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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 88) (07.09.15)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 88
Submitted by Norman Giller

Norman Giller writes for Spurs Odyssey

Let's have funds for old footballing warriors!

As a matter of urgency, Daniel Levy and ALL Premier League chairmen should set up funds to help old footballing warriors who played for their clubs before the gravy train days of the game.

This will avoid the embarrassment and shame of the type of cap-in-hand farce that has surrounded Jimmy Greaves since his recent violent stroke that has left him lying semi-helpless in bed.

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of supporters and the energy and persistence of his manager Terry Baker the £30,000 crowd-funding target was reached yesterday, just as it looked as if it would fall short.

As somebody who is closer to Jimmy than most, let me say that he will be 1) grateful for the incredible assistance and funding; 2) cripplingly embarrassed that it has come to this.

A point I want to hammer home is that at no time has Jimmy, his wonderful wife, Irene, or his family asked for this help. They are private and very proud people, and I would hate for them to be given the image of being spongers.

For reasons I am not prepared to go into, Jimmy is not as solvent as he might have been owing to a couple of private financial blows.

So those who have spitefully gone on line and said he does not deserve or need a helping hand do not know what they are talking about.

I have also seen Tottenham and the Professional Footballers’ Association wrongly bashed, as if they have just ignored his plight. The Tottenham Tribute Trust, with which I am privileged to help with profits from my Spurs-themed books, has been there from day one with help and advice. And the PFA and FA have quietly given assistance.

Now Daniel Levy and his Premier League boardroom powerhouses should put their heads together and work out how best to help old professional footballers who are paying the price for their fame with wide-spread dementia and incapacitating illnesses.

I would put in this bracket any who played football professionally before the players started swimming in money from, let’s say, 2000. There is so much money coming into the game from television and sponsorship that clubs can make provision for their old heroes.

If they can find more than £100,000 a week for the likes of Emmanuel Adbayor they can surely put a few quid aside to help ex-players hitting difficult times in their old age.

Even as I type, I know of a household name footballer who is just showing the signs of the Alzheimer’s curse that has hit so many old players. He is going to need specialised care as he reaches the autumn of his years.

Just from Tottenham alone I can tell you that Arthur Rowe, Alf Ramsey, Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, Ron Henry and Tommy Harmer passed on without knowing who they were or what they achieved on the playing fields of England.

The Tottenham Tribute Trust did their best to help most of them with medical care that is needed beyond the purse strings of the NHS, and it is why we should all do our best to help the Trust.

You can find the Trust here:-
https://www.justgiving.com/thettt/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socDirdesktop&utm_content=thettt&utm_campaign=post-direct-donation-desktop and if you want to help them through my books (with ALL profits going to the Fund) you can order from me here: www.normangillerbooks.com

Now then, over to you Mr Levy. Lead the way in showing that football has a heart. I know that privately you do your best to help, but that won’t stop the snipers on line taking pot shots without knowing all or any of the facts.

Last word to Irene Greaves: “We appreciate very much what everybody is doing. There are a lot of good people out there. Jimmy would not dream of asking for this help but we are overwhelmed by the generosity of so many kind people. Thank you.”


Harry Kane’s nicely taken goal against San Marino will do wonders for his confidence, just as he was beginning to think the target had shrunk since last season.

As the ball went into the net I read such things on line as, “Pity he can’t do it for Tottenham,” and “So perhaps he is not a one-season wonder after all.”

Why are people so cruel? If Harry lost belief in himself as quickly as his critics have started to write him off he would tremble every time he put on his football boots.

I hope he gets on against Switzerland at Wembley tomorrow, and gathers more confidence ready for the crucial match at Sunderland on Sunday.

All the talk has been about the player (Saido Berahino) Levy did not sign rather than those who did arrive at White Hart Lane during the summer window.

Levy’s main efforts have been centred on organizing the little matter of raising £450m for the new 61,000-capacity stadium, with the 2018-19 season in mind. That is when the know-it-alls on line can start judging Spurs as title contenders. When the team make fourth or fifth on a 35k-gate income, they are punching above their weight.

Things went on during Levy’s negotiations with West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace that only those two gentlemen are privy to, so how bloggers and Tweeters can write reams of criticism I just don’t understand. So many ‘In the Knows’ out there who actually know nowt.

What we DO know is that Spurs have signed two attacking players in Son Heung-min and Clinton N’Jie who just might help spark Harry into finding last season’s form.

Evidence that the time is fast approaching when I should hang up my quill is that last week here on my Spurs Odyssey stage I managed to refer to Baggies boss Jeremy Peace as Jimmy Pearce.

And if you can remember dear old Jimmy playing on the wing for Spurs you must be of a certain age. Doh!


SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 5

Could you be the winner of the second Spurs Odyssey Quiz League?

Week FIVE of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and most of you collected three points last week by correctly answering this teaser: “I scored 28 goals in 131 League games for Spurs, played as a striker and in midfield, and netted for Tottenham in an FA Cup final. Who am I and with which club did I start my career in 1981?”

Yes, of course, it was Paul Stewart who started his career pre-mullet with Blackpool, and scored the first goal in the FA Cup final victory over Nottingham Forest.

This week’s challenge: “I have had two spells with Tottenham and scored a winning goal in the North London derby and was club captain. Who am I, and from which club did I rejoin Spurs in 2010?”

You get two points for identifying the former Tottenham player and a bonus point for naming the club from which he came back to Spurs.

Keep a check on your points tally, because the contestant topping the SOQL table at the end of the season will receive a huge, personally autographed photograph of Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves, plus a signed, framed certificate announcing the winner as the 2015-16 Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion.

Email your answers, please, to SOQL5@normangillerbooks.com. Give your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. I will respond, and will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to the sender of the first all-correct answer drawn at random. Closing date for entries: midnight this Friday.

First name drawn at random from the correct answers last week is George Harris, of Gosport. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to George, who has been what he describes as “a near suicidal” Spurs fan since 1986.

Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!

The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey

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