Hotspur Towers - Bristol Rovers 1977
Tottenham secured their highest win in their league history on 22nd October 1977 when they scored nine against Bristol Rovers at White Hart Lane.
The match saw two hat tricks, one from Ian Moores the other from Colin Lee who had only signed for the club from the fourth division two days before.
Relegated at the end of the previous season for the only time since they won the Second Division in 1950 this game is one of only six occasions the Spurs have scored nine in a top class game. This match being their record league win.
The season had started well being eight unbeaten in their first eight games before losing two of the next three. Tottenham came into the match on the back of a 1-4 defeat at Charlton. Bristol Rovers came to the Lane for their first ever meeting in the Football League. The last time they had met was when Spurs had beaten them 6-2 in a cup replay on the way to winning that trophy in 1921.
Just 48 hours before the game Keith Burkenshaw had spend £60,000 to bring Colin Lee from Torquay, from the fourth division. At just 21 he wasn’t seen as an immediate fit. Up to a year earlier he had been playing at fullback. He was put straight into the side, the only man to make his debut that season, as John Duncan and Chris Jones were both carrying injuries. Few were aware what was to come when Lee on the 21st minute turned in Hoddle’s cross.
Then another four minutes till John Pratt’s corner was headed home by Lee (left). Just before the break Hoddle crossed for Peter Taylor to send us in three up.
Ian Moore made it four after 56 minutes. Then Spurs really turned on the style with Hoddle at the center of everything. Lee completed his hat trick after 75. Ian Moores then matched him scoring twice very quickly as we eased to a 7-0 lead.
With just a few minutes left Lee tapped in his fourth. Then with the fans celebrating and looking forward to the journey home Hoddle scored possibly the best goal of the day. Moores found Hoddle who scored a magnificent volleyed effort.
Tottenham only lost three league games in the rest of that season and that nine goal victory proved vital as at the end of the season Tottenham finished third to return to the top flight on goal difference above Brighton. The goal difference between the clubs being nine.
Ian Moores (right) who had scored a hat trick and still did not get the headlines had joined us from Stoke and scored just eight goals in 32 games, although he did win an under 23 cap while he was with Spurs. He moved to Orient in 1978.
Manager Keith Burkenshaw missed the game, the club explaining he was on ‘official business.' The following March Tottenham won 3-2 away to the pirates the last time the sides have met.
Neither of our hat trick boys that day had great success at Spurs. Colin Lee scored eleven goals in 25 league games that season. The following season back in division one he managed just 7 goals in 26 appearances. He moved to Chelsea in 1980 after playing 71 games with 21 goals for Spurs.
The Spurs team watched by 26,311 against Bristol was - Daines, Perryman (c), McAllister, Holmes, Naylor, McNab, Hoddle, Pratt, Taylor, Lee and Moores.
The other nine goals hauls Tottenham have registered are, in the league, division 2, Port Vale 9-3 (1931), Nottingham Forest 9-2, division one, (1962) and Wigan 9-1, Premier League (2009).
The FA Cup in 1953 saw us beat Tranmere Rovers 9-1 in third round replay and in European action we beat Keflavik 9-0 in 1972’s Uefa Cup. No surprise they all came at home.
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