All the accounts of Bill portray him as a lovely, well respected man. I’ve seen him described as one of the last honest men in football. A modest man who wanted his team to do his talking for him. When he took over at the Lane he was asked how long he thought he might be manager for, he replied two years or so.
He was never totally at ease with the media, after being let down by them but he was loyal to those he trusted. He did his job for the love of the game and the club. He never sought the rich rewards that today’s managers enjoy. He never had a contract with the club having given his word. He never asked for a pay rise but accepted what was offered. Then when he resigned he crossed Tottenham High Street and signed on for unemployment benefit at the Labour Exchange.
He was a much loved father even if he brought his drive for perfection home with him. Another story tells that when his daughter was learning to drive she parked the car six inches from the roadside kerb. Bill sent her back out to park it again telling her its suppose to be two inches.
He loved the club as much as the supporters and there are numerous tales of him talking to people in shops, on terraces and at railway stations, valuing their opinions. One story I still cant confirm, but remains very believable is that one day a player drove into the club in his new car and Bill chastised him. Not for the car but the colour, it was red. Bills own car was blue.
At the time of his first testimonial in 1983 the then Chairman Irving Scholar said “Every time this ground is open someone somewhere thinks about you.” Never a truer word.
Today his words are quoted as if they were scripture. Grown men in North London proudly display tattoos of his image and there’s even a public house that bears his name not far from the ground. Not bad for the second youngest in the family of nine, the son of a horse drawn carriage driver.
Bill whose values shaped our club. In the words of the hymn “My Eyes Have Seen The Glory.”
If you haven’t already please take a few minutes to visit the Bill Nicholson section on the India Spurs website and visit the tribute and gallery.
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Tribute to Bill Nicholson
The Road to Turin
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A Long Dark Shadow
By Royal Appointment
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History Of THFC: Part 1
Passage to India: Rohan Rickets
Thanks For The Memories
Our Tommy Carroll
The AVB Files: Part1
You The Jury
The Hand Of Hugo
Connection - Argentina
Creating a Reputation