One of the great keepers with Tottenham over the years, with great positional sense and wonderful reactions, he remained composed under pressure. He would often come from his line and catch the ball one handed.
Born in Newry he played Gaelic football and worked as a tree feller before turning to Football.
He moved from his local club to Watford whose manager was Tottenham legend Ron Burgess. A year later he moved on to Tottenham aged 19 having already won two international caps.
He took a while to settle but was first choice as we entered the FA Cup winning season of 1967. He would also win the League Cup twice and the UEFA Cup with Spurs and was also in our side that finished runners up side in that competition.
Pat won both the Football writers (73) and PFA Players of the year (76) awards and was awarded an MBE. He was also featured on the TV programme ‘This is Your Life’. He suffered an injury in 1976 and by the time he recovered manager Keith Burkenshaw made the biggest mistake of his time in charge and allowed him to leave, even if he was then 32 and Pat joined to Arsenal.
At that point he had won 66 caps and would go on to total 119, at that time a world record. He would spend eight years with the Gunners he nearly retired in 1985 but returned to Spurs to keep himself fit for the following years World Cup.
He had previously played in the 1982 competition. His last cap came against Brazil on his 41st birthday. He made just one more first team appearance in the Screen Sport Cup competition.
He also played for a combined Ireland side against Brazil, the Rest of the UK V Wales on the coronation of Prince of Wales, and the Six V the Three when Britain entered the Common Market.
Pat even managed to score in the 1967 Charity Shield against Manchester United when he drop kicked the ball from his own area and it bounced over his opposite number in that 3-3 draw. He played a total of 673 games for Spurs and over a thousand first class games. In 1975 he passed Ted Ditchburn’s record for appearances for a goalkeeper for Spurs. Despite two years earlier saving penalties in a game at Liverpool he said they were not his best saves in the match.
Pat is a member of the THFC and National Hall of Fames and one of the suites at the old WHL stadium was named after him. Despite his ‘red’ connections he remains loved at Tottenham which he always considered his home. Pat a keen golfer when asked what was his handicapped would reply the clubs.
t- Keith 16024542
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Thank you THOS for the stats.
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