Tottenham are about to play their first Champions League game of the season and with the ‘home’ games being held at Wembley Stadium we take a look back at our relationship with that ground.
Despite opening in 1923 the then named Empire Stadium did not see Tottenham play until 1961. I also slip in a little Spurs / Wembley trivia.
Article updated - May 2018.
Tottenham’s first appearance at the national stadium was in the FA Cup final in 1961. On May 6th when our 2-0 victory over Leicester City confirmed Spurs as the winners of the first Double in modern times. The clubs goal scorers that day being Bobby Smith and Terry Dyson, (1).
Tottenham returned there a year later and on 5th May 1962 we became only the second team in the century to retain the trophy when we defeated Burnley 3-1. Greaves opening the scoring in the third minute, Bobby Smith and Danny Blanchflower with the other goals. Bobby thus becoming a member of the select band to score in concession Cup Finals. Danny’s coming from a penalty.
Tottenham’s third Wembley Cup Final occurred in 1967 with the first all-London Cup Final when we defeated Chelsea 2-1. Jimmy Robertson and Frank Saul scoring and a late reply from Chelsea.
Tottenham’s next FA Cup appearance happened in 1981 when we met Manchester City and drew 1-1. Our strike being an own goal. The replay in midweek again at Wembley saw us win 3-2 with two goals from Ricki Villa including that famous zig zag run before scoring for the goal that has been voted the best seen at the stadium. Garth Crooks netting the other.
The following year it was QPR in the final and again a 1-1 draw with Glen Hoddle scoring for us before a midweek replay and this time an early Hoddle penalty was the only goal as we won the trophy for the seventh time and the fifth at that ground.
Above - Genn Hoddle and Steve Perryman V QPR.
1987 saw us experience our only defeat in the final when we lost to Coventry City, Clive Allen and Gary Mabbutt registering for Spurs in a2-3 result. It was back to winning ways in 1991 when the final saw us beat Nottingham Forest 2-1. Paul Stewart and an own goal were the Spurs scorers. This was the last time we have lifted that trophy.
The FA Cup has also seen us play in the semi finals twice at the stadium. The first in the first ever semi played at the ground was the famous 3-1 win over Arsenal with two goals from Gary Lineker and that splendid free kick from Paul Gascoigne. The same sides met again in 1993 and this time they triumphed by the only goal.
Right - The 1962 Cup Final was the last game played at Wembley before the ends of the stadium were covered over.
Wembley trivia - In the 1960/61 season Bobby Smith made a habit of scoring at Wembley. In the October he netted twice for England V Spain the following month he scored again V Wales and in the April twice V Scotland. Before rounding off the season with his Cup final goal. Strangely they all came at the end facing the old tunnel, that’s left on the TV screens.
The League Cup final has also been played out at the stadium since 1967 and our first trip there was in 1971 which saw Martin Chivers score both in a 2-0 win over Aston Villa (2).
Left - 1971 Phil Beal Joe Kinnear and Bill Nicholson with the same tunnel end now covered.
Two years later and Spurs again visited the stadium and the only goal was scored by Ralph Coates who came on as a substitute and helped us overcome Norwich City. We returned again in 1982 and this time we were defeated in extra time 1-3 by Liverpool. Steve Archibald scored on that day.
The last League Cup of the last century saw us defeat Leicester City with the only goal coming in the dying moments after Steffan Iversen’s run down the wing saw the Danish international Allan Nielsen score for Spurs.
Wembley Trivia - Two Spurs players were involved in the first game at Wembley played under floodlights (5).
The 2002 League Cup final was played in Cardiff and then in the first major final played at the new Wembley stadium in 2008 Tottenham triumphed over Chelsea 2-1 with Berbatov and Woodgate scoring the goals.
We returned there the following season and drew 0-0 with Manchester United before losing in the penalty shootout. Our last League Cup final appearance saw us lose to Chelsea in 2015.
Wembley Trivia – Willie Hall was the first Spurs man to play for England at Wembley and the first goal scorer was Alf Ramsey, (4).
Right - Tottenham training at Wembley earlier this season.
The FA Charity Shield moved to Wembley in 1974 and our first appearance was the 1981 event when we shared the trophy with Aston Villa after a 2-2 draw. Mark Falco scored both our goals. The following season saw us lose to Liverpool by the only goal. We shared the Shield again in 1991 after a goalless game with our North London neighbours, (3).
Besides major events Tottenham have also taken part in two preseason tournaments at the stadium. The first being back in 1988 when the Mikaita International tournament saw us play Arsenal and AC Milan. Then there was the Wembley Cup in 2009 and our opponents were Barcelona and Glasgow Celtic.
Wembley trivia – Upon being interviewed after his goal V Barcelona Jake Livermore was asked what is it like to score against the greatest team on earth to which he replied , no, I was playing for the greatest team on earth.
Update - April 2017 - Tottenham played five games at Wembley in three different competition in the 2016/17 season.
The first three games were in the Champions League and the campaign did not go well when Monaco were our first visitors and won 1-2. Toby Aiderweireld scoring our goal. Bayer Leverkusen were the next visitors and again left winning 0-1. Our third game was against CSKA Moscow and we won 3-1 having got a goal behind. Dele, Kane and an own goal settling the matter.
The Spring saw KAA Gent in the Europa league and a 2-2 draw was not enough to see us through to the next round. Eriksen and Wanyama getting our goals.
We returned there in April for the FA Cup semi-final and lost to Chelsea 2-4. Kane and Dele being on target for Spurs.
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Notes -1 – The current series looking at the Double season will cover this game when the season unfolds. Link –
2 – The League Cup wins can be reviewed at – http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-league-cup-1971
3 – Tottenham' s seven wins in the Charity Shield @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-spurs-and-the-charity-shield
4 – We will be looking at Tottenham / England / Wembley connections in the next article in the Connections – England series which can be found @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-international-index
5- The story of the Inter Cities Fairs cup is told @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-111
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