One of my all time favourite players is releasing his autobiography this week. Cliff Jones who was pure magic to watch and would have the stands on tip toes as he blasted through a defence. He was so fast he could catch pigeons and could out jump a salmon.
A short tribute to the man who always had time to talk to the kids at White Hart Lands gates and is still regularly at the Lane on match days.
Top image must be from a European night, anyone know which ? A typical Jones picture soaring high in the air here watched by his good friend and partner in many a practical joke John White.
Its actually his second volume of memories in 1961 he published 'Forward with Spurs'
Winner of three FA Cup medals, 1961 when he had a good goal disallowed and 62. Then in 67 he was the first substitute at a Wembley Cup Final but wasn't sent on.
Above left in December 1961 training at WHL with Jimmy Greaves and Bill Brown. Right - scoring V Liverpool again at the Lane. With Jimmy Robertson in the background this must be Nov 4th 1967 a 1-1 draw.
Right - Pictured in 1965.
The tale goes that during the Double season John White and Cliff Jones dressed as waiters on the train back to London and served the meal to the team, Ron Henry receiving a packet of trill, bird food as he had a large number of budgerigar’s at the time.
While Manchester City’s Mike Summerbee once said of Cliff Jones “For me Cliff Jones is Spurs, He’s always there at the Lane and they will probably put him on top of the cockerel one day”.
When Cliff Jones became the most expensive player in Britain with his move from Swansea to Spurs he was following in the family tradition.
His uncle Bryn had also held that distinction twenty years early.
Back then in 1938 the fourteen thousand pounds fee paid for his uncle was so unbelievably it was even raised in the House of Commons.
Cliff on playing for Wales - 'Putting on the red shirt of Wales was my biggest honour and one of my great footballing memories was playing in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Wales played Brazil in the quarter finals and we took them all the way but were eventually beaten 1-0. A certain 17-year-old playing his first game for Brazil scored the goal - his name was Pele. Brazil went on to win the World Cup that year and Pele went on to become the greatest player the game has ever seen. Playing in front of 60,000 at Ninian Park, Cardiff, doesn’t get any better either. And one of my greatest memories was scoring my first goal for Wales in 1955 against England. The likes of Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney, Billy Wright and Nat Lofthouse were in the England team and Wales beat them 2-1 with me scoring the winner! This had rarely been done before and I was carried off shoulder high by the Welsh supporters. At that particular time I was a part time professional player with Swansea Town and in my final year of a five year apprenticeship as a sheet metal worker in the Prince of Wales Dry Dock. I clocked on at 7.30am on the following Monday morning and was met by my foreman who said: “Well done on Saturday Cliff, now there’s your tools you’ve got proper work to do.” That shaped me as I know what a working life is all about and it made me realise how lucky I was to play football for a living.
Above left watching a game from the touchline and right flying high at Fulham who he would later join. Watched by Les Allen and further right a young Alan Mullery
At work and play, left in the gym and right at a presentation given by the Spotsman's club to mark the team winning the Double. Here again with John White and Danny Blanchflower.
Above left - Cliff on National Service. Just why he he is holding a mallet is a mystery. I have another of him at this time of him with the horses he cared for. I will publish that later. Right - A more civilian haircut. Cliff had a reputation of going in where the boots were flying. Here he is nursing another injury.
Cliff did like to run with the ball and not pass. Danny Blanchflower once told him you know the ball is round dont you so you can pass it to other people. Cliff put this down to his schooldays when there were 20 a side games and if you passed to someone you were unlikely to get it back.
Dave Mackay on Cliff and his insistence on running with the ball ‘Spurs wont have any trouble when they want to get rid of you they will just open up all the gates and your disappear up the Tottenham High Road.’
Luckily the great man is still around and if this last picture is any judge still fit enough to get some game time.
Right - I'm off got some reading to catch up on.
t- Keith 16024542
You can my full archive at - View Full Bio
See also -
and the two previous galleries - Bill Nicholson and Jimmy Greaves.
Flying Down to Rio
History of T.H.F.C.
Tribute to Bill Nicholson
The Road to Turin
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School Report: An Insight into the Younger Eric Dier
All Change At Spurs
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Thanks For The Memories
Our Tommy Carroll
The AVB Files: Part1
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The Hand Of Hugo
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