Planet Spurs returns for a second series in which we try to locate those little tales from the Wonderful World of Hotspur that you might otherwise have missed and which deserve to be recalled.
We will come to these gentlemen in a moment as well as a few thoughts from Bill Nicholson but first this lovely story that surfaced during some research.
It comes from the newspaper, Good Morning, and carried an article on Spurs in October 1943 when their reporter John Allen visited the club. He noticed something odd in the dressing room and asked George Hardy our trainer why there was no locker number 13?
George is then quoted as answering “Yes, some years ago a certain player kept getting nasty injuries. No sooner did he recover from one hurt and return to the field than he would get another. His pals looked around for a reason, you see he was a gentleman footballer and did not ask for trouble. At last they spotted ‘13’ on his locker. It was suggested he change lockers. He did and his fortunes also changed for the better. To make sure that there can be no repetition of this locker thirteen has been removed.”
In case you haven’t heard of ‘Good Morning’ it was produced by the Submarine branch of the Admiralty during the Second World War.
Left - Colin Brittan 1950.
Did you ever wonder what Bill Nicholson thought about Cyril Knowles, he once said “When Dave Mackay took part in his first training session at Tottenham he made people sit up and take notice. His influence heralded the start of the Spurs’ glory era.
When Cyril Knowles took part in his first training session at Spurs he made people take notice, but everyone thought we would finish the match with more players on the treatment table than on the pitch.
It was soon obvious that Cyril (right) was going to command respect and few wingers like to play against him.
His tackling could be described in the kindest manner as strong and fearless."
This time last year we looked at the work done by Bill Watson with the Tottenham players (1) this led one reader to point me towards an earlier pioneer in fitness training for football. Ron Chifney who started work with Tottenham in the summer of 1950 just as Spurs returned to Division One and would go on to win their first title. It seems Tottenham were one of several clubs starting to look at weight training. Ron was asked to work with some of the younger players and any of the first teamers who were interested.
Three of the senior professionals were keen, Sid McClellan, Ted Gibbons, (left) and Colin Brittan, although a few others kept a watch of proceedings and some more joined in as the season progressed. Remember at that time getting fit seemed to consist of road walking, lapping the pitch and possibly up and down the terracing.
Left Ted Gibbons, Made just six senior appearances for Spurs and later joined our coaching staff. His son was also on our books as a junior.
Below - Chifney in front with his three charges.
Some work was done with dumb bells but skipping was as near as you got to sports science. And that season 1950/51 will be featured in the near future.
Next time - Planet Spurs reveals the secret of one of the clubs most successful penalty takers.
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Note -1 - Bill Watson and 'Fit for Footy.' is @
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Tribute to Bill Nicholson
The Road to Turin
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The 100 Year War
Interview with Marina Sirtis
A Long Dark Shadow
By Royal Appointment
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All Change At Spurs
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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
Flying Down To Rio