The final month of the League season started with Preston (the first team ever to do the Double) arriving at the Lane on All-Fools day just twenty four hours after the Chelsea game. John White scored in just the second minute from an Allen pass with a 25 yard shot that went under the goalies body. Preston who had had one of the meanest defences in the league found themselves four down at half time. The next goal, was the 100th of the year and it was one worthy of the fact.
Blanchflower starting the move in our own box as the ball went through pass after pass. Allen received the ball and stopped to wave Blanchflower back on side before delivering the ball to Jones who seemed to change his mind which foot to use before firing home.
Blanchflower and Marchi (in for Mackay) had excellent games. Blanchflower at one point found himself marked by three defenders, turned on the spot four times before passing to a colleague. Seventeen year loss Frank Saul scored his second goal in two days with a superb header from a White cross. The fourth was a free kick where Blanchflower found Jones to head home. The last goal was a spectacular overhead kick from Jones to bring up his hat trick. Tottenham eased up and could have had a dozen but having made their point they run out 5-0 victors. Medwin came in for Dyson. The People suggested that Nicholson would have a Cup Final selection headache as Marchi and Saul played so well they did not deserve to be dropped, (1).
On the Sunday the team out in force as Maurice Norman was getting married to Jacqui. As I write this they have been married 55 years and living back in Norfolk (2).
Then on Easter Monday we traveled to Chelsea for the third game in four days with Mackay and Smith returning. Tottenham started well and it was Bobby (against his old team) who put us a goal up in the seventh minute with a bullet header, (top image - The player jumping in front of Bobby is Terry Venables).
A Chelsea youngster (Jimmy Greaves) should of leveled but another player was offside and his protests brought him a booking. Chelsea & Greaves do score twice after the break. A few minutes before Medwin heads home for 2-2. Tottenham go looking for the winner and when Norman gets our third headed goal as we win 3-2.
right - The pitch at full time
Despite claims Tottenham were tiring they were the only club in the four divisions to take six points over the Easter period. Another development around thus time at White Hart Lane Was that a telephone was put in for Bill Nicholson, he would often watch from the Directors Box now he could be in contact with the bench.
Sheffield Wednesday drew for the second time in three days. They can still catch us ( we have a five point lead again). The following weekend and a trip to Birmingham City. Dyson returned for Medwin, and our second away win by 3-2 in a week. In a game where the referee did not impress the press box. White hits the bar from a corner but its Smith to force the ball home for the opener. White has one disallowed (even if the ball came back from a City player), before Smith (who was in an offside position) but this time the ref sees it come off a defender before reaching him and Allen gets the tap in.
White pounces on a City error and gets the third. In the 39th minute City are given a penalty (the press claimed a fair tackle) but its fired wide as the ref orders a retake as he says Brown moved and they score at the second attempt. They pull another back just after the restart (again the press box felt it was handball and offside) and go seeking a goal to put them level but once again when under pressure the Spurs defence stands firm and we win 3-2.
Left Springett the Wednesday goalie is injured.
Records abound as the sixteenth away win of the season(record). It was the 33rd point away from home (equaling another record) and its our eleventh ‘double’ over other teams in the season, equaling the record with United and Wolves.
The news gets even better as on the way home the team hear that Leicester have picked up a point at Sheffield Wednesday. The math’s is now quite simple Sheffield Wednesday are coming to the Lane in the next game and if Tottenham win the title is ours.
With the league race at its peak the international fixtures kick-in midweek Blanchflower plays for Northern Ireland V Wales with Hopkins, Medwin and Jones all in the side. The Welsh win 5-1 with Cliff Jones scoring twice.
Then on the Saturday England play Scotland at Wembley and win 9-3. Dave Mackay is our only Scot on duty and scores the first Scottish goal after 48 minutes, to make it 1-3. Greaves (still at Chelsea) hit’s a hat trick.
Bobby Smith scores twice, that’s eight goals in five games for his country. Sheffield Wednesday also have two players on duty.Later whenever Mackay is asked if he played in that game he says I was on the pitch but I did not play.
On the 12th April Yuri Gagarin became the first man to go into space. The news seemed full of the story. Some of us had more important things to worry about.
The following Monday the 17th and nine days since our last game Sheffield Wednesday (unbeaten in 19 games) arrive at The Lane knowing that if Tottenham won that night they could no longer catch them and the title was Tottenham’s. After the problems the fans had experienced earlier in the season the club put the kick back to 8pm from the normal 7.30pm as fans are queuing for most of the day. That Monday sees 61,200 in White Hart Lane to see the coronation of the new champions.
In a game remembered for the tension and the tackling rather than the football. Bobby Smith recalls the side needed all their skills and determination that night, with an intense atmosphere things soon heated up with the Wednesday players trying to knock Spurs out of their stride. If details matter that night, its Megson who gives the away side the lead after half an hour when a harshly awarded free kick is blocked and the ball falls to him to score. Soon after they also hit the post.
The 42nd minute and Peter Baker sends a 40 yard clearance to Dyson he outs jumps Megson (who stands a foot taller) and heads on to Smith who controlling the ball with his right, hooks the ball over the defenders head and then blasts it past the keeper with his left into the roof of the net. The game is just a minute older and the fans have hardly finished cheering when we are awarded a free kick. Blanchflower walks slowly up to the ball and waves Norman forward. He then places the ball on to Norman’s forehead who guides the ball on to Les Allen’s foot who fires Spurs into the lead. The Daily Mirror claimed there was an explosion of sound. One fan in the East Stand remembered last time he was deafened like that it was by German artillery.
Sanity on the terraces isn’t restored to the second half gets under way and Blanchflower who struggled early on in the hectic opening is now the master of all he surveys and conducts his team towards glory. Even with the tackles flying in Dave Mackay finds time to lightened the mood. Ken Jones of the Mirror (and Cliffs cousin) remembers Mackay coming across to take a throw in and saying to him “how much would he like to bet Smithy cant his head to this one?”
Towards the end of the game Smith rampaging forward crashes Springett into the post and tempers flare as the keeper is carried off but returns within a few minutes. Smith says Ron took it as part of the game and we left the field arm in arm.
A night of terrifying tackling and a game not for the faint hearted as Tottenham have never fought with more determination and Wednesday played like tigers to keep their own slim hopes alive. Cliff Jones had needed two clips inserted into his knee at halftime. The Express wrote of those closing minutes ‘heart lifting blood pounding period of fear for Spurs’ hysterical fans.’
At the whistle the fans let loose a massive roar from the terraces and then they flooded on to the pitch and stood in front of the West Stand and start chanting “We Want Danny.”
The Mirror again ‘Pandemonium reigns at White Hart Lane the song ringing in my ears Glory Glory the Spurs go marching on.’
The team reach the safety of the dressing room and the Chairman joins them for champagne. The fans are rewarded after a few minutes when the leader of the band brings his side out on to balcony to salute the fans who honour them in return. The title returns to Tottenham ten years after our first championship win and with three games to spare.
In the next part we are Wembley Bound. That Title - Julian Holland described Danny in one match that season as twisting and turning ‘as an angel dancing on a pin head.’
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Notes - 1- Whilst neither did Frank Saul would play and score in the 1967 Cup winning side.
2 - See Valentine - http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/talking-tottenham-valentine
The rest of this series can be found @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/the-double-chronicles
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