Hotspur Towers turns its focus on to Terry Dyson who holds a special place in Tottenham’s history. He wasn’t just a member of the glorious Double winning team.
He was also man of the match (scoring two goals) in the European Cup Winners Cup final which brought a major European trophy to Britain England for the first time.
There is also the small matter of being our only player to have scored a hat trick for the club V Arsenal.
At five foot three, Terry wanted to follow in the stirrups of his father who was a leading jockey but he was spotted playing in an army game (where he scored five goals) and was invited to Tottenham for a trial. He started that day having to ask for directions to the ground and finished it playing in front of several thousand under floodlights. Terry played his first games for the club as an amateur as he was still in the Royal Artillery. When he signed professional forms it was sitting in a café outside the barracks.
His work rate and tireless running has earned him many descriptions over the years like a pocket sized Mackay, although my favourite is Julian Holland’s description ‘like a berserk rouge mouse.’ When I spoke recently to a lifelong Spurs fan from that period he said Terry was one of the secrets of the Double success, the perfect foil playing in front of Dave Mackay, he never stopped running, very talented and never stopped fighting for the cause.
Terry struggled to become a permanent fixture in the Spurs team, only really establishing himself towards the end of the 1959/60 season. The following year as the club swept to the Double he scored seventeen goals, not bad for a winger and many of those came from headers. Possibly his most important goal came at Wembley when he scored in the FA Cup final. Not that Bill Nicholson was too pleased afterwards his first reaction was to ask what about the one he missed. Its true Terry could have had a hat trick that day.
The following season saw us play in the European Cup and Terry scored in our first four games. He still believes that poor refereeing cost us the chance of a place in the final that year. It was that season Terry achieved something no other Tottenham player has managed, a hat trick against the Arsenal.
1962/63 saw Tottenham become the first British team to reach the final of a major European trophy and they beat the holders Atletico Madrid 5-1 in Rotterdam. Terry scored two goals that night. The first after a lovely turn that lost his defender and then what he admits was a mishit cross that left the goalie struggling off his line. Not the greatest goal but one that swung the game our way. The second was however true class by anyone’s standards. Collecting the ball deep in his own half he set off for goal the defence just kept backing off. Terry found himself just outside their box shifted the ball to his left and fired home into the top corner. After the game Bobby Smith famously told him to retire as he would never play another game like that again
Terry played over 200 games for Spurs and netted 55 goals in total. After ten years with the club he moved to Fulham. When he stopped playing he later had success coaching with Wealdstone and later Dagenham.
Terry can still often be seen at White Hart Lane on match days. He has been inducted into the Tottenham Hall of Fame and recently wrote a very entertaining autobiography called the Unsung Hero. I can understand where the title came from. Even Bill Nicholson talking about Terry in the mid 1980’s said maybe he did not get as much credit as some of the bigger names. Terry however is remembered with fondness by those who saw him play. He will hold a special place in the affections of Tottenham fans for the generations to follow. That’s something to sing about.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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For the full story of those European nights, see also – Gornik, The first adventure, Benfica, White Hot Lane, Glasgow Rangers, Slovan Bratialava, OFK Belgrade and Athletio Madrid.
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