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R.I.P Bobby Smith

Spurs Legend Bobby Smith - courtesy of Spurs Odyssey member Mac2

Like everyone else I am very saddened to hear of the passing of one of the Spurs Legends, Bobby Smith. (On Saturday 18th September, 2010)We knew that Bobby was not well, as Cliff Jones made mention of the fact in a recent newspaper article. At the start of the second half yesterday "Macnamara's Band" was played (as usual), with a mention for Bobby who at that time was known to be ill in hospital.

Bobby Smith was one of my schoolboy heroes, before and alongside Jimmy Greaves (my all-time hero), because of his larger than life character, his gutsy attributes, and of course for his powerful goal-scoring record. Before Greaves, Bobby became Spurs' number one all-time goal-scorer, and remains in second place above George Hunt.

In recent years I have achieved a bit of a dream in meeting so many of my boyhood heroes. Bobby was one of these. Bobby had no airs or graces, but was a true gentleman and always had a tale or two to tell, not least the one about his secret trips to his doctor to get pain-killing injections behind the back of Bill Nicholson on the eve and on the morning of the 1961 FA Cup Final. These days, when considering personal fitness the article linked here can be of help.

It's a good job Bobby made those secret trips because this is an extract from Brian Judson's excellent account of that Cup Final day:- " But towards the end of the second half, Blanchflower noticed that Leicester were beginning to flag and tire. He urged his players forward. Then, with 21 minutes to go, Allen pushed the ball to Dyson, who prodded it on to Smith. Smith pivoted like a ballet dancer and smashed the ball past the bewildered Gordon Banks. The Spurs players raced to congratulate Smith. Seven minutes later, Chalmers lost the ball to White, who pushed it on to Smith. A quick look at the goalmouth and Smith hoisted the ball to the far post where Dyson out-jumped everyone to head a spectacular goal. Again, Spurs celebrated whilst Chalmers limped off the field."

Bobby was a local Palmers Green man in recent years (born in Yorkshire), and was often to be seen at White Hart Lane. He was of course installed into the Spurs Hall of Fame at the very first such dinner, along with all the other Double heroes.

Bobby Smith was a true Spurs and England footballing legend; a nice guy; a humble man; and a real character. Rest in Peace Bobby. You will never be forgotten in Spurs-land.

The Golden Boot - Bobby Smith

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