Having secured the League title and the first half of the Double Spurs had three games left before the FA Cup final but first it was just 48 hours later that Wales were in action at home to Spain in a World Cup game, a 1-2 defeat, with Medwin and Hopkins in the side. Jones missed the game due to the injury picked on the Monday, but he still drove Terry Medwin to Cardiff for the game.
Before the next Spurs game Bill Nicholson says he wanted his team to go for the record number of points as the double beckoned. It was clear however to the press and the terraces that Tottenham did ease up and the next game saw them travel to Burnley for their last away game.
The Burnley team, and outgoing champions, gave Tottenham a guard of honour on to the pitch before the game (top). Medwin came back in place of Jones and Peter Baker scored with a long range shot. Then Dyson sent a ball in for Smith to head home, for our second. These goals had come against the run of play and Brown had to be at his best before Burnley pulled one back just before the hour. Ten minutes later they were level. Burnley added two more in the last six minutes to win 2-4, having previously put four past us in at White Hart Lane.
Two home games remain and on the Wednesday we entertained Nottingham Forest. One goal settled the matter and it came midway through the second half as Medwin managed to divert the ball past the goalie in what was a poor display by Spurs. The two points did mean we had equaled the record of 66 points set by Arsenal 30 years earlier.
Left - waiting for the presentation.
One of the men in that Arsenal team was Joe Hulme who later managed Spurs and he admitted to having mixed feelings that night watching from the press box. It was also our 31st win, another record.
The curtain would come down on the league when West Bromwich came to the Lane on April 29th for the last league game. Dyson returned in place of Medwin, Even though Smith gave Spurs the lead five minutes into the second half the Spurs display was poor and it was clear that their minds were on the Cup Final. The visitors leveled the score and then with half an hour to play Bobby Robson, the future England manager, scored the last goal of the season as the visitors won 1-2. After the game Nicholson was clear what he thought ‘You’d think West Brom were the Champions not Tottenham Hotspur I hope you are going to do better than this in the cup final.’
It meant that we missed the chance to set a new points record (1) but at the time everyone’s attention, including the fifty two thousand present, was on the other side of London in seven days time.
After the game The League Championship trophy was officially presented to Spurs, even thou it had physically arrived at the club several days before.
Talking about those last three games, Bobby Smith later admitted ‘with none of us wanting to risk an injury in unimportant league games where the outcome mattered little.’ Smith himself had other worries, as we will discover shortly in Bobby Smith’s Secret, (2).
Terry Dyson remembers it differently saying the team tried their hearts out to win at least a point. It is properly best left to Danny Blanchflower to sum up, when he was asked about it he said ‘Of course we wanted to win. But we did not want to win so much as we did, say, when we played Sheffield Wednesday.’
In those days records were important but somehow didn’t seem so vital as they seem to do these days.
There now stood just one match left in the season, the Cup Final and only Leicester who had beaten us at White Hart Lane stood between them and Spurs doing something no other side had done since 1897, the impossible Double.
That title comes from The Sunday Pictorial which called the side Billy Nicholson’s immaculate soccer machine.
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The rest of the series can be found @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/the-double-chronicles
Notes - 1 - Tottenham at the time also held the second division record with 70 points .
2 - Due to be published 24th of this month.
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