Farewell smiler Dawson. We'll always love you!
So we have to say an official farewell to a loyal and faithful servant, club captain Michael Dawson. "Daws" truly is one of the nicest guys in football, loved by so many players, colleagues and fans alike.
Dawson was signed by Martin Jol's Spurs in January 2005, along with fellow Nottingham Forest player Andy Reid. The fees were around £4 million apiece, and it seems that the club has recouped most of that money in Michael's move to Hull, which is not so far from his home town of Northallerton in North Yorkshire.
In between time, Michael has made a total of 324 club appearances at all levels. He has played in 236 league games, in which he has scored 7 goals, with 3 goals coming in official matches in other competitions.
My recollection is that Michael's debut in Spurs' colours was delayed due to an inury when he arrived, but that debut came at Anfield, on 16th April, 2005. This match was a 2-2 draw, and featured that Erik Edman wonder goal.
Did you know that Dawson shares a record also held by Aaron Lennon? That is to say that Spurs have never lost a game in which either of these players have scored. It is a record truly illustrated when they both scored on Fireworks Day 2006, when we finally laid to rest that horrible Chelsea hoodoo with a 2-1 win. (Spurs 2 Chelsea 1 - 05.11.2006) Dawson scored with a header to equalise, whilst Lennon dissected Ashley Cole and John Terry with a classic winner.
Michael Dawson scored other crucial goals, such as the equaliser at Upton Park in November 2007, and at Villa Park against Brad Friedel in the Villa goal. That goal was a rising powerful shot and not a header!
Here is the full list of Michael Dawson's goals for Spurs:-
League goals scored:-
5th Nov 2006 H v Chelsea (won 2-1)
25th Nov 2007 A v West Ham (Drew 1-1)
27th Jan 2009 H v Stoke (Won 3-1)
28th Nov 2009 A V A. Villa (Drew 1-1)
6th Dec 2009 A v Everton (Drew 2-2)
12th Feb 2011 A v S'derland(Won 2-1)
1st Jan 2013 H v Reading (Won 3-1)
20th Sep 2007 H v Anorthosis (Won 6-1)
6th Jan 2009 H v Burnley (Won 4-1)
4th Oct 2012 A v Panathinaikos(Drew 1-1)
Michael Dawson wasn't signed as a scorer, of course. He was signed as a defender, and partnered former club captain, who he succeeded, Ledley King. Together they achieved clean sheet records, and even last season, Spurs were achieving many clean sheets with "Daws" at the helm.
All Spurs fans know that Dawson had his shortfalls, such as a lack of pace and ability to turn as quickly as the very best strikers. All Spurs fans also know that Dawson literally bled for Tottenham on more than one occasion. He won so many crucial headers in both boxes, especially in defence, and he never gave less than 100% effort for the Spurs cause. Of course, he also won countless crucial tackles in the Spurs half.
It is a shame that Michael did not make the Carling Cup Final success against Chelsea, due to another injury, but he did play for us at Wembley on other occasions, and of course enjoyed some of our finest hours in Europe, not least the clean sheet in the San Siro against AC Milan, when "Daws" led Spurs, and held the likes of Ibrahimovic and Robinho at bay. (AC Milan 0 Spurs 1 - 15.02.2011)
I was lucky enough to meet Michael Dawson very briefly after one of our first games at Wigan. I hailed him as the future Spurs and England captain. Naturally, he smiled, as he smiled whenever meeting Spurs fans. One of my predictions worked out, but not the other, although he did play four times for England in 2010-11, riding on the crest of Spurs qulification for the Champions League.
Quite rightly, Dawson has received tributes from his fellow players, the Chairman, and the fans. The photograph at the head of this piece was taken on the recent tour of North America, specifically in Seattle. (Thanks to Beverley Smith for the picture). It seems that he knew a move to Hull might be on the cards, but being the true professional he is, Michael fulfilled his Spurs obligations, not only because it was what he was paid for, but also because he loves the game, and loves the fans.
So, it's farewell to a happy and fine human being; to a true professional; and to a fine Spurs player.
Michael, you will always be loved and heralded by Spurs fans, who wish you well (not against us) in your new home alongside two other former Spurs, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore.
As webmaster of Spurs Odyssey, it has been my privilege to watch and report on virtually every game Dawson played for Spurs. His career at Tottenham has co-incided with a period of more highs than lows, helping us to qualify for Europe in 8 of his 9 full seasons with the club; finishing in the top half in all but one of those seasons. The one time we did fall to 11th, we had already qualified for Europe through winning the Carling Cup. Our average league position during "Daws" time at the club is 5.88. We've been in the top five 6 times.
So farewell to Michael Dawson. You'll always be loved at Spurs!
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