Morocco in the King Hassan Cup. Glen Hoddle is manager and Sol Campbell captains England for the first time with Les Ferdinand and ex-Spur Gascoigne playing. The game is 0-0 and no extra time is played. A penalty shootout sees Belgium win. The last time the teams met was in 2012, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Demebele start and are joined by Nasser Chadli while Scott Parker (booked) and Defoe is a substitute for England.
Jack Gibbons was an England international at amateur level and in wartime international he had two spells with us during the 30’s scoring 108 times in 148 games, but many of these were war time matches? He later coached in Belgium.
Left- Jack in mid-flight scores V New Brighton in the FA Cup 1938.
A couple more friendly matches in the seventies; in August 76 we hosted Royal Antwerp in a 1-1 draw. Then two years later we visited them at the start of August and won 3-1. We also played Anderlecht away in a friendly in 1964 in the April when the home side beat us 2-4.
Other Spurs players who have turned out against Belgium for their countries include, Ossie Ardiles, Nico Kranjcar, Luka Modric, Pat Jennings, Stefan Iversen, Chris Houghton, Ron Burgess, Gerry Armstrong, Allan Neilsen and Richard Gough.
If you know of any other connections that you feel should be included please inform me.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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Note 1 – Hotspur Towers – Danny Thomas tells the story and how he was loved by the fans.
2 - Hotspur Towers – Tony Parks.
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