Erik Thorstedt or Erik the Viking as he was known after a popular film of the time was a firm favorite with the supporters, joining us in 1988 from IFK Gothenburg. He made a total of 218 appearances in goal for the club including being in the 1991 FA Cup winning team.
He won 46 caps whilst he was at Tottenham.
Left - Erik in training.
We have met Norwegian opposition twice in Europe. We played Lyn Oslo in the 1973 UEFA Cup. They were our first opponents since winning the trophy the season before. We won the first leg 6-3 away from home. The amateur team did give us a good game and they took the lead. It took two late goals from Chivers to make the score respectable. GiIzean2, Pratt and Peters were our other scorers. The second leg ended 6-0. Chivers hitting a hat trick, Coates 2 and Pearce for Spurs.
Steffan Iversen signed from Rosenberg in 1996 for a fee of around 2.5 million pounds. He featured in our League Cup triumph in 1999. In the Semi-Final he scored the winner at Wimbledon. Then in the Final with Leicester his late run and cross from the right set up our winner. Steffan scored 47 goals for the club, in a total of 177 games for the Spurs, including 40 from the bench (1). Whilst his goals included a hat trick at Sunderland, for many his most memorable goal might be the League Cup Semi-Final in 2002. Spurs were 2-1 down from the first leg at Chelsea. In the return at White Hart Lane he scored our first to level the scores in the second minute as we romped to a 5-1 win on the night. Steffan retired at the end of last season. Having finished his career back
at Rosenberg,where by the way his dad also played. Steffan is now also a pundit on Norwegian TV.
Tottenham has a large fan base in Norway which includes the Monarch, King Harald V.
Three of the Norwegians who have signed for Spurs have been goalkeepers. In 1998 Frode Grodas joined us from Chelsea, primary as cover for Ian Walker and countryman Baardsen and never featured in our first team despite being a Norwegian international keeper. He later moved to Germany and is currently Norway’s national goalkeeping coach
Spurs first played in Norway on tour in May 1966 when they beat Sarpsborg 3-0. Then in 1977 they played two games beating Stoird 5-0 and Sognel 6-0. They returned at the end of the following season and have since played pre-season tours on more than half a dozen occasions.
The first connection via an England team came in the fourth meeting when the two teams in the warm up for the 1966 World Cup, with Alf Ramsey as manager. England won 6-1. Jimmy Greaves scored a first half hat trick and added another after the break. This makes him England’s top scorer against Norway and the only Spur to do so. The next Spurs involvement wasn’t until 1981 with Glen Hoddle and Ray Clemence playing (2). The meeting in 1992 saw Erik Thorstedt and Roger Nilsen in the Norway side. When they met in 1993 Teddy Sheringham played for England and Norway had Thorstevdt and Leonhardsen start and Nilsen from the bench. In Terry Venables 1994 side was Darren Anderton and he faced Erik and Roger. The following year Venables used Sheringham off the bench whilst Norway featured Erik and Leohardsen. The last involvement came in the 2012 game when Scott Parker played.
Oyvind Leonhardsen joined us from Liverpool in 1999 for 3 million pounds. Known as a hard working midfielder he also was a very good passer of the ball. He played a total of 72 games for spurs, including 13 as substitute and scored 11 goals. He suffered a number of injuries during his spell with us. Leo went into the record books when he got our first goal in European competition after our seven year absence in September 1999 when he scored in the home game with Zimbru Chisinau in the UEFA Cup. The only other occasion other than this season we have played a team from Moldova.
Spurs sent Paul Miller on loan to the Skeid club of Oslo for seven months in 1978. Paul made his first team debut at the end of that season when he returned to Tottenham.
Norwegian International honour’s as a Spur
Thorstedt 46 caps
Iversen 38 caps 8 goals Under 21’s 6 caps 4 goals
Leonhardsen 8 caps 4 goals
Grodas 8 caps
Baardsen 4 caps Under 21’s 27 caps
The third of the goalkeepers who has played for Spurs is Espen Baardsen. He was born in America but qualified for Norway through his parents. We signed him from San Francisco United All Blacks in 1996. Making his Spurs debut at Liverpool the same season. He made a total of 23 appearances and was the reserve goalie in the 1999 League Cup winning Final having played in the early rounds. He moved to Watford and later Everton where his one first team game was a return to White Hart Lane in a 3-4 defeat. He retired at the age of 25 saying he wasn’t enjoying the game anymore.
Tottenham players who have represented their countries against Norway include – Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric, Pat Jennings, Chris McGrath, Gerald McMahon, Steven Carr, Allan Neilsen, Stripe Pletikosa, Tony Galvin, Jimmy Holmes, Simon Davies and Sergi Rebrov,
Our other competitive meeting came in tThe Europa League of 2013-14 saw us play Tromso, the most northerly professional football team on the globe. We had a 3-0 win at home, Defoe hitting two and Eriksen one. The second game was a forgettable 2-0 win. Our goals coming from Dembele and an own goal.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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Notes - 1 - Whilst double checking Steffan Iversen’s statistics I found one source that displayed slightly different figures. The figures used here are those from both Top Spurs and Bob Goodwin’s book The Complete Record.
2 – This was the game with the famous Norwegiann commentary after Norway won about How Winston Churchill, Maragret Thatcher your boys took a hammering, (well 2-1). The chap’s name was Bjorge Lillenlien and is well worth catching up on You-tube.
Updated – September 2015
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