Hotspur Towers - European Memories
With a return to European action after the winter break we turn our attention to some European Memories, mostly from the managers and players, but a few others reflecting on some our exploits in previous years. There are tales of incredible pitch preparation, praying clowns, the bus is attacked, missing champagne and some football.
We have amongst others Gareth Bale, Michael Dawson, Keith Burkenshaw, Graham Roberts, Ray Evans Terry Dyson and of course Bill Nicholson.
We start however with Steve Perryman’s extended thoughts as he recalls possibly his greatest game for the club.
Steve Perryman once said his most memorable game for Spurs was the 1972 UEFA Cup semi-final. Not only did he score twice ‘I was lucky to get two shots a game, let along two goals!’ and he kept a tape of the game to prove it. Steve said ‘Back in those days the teams didn’t know each other like they do these days and our knowledge of the opposition was limited. We had a dossier with pictures but no videos. What we did know was that the Italians were great defenders and if you went behind against them you were up against it, that said we didn’t prepare any differently.’
The game was the sides eighth match in just eighteen days. Steve remembered ‘A European night at WHL was something else there would be 50,000 packed in. In the first half we attacked and attacked we always looked dangerous especially from crosses Martin Chivers headed over in the first few minutes. When Milan did get the ball they tried to catch us on the break and it was from one of these quick attacks that they opened the scoring and what a goal it was.’ Benetti got the ball and ‘before Pat Jennings could set himself the ball flew into the top corner from 25 yards, it was a great goal.’
At that time the Italians were known for their 1-0 results even in their domestic league. Steve continues “’The Italians would have been delighted with a 1-0 lead now Milan just sat back even more whereas we really had to give it a go and win the game. The crowd stayed with us which was a big boost.’
Left - Alan Mullery before the AC Milan game.
Spurs pulled level within seven minutes. ‘One of the criticisms of me had always been that I don’t shoot enough and when I did I didn’t hit the target.’ ‘as we were desperate for an equaliser I pushed up, as the ball came across from the right Martin Peters was about to take it on the run and go into the penalty area. I was stood behind him and shouted for him to leave it which he did there were loads of players around me so I didn’t have time to think I hit it first time from the edge of the box and caught it sweetly. It was still rising as it got to the goal and their goalie got a hand to it but couldn’t save it. It was a good strike and the crowd went mad.’
At half time Bill just told us, more of the same.’ As the play went on ‘the game became niggly and more cynical with the time wasting and shirt pulling. I don’t think we were not entirely without blame and we had a few players who could mix it. I had a volley from outside the box that went just over.’ Spurs could have had a penalty when Gilzean was
bought down. Their player was booking for not retreating and kept complaining before the ref sent him off.'
Above - Alan Mullery (who had had the b-Jesus kicked out of him) reminds the Italian skipper where the dressing room is after he is sent off.
On his second goal, Steve. ‘I’ll remember that one until my dying day. A corner from the
right was cleared to the edge of the box where I was waiting. It seemed to take forever to
reach me but I controlled it instantly and from about 22 yards struck it perfectly right into
the corner on the bounce it was even better goal than the first and even more important.’
Milan ‘with ten men they seemed quite happy to sit back they were happy to take a 1-2 back
to Italy at that stage and with the away goal they fancied their chances and were probably the happier at the final whistle.’
It was the same thought on the terraces we knew that it was going to be a tough ask to stop them stealing a 1-0, as for Perryman that night,two great strikes well worth looking out for.
Steve recalls – ‘I fed him (Mullery) 20 yards out and he curled it into the top corner. From
that point on we were in control. They equalised through a harsh penalty 20 minutes from
time but they were few scares and we looked just as threatening as them going forward. The
game ended 1-1 and we were through to the European final.’
Gareth Bale on the WHL crowds on European night ‘The crowd, the fact that they are right
on top of you the atmosphere is just unbelievable and they sing even louder.’
George Graham, Spurs manager in 1999 after the victory over FC Zimbru. ‘were going
forward playing good exciting football and that’s something the fans can be pleased with. ‘
Michael Dawson (2010) when he was asked about Tottenham’s return to the Champions League and being behind to Young Boys in the qualifying round. ‘Pavs goal (Pavlyuchenko) got us right back in it. We knew back at WHL we could turn it around. Crouchy getting the early goal and the fans were rocking. In the end it was quite comfortable but we were not
feeling comfortable in the first half hour of the first leg.’
right - Pav salutes fans at final whistle , first leg.
Bill Nicholson on that first ever European game in Gornik, 1961. “there were no quick spying
missions to that part of the world in those days mi remember flying into Warsaw and the train
journey down to Katowice taking four hours. It was a very depressing place you had to feel
sympathy for the people it was cold mining area and everything was grey, they tried their best
or us. I remember going to the stadium and seeing women on their hands and knees with
scissors cutting the grass, the pitch was immaculate.’ The hotel however wasn’t so impressive
‘it was suppose to be one of the best in that part of Poland I was not happy though and we
had a bit of a up and down about it. But when we returned with the team the whole hotel had
had a facelift and been painted. The restaurant was vastly improved and there has been a
spring cleaning and all the curtains had been replaced.
Another man who Spurs in to Europe Peter Shreeve recalled the Bruges game in 1984 ‘we beat them (3-0) by shear heart they looked so confident in that first leg but they could not cope with the blood and thunder type of football that English teams play.’
Graham Roberts on another great manager ‘The worst thing Spurs ever did was to get rid of
Back to the seventies again and Portugal, in the form of Vitoria Setubal in the 4th round of the Uefa Cup March 1973. Ray Evans told the tale 'that the fans horn tooting flag waving which gave the game a carnival feeling their was a hold up and the game kicked off and when the Spurs team finally got on to the pitch they stood as nobody had provided them with practice balls. Spurs led 1-0 from the first leg at WHL and Setubal pulled level after 20 minutes. At half time the entertainment included a large carnival head being carried around the ground and clowns took to the filed and attempted to tackle the substitutes who were warming up with practice balls which had now been found.' (Or possibly they were trying to disrupt their warmup?) 'One of the clowns then fell at the feet of the ref as he reappeared praying. Spurs were not laughing as the home side scored just before the hour. Then Martin Chivers stepped and hit an unstoppable shot from about 35 yards and we were ahead again with away goals counting double.'
Gareth Bale again this time on the exit from the Champions League in 2011 ‘all in all its been
a great experience for everyone and in the end we were beaten by probably the biggest team
in the world there is no shame in that were coma long way in a short time.'
Terry Dyson (man of the match) about the 1963 Cup Winners Cup final. Upon returning to
the dressing room they found there was no champagne “Cor, they don’t have much
confidence in us I thought they would have ordered a crate in advance.’
And witnessing that game was the top ref in the world at that time Leo Horn ‘That was the
the best performance I have ever seen from an English club why doesn’t your national team
play like this?’
Last word – and its back to Stevie Perryman and that Milan game at WHL ‘it was only when
I watched the game on the tape that I realised the fans had been singing my name.
top image - Perryman and Gilzean with UEFA Cup, 1972.
t- Keith 16024542
f - https://www.facebook.com/keith.harrison.9659
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