Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 187 - 07.08.17)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 187) (07.08.17)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Sissoko can silence the Boo Boys

Since the Premier League launched, I have never known a Spurs player take as much stick from his own supporters than Moussa Sissoko. Yet as we go into the new season he just might emerge as the hidden ace who can help make Tottenham tick.

He was outstanding in the 2-0 warm-up victory over Italian champions Juventus at far-from-full Wembley on Saturday. I had to rub my eyes to convince myself that this was the same player who got jeered last season virtually every time he stepped on the pitch for Spurs.

Mauricio Pochettino is on record as saying: “Moussa must show that he deserves to be in the team, both in training and during games.”

In his happy hour against Juventus, Sissoko looked sharp and inventive, and took the eye as the player most likely to make things happen. If he can maintain this form, a few thousand Spurs supporters are going to have to eat their insulting words.

At last the phoney war is nearly over, and we can make proper judgements of the team, starting at Newcastle on Sunday when Sissoko will be returning to the ground where he also had a love-hate relationship with the Geordie fans.

A major worry during Saturday’s fairly sterile game was the injury to right-back Kieran Trippier, a factor that features in our guru Paul Smith’s match report. If nothing else the victory might have eased the fears of Wembley being a jinx ground, but let’s revisit that topic when champions Chelsea are the visitors on Sunday week.

Daniel Levy continues to take heavy criticism from supporters who could not organise a loft conversion, mainly because of his tightness in the transfer market. I wish he was in control of my accounts, and I think you will find things happening very soon so that Mauricio has the squad that he wants. Levy opens the purse strings when it is right for the club not for those who would quickly have the club back in the financial mire of the early 90s.

The three Ps, please: patience, patience, patience.

As my old mate Greavsie would say: “It’s a funny old game.” I was with stroke victim James last week and he continues to battle away, while frustrated beyond words at being the prisoner of a wheelchair. It can be a cruel old life. I passed on the love of all Spurs fans.

I kidded him that if we could wave a magic wand and get him fit for just one week in Neymar’s boots he would earn more in seven days than he did throughout his nine years at Tottenham.

It’s a mad old world.

NOW to the last visit to Tottenham’s Double year of 1960-61, focusing on Part Ten and the climax to the greatest season in the club’s history. On the 50th anniversary of the FA Cup victory over Leicester at Wembley, I combined with entrepreneur and life-long Spurs supporter Terry Baker to produce a limited edition book of the Golden Double, that was introduced and autographed by Braveheart Dave Mackay.

We are serialising the book here in Sports Odyssey, reliving match by match the historic campaign in which Spurs purred to the League championship and FA Cup double. We finish our journey as Spurs clinch the historic Double …

Match 39

A PAINFUL thing happened to Spurs braveheart Dave Mackay on his way to the crucial Monday night League championship showdown with Sheffield Wednesday. On the Saturday he was in the Scotland team savaged 9-3 by England at Wembley, a mauling that included three goals by Jimmy Greaves and two by Bobby Smith. For Mackay, it was hardly the best preparation for a game in which Spurs could clinch the title.

Nerves were jangling and the midfield trio of Blanchflower, White and Mackay were unusually subdued. The Tottenham fans roared their disapproval as referee Tommy Dawes awarded Wednesday a 19th minute free-kick when John Fantham tripped over his own feet. Left-back Don Megson crashed the free-kick against the Tottenham wall, and then instinctively drove the rebound wide of diving goalkeeper Bill Brown.

Just as it looked as if Spurs were going to trudge into the half-time interval trailing to the only team that could snatch the championship from them they touched the majestic peak of their power. A 35-yard clearance by Peter Baker was headed on by Terry Dyson to Bobby Smith, who spun around his close-marking England team-mate Peter Swan and hammered a rising shot into the net for a spectacular goal.

With seconds to go to half-time, Les Allen made it 2-1 when he scored from 15 yards after Maurice Norman had headed a Blanchflower free-kick down to his feet.

Shell-shocked Wednesday were not allowed back into the game, and for an hour after the match the Tottenham fans sung their glory-glory anthems as the players paraded in the main stand.

QUOTE – Danny Blanchflower, who had predicted the Double before the season kicked off: "One down, one to go. I am feeling confident that I will be saying to our chairman Fred Bearman, 'I told you so.' But we must be careful not to take anything for granted."

TEAM AND SCORERS: Brown, Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.
Scorers: Smith, Allen

Match 40

WITH three League matches left after clinching the championship, Tottenham had one more target in their sights – the record First Division 66 points haul set by deadly North London rivals Arsenal, back in the dim and distant past when Herbert Chapman was in charge at Highbury.

But by the time they got to Turf Moor, to face the previous champions, Spurs were almost literally out on their feet. Completely against the run of play, Tottenham stole a 2-0 first-half lead. Peter Baker scored his one and only goal of the season with a long-range shot that shocked him as much as goalkeeper Adam Blacklaw when it flashed into the Burnley net. Bobby Smith added the second goal after a long spell of Burnley pressure, heading the ball home from a lobbed centre from Terry Dyson.

It was a mystery to everybody watching the game how Tottenham had managed to get a commanding lead when nearly all the attacking had come from a Burnley team for whom the two Jimmys – Adamson and McIlroy – were bossing the midfield.

Perhaps the Spurs players had overdone their League title triumph celebrations, but they looked tired and tortured throughout the second-half as Burnley blitzed them with non-stop attacks. Gordon Harris scored twice, McIlroy got on the scoresheet and created a fourth goal as Spurs were made to look chumps rather than champs. But for a series of exceptional saves by Bill Brown the Burnley score might easily have been doubled.

QUOTE – Peter Baker: "I was so pleased to find the net, but am disappointed that it did not help us win the match. I think we have all been hit by a feeling of anti-climax after that great night against Sheffield Wednesday."

TEAM AND SCORERS: Brown, Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.
Scorers: Baker, Smith

Match 41

A RARE 1-0 victory brought Tottenham level with Arsenal on the record First Division points haul of 66 points, with one game still to go. This Wednesday evening game even tested the stamina of the Tottenham fans, with 'only' 35,753 getting along to watch a Nottingham Forest side that had decided to put its faith at the feet of a squad of young, home-bred players.

Tottenham continued where they left off at Burnley, playing without their usual zeal and skill. It was a fairly unanimous verdict that this was one of their loosest and laziest performances of the season, and Bill Nicholson gave them a roasting after a goalless first-half. Only some desperate defending and more agile work on the goal-line by Bill Brown stopped Forest from scoring at least three goals before Spurs at last got the ball into the net.

What proved the only goal of a disappointing match came from the one player in the Spurs team who would not make the line-up for the FA Cup final at Wembley – Terry Medwin, the ever-cheerful and faithful winger who had spent the entire season on standby and occasional active duty in place of either Cliff Jones or Terry Dyson.

Spurs slogged rather than purred forward to get behind the disciplined Forest defence, and Medwin came scampering through to scoop the ball past highly rated Nottingham goalkeeper Peter Grummitt. Few but the one-eyed thought Tottenham deserved to take both points.

QUOTE – Bill Nicholson: "This was a very disappointing performance. I am so proud of what the team has achieved this season, but this was an unacceptable slip in our standards. To compensate our supporters, I hope we can overtake the Arsenal points record in our final game."

TEAM AND SCORERS: Brown, Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Medwin, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.
Goalscorer: Medwin.

Match 42

PHYSICALLY, Tottenham's players were at White Hart Lane for this final League game of the season, but their minds were clearly fourteen miles away at Wembley. The record of 66 points – set by Arsenal in 1931 and equalled by Spurs in 1961 – was there to be taken. But, to all-round disappointment and frustration, they failed to beat it.

For the second successive match Bill Nicholson found himself having to make blistering criticisms after a goalless first-half during which middle-of-the-table West Brom looked the most likely to score.

It looked as if the Nicholson rocket had done the trick four minutes into the second-half when Bobby Smith – with the Albion players appealing for off-side – found the net for his 28th League goal of the season.

But West Brom quickly drew level when Derek Kevan – one of Bobby Smith's rivals for the No 9 England shirt – bullocked his way through the Tottenham defence to get on the end of a Clive Clark centre and power it past Bill Brown.

The winning goal came in the 62nd minute from the right foot of one Bobby Robson, who surprised Bill Brown with a snap shot from 25 yards that hit the back of the net with the Tottenham goalkeeper able only to wave to it as it whooshed past him. Robson, equally at home in midfield or as a support striker, was into the fifth of six years with Albion before returning to his first club, Fulham, in 1962.

QUOTE – Bobby Robson: "Nobody can deny that we deserved both points today, but we are realistic enough to know we beat a below-par Tottenham team who were clearly playing with their minds on the Cup final and the Double. I will be amazed if they don't win the Cup to go with the League title. They are a fantastic team."

TEAM AND SCORERS: Brown, Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.
Goalscorer: Smith

FA Cup Final

WHAT should have been one of the greatest days in British footballing history in general and Tottenham's in particular turned out to be as flat as a punctured tyre. Everything transpired to make it a match that would not live long in the memory, yet – a contradiction – it would go down in the annals as the game in which Bill Nicholson's Spurs were lifted into the land of legend. The perfect playing weather of the Friday had been replaced by the worst sort of conditions for a flowing game. A blustery wind was trapped in the Wembley bowl, and overnight the grass had become spongy and unresponsive.

QUOTE – Danny Blanchflower: "If we'd had Friday's weather on Saturday we would have produced a much better spectacle. When we inspected the pitch 24 hours ahead of the game, we made up our minds that we would wear rubber studs, but we unanimously decided to switch back to our usual leather studs after we had seen the pitch an hour before the kick-off. There was rain in the air and a swirling wind that we knew was going to make ball control difficult. We were going to need all the grip we could get. I was quite concerned because, to use the old cliché, the conditions could be a great leveller. I felt we had a much stronger and more skilful all-round unit than Leicester, but the weather I realised was not going to be conducive to our style of passing game. I could not wait for the game to start to shake off this belated apprehension after months of super confidence."

During the tense hour in the dressing-room leading up to the pre-match introductions, Bill Nicholson quietly sat alongside each player in turn and reminded them of their special duties that had been agreed in the White Hart Lane and Cheshunt training sessions. He asked Blanchflower and Mackay in turn if they were happy to play with their niggling injuries. They assured him they were perfectly fit, although each of them harboured private fears that they could break down.

Trainer Cecil Poynton had made a large sponge protector to wrap around Mackay's damaged shin, and the pads he chose to wear were twice as thick as usual. Blanchflower thought his knee had responded well to a week of heat treatment, but knew he dare not risk making tackles. He had long ago realised that because of physical frailities with his 34-year-old knees his role as a defender was to shepherd forwards into cul de sacs. He left the power tackles to Mackay, Norman and full-backs Baker and Henry.

Bobby Smith had kept to himself that his knee had been hurting like hell for two weeks. He was accustomed to playing through the pain barrier. Bobby was such a physical competitor that he rarely came off the pitch without bumps and bruises. He looked on playing in the FA Cup final as the greatest honour of his career, and had the painkiller injections from his doctor rather than tell Bill Nick that he was in agony.

QUOTE – Bobby Smith: "You have to remember that none of us were making fortunes. There was still the maximum £20 a week wage. We played for the glory, and there was no greater glory than playing at Wembley in an FA Cup final. I was not going to miss that for the world. I knew that once the whistle went I would forget all about my knee problems. I was determined to enjoy the day, and I crept out of the dressing-room twenty minutes before the kick-off to stand in the tunnel and listen to Abide With Me. It brought tears to my eyes, it was so moving."

Bill Nick walked around the dressing-room shaking hands with each of his players. Danny Blanchflower made a brief speech: "We have set records all season. Now let's go out and set another, the big one ... the Double."

You could almost warm your hands on the team spirit, as the players quietly wished each other luck. Trainer Cecil Poynton, a shy man who had given his life to the club as a player and backroom servant, tried to make a Churchillian speech and choked on his words. The lads laughed. He finished up with: "Good luck you 'orrible bastards."

Final word to Bill Nick: "We have done all the hard work, now go out and enjoy yourselves. Play your natural game that has served us so well this season. Just remember what I always tell you, 'Don't come off that pitch thinking you have done less than your best.' Keep it simple, keep it fluent and let the passes flow. It does not come bigger than this ... The Double. Good luck, boys. I know and you know that you can do it. Go out there and make history."

Cliff Jones and John White cuddled each other like the brothers they felt they were.

"The atmosphere was tense yet somehow relaxed, if that makes sense," Cliff said later. "There were nerves, of course there were, but we sensed this was our destiny. Several of the lads had ciggies going. That was the way back then. A couple of the lads were sick in the loos. This was the big one. The biggest game of our lives. We had put so much into that season, we were not going to cock it up at this final stage."

As they filed out into the tunnel leading up the long slope to the pitch, there were sincere handshakes and pleasantries as the two teams lined up alongside each other in time-honoured fashion. England team-mates Bobby Smith and Gordon Banks hugged each other, Scottish team-mates Frank McLintock and John White jokingly mimed as if to hit each other, and at the front managers Matt Gillies and Bill Nicholson wished each other an enjoyable afternoon, and then it was time for captains Danny Blanchflower and Jimmy Walsh to lead out the teams.

Moments earlier the teams had been announced over the tannoy:

Tottenham Hotspur: Brown, Baker, Henry; Blanchflower (capt.), Norman, Mackay, Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.

Leicester City: Banks, Chalmers, Norman; McLintock, King, Appleton; Riley, Walsh (capt.), McIlmoyle, Keyworth, Cheesebrough.

Following the National Anthem, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent was first introduced to the Leicester players, followed by a posse of Football Assocation officials. The Duchess had a puzzled look as she walked across the red carpet to meet the Spurs players. As she shook captain Danny's hand, she asked: "Why do the Leicester players have their names on the backs of their tracksuits, yet you do not?"

"Well," said Danny, summoning up the famous Blanchflower blarney, "We all know each other."

It was a classic remark, but sadly not a classic match.

The mixture of nerves, a spongy pitch and then steady, hard rain all played a part in making it difficult for either team to get a rhythm. The Tottenham passing movements that had wrecked defences throughout the season lacked their usual accuracy and penetration. Hard as the Tottenham fans tried, they could not lift their team into revealing their true talent. The atmosphere in the ground was flat and uninspiring, mainly because half the spectators did not have allegiance to either team.

The bookmakers had made Tottenham odds-on to win, but veteran Cup followers were aware that Wolves in 1939 were even bigger favourites before going down to defeat by Portsmouth. Much had been made by the press in all the ponderings over the Double that three previous League champions had gone into the final during the century with the title wrapped up: Sunderland, Newcastle United and Manchester United. All three had gone down in the final to Aston Villa, the previous winners of the Double back in the 19th Century.

After eight undistinguished minutes there was an action replay of the John White mimed moment when he had been clowning with Cliff Jones the previous day. Mackay and Terry Dyson combined to put him clear, and the slim, pale-faced Scot clattered the ball over the bar from eight yards. He dare not look in the direction of his mate, whose prediction had come true.

It was Leicester who got the better of the opening exchanges. They were the more relaxed, playing with the air of a team determined to show the critics that they were wrong in writing them off before a ball had been kicked. McIlmoyle did not look overawed by his surprise role as replacement for Ken Leek, and he was pulling Maurice Norman out of position by deliberately playing deeper than the orthodox Leek would have done.

Frank McLintock was proving more effective in midfield than Danny Blanchflower, whose usually immaculate timing was off. A superb crossfield pass from McLintock found winger Howard Riley in space. He fired a hanging centre into the swirling wind, and McIlmoyle managed to reach it but was off-balance and directed the ball off target.

Trainer Cecil Poynton had to come on twice during the opening blitz from Leicester, first to treat Cliff Jones after he had dived into Walsh's flying boot; then to use his magic cold sponge on Peter Baker, who was knocked out when bravely throwing himself towards Cheesebrough to stop him scoring what looked a certain goal.

The game was turned on its head and destroyed as a spectacle in the 19th minute when the dreaded Wembley injury hoodoo struck yet again. Just moments after Baker had recovered from his sickening moment, his opposite number in the Leicester team – Len Chalmers – was sent tumbling by a tackle from Les Allen.

Chalmers writhed in agony right in front of the Royal Box, and it was obvious that he was seriously injured. This was the seventh time in the last nine finals that the jinx had claimed a victim, and yet again a debate started about the necessity to introduce a substitute rule. It would be another five years before the powers that be finally accepted that it made sense.

The unfortunate Chalmers was reduced to a limping passenger on the wing, and Leicester had to have an emergency shuffling of their side. McLintock – who had been having a storming game – dropped from right-half to right-back, with Ken Keyworth moving from inside-left to the McLintock role. Cheesebrough switched to the right wing, and Chalmers hobbled down the left touchline, every step obviously painful.

As so often happens, the team with only ten fit players raised their energy levels and Leicester hurried and harried every Tottenham player in possession. Bill Nicholson's well thought-out tactics were suddenly redundant, because the shape of the Leicester team had changed beyond recognition.

Skipper Blanchflower, perhaps with his mind on his ailing father, was not showing his usual composure and concentration, and was having probably his worst game of a season in which he had set sky-high standards.

Wingers Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson were both playing with great pace and desire, but they were not getting the normal support from the players inside them. Bobby Smith was bouncing off Leicester's Scottish-granite centre-half Ian King, and Les Allen had been visibly affected by his collision with Chalmers. He later admitted: "The incident ruined my game. It was a pure accident, but I felt really upset. Anybody who knows me will acknowledge that I have never ever been the sort of player who would deliberately hurt somebody."

Slowly, Tottenham began to gain the ascendancy against their handicapped opponents, and in the 37th minute they were celebrating what seemed to most people a good goal by the flying Cliff Jones, who was looking the most dangerous forward on the pitch.

Cliff went off on a celebratory run, not realising the the linesman's flag was up signalling that it was off-side. Few witnesses agreed with the linesman, but referee Jack Kelly went with him and ruled out the goal.

QUOTE – Cliff Jones: "In seconds I experienced euphoria and then sudden despair. I had raced so fast that the linseman could not keep up with me, and he failed to see that Frank McLintock was playing me onside. I started to celebrate what I thought was a Wembley goal, something I had dreamed about. I could not believe it when the referee accepted the linesman's decision when he must have seen I was not off-side. To this day, I get angry thinking about it. I felt cheated out of a perfectly good goal."

Cheesebrough darted free in the closing moments of the first-half and out of the corner of his eye he saw that there was a blue-shirted player in space. He found him with a perfect pass, and then threw his hands up in despair when he realised it was the helpless Chalmers, who could do nothing but knock the ball back into the path of Peter Baker, who with great relief kicked it clear.

Bill Nicholson brought calm to the dressing-room at half-time, telling his players they had got the bad football out of their system. "Go out in the second-half and play your natural game," he said. "I know the conditions are not in our favour but there is still no substitute for playing the sort of football that has brought us so much success this season. The Leicester players have run themselves into the ground, and you can take advantage as they begin to tire. I want concentration, I want composure and I want you to be more deliberate with your passing and shooting. There has been too much snatched stuff." He clapped his hands together. "Come on, you are just forty-five minutes away from the Double."

Skipper Blanchflower, who had been finding his form late in the first-half, said: "Let's look on the bright side. That was as bad as we've played all season, and we are still on level terms. Let's get out there and play them off the park."

Bill Nick was proved right. The Leicester players had run themselves to the edge of exhaustion, and Tottenham started to stitch together the sort of flowing movements that had carried to them to the League championship in such style. Dave Mackay, who had been operating at a lot less than normal power, began to dominate the left side of midfield, and set up a series of probing raids with his beauifully weighted left-footed passes.

The soaking Wembley pitch was dragging on the legs of the overworked Leicester team, and their gallant defence was finally pierced in the 69th minute. The long-awaited breakthrough came following one of those length-of-the-field movements that Tottenham fans had got to know so well. Ron Henry, playing to his absolute peak, dispossessed Cheesebrough deep in the Tottenham half, and the ball moved on a stream of passes through White, Smith, Jones, Dyson and Allen, who knocked it back to Dyson on the right. He moved towards the centre before firing the ball through the heart of the Leicester defence to the feet of Bobby Smith. He brought the ball under control and all in one movement swivelled round the close-marking King and beat the diving Gordon Banks with a power-packed shot from twelve yards.

It's amazing the effect a goal can have. Suddenly Tottenham were pushing the ball about with all the confidence and precision they had shown on their way to Wembley, while the Leicester players looked as if they'd had all the energy sucked out of them.

How sad for Leicester that Len Chalmers, the player who had heroically insisted on staying on the pitch when most would have surrendered to the pain, was reluctantly involved in the Double-clinching goal in the 77th minute.

Struggling on his one good leg, he failed to control the ball and it ran free – ironically – to the feet of Allen, who had accidentally been responsible for the Chalmers injury. He transferred it to Bobby Smith, who exchanged passes with John White before racing down the wing and then sending over a pin-pointed centre. It found Terry Dyson unmarked in the six-yard box, and he headed one of the most memorable goals of his life (Smith crosses to Dyson ... goal! It was usually the other way around).

Tiny Terry set off on his trademark Indian war dance celebration run. The ever-sporting Leicester half-back Colin Appleton shouted, "Well done, Terry" as he raced past, with Dyson's team-mates trying to catch up with him to add their congratulations. That was it. Done and dusted. There was no way back for Leicester. They had given it their all. For at least half the game they had looked the side more likely to win against a history-making Tottenham team that never quite found the form that had taken them into the annals of sporting history as the first side since Aston Villa in 1897 to win the League Championship and FA Cup.

QUOTE – Frank McLintock: "I was so choked that I threw my runners-up medal in disgust. Thankfully, a team-mate picked it up and slipped it into my pocket in the dressing-room. We honestly felt we could win, and might have done but for the injury to Len Chalmers. But I do not want to take anything away from Tottenham. For most of the season they had looked one of the all-time great sides. Their football was a thing of beauty. Ten years later I was captain of the Arsenal team that won the Double. We did not wrap it up until the last five days of the season, clinching the title on the Monday before the final at, of all places, White Hart Lane. That was memorable for us, but it is the Spurs Double team that have got a permanent place in history. They were the first do to it in modern times. I felt privileged to play against them."

As the players waited to take the famous 39 steps up to the Royal Box to collect the Cup and their medals, Bill Nicholson shook hands with each of them in turn, spending most time congratulating Ron Henry. They had played together many years earlier, and Ron had just produced one of the greatest performances of his career. Along with Cliff Jones, he had been the pick of the Tottenham players.

There was acknowledgement for Terry Medwin from each of the Spurs players as they went past him on the way up the steps. He had played a huge part in the season, and nobody at the club would forget it. This was very much a squad success.

Bill Nicholson seemed the least emotional of all the people in the ground as Blanchflower received the Cup from the Duchess of Kent. The dourest of dour Yorkshiremen, he admitted that jumping about was not his style. Deep down he was disappointed that Tottenham had not finished off with the style and sophistication that had marked many of the team's performances that season. Bill was a perfectionist from the top of his head to the tip of his toe, and he always wanted things just right.

Dave Mackay also felt flat in victory. "The Chalmers injury robbed the game of its rhythm, not only for Leicester but also for us," he said. "People will always be wondering if we would have won against eleven fit players. It's all a bit of an anti-climax."

After collecting the trophy Danny was able to say to the distinguished old gentleman standing to the Duchess of Kent's right: "I told you so." It was the veteran club chairman Fred Bearman with whom Danny had first shared thoughts of the Double in the summer of 1960.

The Leicester players formed a corridor of honour for the Tottenham players and applauded their achievement with a sportsmanship that brought tears to the eyes of onlookers in the days when football was still very much a sport rather than big business.

QUOTE – Gordon Banks: "We were gutted that we had lost, and it might so easily have been a different story but for the injury to Len Chalmers. Until he got his knock we were definitely the better side. But let's not take anything away from Tottenham. They had created history, and for much of the season had been the best team in the country by miles. It was truly a privilege to play against them and when we formed our guard of honour at the end it was a sincere recognition of their magnificent achievement in completing the Double."

This was all fifty-six years ago. For the lucky few, it lives on in the memory bank as if it was yesterday, Tottenham Hotspur, winners of the League Championship and FA Cup.

The Double had been achieved for the first time in the 20th Century.

Yes, they had provided poetry in motion …

Brown, Baker, Henry
They roll off the tongue like old friends
Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay
Creating a legend that never ends
Jones, White, Smith
They played the game with style and flair
Allen, Dyson, Medwin
And were – at the double – beyond compare

Bill Nicholson decided there was still one piece missing from his jigsaw. The following November he went shopping and returned from Milan with the £99,999 Jimmy Greaves.

Glory Glory Hallelujah!

A small plug for a worthwhile cause: 'Sir Les' Ferdinand, Gary Lineker and master sports writer Henry Winter will be among the panel of experts answer-ing questions at a Live Season Preview organised by the Football Writers Association in Soho on Wednesday. All proceeds go to the London Fire Bri-gade Relief Fund for the victims of the dreadful Grenfell Tower fire. Full de-tails can be found HERE and your support will be greatly appreciated: FWA Live Season Preview, in aid of the London Fire Relief Fund


Each week during the close season, I am setting a Tottenham teaser, just for fun and to keep you thinking about the club’s great history.

Last week I asked: Which Tottenham defender signed by Bill Nicholson wore the No 5 Spurs shirt in an FA Cup final and played for and managed his national side?

Yes, England of Wales … Mike England, for me the finest player ever to pull on the centre-half shirt for Spurs. It would have been an unbeatable pairing if he had partnered Ledley King or Toby Alderweireld.

First name drawn from the correct answers was Mark Jacobs, from Boston via Leytonstone, who has followed Spurs avidly from his 1960s schooldays in London. I will send Mark a screen version of my Spurs ’67 book (you might consider buying a signed copy from me at … all profits to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes).

This week’s teaser: Which Watford-born player followed his Dad as a professional footballer, won four England caps, and played in a winning League Cup final team with Tottenham against the club he later joined?

Email your answer please to Closing date: midnight this Friday. I will send a screen version of Spurs ‘67 to the first name drawn from the correct answers.

Make a date for next Monday for the first question in the kick-off to the new Spurs Odyssey Quiz League. Could YOU win the quiz king crown?

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

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