Italy are the next country to come under the microscope as we explore some of that countries connections with Tottenham Hotspur.
Considering that this season is our 20th European campaign (1). We haven’t been drawn with Italian opposition too often. We certainly have met them on a number of other occasions in various parts of the world.
The earliest meeting I can find occurred in 1914. That summer Spurs toured Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Tottenham were undefeated in 9 games in 21 days. Just one of those games was in Italy. This was against Milan and we won 5-0, Fleming, Elliott 2 and Bliss 2 got our goals.
Part of Paul Gascoigne’s (top image, left) protracted move to Lazio (2) was a two legged meeting for the Capital Cup. The two games were played in the autumn of 1992. We lost the first leg in Rome 0-3 in what was Gascoigne’s first game after his long term injury received in the FA Cup Final and he marked his return by scoring against us. The following month we lost again, 0-2 at home. In 1993 we met Lazio in the Makita tournament and beat them 3-2. Then nine years later in a friendly at White Hart Lane, Dean Richards and Jamie Redknapp gave us the lead before Lazio pulled it back for the friendly game to end 2-2.
He later played in Mexico, Japan and Italy and last I heard he had moved to Australia with the Northern Spirit club. Strangely its not long ago I'am sure the crowd were singing his song at The Lane.
Another player who joined us from Italy was our own Jimmy Greaves (top image, right). Bill Nicholson having won the Double felt he needed to improve his squad even more for their European challenge. Born in London he joined us via Chelsea and AC Milan and would become the highest goal scorer in the clubs history.
Bill Nicholson has stated that he did not think that Tottenham had done enough and knew we had a tough task ahead in the second game. Milan attacked but it was Mullery, the hero again, who gave us the lead in the 7th minute.
The Tottenham team defended wonderfully that night. Milan finally equalizing after 70 minutes from a penalty. At the final whistle the Spurs players were held on the pitch by police until it was safe as the home fans vented their anger throwing everything they could lift on to the field.
We have met Florentina on a number of occasions. Apart from the Bill Nicholson testimonial game in 1997 they also provided the opposition for David Howell’s testimonial in 2001. We had also met them earlier in Canada in 1969 where we lost 0-3 in Toronto. Then ten years later we met them again this time in Japan. On that occasion it was a 1-1 draw.
Notes 1 -This is not including the Intertoto competition.
2- Gazza, 9.11.13
3 - Talking Tottenham 4, 11.10.13
4 - Connections - Brazil, 19.12.13
Images - Top- Google Images, 1- Sportspages, 2- The Premier League, 3- Topfoto, Sure this picture was in the Daily Mirror, 4- THFC
Thanks - THFC, THOS, BBC, The Times, Bob Goodwin - the Complete Record, Phil Sour - The Official History, Top Spurs, Hotspurhq, mehstg.com, THFC - Those Glory Glory Nights VHS, Colin Gibson & Harry Harris -The Glory Glory Nights. Youtube.
About the author:
Keith Harrison, Nilgiris, TN
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