Spurs and Ireland a short history:
(This photograph is from INPHO and includes influential former Spurs player and Republic of Ireland international Chris Hughton).
Few countries have had more of an impact on the history of Tottenham Hotspur than the island of Ireland. Apart from having a huge fan base in Ireland, with supporters clubs ranging from Limerick to Belfast, it is quite surprising that so little has been written on the importance that Ireland (Northern and Republic) has had on the famous Tottenham Hotspur. From first generation to second and third generation players, many have put on the Lilywhite shirt of Spurs from first team to youth team level. As an Irish Spurs fan I thought that I’d write a short history about Spurs and Ireland and the role it has played in helping to influence Spurs to a certain degree, through chronicling every Irish (first, second and even third generation) player to have played for Spurs throughout the years, and briefly telling their footballing story (this is an updated and revised edition of my 2018 article). From Tony Galvin to Troy Parrott, I have tried my utmost to be as accurate as possible through my thorough research, trying to leave no player to have played for Spurs with Irish connections out. If I have left anyone out, or if I have made any errors I would greatly appreciate being informed.
Players who have played for Spurs’ first team (includes friendlies and testimonials) and played for, or were eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland:
Jack Kirwan: Born in Dunlavin, County Wicklow, John Francis Kirwan was the first ever Irishman to play for Spurs. Kirwan was an outside left who played GAA (Gaelic football in his youth) for County Dublin, and he was a part of the Dublin side which won the All-Ireland Championship in 1894, and defeated Cork in the final. Also a talented footballer, Kirwan made the trip across the Irish Sea to England in the late 1890’s to start his footballing career. Starting off with Lancashire League side Southport Central, Kirwan soon caught the eye of Football League clubs, and after a bidding war took place between both Blackburn Rovers and Everton, the Irishman decided to sign for the latter in 1898, and in doing so became Everton’s first ever Irish player. He played for the ‘ Toffees ‘ for one campaign (he was a regular in their side), but ended up moving on in May of 1899, following in the footsteps of Scotsman and former teammate John Cameron. At the time Cameron was player-manager of Spurs and he happily gave Kirwan the opportunity of signing for the Lilywhites. At Spurs the outside left adapted well to life in north London, his consistent performances on the pitch, as well as his exciting an unpredictable style of play made him a fan favourite at Tottenham. He was quick, direct and skilful in his play which made life very difficult for opposing fullbacks. In his six seasons at Spurs, Kirwan made 340 appearances, scoring 98 goals. He was instrumental in helping then non-league Spurs win the 1900 Southern League, the 1901 FA cup and the Western League in 1904 under the tutelage of John Cameron, putting in a match winning performance against Aston Villa in the semifinals of the FA Cup. The Dunlavin man became an iconic figure at Spurs during the early days of their existence, and his somewhat maverick and highly effective style of play played a big part in this.
Jack Kirwan would depart Spurs for fellow London club Chelsea in the May of 1905, and at the ‘ Blues ’ he made 76 appearances, scoring 16 goals, and he played a part in helping the west London club win promotion to the old First Division in 1907. After leaving Chelsea he would later play for both Scottish club Clyde and then Leyton, before retiring from playing the game in 1909. Kirwan then took the step up to management, first taking charge of Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam, where in 1911 he helped them to win the Dutch Second Class Title, subsequently leading them into the first tier of Dutch football for the first time in their history. Later on in his coaching career he had one season with Italian side Livorno, but in between his time in Holland and Italy Jack Kirwan coached Irish side Bohemians and Southport Vulcan. For his native Ireland Kirwan won 17 international caps, scoring two goals. He was a member of the side that won the 1903 British Championship. Later on in his life, Kirwan who kept both the match ball as well as his medal from the 1901 FA Cup final, as well as other international caps for Ireland, would settle in the outskirts of London (Hendon) with his wife Edith. Jack Kirwan was the last surviving member of the 1901 FA Cup final winning Spurs team up until his passing at the age of 80 in 1959. Jack Kirwan was not only the first Irish Spurs player, he was also the first Irish legend at the club.
David Quinn: The second Irishman to play for Spurs was inside forward and County Tyrone native David Quinn. First playing for Hudson’s Club who were based in Bootle Northwest England, Quinn later moved to Darwen in 1900 where he helped them to win the Lancashire League. Despite interest from a number of Football League clubs Quinn opted to sign for the Lilywhites in May of 1902. Life got off to a good start for Spurs when he scored on his debut against the London FA in a friendly in late 1902 (I acquired this information from the brilliant book the Spurs Alphabet). However, life thereafter at Spurs wouldn’t have been how Quinn would have anticipated, with appearances few and far between. The inside forward made eight more non competitive appearances for Spurs, as well as making his only competitive appearance for the north London club in a Western League match against West Ham United in February of 1903. He left Spurs during the summer of 1904, and it is unclear where he went or if his footballing career progressed.
Charlie O’Hagan: Born in the small sea side town of Buncrana, County Donegal in July of 1881, inside forward Charles O’Hagan started his footballing career with St Columb’s Court before moving to County Derry side Derry Celtic. O’Hagan who was capped 11 times by Ireland scoring two goals, transferred to English club Everton in 1903 after being spotted playing for Liverpool based club Old Xaverians. The inside forward never ended up playing a senior competitive game for the ‘ Toffees ’ but he was a regular for their reserve side. O’Hagan signed for Spurs in 1904, making his debut for them against Brighton & Hove Albion in a friendly in September of that same year. In total Charlie O’Hagan who was a lively and entertaining player, made 49 appearances for Spurs, scoring 20 goals, and although he was never a regular at White Hart Lane, he did form a good partnership with his compatriot Jack Kirwan. He was released by Spurs in the summer of 1906 (arguably his greatest moment at the north London club came when he scored the goal that knocked Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup in 1905) and was picked up by Middlesbrough who he only stayed with for a couple of months, before moving further up north to Scottish side Aberdeen for a fee of £175, where he arguably had his best years in the game. O’Hagan spent four seasons with Aberdeen making 112 appearances for the ‘ Dons ’ scoring 24 goals. In 1910 he moved on to Greenock Morton before later playing for the now defunct Glasgow based club Third Lanark. During the First World War the Irishman fought with the Highland Light Infantry in France, but after the war was over and he had retired from playing at a relatively young age, he took charge of Norwich City for less than a season. He later made the interesting move to Spain to become the first ever non Spanish manager of Andalusian based club Sevilla.
He didn’t spend too long with Sevilla (only one season) but would later move to Germany to manage Berlin in what would be his final managerial role of a fascinating football career. Charlie O’Hagan would in later life turn his hand to journalism, sailing all the way from Derry to New York to make a life for himself. However, he passed away far from home in July of 1933.
Francis McMullan: Northern Irishman Francis McMullan (born in Castlewellan, County Down) in 1882 is part of the one and only club, players to have only played one competitive game for Spurs. McMullan at some point during the early 1900’s moved over to Liverpool where he first played for Old Xaverians before briefly being on Liverpool’s books. The inside forward joined Spurs in May of 1905 and made his one appearance for them in a Western League match against Brentford in 1906 (the Spurs Alphabet says that Spurs fielded a reserve side for this fixture as Spurs had to play Birmingham two days later in the FA Cup). McMullan was released by Spurs in the April of 1906 and it is unknown where he went after leaving them.
Matt Reilly: From Donnybrook, County Dublin, Matthew Michael Reilly’s first sporting passion during his younger years was Gaelic football like many young Irishmen at the time. It was only when Reilly was with the Royal Artillery in Glasgow that he started to play football, he operated as a goalkeeper with junior side Benburb. Matt ‘ Gunner ’ Reilly as he was known later played for the Royal Artillery who were based in Portsmouth (he would end up going out on two loans during his time there), and he was a part of the side which reached the FA Amateur Cup final in 1896, losing to Bishop Auckland. A sharp shot stopper who was also good with his kicking, Reilly also played for the Army as well as Hampshire and Forfarshire. However, it was for Portsmouth as they were now known where he did well in the Southern League, and he won two international caps for Ireland for it. Interestingly during a game for Portsmouth against Swindon in January of 1904, Reilly resorted to punching a spectator after being struck by an object which had been thrown from the crowd. He would be banned from playing football for two weeks. After spending five seasons with ‘ Pompey ’ Reilly moved to Scottish side Dundee, where he spent a season making just three appearances. For the following season he moved to Football League side Notts County but after starting a good number of games to begin with he lost his place halfway through the season. He signed for Spurs that same year for a fee of £100 after impressing during a trial. He made 26 competitive appearances for Spurs during the 1906/07 season before returning to Ireland at the end of that campaign after being released, to join Shelbourne (he was a member of the Shelbourne side that reached the 1908 Irish Cup final). After retiring from the game the County Dublin man went back to Hampshire, Southsea to be precise, where he became a publican. However, in later years he returned to Dublin where he passed away at the age of 80 in 1954.
J.Doyle: On Dublin Bohemians books when he featured for Spurs on trial in a London Football Combination game against Fulham in February of 1916 as a guest. Doyle was a fullback by trade who didn’t go on to play any more games for Spurs.
Harry McCleneghan: Goalkeeper Harry McCleneghan started his career with Belfast Distillery before trialling with Norwich City in 1914. It was actually while on trial with the ‘ Canaries ’ that he impressed Spurs in a South Eastern League game at reserve team level. McCleneghan signed for Spurs in February 1914 and would go on to make one first team appearance in a friendly against Chelsea and two appearances for the reserves, before being released at the end of the season. Like J.Doyle it is unknown where McCleneghan went after leaving Spurs.
J.McVey: Another guest for Spurs during World War One, J.McVey was on the books of Dublin club Shelbourne when the forward made two appearances for the Lilywhites during the war. Those appearances came in London Football Combination fixtures against Chelsea and Millwall during the 1916/17 campaign.
McCalmont: One of three Irish guests to feature for Spurs during the First World War, McCalmont was on the books of Belfast based club Linfield. The centre forward made two appearances for Spurs, the first coming against Arsenal in a London Football Combination game against Arsenal, while the second came shortly afterwards in a friendly against an RAF team in Reading.
Dick Rowley: Enniskillen born centre forward (he was also adept at playing inside forward) Richard William Morris Rowley’s family had a proud history in the British Army. With Rowley’s father being a major in the British Army. The Rowley family left Northern Ireland when Dick was a young child, and ended up settling in Hampshire, England where Dick was educated at Taunton’s Grammar School in Southampton. A talented sportsman, Rowley joined the army after leaving school and served in Lancashire and Wiltshire. However, Rowley started his footballing career while in Wiltshire with Tidworth United, later playing for Andover Town, Swindon Town, London Casuals and Southampton who he had a good spell with averaging a goal every other game. It was at Southampton where Rowley really made his name in the game and he attracted the interest of many clubs. However, it was then Second Division Spurs who bidded £3,750 in February of 1930 and Southampton simply couldn’t refuse. Rowley however, didn’t get as many games as Spurs would surely have anticipated (he made 24 appearances scoring ten goals, making his debut in the FL against Oldham Athletic) and the player who won six caps for Ireland throughout his career scoring two goals, spent a fair bit of his one season and a half at Spurs with the reserves. In December of 1931 the Ireland international left Spurs to transfer to Preston North End for £5,000. He spent three years at Preston before retiring in 1934. After retiring from the game he coached both at Lancashire AFA and RAF Uxbridge. He also became a pilot officer which later changed to flying officer, and then flight lieutenant. Dick Rowley passed away in Southampton at the age of 80 in April of 1984.
Bobby Browne: Derry man Robert James ‘ Bobby ’ Browne was born in February 1912. The Northern Irishman who played for his country six times (he made his debut against England in Belfast in 1935) was a half back by trade, and a talented one too. One of ten children (his youngest brother Leonard was killed when the HMS Firedrake was sunk) he started off playing for junior clubs Maleven and Cooney Rovers however, Browne began his senior career with hometown club Derry City in the early 1930’s. He played for the ‘ Candystripes ’ until 1935 winning both the City Cup and the North-Western Cup, when English side Leeds United were impressed by Browne who was playing in the game between the Irish League team and the English League, and came calling. He joined Leeds for a fee of £1500 and despite his small frame he settled in well to life at the Yorkshire based club. Before, during and after the war Browne made in total 121 appearances for Leeds. During the war he joined the police force in England, he later resigned and would become an Army PT instructor in Colchester, Essex. In the midst of all this he also guested for a number of clubs including Derry City when he was posted back to Ulster, Aldershot, Luton Town, Swansea Town, Colchester United, Watford and Spurs. For Spurs, Browne made three appearances in total, making his debut against Queens Park Rangers in the FLS in the September of 1942. After the war had ended Bobby Browne played for York City, before becoming player-manager of Thorne Colliery and then coach and caretaker manager of his old club Halifax Town in 1954. Browne passed away in 1994 when he was in early 80’s.
H.Harris: Starting off with Belfast based club Distillery, inside forward H.Harris guested for north London clubs Spurs and Arsenal during the Second World War. For Spurs Harris made three appearances during the 1943/44 season, whilst serving with the Irish Guards.
John Hayes: John Franklin Hayes was born in Northern Ireland in 1913 but emigrated to Canada as a 16 year old. Playing for Saskatoon Sons of England and Thistle in Canada, before then playing his only game for Spurs as a guest and as a relatively old player in 1952. Hayes guested for Spurs when he was introduced at half time to replace Spurs goalkeeper Ted Ditchburn in their friendly game against the Saskatchewan FA in their tour of North America. The goalkeeper was most likely recommend to guest for Spurs due to his experience in the game, as he was most probably the most experienced goalkeeper in Saskatoon, Spurs won the game 18-1! In later years he would coach a number of clubs and also referee games. Hayes passed away in September of 1974.
Johnny Gavin: Limerick man John Thomas Gavin was a pacy goal scoring winger who enjoyed a distinguished career in the game. Born in April 1928, Gavin started his career in the game with Jamesborough United before signing for his now defunct hometown club Limerick City in 1947. He combined playing for the ‘ Super Blues ’ with working hard on the Irish railways, mainly as a painter. Capped internationally by Ireland on eight occasions scoring two goals, Johnny Gavin was scouted by Norwich City while playing for Limerick City and the then Norwich manager Doug Lochhead wanted to sign him, despite interest from London club West Ham United. Gavin signed for the ‘ Canaries ’ in 1948 and he spent six memorable years there scoring 76 goals in 203 competitive appearances. His time at Norwich City had impressed Spurs manager Arthur Rowe who secured the Irishman’s signing in October of 1954. Gavin only spent just over one season in north London (he resided locally in Ponders End) as he didn’t enjoy life as much as he did in Norwich. However, the former Limerick man did well at Spurs making a good impression at the club, scoring 15 goals in 32 appearances. However, Gavin was happy for return to Norwich in November, 1955 in a part exchange which saw defender Maurice Norman go to Jimmy Anderson’s Spurs. He endeared himself to the Norwich fans once more, and Gavin added to his goal scoring total during his second three year spell there, taking his total tally to 132 competitive goals in 338 appearances. He departed the ‘ Canaries ’ in 1958 and would go on to play for Watford, Crystal Palace, Cambridge City, Newmarket Town and finally Fulbourn Institute. In later years Gavin managed the Rock Hotel in Cambridge where he lived. He passed away in the city at the age of 79 in September 2007.
Brendan McNally: A trialist who was playing for Dublin club Shelbourne, Brendan McNally was recommend to Spurs by his manager and former Arsenal player David Jack (born in Drimnagh, Dublin in January of 1935) and he made his one and only appearance for Spurs in a friendly against Accrington Stanley. A talented fullback (he predominantly played on the right) who played for junior clubs St.Finbarrs and St John Bosco FC during his youth, McNally also represented Ireland at schoolboy level. He was signed by Shelbourne in 1954 and in the same year he made the trip across the Irish Sea to trial for Spurs. Unfortunately for McNally heavy rain brought the game to a premature end on 52 minutes. And although scouted by Spurs after returning to Shelbourne, the Lilywhites decided not to bring the Irishman back to north London. Brendan McNally did however, return to England to trial for Luton Town in 1956 and he ended up being signed by the ‘ Hatters ’ who he made in total 134 league appearances for, scoring three goals. McNally had a good career with Luton in the First Division and he was a part of the side which made the 1959 FA Cup final where they lost to Nottingham Forest. After leaving Luton he played for Cambridge City and Dunstable Town before entering management, taking charge of former Spurs youth player Kerry Dixon at Chesham United before then managing Dunstable Town. The former fullback who won three caps for the Republic of Ireland at international level throughout his career, passed away in Luton in July 2011.
Danny Blanchflower: Spurs’ original captain fantastic, Robert Dennis Blanchflower was a visionary of the game. For many Spurs fans Danny Blanchflower remains one of the greatest and most influential ever players to pull on the famous Lilywhite shirt of Tottenham Hotspur. With his exceptional vision and incisive passing ability, the Belfast born right half was the on the field brains behind Spurs‘ double winning success of the 1960/61 season. The on the field manager as he has been described by former teammates, had a profound impact on the history of our great club throughout its most successful period. Blanchflower was as I say a visionary, a man light years ahead of his time. He was also a hero to so many Spurs supporters including myself, even though he was long, long before my time. Danny Blanchflower (his mother played football at a relatively high level) was born in East Belfast, Bloomfield on the 10th of February 1926, Blanchflower would later attend Ravenscroft public elementary school and then the Belfast College of Technology. Having started out with Northern Irish side Glentoran as an amateur, Blanchflower earned himself a move to English team Barnsley after impressing during his 124 appearances for the ‘ Glens ’ and Barnsley paid £6,000 for him to join them in 1949. After a spell in Yorkshire with former Spurs manager Jimmy Seed, the Ulsterman then moved to Aston Villa before transferring in 1954 to Tottenham Hotspur a club whose name he had liked the sound of since he was a young boy. Blanchflower would spend ten years at the Lilywhites and while he did clash with Jimmy Anderson during the former Spurs managers reign at the club in the 1950’s. Danny’s time at Spurs was overwhelmingly positive and along with manager Bill Nicholson and that great team that we had during the early 1960’s, he helped to shape the history of Spurs. Voted the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1958 and 1961, he captained Spurs to winning the double in the 1960/61 season, the highly versatile and adaptable Belfast man also helped Spurs to win a further FA Cup, and also the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963, before departing them at the end of that season (Danny also won 56 caps for Northern Ireland during his career scoring 2 goals. He also captained them to the quarterfinals of the 1958 World Cup).
He later went abroad to play for the likes of Toronto City (guest), Boksburg (guest), and Durban City (guest) as well as serving the South African club as a guest coach. After retiring from playing the beautiful game, Blanchflower turned his hand to management, taking charge of Chelsea (unfortunately it was an ill fated reign at the ‘ Blues ’) and Northern Ireland (had Bill Nicholson had, had his way then Danny would have replaced him as Spurs manager in 1974). He also became a hugely respected football journalist where he wrote about the game for the Sunday Express, as well as commentating on football games on television. In later life Blanchflower was awarded a testimonial match at White Hart Lane in May of 1990 but just over three years later he sadly passed away after suffering from pneumonia in Cobham, Surrey. He was the definition of a legend of the game. Former Spurs teammate Eddie
Clayton had the following to say about Danny when I spoke with him recently: “ Danny was a very professional footballer and when he played he was very attack minded. He played with a smile on his face although he was still very serious about his football, but with Danny it was all about attacking football, he never thought about defending and that’s why he clashed with Bill Nicholson who was very defensive minded. Whereas Danny was attacking minded, he used to say look if they score one then we’ll score two, if they score two then we’ll score three and so on, and that’s how he was. That was Danny’s way of playing football, he was happy if we won 10-9! As a player Danny was very skilful and he was very good on the ball. He was also a good passer of the ball and even though he wasn’t very quick, his positioning and his reading of the game was very good. He was a good captain who was friendly, and he loved a bit of a laugh. However, he was still a serious guy and I would call him a true professional. ”
Pat Jennings: Legendary goalkeeper Patrick Anthony Jennings was one of Spurs’ all time great goalkeepers, and at one stage in his career arguably the best goalkeeper in the world. Jennings, who is from Newry, County Down, started his footballing journey with Newry Town before later playing for Newry United. The commanding young goalkeeper (17) was playing for a Northern Ireland youth side in the final of an English youth tournament against England at Wembley, when Bill McCracken who was a scout for Watford at the time was impressed by him and recommended him to the ‘ Hornets ’ who paid Newry Town £5,000 for his services. Jennings excelled for the then third division club, since making his debut in May of 1963. During the following season he played every league game for Watford as well as winning two caps for his country, Northern Ireland. Jennings, who was a superbly athletic goalkeeper who commanded his box excellently, as well as being able to comfortably pluck the ball out of the air (without gloves), was soon attracting the interest of a number of clubs. And unbeknownst to him in June of 1964, he was sold to Spurs after they had bid £27,000. Starting a 13 year spell with the Lilywhites, ‘ Big Pat ’ as he was known made 656 appearances for Spurs, winning the FA Cup in 1967, the League Cup three years later as well as in 1973, and of course the UEFA Cup in 1973. He was also voted the Football Writers’ Player of the Year in the early 70’s as well as the Players’ Player of the Year. A firm fans favourite with the Spurs fans, his association with the club was legendary and the sheer quality of his many, many excellent saves, along with with the way that he dealt with crosses and set pieces made him a defenders dream to be playing with. The goalkeeper who in total won 119 caps for Northern Ireland including playing at the World Cup, was amazingly sold to bitter rivals Arsenal at the end of the 1976/77 season following Spurs’ relegation to the Second Division, was Keith Burkinshaw’s decision. Although Jennings didn’t want to go over to the other side of north London, he ended up serving Arsenal really well during his eight years their.
A member of the side which won the 1979 FA Cup, as well as making three other cup finals with the ‘ Gunners ’, Jennings made 327 competitive appearances for Arsenal before retiring from playing in 1985. However, Pat returned to Spurs in August of 1985 to maintain his match fitness for the 1986 World Cup with Northern Ireland. He went on to make one more competitive appearance for Spurs in the Football League Super Cup against Liverpool in the winter of 1986. After leaving Spurs again he signed for Everton as cover but never made an appearance for the ‘ Toffees ’ during his time their. After officially returning from the game he has coached goalkeepers at Spurs where he still coaches (now part time as an academy coach) and during the early 2000’s he was also a goalkeeping coach of Oxford United. Jennings’ son who is also named Pat was also on Spurs’ books as a youth player but would go on to have a good career in Ireland. Pat Jennings, along with Danny Blanchflower is a Spurs legend of the modern day.
Joe Kinnear: Born in Kimmage, Dublin, but brought up in Watford, England, where he moved to with his family at a relatively young child. Joseph Patrick Kinnear started his career with St Albans City but was taken on trial by Spurs who had been impressed with his progress at the non league club, during the early 1960’s. The fullback who loved to attack was signed by Spurs as an amateur in 1963 while working in the printing trade, he eventually signed professional terms with the Lilywhites in February of 1965. A dependable player who was a good tackler (he also had pace) who managed well to combine both his defensive duties with his attacking duties, Kinnear made his competitive senior debut for Spurs in a Football League game against West Ham United in the April of 1966. He enjoyed a good 1966/67 season, first winning his first cap for the Republic of Ireland in a game against Turkey and then enjoying a good run in the Spurs side during the second half of that season after first choice full back Phil Beal had been ruled out for the season with a broken arm. Kinnear performed well in Beal’s absence and he was a member of the side which reached the 1967 FA Cup final and beat Chelsea (Kinnear started that game). He continued to be an important player in the seasons after Spurs’ FA Cup triumph, going on to become an important and reliable player for manager Bill Nicholson. Kinnear helped Spurs to win two League Cups, an FA Charity Shield and the UEFA Cup. During his ten year spell with Spurs, Joe Kinnear made over 200 appearances, and he only started to fall out of favour at fullback when Northern Irishman Terry Neill took over from Bill Nicholson. He left Spurs to move to south coast club Brighton and Hove Albion but a bad knee injury put an end to his professional career in the game. The Irishman who made 26 appearances for his country would later play for Dunstable Town before being player-manager of Woodford Town. Kinnear then turned his hand to coaching, beginning an interesting managerial career as trial manager of Nepal, before then coaching UAE side Sharjah.
He would go on to coach a number of clubs in Asia as well as managing Nepal on a permanent basis. However, Kinnear would also have a successful managerial career in England, managing the likes of Wimbledon where he won LMA manager of the year in 1994, Luton Town, Nottingham Forest where he managed future Irish Spur Andy Reid, and Newcastle United. He was also Director of football at both Oxford United and Newcastle United until resigning from his role at the ‘ Magpies ’ in February of 2014.
Chris McGrath: Christopher Roland McGrath was born in south Belfast in November 1954, and during his younger years he impressed playing for both Belfast and Northern Ireland Schools, where he was scouted playing by Spurs. McGrath was signed by Spurs as a young apprentice in July of 1970, first starting off as a midfielder he worked his way up the field to play as a forward. A future Northern Ireland international who would play under Spurs legend Danny Blanchflower (he won 21 caps and scored four goals) McGrath, who had a good sense of humour as a young man, would impress at youth level for Spurs (he signed professional terms in January 1972) and he made his competitive first team debut for them in a North London Derby against Arsenal in October of 1973. A player whose nickname during his playing days was ‘ Paddy ’, McGrath would play in a number of positions at Spurs of which included playing in midfield, on both wings (he had pace to beat his man) and up front as a central striker. He may not have lived up to his potential at domestic level for Spurs however, McGrath did do well in Europe, scoring some important goals during their 1973/74 UEFA Cup campaign (he featured in both legs of the final against Feyenoord). Chris McGrath made in total 38 appearances, scoring ten goals for Spurs, during his time their. After the 1973/74 season the Northern Ireland international struggled for appearances under manager Terry Neill, and McGrath was sold to Manchester United for £30,000 in October 1976, after initially being sent out on loan to Millwall the season before. McGrath spent five years at Manchester United but only made 38 competitive appearances for them, scoring one goal. He would later transfer to American side Tulsa Roughneck in 1981 before later playing for Hong Kong based club South China AA, and he would do well their, becoming captain of the team. He retired from playing the game in 1985.
Noel Brotherston: Dundonald man (situated just east of Belfast) Noel Brotherston grew up on the Balybeen estate where he first developed his love of football. Brotherston was a stylish winger who played for North Down and Northern Ireland Schools, before playing in the Glentoran youth system for a time during the Northern Ireland troubles. Noel Brotherston who was the son of a Belfast shipyard worker, was spotted playing football by scout Bob Bishop who wasted no time in recommending the tricky winger to a number of clubs, of which included Spurs. The young man whose hero was George Best was signed by the Lilywhites as a 15 year old schoolboy in 1972, Brotherston impressed at youth level at Spurs with his highly skilled and direct approach to the game (he was also quick). And the teenager became an important part of the Spurs youth team that won the 1974 FA Youth Cup under the tutelage of manager Pat Welton. Brotherston then stepped up to reserve team level where he also performed well, and then in March of 1976 he made his one and only competitive appearance for Spurs in a league game against Aston Villa in when he replaced the injured Jimmy Neighbour however, he was replaced by Martin Robinson at half time. The Northern Irishman who represented his country on 27 occasions and who scored the winning goal in the British Championships final against Wales in 1980, wasn’t favoured by Spurs manager and fellow countryman Terry Neil. So at the end of the 1976/77 season Brotherston was given a free transfer by Spurs and he joined Second Division side Blackburn Rovers. At Blackburn, Brotherston became a cult hero making over 300 appearances, scoring over 40 goals and endearing himself to the fans in the process. After leaving Blackburn, Brotherston’s career took him to Bury, Scarborough, Swedish side Motala AIF and Chorley Town. Tragically the much loved family man who later became a painter and decorator, passed away in Blackburn of a heart attack in the May of 1995, the month that his beloved Blackburn Rovers won the Premier League.
Terry Neill: Although many remember Terrence John William Neill as manager of Spurs, the Belfast man did appear once for them as a player during the clubs post season tour of Canada, Fiji and Australasia in 1976. Neill had enjoyed a good playing career during his younger years, first starting off with Northern Irish side Bangor as a youth player before moving over to Arsenal in 1959, first to their youth team before later being promoted to their senior squad. Neill captained Arsenal at the tender age of 20 and the former wing half turned centre half became a near permanent fixture for the ‘ Gunners ‘ over an almost eight year period. Making over 240 league appearances for the north London side, Neill who had won 59 international caps for Northern Ireland during his playing career, was a member of the Arsenal side which made the 1968 Football League Cup final. He would later become captain of Northern Ireland in the late 1960’s before leaving Arsenal to join Hull City as player-manager in July of 1970, but he left them a year afterwards (he also became player-manager fo Northern Ireland for a period during the 1970’s). Neill was hired as Bill Nicholson’s successor in 1974 but his time as manager of Spurs didn’t make him a fan favourite due to his links with Arsenal. The Belfast man narrowly avoided relegation from the First Division during his first season in charge of the club however, in his second season in charge Spurs managed to achieve a ninth place league finish. Neill returned to Arsenal this time as manager in 1976 to start a seven year spell with the ‘ Gunners ’ which saw him win them 1979 FA Cup. Interestingly Neill reportedly tried to sign Glen Hoddle from Spurs, during his time in charge of Arsenal, something which would have made him even less popular with the Tottenham faithful. Terry’s one and only appearance for Spurs came as a substitute in a post season friendly against Northern New South Wales in Newcastle, Australia in 1976. Nowadays Neill owns a couple of sports bars in the London area, as well as commentating on games on Arsenal TV.
Gerry Armstrong: Tall, physical and extremely versatile centre forward Gerard Joseph Armstrong had the perfect build to play Gaelic football in Ireland. In fact Armstrong played GAA seriously up until the age of 16, when he was serving a suspension from the sport and decided to try football. The Belfast born man who grew up on the Springfield road in the mid 1950’s, first played for St. Paul’s Swifts, who he once scored 35 goals in a season for. Armstrong later played for Cromac Albion and then Bangor who he helped to win the County Antrim Shield in May of 1975. Only part time with Bangor due to the fact that he was working with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive as a Senior Clerical Officer. Armstrong was spotted by Spurs playing for Bangor but looked set to sign for bitter rivals Arsenal however, Terry Neill did manage to secure his signing in the end, as Spurs paid Bangor £25,000. Spurs wanted to play the then 22 year old Armstrong as a centre half initially but he wasn’t content to be playing in that position. A striker who had great strength and good pace, Armstrong was a good team player who although wasn’t prolific during his time in north London, he did win admirers due to his direct and effective style of play. He was also good in the air and he scored a good number of headed goals during his career and this made life difficult for opposing teams defenders. Unfortunately for Armstrong he was a member of the Spurs side which was relegated to the Second Division in 1977 however, he played a good role in helping them to bounce back at the first time of asking. Gerry did play in central defence for Spurs during his time their however, even his versatility couldn’t stop him from being sold in 1980 to Watford as Spurs recruited a number of new additions. (he scored 10 league goals in 84 appearances for Spurs). Armstrong was much loved at Watford where he scored 12 goals in 76 appearances, the Northern Irishman who played 63 times for his country, scoring 12 goals, including a very important winner against Spain at the 1982 World Cup, was also a part of the Watford side which got promoted to the First Division in 1982.
Armstrong’s success at the 1982 World Cup with Northern Ireland brought with it some new admirers, and in 1983 he signed for Spanish side RCD Mallorca for £250,000. He would later play for the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Chesterfield, Brighton, Millwall, Glenavon, Bromley, Waterford, Worthing (player-manager) and Whitehawk in what was a long career in the game. After retiring from playing the game Armstrong worked as a scout for Watford, had two spells as assistant manager of Northern Ireland and managed Whitehawk along with a number of other roles in the game. He also commentated on La Liga for Sky Sports for a number of years, and he is now a football analyst where he lives back in his home city of Belfast.
Jimmy Holmes: James Paul Holmes, of the Liberties in Dublin (born in 1953), was a very solid and dependable defender (adept at playing at left back and central defence) during his playing days. Holmes, who began his career with Dublin side St John Bosco (he also played for Ireland as a youth player) and who attended the Emmet Road Technical School, was spotted playing for St John Bosco by Coventry City scout Bunny Fulham, and he ended up signing for them in 1969. Then a central defender, Holmes anticipated danger well in games and he managed to settle in well to life at the ‘ Sky Blues ’. After initially playing for Coventry’s youth side, Holmes was a member of the side that reached the 1969/70 FA Youth Cup final against Spurs however, they lost over the course of three games. He would go on to make 128 league appearances for Coventry City over the next seven years, in addition he would also become the youngest ever player to make his debut for the Republic of Ireland at the age of 17 years and 200 days, in a game against Austria in 1971. It would be the first of 30 International caps for his country. The Dubliner who once played against Pele in later years, was a key player for Coventry during his time their. In March of 1977 he moved on to Spurs for a fee of £120,000, Holmes would go on to make 92 competitive senior appearances for Spurs (he scored two goals). He showed his qualities as a ball playing defender at the Lilywhites, and he became a reliable player for Keith Burkinshaw’s men, as he helped them to win promotion back to the First Division during the 1977/78 season. However, he was never to be the same player after suffering a horrific leg break in a World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia, in 1979. The leg break would cause a number of other problems for Holmes but it meant that after being out for a year he was never again to be the player that he was before. In the February of 1981 he signed for Canadian club Vancouver Whitecaps. Holmes would later have spells with the likes of Leicester City, Brentford, Torquay United, Leicester United and Peterborough United as player-assistant manager.
In 1985 Holmes was awarded a testimonial match by the Irish FA at Dalymount Park in Dublin, as a Glenn Hoddle XI took on an Irish XI. After retiring from playing Jimmy became a police officer in the West Midlands and would later work a chauffeur a job which he still does today in Nuneaton, where he drives the mayor of Nuneaton around town.
Tom Heffernan: A player whose party trick was heading cricket balls, Thomas Patrick Heffernan was born in Dún Laoghaire in the April of 1955, and would grow up in the Sallynoggin district of the town. Heffernan began his playing career with Dún Laoghaire Celtic and it was their that he was spotted by a scout from Spurs. Heffernan had a successful trial with the Lilywhites and was signed by the club in 1977, meaning that he had to give up his day job in Dublin, working at a rehabilitation centre. The Irishman played for the youth team and the reserves at Spurs, a regular in both teams he made his one and only appearance for Spurs in a testimonial game against Arsenal in November of 1977. Heffernan would come on as a substitute and ultimately score a goal in the game. He departed Spurs for AFC Bournemouth in 1979 and would play under future Spurs manager Harry Redknapp down on the south coast during his second spell at the club in 1985. In between that the now primarily central defender played for Sheffield United, and then after leaving Bournemouth for a second time in 1988 he dropped in to the non league, playing for the likes of Swanage Town and Herston, as well as Parley Sports. Nowadays Tom Heffernan resides back in his native County Dublin.
Tom Sloan: Ballymena born midfielder Thomas Sloan was a player of small build who despite his size, was an industrious midfield player who had good vision and passing ability. Sloan started off with Raglan Homers before signing for Northern Irish side Ballymena United in 1978. The midfielder came on to the scene at Ballymena in the Northern Irish Premier Division (he made 40 appearances in total) and he was a member of the Ballymena side that reached the final of the Irish Cup in 1978 (they were defeated by Linfield). Sloan, who also made an appearance for Northern Ireland’s under 21 side during that fruitful year of 1978, also attracted the attention of English sides Spurs and Manchester United during the summer time. Tom Sloan was taken on trial by Spurs for their end of season tour of Sweden and Norway, and he played two games for the Lilywhites. The first was against FC Hamar, and the second game was against Kvik Halden. In the end Spurs decided not to take Sloan on but Manchester United did after he impressed during his subsequent trial their. The Ulsterman only made 11 league appearances for Manchester United during his four years on their books. The footballer who won three caps for Northern Ireland, left Man United to sign for Chester City in 1982. He would later return home to Northern Ireland where he had a good career, playing for the likes of Linfield, Coleraine, Carrick Rangers, Larne and Ballymena United once again. He would go on to work as a plasterer while playing Saturday morning football for his first club Raglan Homers.
Chris Hughton: Talented and highly effective left back Chris Hughton rose up through the youth and reserve ranks at Spurs to appear in 398 games for them and become one their best ever fullbacks in the process (born in Forest Gate, London in 1958). Hughton was the son of a Ghanaian father and an Irish mother, and he would go on to represent the Republic of Ireland with great distinction on 53 occasions, scoring one goal (Hughton would always go to great lengths to travel to Ireland games). The former St Anthony’s Catholic School pupil signed for Spurs as a part time professional (he combined his time at Spurs working as a lift engineer) in 1977 and excelled for them both at youth and reserve team level. Hughton signed full time professional in 1979 and he made his competitive senior debut in a league game against Manchester United two months later. A determined, offensively potent, consistent and archetypal left back who never gave up any challenges, Hughton was a great servant to both Ireland and Spurs throughout his career. With Spurs he played a key part in helping them to win two FA Cup’s during the early 1980’s, as well as the 1984 UEFA Cup when he performed excellently in the second leg of the final against Anderlecht, he was also a part of the Spurs side that shared the 1981 FA Charity Shield with Aston Villa (Hughton also helped Spurs to reach the 1982 League Cup final). He left Spurs to join West Ham United on loan in November 1990, before joining them on a permanent transfer the following month. He played for the ‘ Hammers ’ until 1992 before then transferring to fellow London club Brentford in 1992, spending one season with the ‘ Bees ’. He retired at the end of that season to become Spurs under 21 coach during that summer, before later becoming reserve team manager. Hughton would also become caretaker manager of Spurs as well as assistant manager on two occasions, also being assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland from 2003 to 2005.
Chris Hughton would then go on to have a successful career in management which lasts up until the present day. The former fullback has so far managed Newcastle United, Birmingham City, Norwich City and Brighton and Hove Albion, he also commentates on games for Sky Sports. Hughton is not only a Spurs legend but a real gentleman who is without doubt one of their most influential Irishmen.
Tony Galvin: Huddersfield born winger Anthony Galvin represented both Yorkshire and England Schools during his youth (born in July 1956) before going on to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Studies at Hull University (he qualified for the Republic of Ireland through his grandfather on his mothers side, and would go on to win 29 caps, scoring one goal. He also played at Euro 1988). Galvin combined his studies with turning out for the university team, before then going on to go to Teacher Training College, while also playing for non league side Goole Town. It was during his time with Goole Town that he was spotted playing by Bill Nicholson and Spurs signed him in January of 1978 for £30,000 (he actually didn’t become a full time professional for Spurs until the summer time, so that he could complete his teacher training course). Galvin was a winger who would always hug the byline and would use his frame to go on powerful forward runs down the flank (he was strong), he also possessed very good stamina. Making his competitive first team debut for Spurs in a First Division game against Manchester City in February of 1979. Galvin did struggle to get a consistent run in the Spurs team until the 1980/81 season when he became an important player in the side which won the FA Cup (he assisted Ricky Villa’s famous goal in the final). However, he did suffer a number of disruptive injuries which massively hampered his playing time at the Lilywhites. Although he did win an additional FA Cup in 1982 and the UEFA Cup in 1984. Galvin who did until recently play for the Spurs legends team, was one of a number of players sold when David Pleat took over as Spurs manager in 1987. After years of good service for Spurs (he made over 200 league appearances for Spurs, scoring 20 goals) he went to Sheffield Wednesday before later having a spell with Swindon Town, first as a player and then as assistant manager and caretaker manager. His coaching career would see him become assistant manager at Newcastle United, manager of Royston Town and coach of Potton United among a number of other roles that he held.
After retiring from the game Tony Galvin lectured for a time at a London college.
Mike McCabe: Waterford man (born in August of 1964) Michael John McCabe would go on to represent Ireland Schools, Republic of Ireland under 16’s and 19’s during his youth. The feisty and good pressing young striker started out with local club Johnville before being spotted and subsequently signed for Spurs as a 15 year old schoolboy apprentice in 1980. McCabe had a fairly good goal scoring record for Spurs’ youth team in the old South Eastern Counties League, and the former Gaelic footballer and hurling player would go on to progress to the reserves. However, during his time at Spurs the then young centre forward was tormented by injuries and this severely hampered his progress and meant that he was never able to reach his full potential at the club. Making his senior debut for Spurs as a substitute in Welshman Paul Price’s testimonial against Luton Town in October of 1981, after that game he was swiftly offered a professional contract by Spurs. He was however, let go (presumably as a result of his injury troubles) shortly before he turned 20. McCabe then took the unusual step of moving to Norwegian third tier club Vard Haugesund (McCabe is still fondly remembered in Norway for his goal scoring exploits) a side who where struggling in the league when McCabe arrived however, his goals pushed them up the table, and by the end of the season they had won promotion to the second tier of Norwegian football. Then in 1988 Mick McCabe was signed by Norwegian First Division side Trømso who he played for, for over five and a half years, helping them to a second place finish in his final season. He later played for Viking before retiring from playing and then entering the coaching side of it. To note just some of his roles, he was assistant manager of Hana IL, coach of Hundvåg and coach of SAFK Fagernes. Mick McCabe still lives in Norway to this very day.
Liam Brady: Legendary former Arsenal and Juventus man Liam Brady was a naturally gifted attacking midfielder who is considered to be one of Arsenal’s all time greats. Brady was born in Dublin in 1956, and the former St. Kevin’s Boys club player was signed by the ‘ Gunners ’ in 1971 and would go on to spend nine successful years their. Brady, who was known for his passing ability and ability to set up goals, was a member of the Arsenal side which won the FA Cup in 1979 and that finished runners up in the 1980 UEFA Cup Winners Cup. The Dubliner who was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1978/79 would then move on to Italian side Juventus in 1980, after making 235 league appearances for Arsenal, scoring 43 goals. Brady excelled in Italy becoming a key player for Juventus as they won two Serie A titles in the early 1980’s. The supremely talented playmaker who was capped on 72 occasions for his country would then go on to play for Sampdoria, Inter Milan, Ascoli and West Ham United after leaving Juventus. Brady would also go on to manage Celtic and Brighton and Hove Albion, as well as serving the Republic of Ireland as assistant manager, and he also served a couple of other coaching roles during his career. Liam Brady’s one and only appearance for Spurs was as a guest player in Keith Burkinshaw’s testimonial against an England XI in May of 1984. He found the back of the net in that game.
Tim O’Shea: Pimlico born (born in 1966) defender Timothy James Peter O’Shea played for London Schools during his youth before training on a part time basis with Fulham and Wimbledon, as well as being a schoolboy at Arsenal. However, O’Shea signed YTS forms with Spurs in 1983, and he would sign professional forms in August of the following year. Capped at both under 19 and under 21 level for the Republic of Ireland, O’Shea also played for Ireland at the 1985 FIFA World Youth Championship. Loaned out to Welsh club Newport County in 1986 after playing for Spurs at youth and reserve team level. O’Shea played predominantly at CDM during his time at Newport. The then young defender came back to Spurs in December of 1986, and he stepped up to make his competitive first team debut as a substitute in a First Division game against Sheffield Wednesday in April 1987. O’Shea would go on to make two more appearances for Spurs’ senior side including one start, before departing the Lilywhites to join Leyton Orient in 1988. After initially going out on loan to Gillingham he joined them on a permanent basis the following year. He spent three years their, before moving on to Yeovil and later Hong Kong based side Eastern AA in 1992 as well as later playing for a number of other clubs, and he would spend seven successful years with Eastern AA. O’Shea did also have a career as a coach working at Millwall’s academy, as well as Grays Athletic and being manager of Croydon Athletic and most recently Lewes who he left in 2011.
Phil Gray: Belfast man Philip Gray played for Belfast Schools and Northern Ireland Schools as a schoolboy before joining his first club Ballyclare Comrades (born in 1968). Gray, who operated as a striker, was impressing at Ballyclare Comrades when Spurs signed him as an apprentice in 1985. ‘ Tippy ’ as he was known at Spurs, was prolific at youth team level and he quickly progressed in to the first team at a young age. Gray signed professional terms with the Lilywhites in 1986 and made his debut in a First Division game against Everton in May of the following year. The hardworking and tigerish centre forward would go on to make nine more competitive senior appearances for Spurs, but he failed to find the back of the net in any of those matches. The future Northern Ireland international who would go on to represent his country on 26 occasions, scoring six goals, would leave Spurs on loan first to Barnsley and later Fulham to get more first team experience. Gray would eventually leave Spurs permanently in the summer of 1991 to join Luton Town for £275,000. At Luton he did well, scoring 22 goals in 59 games for the ‘ Hatters ’ and in 1993 he joined Sunderland where he also had a good scoring ratio, this time in over 100 appearances. Spells with French side Nancy and Dutch side Fortuna Sittard followed for Gray, who had now developed a good reputation as a reliable goal scoring striker. He would later go on to return to Luton Town, before playing for the likes of Burnley, Boston United, Chelmsford City, Stevenage Borough, Maidenhead United (player-assistant manager) and finally Hertfordshire based non league club Stotfold.
Ritchie Johnston: Born in Portadown, Northern Ireland in the autumn of 1969, midfielder/striker Richard William Johnston was an intelligent player who represented his country Northern Ireland, all the way from under 17 to under 23 level. Johnston had played for Northern Ireland Schools and Lisburn Youth Club, and was signed by Tottenham Hotspur as a trainee in the summer of 1986. The Northern Irishman signed professional terms with Spurs during the following year and he would go on to make two first team appearances in friendlies (his debut came against Brentford as a substitute in December 1987) during his time in the English capital. Johnston whose main strength as a forward was holding up the ball, would later depart Spurs on loan to Scottish side Dunfermline Athletic in 1990, before leaving the Lilywhites on a permanent transfer in August 1990 to move back to Northern Irish Premier Division side Linfield. He did well at the Belfast based club despite being out for over two years with a very bad knee injury. At Linfield he won the Irish League, Irish League Cup and the Ulster Cup. After leaving Linfield in 1998 Johnston went on to play for Tandragee Rovers, Armagh City and Richill before retiring from the game in 2005.
Eddie Gormley: Edward Joseph Gormley was born in Dublin City in October of 1968 and was a pupil of the Cabinteely Community School. Gormley was a tricky and skilful winger during his playing days, and he would start off his career with St Joseph’s Boys Club before signing terms with Irish Premier Division side Wanderers in 1987. He made his debut for Bray against Derry City at the young age of 16, and he would make 11 league appearances for the ‘ Seagulls ‘ scoring three goals. The young Eddie Gormley who primarily played out on the left of midfield was soon attracting interest from across the water, with Liverpool and Spurs interested in the Dubliner. Gormley did go on trial with Liverpool but never ended up signing for the Merseyside club, and when Spurs came calling after watching him in a league game against Dundalk he signed terms with them in November 1987. The midfielder who would go on to win three caps for the Republic of Ireland’s under 21 side, would not get off to the best of starts at Spurs after he suffered a bad ankle injury, it would be the first of a number of injury setbacks during his time in London. Gormley was a regular for Spurs’ reserve side throughout his time their, before going out on loan to Chesterfield in 1988 and later Scottish side Motherwell (he didn’t make a single appearance for them) as well as Barnet and Shrewsbury Town during the following year. It was actually in 1989 that Gormley made his first team debut as a substitute for Spurs in an autumn friendly against French side SM Caen, in Cherbourg. He would make another appearance for Spurs as a substitute in Danny Blanchflower’s testimonial against a Northern Ireland XI. Unable to break through to the first team at Spurs, Gormley left to sign for Billy Bremner’s Doncaster Rovers after being given a free transfer at the end of the 1989/90 season. He would spend three seasons their, before going on to return to Ireland where he played for Drogheda United, St Patricks Athletic where he won three League of Ireland titles and a FAI Super Cup, Bray Wanderers, Ballymena United and Pearse Rovers. Later becoming a coach, Gormley initially coached Bray Wanderers before becoming manager of the club in September 2006. After leaving them he since became director of coaching with Cabinteely and later became manager of the Irish second tier club, who he is still in charge of to this day.
Dave McDonald: A Republic of Ireland under 21 and B international, Dubliner (born in 1971) David Hugh McDonald started his career with Dublin side Home Farm before joining Spurs at the end of the 1986/87 season as a trainee, after being watched by the Lilywhites. McDonald was a determined fullback who possessed decent pace, and after doing well in both the youth team and the reserves he was picked to play for an injury stricken Spurs team in a league game against Liverpool at Anfield in May of 1993, Spurs lost the game 6-2. McDonald would make an additional three appearances for Spurs (two in competitive fixtures) before being sold to Football League side Peterborough United at the beginning of the 1993/94 season after having previous experience out on loan to other Football League clubs. After a season with Peterborough he transferred to Barnet who he had a good spell at. McDonald would then play for a host of clubs out of the Football League, of which included Boreham Wood, Enfield and Billericay Town. The former fullback who still lives in England, would also become player-manager at Enfield and assistant manager of Boreham Wood.
Andy Turner: Born in Woolwich, London in March of 1975 of Irish heritage, despite representing England Schoolboys during his youth (he had graduated from the old FA School of Excellence), Andrew Peter Turner would come close to winning a senior cap for the Republic of Ireland during his career, although he did represent them at under 21 level on seven occasions. Turner was a lightening quick and direct winger during his playing days who signed for Spurs as a trainee in 1991. Andy Turner progressed through the youth ranks to make his competitive first team debut for Spurs as a mere 17 year old, although he had already featured in pre-season friendlies for Spurs already. Bursting on to the scene for Terry Venables side when he was given a start against Southampton on the opening day of the 1992/93 Premier League season. He did well on his debut and soon afterwards he scored his first goal for the club in a league game against Everton (becoming the youngest ever Premier League scorer at the time). Turner would go on to make an additional 21 competitive appearances for Spurs, scoring four goals. However, he would hardly been seen again at Spurs after that 1992/93 season and he spent the majority of his time out on loan, playing for the likes of Wycombe Wanderers and Huddersfield Town. The former Republic of Ireland youth international left Tottenham permanently in 1996 to join Portsmouth after being released. Turner was a consistent performer at ‘ Pompey ‘ during his two years their, he would later have a lengthy career in the game playing for Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Rotherham United to name but a few teams, before then dropping into non league. Since retiring from playing he has had an interesting career as a coach, managing the likes of Alsager Town and Romulus FC. Andy Turner is currently working out in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he is an academy coach for the Bangladesh national team.
Stephen Carr: Dublin born, attack minded right back Stephen Carr was a stalwart of Spurs and the Republic of Ireland for a number of years during his footballing career. Carr was not only an attack minded fullback, but he was also one who kept good positioning, was difficult to get past, and who read the game well. The former Donahies Community School pupil who represented Dublin Schools during his youth, first really played for Stella Maris. It was their that he was scouted by Spurs and brought over on trial in the summer of 1992 as a 15 year old and duly signed for then manager Ossis Ardiles’s team. Carr was playing well in the Tottenham youth team when he signed professional forms, and soon afterwards the then 17 year old fullback made his competitive first team debut, bursting on to the scene in the absence of regular right back Dean Austin in a CC Cup game against Burnley in the September time. The Irishman would however, return to the reserves when David Kerslake was signed however, when he finally did break through again he became a fans favourite and won the 1999 Football League Cup and the Tottenham Hotspur player of the year award in the same year. Carr, who was capped 44 times for his country at the highest level (unfortunately he missed the 2002 World Cup due to injury), was when at the peak of his career the best right back in the Premier League. After giving 12 years of great service to the Lilywhites he moved on to Newcastle United in August 2004, spending four years their and winning the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. After leaving them he went on trial with Leicester City in 2008, but announced his retirement from football soon afterwards. However, in 2009 Carr started to train again this time with Birmingham City, and after being awarded an initial one month contract, he signed an extension to the end of the season. Like at his previous clubs Stephen Carr gave Birmingham great service and he would end up spending over four years their, helping them to defy the odds and win the 2011 Football League Cup.
Steve Robinson: Lisburn man Stephen Robinson played for Lisburn Schools and Northern Ireland Schools during his youth before signing for Northern Irish giants Linfield as a trainee. It was at Linfield that Spurs signed Robinson in 1991, with the then striker signing professional terms with Tottenham less than two years later. Steve Robinson progressed up the youth ranks and up to reserve team level when he was thrust in to the action in a Premier League game against Blackburn Rovers in October 1993. The young striker made an additional league appearance for Spurs as a substitute not long after the Blackburn game, in addition to that appearance he also played three non competitive games for Spurs’ first team in friendlies. After a loan spell with Leyton Orient, the forward/midfielder was sold to AFC Bournemouth in the autumn of 1994. He excelled at the ‘ Cherries ‘, scoring 52 goals in 241 competitive appearances. Robinson would spend just less than four years at Bournemouth before moving on to Preston North End in 2000. A loan move to Bristol City and a permanent spell with Luton Town followed, before the Ulsterman retired from playing the game in 2008. Since retiring from playing he has held a post with the Irish FA, been assistant manager with Lisburn Distillery, managed Oldham Athletic as well as Motherwell where he is currently doing a fine job as boss, already leading them to two domestic cup finals.
Gerry McMahon: A young 14 year old with Northern Irish side Glenavon having previously been on Lurgan Celtic’s books, winger Gerard Joseph McMahon was seen as a hot prospect by top clubs over the water. Spurs bid £100,000 to secure his signing in 1992 although he would stay on at Glenavon until the end of the 1991/92 season, and in doing so he scored the winning goal in the 1992 Irish Cup final to defeat Linfield. After some time in the youth and reserves (also featuring for the first team in friendlies), as well as time on loan at Barnet, the skilful winger who was known for accelerating past players at speed, was given his first team competitive debut against Coventry City in the Premier League at the end of the 1994/95 season. ‘ Ged ‘ as he was known would go on to represent Northern Ireland at the highest level on 17 occasions, scoring two goals. During his time at Tottenham Hotspur however, he would also make 20 competitive domestic appearances, as well as scoring his one and only goal for Spurs in a UEFA Intertoto Cup game against Östers IF. McMahon trialled with the likes of Stuttgart and Udinese in 1996 before leaving Spurs for second tier side Stoke City. After two years with the ‘ Potters ‘ he left to go to a good St Johnstone where he would arguably spend the best two years of his career. Later Gerry McMahon would move back to Northern Ireland, first playing for Glenavon before then becoming their assistant manager and caretaker manager. He was also reserve team manager and assistant manager at Loughall. As well as being player-manager of Dromara Village, a role he held until 2014. Only last year McMahon returned to his old club Lurgan Celtic to play in goal against Banbridge in a league game! As there were no senior goalkeepers available to play the game.
Neale Fenn: Born near to White Hart Lane in Edmonton, London, Neale Michael Charles Fenn played for Enfield, Middlesex and the Republic of Ireland Schools as a school boy (he was eligible to represent Ireland as he had an Irish grandmother). The young striker joined his boyhood club Spurs as a trainee in 1993 and the highly rated Fenn who was good with his feet and could link play well, would sign professional forms in 1995. He would make his competitive first debut for Spurs more than two years later after doing well in the reserves. His debut came with his reserve team striking partner Rory Allen in the third round of the FA Cup tie against Manchester United, and by all accounts the two young strikers did well however, Spurs lost by two goals to nil. Fenn would represent the Republic of Ireland’s B team and under 21’s during his career as well as being called up to the senior squad on two occasions, and after that Manchester United game he would go on to make a further 10 competitive appearances for Spurs, scoring one goal in a Football League Cup game against Carlisle United. Fenn would have loan spells with Leyton Orient, Norwich City, Swindon Town and Lincoln City as well as a trial with Dutch side RBC Roosendahl before leaving the Lilywhites after being released in 2001. He would play for Peterborough United, and after that go on a number of trials with lower league clubs before going to Ireland. In Ireland he played for Waterford United, Cork City, Bohemians, Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Swords Celtic before going in to coaching. Fenn has so far coached at a number of levels including managing Longford Town. He is currently manager of Irish Premier Division side Cork City.
Kevin Maher: Ilford born tenacious former central midfielder Kevin Andrew Maher is of Irish heritage and would play for the Republic of Ireland’s under 17’s, 21’s and B team. Maher had previously played for Essex Schools before joining Tottenham as a trainee in July 1993 (he turned professional in 1995). A skilled midfield player, Maher would do well in the youth ranks and the reserves, and he got his chance in the Spurs first team during the 1997/98 pre-season tour of Norway (he made his debut against Faaberg). Maher would play in all four of our matches of the tour but would subsequently only appear for the first team in one other friendly game. The midfielder was handed a free transfer to join Southend United in January of 1998 and he would give over ten years of tremendous service to the ‘ Shrimpers ‘ making over 400 appearances and scoring over 20 goals. During the latter stages of Maher’s playing career and after being released by Southend United in 2008, he plied his trade with Oldham Athletic, Gillingham, Dagenham & Redbridge, Bray Wanderers and Whitehawk. Since entering coaching following his retirement from playing Kevin Maher has held the roles of Chelmsford City head coach and manager of Southend United’s development squad. Maher is currently one of the favourites to succeed Sol Campbell as manager of Southend United.
Paul McVeigh: Northern Irishman Paul Francis McVeigh was an exciting young talent with Lisburn Youth when Spurs brought him over to London in 1994 to sign him as a trainee. McVeigh, who operated either as a forward or a midfielder signed professional terms with the Lilywhites in 1996. Progressing well in the youth and reserve team, the Belfast man who was not the biggest of forwards, made his competitive first team debut for Spurs in a Premier League fixture against Aston Villa towards the end of the 1996/97 season. The nimble footed forward would play two more league games for Spurs scoring one goal, and during the following season he played a fair few games in pre-season but didn’t get any more first team opportunities after that. McVeigh trialled with both Cambridge United and Norwich City before moving to the latter on a permanent deal in 2000. He did well for the ‘ Canaries ‘ where he arguably enjoyed his best years in the game, making over 200 appearances for them and scoring over 30 goals. Winning 20 caps for Northern Ireland at the highest level McVeigh would later be loaned out to Burnley before trialling with Italian side Pisa and Plymouth Argyle, but in the end he ended up signing for Luton Town where spent two years of his career. After a trial with American side San Jose Earthquakes McVeigh rejoined Norwich City after a successful trial, and he played for them during the 2009/10 campaign before retiring from playing at the end of the season. Nowadays Paul McVeigh works as a motivational speaker.
Ross Darcy: Yet another Irish player who suffered terrible injury troubles during his time in England, talented and classy central defender Ross Darcy was tipped for great things in the game. From Ballybriggin, County Dublin, Darcy started out at Glebe North before moving on to Dublin side and Stephen Carr’s former team Stella Maris. However, it was at the annual Milk Cup in Northern Ireland when Darcy was spotted by scouts from Spurs, and brought over to London where he signed with the Lilywhites as a trainee even though he also had the chance to sign for Manchester United. A former Republic of Ireland Schools international and future under 21 player, the centre half did well in the Spurs youth team and he was an important member of the under 18 side which reached the 1995/96 FA Youth Cup final, losing to Manchester United over two legs with Ross impressing in both. The Ballybriggin man continued to do well for the youth team however, he did suffer a quite terrible knee injury early on his career. This knee injury even when fixed by surgery would plague Darcy throughout his footballing career and he was never to be the same player that he was, but despite this the young man whose footballing idol was Paul McGrath did manage to feature in three pre-season friendlies for Spurs’ first team, the first of which came in a friendly against Peterborough United in July of 1998. He left Spurs the following year to join Barnet, he was loaned out to Dover Athletic in the winter of 2000 before returning to Barnet and eventually returning to Ireland where he played for Dundalk I. 2002. Darcy was forced to retire from the game in January of 2004 due to suffering persistent pains in his bad knee. The Irishman may not have had a too enjoyable playing career after leaving Spurs however, it was his younger years at the Lilywhites which still stay fondly with him. These days Darcy lives back in his native County Dublin.
Peter Gain: Qualifying for the Republic of Ireland through his parents, Hammersmith born midfielder Peter Thomas Gain was a player who shone at youth level during his younger years at Spurs. A skilful and hardworking player, Gain represented the Republic of Ireland Schools as a schoolboy (he would go on to represent them as high up as under 21 and B level) before joining Spurs as a schoolboy in April of 1991. He signed as a trainee for Spurs in 1993 and then as a professional two years later. Peter Gain was loaned out to Football League side Lincoln City shorty after signing his first professional contract and he did well in his first spell at the ‘ Imps ‘ before returning to Spurs at the end of the season. It was during the next pre-season that he featured as a substitute for Spurs’ first team in a friendly against Birmingham City, it was to be his one and only appearance for the senior side. He joined Lincoln City on a permanent transfer during the same summer and he would become an important player throughout his six years their, as well as endearing himself to the Lincoln City faithful in his over 220 competitive appearances for them. He would later move to Peterborough United in 2005, spending close to three years their before spending the last years of his career in the non league with Dagenham & Redbridge.
Gary Doherty: Born in Carndonagh, County Donegal but brought up in Luton, England where his family moved at the age of six. A versatile defender/forward Gary Michael Thomas Doherty who would become somewhat of a cult hero at Spurs, started off with Luton Town as a trainee, working his way up the ranks at the ‘ Hatters ‘ before making over 80 competitive first team appearances for them, scoring 15 goals in four years. The former Republic of Ireland under 18 international who had won the European Championships in 1998, as well as played for their under 20 and under 21 sides, Doherty was signed for Spurs by then Director of Football and former Luton Town manager David Pleat in April 2000 for £1m. Doherty was a different type of player in the sense that he could play central defence and bring the ball out effectively from the back due to him being good on the ball. However, he also could play up front as a target man with him being good and dominant in the air. During the early days the Donegal man combined his time playing first team and reserve team football however, the former Republic of Ireland international who was capped 34 times by his country, started to get regular playing time in defence in the 2001/02 season. Yet just as he was starting to make good progress he suffered a broken ankle after a challenge from Eifion Williams in a Football League Cup tie against Torquay United. He did return to play the last few games of that season but ended up not being a regular for the start of the next campaign, combining the minutes that he did get up front as well as in central defence. The ‘ Ginger Pele ‘ as he was known was seemingly not a key player during the following 2003/04 season under Glenn Hoddle however, when David Pleat took charge for a second spell as manager during that season, Doherty got more minutes and despite rumours circling that he may be leaving Spurs, he stayed on for the entirety of that campaign. The central defender did however, leave Spurs during August of 2004 and after Jacques Santini took charge of the club, as Doherty moved to Norwich City for a fee of £1m after making more than 75 competitive appearances for Spurs including netting a memorable goal against Manchester United in a game at Old Trafford, and a brace in a league game against Sunderland.
Doherty stayed with Norwich for almost six years before later playing for Charlton Athletic and Wycombe Wanderers. He retired from playing the game in December 2014.
Gavin Kelly: Hammersmith born and former Middlesex and Republic of Ireland Schools goalkeeper Gavin Kelly signed for Spurs as a trainee in 1997, and went on to do well at youth team level for Spurs. Signing professional forms with Spurs in 1999, Kelly got his first taste of first team football in the same year when he was loaned out to non league club Chelmsford City. Then in the following year he went out on another loan, this time to London club Kingstonian. After those two separate loans Kelly was for a period Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper, and during the 2001/02 pre-season Kelly was with the first team, and made three appearances for them in friendlies (he made his debut against Stevenage Borough). A fine shot stopper, he was put on the transfer list in 2002 and eventually signed for Kettering Town after going on a number of trials with other clubs. Later on in Kelly’s career he played for the likes of Welling United, Cambridge United, Leatherhead and Scarborough Athletic.
Ciarán Toner: A former Northern Ireland international from Craigavon, Ciarán Toner combined playing Gaelic football and football during his youth in Northern Ireland. Toner, who operated as a right sided midfielder but could also drop in to defence if needed (he possessed good strength) during his playing days, first started off with Glenavon as a youngster before being scouted and signed by Spurs as a schoolboy in May of 1995. He continued with Glenavon before moving to London permanently to join the Lilywhites as a trainee in the summer of 1997. A Northern Ireland under 21 and senior international (he won two caps for the seniors) Toner was a regular for the Spurs youth side during the late 1990’s, before progressing in to the reserves for the 2000/01 season. He continued to make good progress and during the 2001/02 season he made his one and only appearance for Spurs’ first team in a friendly against Stevenage Borough. Ciarán continued to play for the reserves for one half of that season, before going out on loan to Peterborough United. He was released by Spurs at the end of the season and after a couple of trials with other clubs he joined Leyton Orient for the start of the 2002/03 season. After spending two years with Leyton Orient Toner has since played for Lincoln City, Cambridge United, Grimsby Town, Rochdale, Harrogate Town and Guiseley. He was also a coach at York City for a spell before becoming player-coach of Gainsborough Trinity, and later head coach of Dearne Valley College Football Club. The bright young coach is currently Youth Development Phase coach of Rotherham United, a role that he has held since the summer of 2013.
Paul O’Donoghue: Strong central defender Paul O’Donoghue was raised in Lewisham, London, the son of Irish parents from County Kerry. O’Donoghue who had played for Inner London Schools, Villacourt Rovers and Welling United during his youth, moved to the other side of London when he was spotted and signed by Spurs as a scholar in the summer of 2000 (he signed professional forms during the following year). The future Republic of Ireland under 19 and 20 international did a good job for the Lilywhites at youth and reserve team level, and he would manage to make three appearances for Spurs’ first team in pre-season friendlies during his youth (his debut came against Colchester United in July 2002). Paul O’Donoghue would be loaned out to Hornchurch in 2004, before going out on another loan the following year, this time to Heybridge Swifts whose manager at the time was former Spur Brian Statham. The Irishman who was an excellent Gaelic football player during his school days, would later sign for Heybridge Swifts permanently in 2005, before his career in the game ended quite abruptly shortly after a move to Beckenham Town. After he stopped playing football, O’Donoghue started to play Gaelic football once again, playing for Birmingham based club John Mitchels, Austin Stacks and Round Towers. He also traveled to Ireland, at one point playing Gaelic football for the Tralee Institute of Technology. He would go on to train as a teacher, studying first at the Tralee Institute of Technology and later the University of Limerick. Nowadays Paul O’Donoghue currently teaches PE at a London school.
George Snee: Dubliner George Snee played for well known Irish youth side Belvedere during his youth as well as the Republic of Ireland Schools. The forward and former Maynooth School pupil signed for Spurs as a 16 year old trainee in 1999, signing professional forms the following year. Snee was an exciting young player who was adept at playing out wide on both flanks, as well as in midfield. After progressing up the youth ranks he became a consistent player in the reserves, and his hard work was rewarded in the pre-season of the 2002/03 campaign when he got his opportunity as a substitute to play for Spurs’ first team in a friendly against AFC Bournemouth. Unfortunately for Snee he was released by the club at the end of that season, and after going out on trial for a number of clubs the Irishman who had represented his country up to under 20 level would sign for AFC Wimbledon for a short period in 2004. Snee would later play for Hampton and Richmond Borough before going on trial with Woking and then seemingly disappearing from the game. George was last known to be back in Dublin working as a Financial Derivatives Trader.
Stephen Kelly: Right back Stephen Michael David Kelly was a quite skilful, quick, determined and consistent player. Born in Finglas, Dublin the former footballer who started his footballing career with Dublin youth side Belvedere, joined Spurs as a scholar in July of 2000 (he signed professional terms in September). Kelly played in a talented Spurs youth side that included the likes of Dean Marney and Lee Barnard, and he managed to make that right back spot his own. ‘ Steo ‘ as he was known during his Tottenham days later progressed to the reserve team as well as being a regular for the Republic of Ireland’s under 21 team. Kelly made his competitive first team debut for Spurs after going out on three successive Football League loans, in a Premier League fixture against Charlton Athletic in December 2003 (the first of 44 competitive appearances for Spurs. He scored two goals) however, Kelly was very unlucky with injuries during his time at Spurs and this stopped him from getting consistent playing time. Capped 39 times at the highest level by the Republic of Ireland as well as playing at Euro 2012, Kelly had the unfortunate task of initially having to dislodge his compatriot Stephen Carr from the Spurs team. And even when Carr left Spurs in 2004, Kelly was then behind other right backs in the pecking order. He more often than not looked good whenever he played for Spurs and also potent in attack however, the Dubliner who scored Premier League goals against both Aston Villa and Birmingham City would eventually be forced to leave Spurs to find regular first team football. During the 2006/07 pre-season he departed Spurs for a fee of £750,000 to move to Birmingham City. While at Birmingham he was a regular and important player for a couple of seasons until new additions to the team kept him on the bench and out of the side. The right back moved out on loan to Stoke City in 2009 before returning to Birmingham for the start of the following season where he was faced with the challenge of keeping Stephen Carr out of the side. In the end he moved to Fulham before later going on to play for Reading and Rotherham United. Since he stopped playing ‘ Steo ‘ has been doing some radio work for radio station talkSPORT.
Robbie Keane: A Republic of Ireland legend and the top scorer and winner of caps in their history, Robert David Keane is also an iconic figure in the history of Tottenham Hotspur. Born in Tallaght, Dublin in July 1980, clinical striker Robbie Keane was not only one of Ireland’s greatest ever players, but he is also a member of the Premier League’s 100 club (players who have scored 100 or more league goals). ‘ Keano ‘ started his playing career with local side Fettercairn United at a young age, before later moving on to Crumlin United. The extremely skilful and silky striker who learnt his trade by playing football on the streets of Tallaght, was impressing scouts with the ability that he was showing at Crumlin United. Keane was sought after by a number of big clubs but he ended up signing YTS forms with English side Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1996, before signing a professional contract a little over a year later. The Dubliner burst on to the scene at Wolves as a teenager and the then youthful striker netted an impressive total of 29 competitive goals in over 70 appearances for them. A number of big clubs came in for the confident young player but it was Coventry City who secured his signature after bidding a then record £6m for the teenager. Continuing to improve in his all round game Keane spent one successful season with the ‘ Sky Blues ‘ before moving to Italian giants Inter Milan in 2000 however, his time in Italy wasn’t a happy time. After making only six competitive appearances for Inter Milan, Keane left Italy to join Premier League side Leeds United on loan. After initially doing well he signed for them permanently before the start of the 2001/02 season. After another season at the Yorkshire based club he signed for Spurs in September 2002, starting a more than six year first stint at Spurs, and it was an extremely successful one too. Keane was not only a striker, he could also operate out wide or as a second striker and CAM. Pace was one of his strengths during his younger years, but for his biggest strengths as a played were his extremely quick feet and agility, as well as being a clinical finisher which made him so potent in front of goal (he was also extremely feisty and confident). Keane scored many goals for Spurs (well over 100), some of which were outstanding ones. He was a big game player for the Lilywhites and him being a member of the side which won the 2008 Football League Cup was just a small reward for his excellent service to the club.
Robbie Keane left Spurs to join Liverpool at the end of the 2007/08 season for £19m, breaking many Spurs fans hearts in the process. However, like his time at Inter Milan earlier on his career, his spell with the Merseyside giants also wasn’t as successful as he would have hoped, as he only scored five goals in 19 league appearances for Liverpool. New Spurs manager Harry Redknapp managed to bring Keane back to the English capital on January transfer deadline day during the 2008/09 season. During his second spell at Spurs it was clear that Keane’s confidence had been damaged during his time up north, and although the Republic of Ireland’s captain was never to be the same player again he did give the same excellent work rate and leadership on the pitch, averaging a league goal every four games for Spurs. Loan moves to Celtic and West Ham United followed for Keane who eventually left Spurs permanently to join MLS side LA Galaxy in 2011. After a successful time in America, Keane did have a brief loan spell with Aston Villa before finishing his playing career as player manager of Indian Super League side ATK. Since he retired from playing Robbie Keane has held the positions of assistant manger of the Republic of Ireland and of Middlesbrough. I am intrigued to see where he goes next in his coaching career.
Mark Hughes: Dungannon man Mark Anthony Hughes started off with Donaghmore Youth, before progressing on to Dungannon United and later Dungannon Swifts. A hardworking, energetic and powerful midfielder, the Northern Irishman who would win two caps for his country at the highest level during a tour of the USA in 2006, was a solid and consistent performer for Spurs at youth level after joining them as a scholar in 2000. Hughes had soon progressed up to the Spurs reserve side where he also did well, always putting in a shift for the team. He would then make his first team debut for Spurs in a pre-season friendly against Oxford United during the 2003/04 season. Hughes would appear in four more friendlies during his time at Spurs however, he would leave the Lilywhites to further his footballing career. Having already experienced first team football on loan at Northampton Town, before joining Oldham Athletic on loan in November 2004, with the move being made permanent in 2005. He was released in the summer of 2006, Hughes then joined Thurrock before having a loan spell with Chesterfield. He has since played for Stevenage Borough, Chester City, Barnet where he enjoyed arguably the best years of his career, Eastleigh, Chelmsford City, Eastbourne Borough, Bishop’s Stortford and currently Isthmian Premier League side Cheshunt who he has been playing for since 2018.
Mark Yeates: Skilful Tallaght born wide man/attacking midfielder Mark Stephen Anthony Yeates started off with Greenhill Boys, a club that his father Stephen who played for Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers and grandfather were involved with. Yeates later progressed to famous Dublin youth side Cherry Orchard, the technically gifted footballer then signed for Spurs as a scholar in July 2001 after coming over on trial to London with Willo Flood and Stephen Quinn, and he soon made his mark on the Tottenham youth side with his skill, directness and confidence. The determined Dubliner did well in the youth team (u17 and u19’s) and the reserves where he was making good strides, and during the early stages of the 2003/04 season he was loaned out to Brighton and Hove Albion. Playing mens football did Yeates good, and by the end of the season he had made his competitive senior debut for Spurs’ first team, appearing in a Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the May of 2004, setting up a goal for Robbie Keane with a fine pass. A reliable player throughout his playing career, Yeates would make a further eight appearances for Spurs’ first team, scoring one goal in total. Capped as high up as under 21 level for his country the Republic of Ireland, ‘ Yeatesy ‘ would be loaned out to Swindon Town, Colchester United, Hull City and Leicester City during his time at Spurs. However, in July of 2007 he signed for Colchester United on a permanent basis. He spent two good years in County Essex before moving to Championship side Middlesbrough in 2009. Yeates would later have spells with Sheffield United, Watford, Bradford City, Oldham Athletic, Blackpool, Notts County, Eastleigh where he once registered 26 assists in one season, and most recently AFC Fylde who he is currently still on the books of, going strong at the age of 35. Unlucky not to win a senior cap for the Republic of Ireland during his career, Yeates’ first club Spurs is one that he still has extremely fond memories of.
Kieran McKenna: Born in London’s Irish community of Kilburn in May of 1986, Kieran Thomas McKenna moved to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland with his family at a young age. A midfielder who had good vision for a pass, McKenna played for Enniskillen Town and Ballinamallard Youth during his teenage years before signing for Tottenham Hotspur as a scholar in 2002. Capped by his country Northern Ireland at under 19 and under 21 level, McKenna played for Spurs’ youth and reserve team during his time their. He also made six appearances for Spurs’ first team in friendlies (McKenna made his debut against Stevenage Borough in July 2004) however, a bad hip injury for the young Northern Irishman kept him out of action for over two years, harming his development as a young player. At the age of 23 he was forced to retire from playing the game however, this didn’t stop McKenna from staying in the game. After doing his coaching badges he became a Spurs Academy coach before later having spells coaching Nottingham Forest’s Academy, Loughborough University, Vancouver Whitecaps and St Thomas Aquinas College before later becoming head coach of Spurs’ under 18 side, winning the 2013/14 PL South. He would be lured to his boyhood club Manchester United in 2016 to become head coach of their under 18’s, leading them to the 2017/18 PL North. However, once Ole Gunnar Solksjær was appointed manager of Manchester United in 2018 McKenna has been an assistant first team coach. The young coach undoubtedly has a bright future in the game.
Andy Reid: A somewhat underrated but skilled midfielder, the son of former St Patrick’s Athletic player Bill Reid, former Republic of Ireland international Andrew Matthew Reid (he represented them on 29 occasions scoring four goals) had a good quality career in English football. Born in Crumlin, Dublin, Reid started off with Templeogue United before playing for Lourdes Celtic and then Cherry Orchard. While developing at Cherry Orchard Reid he attracted interest from a number of clubs, of which included Manchester United and Arsenal, in the end Reid signed for Nottingham Forest as a trainee in 1998. He made his competitive debut for Nottingham Forest against Sheffield United in 2000 and he would make a further 144 appearances for the Midlands based club, scoring 21 goals. A player who loved a long shot during his playing days, Reid signed for Spurs along with central defender Michael Dawson in 2005 after more than seven years with Nottingham Forest. He spent a season and a half at Spurs making over 25 appearances in the process (he made his debut against Portsmouth in a league game in February 2005), scoring one goal. However, he left Spurs to join then Championship club Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2006 for a transfer fee of £3m. Reid spent a successful year and a half with Charlton before moving to Sunderland in 2008. He later played for Sheffield United on loan and Blackpool before returning to Nottingham Forest, his first club in English football, and it was their that he ended his career in 2016 due to injury problems. The gifted attack minded midfielder who could see and execute a pass well, was a fine footballer who is now developing in to a fine young coach. Now a UEFA A licence coach, Reid is a coach for Nottingham Forest’s under 23 side as well as being the head coach of the Republic of Ireland’s under 18 side.
Kenny McEvoy: Speedy winger Kenneth McEvoy had bags of pace and trickery, and he was a very direct player during his time as a youth player at Spurs. Born in Waterford, Southern Ireland, McEvoy signed scholarship forms with Spurs in the summer of 2011 ready for the 2011/12 under 18 Premier League season. He did a good job for our under 18’s that season, and would later progress up to the clubs development side where he was a mainstay for a number of seasons. The former Republic of Ireland under 21 international made his one and only appearance for Spurs’ first team when he started for Spurs in Ledley King’s testimonial at the end of the 2013/14 season. McEvoy would spend the rest of his time at Spurs playing for the development side. He went out on loans to Peterborough United, Colchester United, Stevenage Borough and York City, joining the latter side permanently half way through the 2015/16 after having his contract terminated at Spurs. He was released by York City at the end of the 2015/16 season, later signing for non league club South Normanton Athletic before moving back to Ireland to sign for Waterford United in 2017 however, he returned to South Normanton Athletic during the same year, and that is the club who he was last heard playing for while living in County Derbyshire.
Aaron McEneff: From the Cornshell Fields area of Derry, technical central midfielder Aaron McEneff played for Don Boscos and Maiden City, and later Institute as a schoolboy. The former Northern Ireland under 17, 19 and 21 international who would later switch international allegiances to the Republic, was signed as a scholar by Spurs in the summer of 2012. A regular for the clubs under 18 side, then Spurs Technical Director Tim Sherwood once said that McEneff reminded him of a young Roy Keane. However, injuries did affect the player who later played for Spurs’ development side, and he wasn’t able to reach his full potential while at the Lilywhites. A very talented young player whose brother Jordan now of Arsenal was also on Spurs’ books as a youth player, Aaron McEneff had trials with Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest after being released by Spurs at the end of the 2014/15 season. He ended up returning to Ireland to sign for Derry City where he had a really good three year spell, developing a reputation as a bit of a goal scoring midfielder as well as being named in the 2017 PFAI team of the year. Linked with a couple of English clubs during his time at Derry, McEneff signed for Shamrock Rovers in 2019 as he continues to progress as a footballer at the age of 25 and is doing really well in the League of Ireland.
Dominic Ball: Welwyn Garden City born defender Dominic Martin Ball was a schoolboy at Watford before signing a two year scholarship with Spurs in 2012. Ball is a versatile player who is good on the ball and can also play at fullback, and as a defensive midfielder. Eligible for Northern Ireland who he represented up until under 19 level, afterwards he represented the country of his birth up to under 20 level. Ball was a stand out player in Spurs’ under 18 side before later moving up to the under 21’s. He was first named on the bench for the first team in a UEFA Europa League last 16 tie against Benfica in 2014. And he would make his first team debut for Spurs in a friendly against Juventus during their pre-season tour of Australia, playing in central defence. Having previously been out on loan with Cambridge United and Rangers, he left Spurs after a five year association with the club in 2016 to join Rotherham United where he spent three years on their books. However, during that time he was loaned out to Peterborough United and Scottish club Aberdeen. He was released by Rotherham in July 2019 and has since joined London side QPR. His first season at QPR has been a solid and productive one for the 24 year old who will now be looking to kick on and improve further during the 2020/21 campaign. Could a senior Northern Ireland call up be in the offing?
Jamie Bowden: Central midfielder Jamie Patrick Bowden (19) has already made two senior appearances for Spurs in pre-season friendlies against Girona (in the summer of 2018) and Juventus respectively. Bowden is one of those Spurs players who has Tottenham running through his veins, having been born in London and brought up off the Park Lane in Tottenham. Qualifying for the Republic of Ireland through his parents, the son of a Dublin City man made his first appearances for Ireland’s under 19’s (three in total) during the 2019/20 season, impressing on his debut against Denmark at the Sligo Showgrounds in October 2019. Having been at Spurs since the age of six and having worked his way up the various youth ranks at the club, Bowden signed scholarship terms with his boyhood club during July of 2017. After an excellent season as a first year scholar, his second full season at the club was disrupted by injuries although he did manage to step up to the clubs under 23 side. The last campaign (2019/20) was also disrupted by injury although when fit he captained the under 19’s in Europe and was also a regular for the development side, scoring three goals in nine league games. A creative deep lying midfielder who can operate either as a four or as an eight, as well as having played at centre half during his younger years. Bowden is a young player who possesses terrific vision, is capable of making defence splitting forward passes, is tenacious and plays with bite, as well as demonstrating good positional play. Young Jamie Bowden is a player who I have very high hopes for both for Spurs and the Republic of Ireland.
Troy Parrott: A remarkably well rounded young centre forward who can hold the ball up well, press defenders effectively and score all different types of goals. Troy Daniel Parrott was born in Dublin City in February 2002 and would start off with renowned Dublin youth club Belvedere. The former O’Connell School pupil would join Spurs as an under 15 and he made his competitive debut for Spurs’ under 18 side in a league game against Swansea City in the February of 2018. Parrott, who would sign scholarship forms with the club during that summer, became a star player for our under 18’s and 19’s during his first year full time with the club, as well as featuring a fair bit for our under 23’s despite only being a first year scholar. During the campaign just gone he started pre-season off by making his first team debut in a friendly against Juventus, he would go on to play three more games for the first team before pre-season was over. Almost exclusively training with the first team for the entirety of the season, Parrott also made his debut for the Republic of Ireland in a friendly against New Zealand in November 2019 after representing them at all underage levels (he registered an assist in that game). Featuring on the bench for Spurs’ first team in a number of competitive fixtures, the extremely clinical centre forward made four appearances for Spurs’ first team during the season, three of which came under Jose Mourinho. A player who has a fantastic future in the game for both Spurs and Ireland, the 18 year old Dubliner incidentally joined Championship side Millwall on a season long loan earlier today. That loan move will do the youngsters career the world of good.
Spurs youth players (past or present) who represented either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland at any level:
Ciaran Duffin: A Northern Ireland youth international from Toomebridge, County Antrim (he represented them up until under 21 level), midfielder Ciaran Duffin joined Spurs as an apprentice in 1997. Duffin only spent a year at Tottenham in which he scored a memorable goal against Arsenal under 18’s in a league game however, at the end of the 1997/98 campaign he returned to Northern Ireland to finish his education. The boyhood Spurs fan also played for Moyola Park fc during two spells, Coleraine and Ballyclare Comrades. After graduating from the University of Ulster Duffin has worked in the IT Industry in Northern Ireland ever since.
Darren Grogan: Dubliner and midfielder Darren Grogan was playing for Dublin youth side Rivermount Boys Club when he was spotted by Spurs. Signed by the club in the early 1990’s after coming over on various trials during his schoolboy days, Grogan missed most of his first couple of years at Spurs due to injury in what was an injury blighted career. Grogan represented the Republic of Ireland at under 18 level and was a member of the Spurs youth side which reached the League Cup final against Norwich City. He eventually left Spurs in 1994 before going on to play in Portugal with Leixoes Club of Portugal. Grogan later returned to Ireland where he played for Sligo Rovers before retiring from the game at the age of 21 due to injuries.
Terry Dixon: A talented young striker who many thought would make it at Spurs, Archway born Terry Dixon whose mother was born in Bailieborough, County Cavan, and whose father played for Spurs at youth level, was a clinical and powerful striker who could also hold the ball up effectively. However, a series of serious injuries robbed Dixon of a career at the highest level in the game. The former St.Ignatius College pupil who joined Spurs full time as an apprentice in 2005 after being at the club since the age of eight, after being brought to Spurs by former player Garry Brooke. Dixon who was capped by Ireland as high up us their under 21 side, and who would also be called up to the senior side as a teenager. The centre forward who suffered numerous detrimental knee injuries including two dislocations signed a professional contract with Spurs at the age of 17. After playing for both the under 18’s and reserves for a number of years Dixon was unfortunately released by Spurs in March of 2008. He joined London rivals West Ham United almost a year later after working on his fitness during that time. He never featured for West Ham’s first team and after departing the ‘ Hammers ‘ in 2010 he played for the likes of Stevenage Borough, Ware and Tooting and Mitcham United. He would later be signed by Bradford City before being loaned out to FC Halifax Town and then playing for Dover Athletic, Dunstable Town, Berkhamstead and lastly Aylesbury.
Chris Herron: Spotted playing for youth side Enfield Eagles by Tottenham scout Dick Moss, Herron started off as a defender before working his way up the pitch to play in midfield. Qualifying for Northern Ireland through his parents, Herron would go on to represent them as high up as under 21 level, playing with the likes of Steven Davis and Paddy McCourt. The Londoner who was at Spurs from the age of eight to 18, after being released by Spurs he joined QPR after playing for Spurs as high up as reserve team level. After leaving QPR without featuring for the first team, Herron would go on to play for non league clubs Berkhamstead Town, Chesham United, Hemel Hempstead Town, Slough Town during two spells and Arlesey Town. After retiring from playing Chris Herron became a Football Development Officer with the London Borough of Barnet.
Andrew Burke: A former Republic of Ireland under 16 international, midfielder Andrew Burke of Camden, London joined Spurs at the age of 11. Burke played for Spurs at youth and reserve team level predominantly during the 1990’s before being released at the end of the 2000/01 campaign. The midfielder was later on the books of the two main Bristol clubs Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, before playing for non league clubs Braintree Town, Cambridge City, Waltham Forest, Folkestone Invicta, Ashford Town, Folkestone Town and Kent club Chatham Town before retiring from playing the game.
David Hutton: A tireless midfielder who played for Spurs at under 18 and reserve side level, Enfield born David Edward Hutton was capped by the Republic of Ireland at under 15 and 16 level during his schoolboy days. Hutton was a rising star at Spurs during his youth ever since joining the club as a scholar in 2006. Playing with the likes of Athletic Bilbao player Yuri Berchiche who was in his age group. Hutton was named player of the tournament at the Le Tournoi De Football de Talence competition in 2008. The talented midfielder was loaned out to Cheltenham Town in March of 2009 before joining them permanently at the end of that season. Now 30 years of age, in a long career thus far David Hutton has played for the likes of St Albans City, Jerez Industrial and Dunstable Town. He is currently plying his trade with Southern League Premier Division South side Hayes & Yeading United.
Owen Coll: A Republic of Ireland under 21 international (he won three caps in total) County Donegal man and former central defender Owen Oliver Coll was a part of the Spurs team that competed in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. Coll, who was signed from non league club Enfield in 1994 would spend two years with Spurs. He later had a loan spell with Yeovil Town before departing Spurs to play for the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Stevenage Borough and Cheshunt before being forced to retire from the game due to a knee injury in 2004.
Aaron Maguire: A part of next seasons Spurs academy first year intake, 16 year old goalkeeper Aaron Maguire has represented the Republic of Ireland at both under 15 and under 16 level. Maguire has also represented the country of his birth England, at under 16 level. It will be interesting to see which country the talented young goalkeeper commits to in the coming years.
Spurs players (past or present) who were/are eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, or had Irish roots:
Roman Michael-Percil: Irishman Roman Michael-Percil is a central midfielder who came up the youth ranks at Spurs after joining them full time as a scholar in 2013. Michael-Percil also played for Spurs’ under 21’s up until 2014 when he was released by the club. Since leaving Spurs the midfielder (25) has since played for Concord Rangers, Dulwich Hamlet and Wingate and Finchley. He is currently on the books of Haringey Borough.
Dennis Cirkin: A young left back by trade (18) Dennis Cirkin was born in Dublin in 2002 but moved to London with his family aged three (also eligible to represent Latvia who he played for at youth level). All but name checked during Jose Mourinho’s first few weeks as manager of Spurs, England youth international Dennis Cirkin is a hot prospect who featured on the bench for Spurs’ first team on three occasions last season. A star for our under 18’s side which finished in second place in the 2018/19 PL South. Cirkin, who has also played on a number of occasions for our under 23’s, is an attacking left back who loves to get forward and take players on. The teenager who is so cool and composed on the ball, is a reliable defender who is strong in the challenge and never afraid to slide in He is yet another young player who has a very bright future in the game.
Cian Hughton: Playing for Spurs’ first team on one occasion in a friendly, the son of Spurs legend Chris Hughton, Cian James Hughton is eligible to represent his grandmothers country the Republic of Ireland at international level. Signed by the club as a scholar in 2005, the fullback who was a fine player during his youth days, mainly played both at under 18 and reserve team level during his time their. Departing the club in 2009, he later played for Lincoln City before trialling with a number of clubs. His last involvement in the game was as a scout with Norwich City.
Tom McDermott: Born in Derry but raised in Strabane, County Tyrone, goalkeeper Tom McDermott joined Spurs as a scholar from Northern Irish side Warrenpoint Town in 2014. Never a regular for our under 18’s or development side during his time in north London. McDermott, who is a good shot stopper was released by Spurs in 2017 and has since returned to Ireland, playing for the likes of Derry City, Ballymena United and Finn Harps who he is currently playing for in the League of Ireland.
Jamie O’Hara: The son of a Magherafelt man, midfielder Jamie Darryl O’Hara represented England as high up as under 21 level. The Dartford born player who is currently player manager of Billericay Town would rise up the youth ranks at Spurs after joining as a schoolboy from Arsenal in 2003. Also eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland at international level, O’Hara went on to make 34 appearances for Spurs’ senior team scoring two goals, before later moving on where he played for the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackpool and Fulham among others.
Pat Jennings Jr.: The son of legendary Spurs goalkeeper Pat Jennings, Pat Jennings junior was on Spurs’ books as a youth player but never made the grade at the Lilywhites. The Broxbourne born goalkeeper would later move to Ireland, first playing for Dublin side UCD before making over 50 appearances for Derry City. Jennings who has won one League of Ireland title, has since played for Shamrock Rovers, Glenavon, Athlone Town and St Patrick’s Athletic where he is currently one of their goalkeeping coaches.
Jonathan Black: From Larne in Northern Ireland, skilful winger Jonathan Black was part of the group of youth players which included Mark Yeates during the early 2000’s. After leaving Spurs the winger went on trial with Cambridge United however, I was unable to find out during my research where he went after this. Jonathan is currently residing in America.
Martin O’Donnell: Talented midfielder and former Spurs youth player Martin O’Donnell was considered to be an exciting prospect during the 1960’s. Part of the group of young players which included Jimmy Pearce, O’Donnell the son of Irish parents suffered a horrific injury to his femur shortly before the club and Bill Nicholson were about to offer him a professional contract. O’Donnell left Spurs and was unable to go on to play at a high level due to the effects of his injury. However, he did play non league football with the likes of Dave Bassett at Hayes as well as playing for Walthamstow Avenue, Hastings United and Southall. Martin also went on to have an extremely successful professional career out side of football, where he worked for the likes of Estée Lauder as a senior sales executive. Now retired the former Spurs man now lives just outside of the city of Liverpool.
Taffy O’Callaghan: A Tottenham Hotspur legend who dazzled as an inside forward for the Lilywhites after joining Spurs during the mid 1920’s. Eugene O’Callaghan was born in Ebbw Vale, Wales to Irish parents in October of 1906. Taffy O’Callaghan began his footballing journey with Victoria United (Ebbw Vale’s junior side) before progressing up to Ebbw Vale’s reserve side. He divided his time playing football as well as working in the pits. O’Callaghan was scouted by Spurs and initially invited to join the ground-staff in 1925 however, he was soon farmed out to nursery clubs Barnet and Northfleet United who he did very well at. A bright spark during a dark time for Spurs during the late 1920’s as well as in the early 1930’s, the inside forward made his competitive senior debut in a Football League game against Everton in January of 1927. O’Callaghan was adept with both feet, had a good shot at his disposal, and he was also capable of dribbling with the ball at speed. The young footballer adapted well to life at Spurs and it didn’t take him long to make his mark on the club. An accurate passer of the ball who also had a creative side to his game, O’Callaghan also scored a lot of goals for Spurs (121 in 313 appearances). A player who was described by journalists at the time as an artist, he enjoyed many fine years at Spurs and the Welshman was a key member of manger Peter McWilliam’s Spurs side which was known as the ‘ Greyhounds ’ in the early 1930’s. O’Callaghan, who won 12 caps for his country Wales during his footballing career, would leave Spurs as a firm fans favourite in March of 1935 to join then Second Division side Leicester City much to Tottenham fans surprise. While at Leicester O’Callaghan quickly became an important player and helped them to win the Second Division title in his second season at the club. After leaving the ‘ Foxes ’ Taffy signed for Fulham who he played for until the start of the war.
During the war years O’Callaghan played for a number of clubs (he also served as a policeman and as an ambulance driver) including his old club Spurs who he returned to, to make a good number of appearances for in the LWL and FLS. The inside forward continued to play for Fulham in the first season after the end of the war however, he retired from playing in 1946. He went on to take up the position of assistant trainer at Fulham, right up until his untimely death in October 1956. Taffy O’Callaghan was a true Spurs legend.
Wilf Mannion: Middlesbrough legend Wilfred John Mannion was one of the greats of English football from the period ranging from the 1940’s right through to the 1950’s. Mannion was rightly inducted in to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2000, which was a testament to his footballing career in this country. Born in South Bank, Middlesbrough to Irish parents in May of 1918, Mannion who was one of ten children, used to play football on the waste ground in South Bank as a lad before he joined local side South Bank St Peters. He played for them until he signed amateur forms with Middlesbrough in 1936 (he made his league debut for them in 1937). Standing out during his early days for Middlesbrough, the tough but ultimately very quick and skilful inside forward settled in well, and he scored a good number of goals for his team. However, the Second World War arrived and the then promising young footballers career was put on a temporary hold. Mannion served for the British Army in France where it had even been reported that he had been killed however, he had been evacuated from Dunkirk at the time of this report. He also served in Italy during his time on the continent and was part of the British force which invade Sicily in 1943 (Mannion made his four appearances for Spurs before this period. He also guested for Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic). However, after the war had ended Wilf Mannion won his first full international cap with England scoring a hat-trick in a 7-2 victory over Northern Ireland. He continued to enjoy many more very fine years with Middlesbrough and he won a lot more England caps (he won 26 in total and played at the 1950 World Cup) but after initially retiring from the game in 1954 after making 351 senior league appearances for Middlesbrough, Mannion ended up returning to the game when he signed for Hull City in the same year. Mannion would later play for Poole Town, Cambridge United where he would have played agains Spurs’ A team, King’s Lynn, Haverhill Rovers and Earlestown where he served as player-manager.
Wilf Mannion was granted a testimonial match by Middlesbrough in 1983. He passed away in Redcar, Cleveland in April 2000.
Jimmy Lye: Tipperary born, to an Irish mother and an English father, but brought up in Hackney, London. Fullback Jimmy F Lye was signed for Spurs in 1959, only ever a part time player at Spurs, Lye was a regular for the old A team and reserve side during a period in the 1960’s before later playing for the likes of Cambridge City and Dagenham & Redbridge after leaving the Lilywhites.
Eddie Clayton: A stylish, steady and reliable player for Bill Nicholson during his more than ten years at Spurs. Inside forward Eddie Clayton was desperately unfortunate to have been playing for Spurs during the most successful period in their history. The Bethnal Green born player who was signed from Eton Manor along with Bill Dodge in 1956, would make over 100 competitive appearances for Spurs over the next 12 years. Clayton was a hardworking player who had a fantastic attitude and work ethic. The Londoner whose great grandfather had came to England from County Cork, would later play for the likes of Southend United and Margate before coaching for a period, and later becoming a teacher, a job that he did for many years.
B.Neill: A half back by trade who played regularly for Spurs’ A team and reserve side during the early 1950’s. Neill was from Southern Ireland however, virtually nothing else is known about him and his footballing career.
Kyle Naughton: An attack minded fullback (31) who is eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland at international level. Kyle Naughton joined Spurs with Kyle Walker from Sheffield United in 2009. He would make over 40 appearances for Spurs before later playing for Middlesbrough and Leicester City on loan. Naughton currently plays for Championship side Swansea City who he has made over 160 competitive appearances for. Naughton has made a good and successful career in the game for himself.
Aaron Lennon: Eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland on his mother’s side, speedy and skilful right winger Aaron Lennon burst on to the scene with hometown club Leeds United as an exciting 16 year old before joining Spurs in 2005. He would spend over ten successful and memorable years at Spurs before moving to Everton in 2015, and later Burnley. Currently a free agent after leaving Burnley the 33 year old who won 21 caps for England was a player at Spurs who would get you up of your seat and excite you. Lennon was a member of the Spurs side that won the 2008 Football League Cup.
Grant Hall: Still eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland, central defender (recently signed for Middlesbrough) Grant Hall played for non league Lewes and Brighton and Hove Albion during his youth. The Brighton born defender signed for Spurs in 2012 and he would spend the majority of his time with the Lilywhites playing for their under 21 side, as well as going out on numerous loans, before being released in 2015 when he joined QPR who he spent five years with before recently joining Middlesbrough.
Harry Kane: The son of a Galway man (his grandad on his dads side used to live in Letterfrack) Harry Kane has worked his way up the ranks at the Lilywhites, performing well at both under 18 level and in the development side. The extraordinarily well rounded London born centre forward has gone on to achieve extraordinary things in the game despite only being 27 years of age. The 2018 World Cup golden boot winner who is far more than just a prolific goal scoring centre forward, Kane is a world class player who has excelled both on the domestic and international stage. And for Spurs fans the best bit is that it will only likely get better for the England captain.
Past members of the Spurs coaching staff with Irish connections:
Theo Foley: The only past member of the Spurs coaching staff that I could recall having Irish connections that didn’t play for Spurs was Theo Foley. The Dubliner (Inchicore born) who played for Home Farm in Ireland before playing for English clubs Exeter City, Northampton Town and Charlton Athletic. The former Republic of Ireland international who represented his country on nine occasions would later become a coach. The Irishman was George Graham’s assistant at both Spurs and Arsenal, and he also managed his former club Northampton Town during the early 1990’s. Theo Foley passed away at the age of 83 in June 2020.