(Thanks must go to former Spurs players David Sunshine and Derek Tharme for sharing their memories of certain former Spurs players, which helped me to write this piece. Bob Goodwin’s excellent book the Spurs Alphabet also came in very useful for individual player statistics. Pictured above was a highly influential player in the reserve team during the 1961/62 season – Eddie Clayton. I unfortunately couldn’t find any pictures of the reserve team together during that league winning season.)
At a time of immense success within the club, Tottenham Hotspur was at its very best (to date!) during the early 1960’s. Our first team, A team and our reserve side were all very successful during this period, and they were winning the silverware to show for it too. Our reserve side had been richly talented for a number of years running up to the double winning season of 1960/61 however, the Spurs glory years meant that a good number of very talented players who in many other years would have been regular fixtures in the Spurs first team, would mostly play for the reserves during this period of great success. Players such as the great Mel Hopkins, inside forward Eddie Clayton, Ken Barton, John Smith and John Hollowbread were all regular fixtures in the Tottenham reserve side during the 1961/62 season. A season when these talented players struggled to get into Bill Nicholson’s Spurs first team, due to the players that were in front of them, this meant that our reserve side turned into an extremely talented one, with a great wealth of talent within a squad which contained experienced players alongside young prospects who were looking to make the grade in north London. We had won the reserve league before (the London Football Combination League), in fact we had already won it six times before winning it during the 1961/62 season, first winning it way back in its old format in 1920. However, arguably no side would have been as richly talented and as competitive for places, as the won which had won it in 1962. Of course there were no substitutes allowed back in the early 1960’s however, when you had absolutely first class internationals such as Mel Hopkins, who made 26 appearances for the reserves in the Football Combination League during the 1961/62 season, it spoke volumes about just how good our first team was during the early 1960’s, and also how unlucky many players were.
The Football Combination League was a very competitive one during the early 1960’s, and with teams like Arsenal and West Ham United in the league, Spurs would have had to have been very good on a consistent basis to have won the league during that particular period. Although there was no official manager of the reserve side during the 1961/62 season (Harry Evans was the most responsible coach for the side up until his untimely death during the season, while Jack Coxford and Johnny Wallis would have served as coaches, with Bill Nicholson most probably picking the team on most occasions) Spurs’ reserve team started the Football Combination League season off by recording a 4-2 home win over London rivals West Ham United on Saturday August 19th, 1961. Goals from John Smith, Jimmy Collins and a brace from a young Frank Saul saw us to our first victory of the campaign, although we would end up suffering a rare 5-3 defeat to Arsenal in our next game. It was however, a season of great joy for Spurs’ second team, and in a campaign where they won 23 of their 34 league games, scored a staggering 123 goals, conceded just 44 goals and defeated the likes of Mansfield Town 8-0 and Ipswich Town 10-3, Spurs won the league in style (they finished on top of second place Arsenal by five points). With so much attacking prowess in the reserve side, you had the likes of the already experienced Eddie Clayton who was in outstanding form during that 1961/62 season but you also had centre forward Frank Saul who was also prolific, as well as Terry Dyson and Bobby Smith dropping down to play for the reserves on occasions, Spurs were quite literally spoilt for choice.
You then had half backs such as Freddie Sharpe and John Smith who once again added experience to the side, while you also had for example the highly skilful Anthony Smith at centre half, with acrobatic John Hollowbread in between the sticks. It must have been an absolute delight to have watched this team during that season, and watching them play good but well structured football too. All of the Spurs players in that reserve side at that time were good players in there own way, and just like the A team and the junior team during the early 1960’s you had to have been a very good player to have been associated with Spurs at that very successful time in the clubs history. With Spurs academy games currently being played behind closed doors, I have been unable to report on games, and while I am still doing my match previews I will now be doing a number of historical pieces on Spurs, and I also do plan on doing more interviews with ex Spurs players in the very near future. This piece which is of the same format to the one in which I wrote on the Spurs A side that won the Eastern Counties League during the 1960/61 season (I will also be looking back at every player who played in the Spurs reserve side during this particular season), is one in which I have researched a lot, and have written in a way which hopefully makes it easy enough for people to read, and also find informative.
Frank Smith: Colchester born (1936) Frank Anthony Smith was a part of the Spurs A team which won the Eastern Counties League during the previous 1960/61 season. The big, tall, well trusted and commanding goalkeeper who was strong in the air, had previously played for home town side Colchester Casuals, and had joined Tottenham back in 1953. Behind Bill Brown and Johnny Hollowbread in the goalkeeping pecking order during the majority of his time at Spurs, the goalkeeper who had previously worked as a mechanic prior to joining Spurs, would go on to reach treble figures for games played for the Lilywhites at reserve team and A team level, and below. A player who was unlucky not to make the step up to the Tottenham Hotspur first team, Smith eventually left Spurs at the end of the 1961/62 season, a season in which he made five appearances for the reserve side. After leaving Tottenham, Smith went on to play for Queens Park Rangers, and while the goalkeeper wasn’t always first choice during his three seasons at the west London club, he did make over 60 competitive appearances for them. He would later enjoy a good spell with Wimbledon, before later retiring from the game, but then coming out of retirement and playing for non-League side Cheltenham Town later on in the 1960’s. However, after permanently leaving football Smith worked in banking, and he was last known residing in county Surrey.
Roy Brown: Still a teenager during the 1961/62 season and who didn’t sign professional forms with Spurs until the October of the previous season, Roy Ernest Eric Brown of Hove, Sussex (born in 1945) first came to Spurs’ attention playing in an international trial match involving England and the Rest at the beginning of the 1960’s. Then a fine young goalkeeper who stood at over six foot tall, the player who would spend almost seven years in north London would go on to establish himself as a regular for the reserves in the years to come. Brown only made a single appearance for the reserves during the 1961/62 season in the Football Combination League with John Hollowbread and Frank Smith ahead of him. Patiently waiting for his chance in the first team during the 1960’s as both the great Bill Brown and Pat Jennings played for the Tottenham first team in goal, the youngster from Sussex who did also make the bench for the first team on occasions, made his first team competitive debut (his only ever appearance for the Spurs first team) in the October of the 1966/67 season. Brown’s debut which was against Blackpool in the league came about due to the first choice goalkeeper Pat Jennings being injured, and although Spurs lost the game he was given the man of the match award after putting in a very good performance in between the sticks. Never again to play for the first team after that game against Blackpool, Brown as he recalled to me in an interview back in 2018, was not content to just be picking up his wages as a reserve and so he went in search of regular first team football.
Brown joined Reading in 1968 and would make over 60 competitive appearances for them in a spell which also saw him go out on loan to then Southern League side Dartford. He would later join Notts County in the summer of 1970 with whom he enjoyed a successful four year spell at before finishing off his career with Mansfield Town. After retiring from the game Brown worked in a number of jobs of which included working for Reading council, but now retired the former goalkeeper who won a number of youth team and reserve team honours with Spurs, lives back in his home county of Sussex.
John Hollowbread: Goalkeeper John Frederick Hollowbread from Ponders End in Enfield (born in 1934), was described to me by former Spurs player David Sunshine as an acrobatic, extremely agile goalkeeper and a great shot stopper, who was like current England international Jordan Pickford in his style of play. Hollowbread himself had played for an England Youth XI during his teenage days and the Enfield man and the former Tottenham Technical College pupil in fact started his footballing career playing for the now defunct Enfield FC (he also worked in the printing trade), just like the great Peter Baker did. It was playing for the team off of the Great Cambridge Road where Hollowbread was spotted by Arthur Rowe’s Spurs and he signed for the First Division side as an amateur in June of 1950. The tall goalkeeper worked his way up the various ranks at Spurs and into the A and B teams, and then into the reserves while also serving in the army in between this, during his national service. In total John Hollowbread would go on to make over 350 competitive appearances for Spurs below first team level, and he eventually made his first team debut for the Lilywhites in November 1956, in a friendly against Scottish side Heart of Midlothian. He would make a further 81 first team appearances for Spurs (73 of which were competitive) with his competitive debut coming close to two years after that friendly with Heart of Midlothian, in a league game against Blackburn Rovers. In an almost 14 year spell with Spurs the goalkeeper was often a second or third choice goalkeeper, firstly behind both Ted Ditchburn and Ron Reynolds in the pecking order, and later behind Scotland international Bill Brown.
Often playing for the Tottenham reserve side during most seasons, Hollowbread was the first choice for Spurs during Bill Nicholson’s second season in charge of the club, the 1958/59 season where he played the vast majority of the first teams games up until Bill Brown was signed at the end of that season. Sold to Southampton at the end of the 1963/64 season for a fee of £3,000, he would play just over 30 competitive games for the Hampshire based club before suffering a career ending knee injury. Hollowbread did go on to play local football in county Hampshire where he resided for a number of years, playing mainly with Mullard Sports. He would also run a pub in the county before later becoming a bar manager at the Bramshaw Golf Club in the New Forest, Hollowbread would later retire to Spain where he passed away in Torrevieja in the December of 2007. During that 1961/62 reserve season he was a near ever present in the side, making 28 appearances and putting in some really strong and consistent performances. Very interestingly Hollowbread took and scored a penalty kick for our reserves in the Football Combination League that season! It came in an 8-0 home win over Mansfield Town in the March of 1962.
Alan Dennis: Born in Ashcot Somerset, during the Second World War (1944), but brought up in Bermondsey south London. Full-back Alan Edmund Dennis (also a talented cricketer during his youth) played for London Schools during his youth before signing for Arsenal as a junior, before then moving up the road to Tottenham Hotspur to sign as an amateur in the May of 1960. The left back who played for England Schoolboys with a then future Spurs manager David Pleat, in fact captained them on six occasions as he proudly recalled to me in an interview I did with Alan back in 2018. Only making his competitive debut for our A team during the previous 1960/61 season, Dennis would make the step up to the reserves to make two appearances for them in the Football Combination League during the 1961/62 season, both of which came at left back. A talented and intelligent defender, Alan Dennis would spend the majority of his five years at Tottenham playing in the A team and the reserves where he established himself as a regular in the side. Dennis did also make two appearances for Bill Nicholson’s first team on two occasions, both of which came in friendlies against Arsenal and Leytonstone respectively. Released at the end of the 1964/65 season, Alan linked up with former Spurs player Tony Marchi who was the manager of Cambridge City. A now versatile player, Dennis spent two years with Cambridge City before moving on to Dover in 1967. He would later play for Harwich & Parkeston, Clacton Town and Tilbury, before then moving into management where he took charge of Truro City for a spell in 1979. Now retired Alan currently resides in county Kent.
Phil Beal: Born in Godstone, Surrey (1945) Philip Beal made an incredible 479 first team appearances for Spurs in a spell which spanned over 15 years. The former Surrey Schools player was an extremely versatile player throughout his career and he played in a good variety of positions. The always highly rated defender who signed for Spurs as an amateur in the May of 1960 and would make his Spurs A team debut during the 1961/62 season, would also in the same season make one appearance for our league winning reserve side as a right-half in the Football Combination League. In the coming seasons he would establish himself as a regular and important player for the reserves, and the former England Youth international made his Spurs first team debut in a league game against Aston Villa in the September of 1963. The defender who always kept great positioning would enjoy a highly successful spell in the first team, winning the Football League Cup in 1971, the UEFA Cup in 1972 and the Football League Cup again in 1973 during his 13 seasons almost exclusively with the first team in his almost 500 appearances for them (he scored one goal for Spurs during that time). A player who was more than capable of sweeping up at the back, Beal always kept fantastic composure in games no matter what position that he played in, and the hardworking player was always so reliable for manager Bill Nicholson. Unfortunate not to win a single cap for his country England, Beal’s influence on the club that he spent so many of his footballing years at was quite profound, and he was a key component in the Spurs sides which won four major trophies during his time in north London (he missed out on playing in the 1967 FA Cup final against Chelsea due to injury). His extremely successful time at Spurs finally came to an end in the summer of 1975 when Spurs manager Terry Neill released him.
Beal was one of the greatest ever homegrown players to come through the Tottenham Hotspur youth set up, but after leaving Spurs he signed for Brighton & Hove Albion. After almost two years on the south coast, he moved on to America to play for Los Angeles Aztecs before later playing for Memphis Rogues. However, Beal did return to England where he finished off his career by playing for Crewe Alexandra, Oxford City and Woking, before working as a chauffeur amongst other later jobs. Now retired, Beal was an occasional match day host at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium prior to the current situation. He is without doubt a Tottenham Hotspur legend.
Ken Barton: A popular player amongst his teammates at Spurs, Kenneth Rees Barton was from Caernarfon in north Wales (born in 1937), and he played for his hometowns boys club as well as Wales Schools prior to making the trip to England to join Spurs in his youth. A full-back who predominantly played on the right hand side of defence, Barton linked up with Tottenham as an amateur in 1953, later signing professional forms with the Lilywhites after a trial period at the club. Barton like many other young players at Spurs during that period in time, worked his way up the various youth ranks and into the A team and the reserves. Although the Welshman did make his first team debut for Spurs in a friendly against Plymouth Argyle in 1955 (he would play in another friendly for Spurs during his time at the club), he would spend the majority of his time at the club playing for the reserve side. He did also make four competitive appearances for the Tottenham first team, all of which came in the league, and he was one of only 17 players that Bill Nicholson used during the 1960/61 First Division winning season (Barton made his competitive debut in a league game against Manchester United during that season). Yet he was never able to establish himself in Tottenham’s excellent first team which was filled with stars, and he would have found it extremely difficult to dislodge regular right back Peter Baker who was an excellent player for Spurs. A steady player, Barton who was also Spurs’ PFA union man during his time at the club, actually made the most appearances of any Spurs player during the 1961/62 season when we won the Football Combination League (32). A consistent performer for the side throughout that campaign (he played all of his 32 games at right back), he also scored a single goal for the team, with that coming in a 2-1 away win over Crystal Palace. Barton was strong in the tackle although not the quickest of players, he was in someways akin to Danny Blanchflower in his style of play.
Barton left Spurs in September 1964 to bring an end to an over 11 year association with the club. He joined Millwall, but he didn’t spend long at the south London club and in the December of 1964 he moved on to Luton Town, who he made 11 competitive appearances for. He finished his career with Dunstable Town, before going on to work for a pharmaceutical company. Sadly Ken passed away at the age of 44 in Chester, northern England in 1982.
John Smith: One of many good players around at Spurs during the early 1960’s, Shoreditch born (1939) John Smith played both for London and Middlesex Schools during his schoolboy days. Comfortable operating either at half-back or inside-forward, the east Londoner was signed by West Ham United as an amateur in 1954 and he had represented England at youth and under 23 level, which goes to show just how highly rated he was on the international scene and at club level. An attack minded player, Smith also played for the army team during his national service however, it was at West Ham where he made his first step into the professional game. Making over 120 competitive appearances for West Ham scoring 20 goals, the promising Smith caught the attention of Bill Nicholson’s Spurs and in March of 1960 the Lilywhites paid a sum of £20,000 plus offering striker Dave Dunmore to West Ham in the deal. Smith was signed as a first team player with real potential however, he spent the majority of his time in north London playing for the reserves. In total John Smith made 24 competitive appearances (he made his debut in a league game against Everton in 1960) for Spurs plus three more in non competitive fixtures (he scored one goal), he was also another of the 17 players used by Bill Nicholson during the season that we won the double in 1960/61. During the following season (1961/62) the player who posed a good threat going forward spent the majority of the season playing for the reserves. He made 28 appearances for our reserve side during the Football Combination League winning season, scoring an impressive total of 12 goals, as he played all of those games at half-back (27 at right-half and one at left-half). Yet another consistent performer throughout that season who offered a lot to the side and also more than played his part in our success, Smith would stay at Spurs until the March of 1964 when he moved on to Coventry City.
Going on to have a successful career in the English game, Smith enjoyed spells with Leyton Orient, Torquay United and Swindon Town. However, it was with Swindon that he enjoyed the finest moment of his individual career, as he helped them massively to defeat and upset Arsenal in the final to win the 1969 Football League Cup. Following that successful spell with Swindon, Smith went on to play and manage Walsall, before going over to Ireland to become player-manager of Dundalk. Smith spent one season at Dundalk, where he helped them to win the 1973/74 Leinster Senior Cup. Smith would later return to England after leaving the game and at the time of his untimely death from a heart attack at the age of 49 in 1988, he had been the manager of a McVitie’s social club in northwest London.
Mel Hopkins: Born in Ystrad, Rhondda, Wales in 1934, one of Spurs’ finest left backs of the 20th century Melvyn Hopkins, the son of a miner signed for the club in 1951 having previously been on the books of the Ystraad Boys Club. Hopkins loved to attack and get forward down the left flank, but he also maintained a good amount of tenacity too in his defensive play, as well as possessing great pace. At his peak he was probably the best left back in England however, to get to that point he had to rise up through the various ranks at Tottenham e.g. the A team and the reserves. A Wales international (he won 34 caps for his country) who played for his country at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, Hopkins had arguably his finest game against Brazil in that tournament when he effectively marked their legendary winger Garrincha out of the game. The former Tonypandy Grammar School pupil who lived in digs in Ponders End during part of his time at Spurs during the 1950’s, made his debut for Spurs under then manager Arthur Rowe in a First Division game against Derby County in 1952. Hopkins would make a further 270 first team appearances for the Lilywhites enjoying his best period at the club in the mid 1950’s. However, he did suffer a very bad injury when he broke his nose and upper jaw in an international game against Scotland in 1959 which kept him out of action for a long time, and he was never able to dislodge Ron Henry from the Spurs first team upon his return to full fitness. As a result of this Hopkins unfortunately missed out on playing for Spurs’ first team during the double winning season, something which he was incredibly disappointed about. He did stay at Spurs until 1964, but during the 1961/62 season he was almost exclusively with the reserves. Playing for them on 26 occasions (all at left back) Hopkins along with his compatriot Ken Barton on the other flank were far too good to be playing reserve team football, but that just shows how richly talented Spurs were at that time.
After leaving Spurs in the October of 1964 Mel Hopkins signed for Brighton & Hove Albion, before later going on to play for Canterbury City, Ballymena in Northern Ireland, Bradford Park Avenue and Wimbledon. After retiring from playing Mel scouted for Derby County and then Lancing, he also worked as a sports centre manager at Horsham Sports club, one of a number of positions that he held after leaving football. Mel settled on the south coast and he passed away in Worthing at the age of 75 in October 2010. A number of Mel’s old Spurs teammates attended his funeral at Worthing Crematorium. He is yet another Spurs legend who was a big and important part of the Spurs reserve team during the title winning season of 1961/62 season.
Freddie Sharpe: Brockley born (1937) half-back Frederick Charles Sharpe started a nine year association with Spurs when he joined them as an amateur in the June of 1954, after being spotted playing for London Boys against Germany Boys who were touring England at the time. Sharpe was comfortable playing as a number four and as a six, and this stood him in good stead throughout his professional career. The south Londoner played mostly in the A team and the reserves during his time at Tottenham however, he did make two appearances for the first team, with the first coming against Nottingham Forest in the September of 1958. He scored the winning goal of the match in that one with a powerful strike, yet he would only go on to play one more game for Bill Nicholson’s side due to the world class players that were in front of him, and that also came during the same season. A good and versatile player who was calm in possession and who also asserted himself well on games, Sharpe was very good with both feet and he was never afraid to go into tackles. During the 1961/62 season the player who stayed at Spurs until the summer of the following season played almost exclusively for the reserves. Making 23 appearances for the side during that campaign, Sharpe played 19 of those games at left-half and four in central defence. Another player who was popular amongst the Spurs squad, Sharpe would later play for then Second Division side Norwich City who he made over 110 competitive appearances for, before finishing off his career with Reading who he captained up until his retirement at the age of 32 in 1971. Enjoying a good career in the game, Freddie would later on in life teach sport in schools, as well as working as salesman, and owning a car valeting business. I interviewed the now 83 year old former Spurs man who resides in southeast England as recently as this summer, and his love for Spurs was still as strong as it has ever been.
Tony Marchi: Anthony Vittorio Marchi (born in 1933) always had time for the youth players at Spurs as recalled David Sunshine to me, and the local lad of Italian heritage who was born just up the road from White Hart Lane would enjoy two successful spells with Spurs. The left sided half-back who played for London and England Schools as a teenager joined Spurs as an amateur all the way back in the summer of 1948 to begin the first of two successful spells at his local club. Marchi rose quickly up through the ranks at the Lilywhites and while still 17 years of age he made his first team debut (one of 317 appearances for Spurs) for Spurs in a league game (Second Division) against Grimsby Town in the 1949/50 season. During the following 1950/51 season when Spurs won the First Division for the first time in their history, Marchi was one of the players used by manager Arthur Rowe. By the mid 1950’s he was a regular in the Tottenham first team, and he was a more than consistent performer within the side. However, the summer of 1957 saw Italian giants Juventus come calling for Marchi and their big bid of £42,000 was accepted by Spurs. He was however, loaned immediately out to fellow Italian side Lanerossi due to the fact that Juventus had exceeded their limit of having one non-Italian player in their squad. The left-half who was an England B international enjoyed a fine season with Lanerossi, chipping in with over half a dozen goals before moving back to the city where he should have been playing – Turin but to Juventus’ rival club Torino. He played one season with Torino before looking to return to England, and in the June of 1959 Tottenham Hotspur signed him for a second time. During the following 1960/61 season he found himself being one of the 17 first team players used during the double winning season, meaning that he was the only player used during both the 1950/51 and 1960/61 title winning seasons.
Yet Marchi’s greatest success with Spurs was his strong involvement in the side that won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. The Londoner eventually left Spurs two decades after he joined them in 1965 when he took the position of player-manager of non-league side Cambridge City. He would later go on to manage Northampton Town before running a wallpaper business after leaving the game altogether. Tony Marchi made 12 appearances for the Spurs reserve side during the league winning season of 1961/62 (he scored one goal), he played 11 of those games at left-half, and one interestingly as a centre forward. The now 87 year old former Spurs man now resides in southern England.
Bill Dodge: Hackney born (1937) half-back William Charles Dodge joined Spurs from Eton Manor as an amateur in 1955 along with Eddie Clayton. The late footballer who was a regular for the A side and the reserves during his time in north London, made his first team debut in a friendly against Brazilian side Bela Vista at White Hart Lane in 1958. Dodge made 12 additional appearances for the Spurs first team during his more than seven years at the club (ten of which were competitive, with his first one coming against Blackburn Rovers in the league in 1959), the half-back who was comfortable playing on either side would struggle for first team opportunities come the beginning of the 1960’s. During his final season at Spurs, he made nine appearances for our league winning reserve side scoring one goal. Six of his appearances that season came at right half, while the other three came at left half. Upon leaving Spurs in the summer of 1962 Dodge joined Crystal Palace but he didn’t feature much for their first team, and he would later play for non-League clubs Kettering Town, Ashford, Canterbury City, Leyton-Wingate (player-manager) and finally Aylesbury before retiring. Dodge was a tough tackling defensive minded player who was also good on the ball, with his best skill without doubt being his tackling.
Derek Tharme: Having been a key player for the A team during the previous 1960/61 season when they won the Eastern Counties League, Brighton born fullback Derek Tharme joined Spurs in 1956 (he initially shared digs with Mel Hopkins) having previously been a schoolboy with Brighton & Hove Albion, and then on the books of local club Whitehawk at the time of being signed by Spurs. Tharme, who was a left back but could also fill in on the right, was a highly intelligent defender who despite his height was of good build, strong, pretty fast and just a good all round left back. A player who could have made it at Spurs according to David Sunshine, Tharme was a part of the Spurs A team that won the East Anglian Cup, Derek was a stalwart for the A team during his time at the club, and while he never played for the first team he did play for the reserve side. Making eight appearances for them during that 1961/62 season (his final one at Spurs), Tharme played six of those games at left back and two at right back. After leaving Spurs at the end of that season he moved to Southend United, Hastings United with the great Bobby Smith, Crawley Town and Burgess Hill. He also managed a number of clubs in the Sussex County League before leaving the game. Now retired, Derek lives back on the south coast.
Anthony Smith: Very skilful centre half Anthony Brian Smith made the second most appearances of any player in the reserve side during the 1961/62 season (30), with all coming in his natural position of centre half as he impressed throughout the season. The Lavenham born (1941) defender spent the vast majority of his time at Spurs in the A and reserve teams, since joining them as an amateur back in the August of 1957. Tony Smith was known by Spurs teammates for his ball juggling and communication skills, and having already been a key part of the A team that won the Eastern Counties league in 1961, he was well suited in playing in a highly competitive and very talented team. During Smith’s almost nine years at Spurs he only made two first team appearances, they came in friendlies against Reading and Leytonstone. After leaving Spurs in 1966 he moved to South Africa where he played for Southern Suburbs, Addington (under Spurs great Peter Baker), Durban Spurs, Durban United, Durban City and Hillary. Smith also went into football management in the 1980’s when he took charge of South African side Bush Bucks. It is unknown where the former Spurs man went after that.
Brian Fittock: Extremely skilful and agile left winger Brian Fittock was a terrific striker of the ball during his playing days, and the man from East Ham in east London had performed really well for the A team during the 1960/61 season. Fast forward a season and during his five appearances for the reserves (all as an outside-left) Freddie Fittock as he was known by his teammates, scored four goals in the Football Combination League. However, the reserves was as high up as the player who had a great sense of humour would get, and later on in the 1960’s and after leaving Spurs he dropped into non-League football.
Les Allen: Dagenham born (1937) inside-forward Leslie William Allen started off with local club Briggs Sports before signing for west London club Chelsea in 1954 via a stint at Spurs as an amateur. A strong and powerful attacking player, Allen had good distribution, could hold up the ball well, took his goals clinically and fitted in really well within the first team squad. Allen scored over 11 goals in 44 first team appearances for Chelsea however, he was playing for their reserve team at the time Spurs signed him in 1959, due to the fact that the prolific Jimmy Greaves was in front of him in the pecking order. Les Allen’s time at Tottenham was hugely successful, and the statistics (75 goals in 147 appearances) showed for it, and he was a highly consistent performer during the double winning season of 1960/61, when he scored 27 competitive goals for Bill Nicholson’s side, including one against Sheffield Wednesday which effectively won Spurs the league title. The 1960/61 season was without doubt Les Allen’s finest season at Spurs, and while he often wasn’t a regular up until he left the club in 1965, the former England under 23 international more than made his made his mark on the history of the club. In the seasons that followed the 1960/61 one Allen did play a fair few games for our reserve side. And during the Football Combination league winning season of 1961/62 he made three appearances for our reserves, scoring three goals from those games, all of which were played as an inside-left.
Allen left Spurs to join Queens Park Rangers in 1965, and he enjoyed a successful time in west London which saw him win the first ever edition of the Football League Cup in 1967, and he also served Rangers as player-manager during his spell at the club. He would later manage Greek side Aris Thessalonika, and then non-League side Woodford Town (player-manager), before serving Swindon Town as chief scout and later as manager in the 1970’s. The now 83 year old worked in the automotive industry after leaving football for good, and his son Clive and nephew Paul would also go on to play for Spurs’ first team in the 20th century.
Roy Moss: Roy G Moss was born in Maldon, Essex (1941) and joined Spurs in the late 1950’s. A goal scoring centre forward by trade, Moss was a very skilful player who had been in really fine form for the Spurs A team that won the Eastern Counties League during the 1960/61 season (he scored 14 goals in 22 appearances). During the 1961/62 season Roy Moss played three games for our reserve side scoring two goals, yet despite being a very good young player at the time he was never to get beyond reserve team level at Spurs. He left the Lilywhites at the end of that season to play for Gillingham who he made 14 appearances for (scoring two goals) during two seasons. Moss left Gillingham to play for Canterbury City, before going on to coach sport for a number of years after leaving the game.
Colin Brown: Colin D Brown also known as Buster Brown had previously played for Aylesbury United where he scored 15 goals in 56 appearances for their first team. An energetic and enthusiastic centre forward, Brown was only ever part-time at Spurs due to the Watford born player also working in the print trade. Brown had scored 28 goals in 29 appearances for the Spurs A team during the 1960/61 season, his third last one at Spurs, although in the 1961/62 season the player with a powerful right foot who was also good in the air despite his lack of height, would spend virtually all of that season with the A team bar playing one game for the reserves, which he played at inside-left. Unfortunately where Brown went after leaving Spurs in 1963 is a bit of a mystery, and it is unknown whether or not he continued his playing career.
Jimmy Greaves: Adored by Spurs fans and former teammates alike, Spurs’ greatest ever goal scorer (306 goals in 420 appearances) James Peter Greaves in fact made his debut for Spurs in the Football Combination league during the 1961/62 season, following his move from Serie A winners AC Milan. The inside-forward played against Plymouth Argyle in the December of 1961, scoring a brace in that game. An extremely skilful player, Greaves was the scorer of fantastic goals throughout his career, from those early days at Chelsea where he started his career in 1955, to his latter playing days in the non-League. Such a clinical player, Greaves read the game to perfection, had excellent close control as well as possessing great speed which allowed him to glide gracefully past players with ease. The East Ham born player who won the 1966 World Cup with England, is without doubt one of if not the greatest player to ever put on a Spurs shirt. Whoever Greaves played for he scored goals and oozed class in every aspect of his play, the forward won two FA Cups, two FA Charity Shield’s and one European Cup Winners Cup during his over nine years in north London. The Spurs legend also played for the likes of West Ham United, Barnet and Chelmsford City after leaving the club, in what was an incredible career which was filled with goals. Back in 2011 Greaves was briefly the assistant manager of Witham Town, his only official coaching role in the game. Jimmy’s son Danny played for Spurs at youth level during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
Derek Possee: Still very young during the 1961/62 season, Southwark born (1946) winger Derek James Possee made just the one appearance during that campaign, with it coming at outside-right. Possee joined Spurs as an apprentice in 1961 and would go on to make 19 competitive first team appearances for Spurs (he scored four goals) after progressing up from the reserves. A fast, direct and quite traditional English winger, Possee would stay on Spurs’ books until 1967 when he moved to Millwall. After a very successful spell at the south London club, where Derek Possee scored a really good number of goals (he is currently Millwall’s third all time top scorer), Possee moved to Crystal Palace. He later moved to Canada where he eventually settled and where he remains today, he played for Vancouver Whitecaps and also held a number of positions in football in the country.
Barrie Aitchison: Colchester born (1937) winger Barrie George Aitchison, like Spurs reserve teammate Frank Smith started his career with local side Colchester Casuals. Aitchison signed for Spurs as an amateur in 1954 by manager Arthur Rowe, after being spotted playing by Rowe for London and Home County Schools. A versatile winger who was capable of playing on either flank due to being two footed, Aitchison possessed good pace and was a really good crosser of the ball. Barrie spent almost all of his time at Spurs playing for the reserves and the A team, and during the 1961/62 season he was a very important player for the reserves, scoring 15 goals from 29 appearances (15 as an outside-left and 14 as an outside-right). Aitchison did also play once for the Spurs first team during his time at the club, that came against an Army XI, and he scored a goal in that game in 1960. Released by the club in 1964, Aitchison played for Colchester United before suffering a very bad injury to his leg, he later played for Cambridge City (under Tony Marchi) and finally Bury Town. He later went on to work for a furniture upholsterers in Colchester. Barrie turns 83 tomorrow!
Jimmy Collins: Scottish inside forward (right footed) James Collins was born in Lorn in Ayrshire in 1937, and the skilful player who excelled at A team and reserve team level started out with Lugar Boswell Thistle. Collins signed for Spurs in the summer of 1956 after being spotted by a club scout, and he soon went on to establish himself in the A and reserve teams. Only ever making three first team appearances (two competitive) for Spurs’ first team, with the first coming in a friendly against an Army XI, Collins made 26 appearances for the reserves in 1961/62 (all at inside-right), scoring ten goals. Making a big impact on the reserve side during the time that he was at Spurs, Collins’ influence on the team during the 1961/62 season was no different. Collins left Spurs in October of 1962 to join Brighton & Hove Albion, where he enjoyed a good almost five year spell, scoring 44 goals in 201 league appearances. He would later play for Wimbledon, Stevenage, Southwick (player and manager), Shoreham, Saltdean United and Corals. Sadly Jimmy passed away at the age of 80, where he lived in Shoreham-by-Sea in 2018.
Frank Saul: Known by teammates as the Canvey Kid, Frank Landen Saul of Canvey Island in Essex, was a standout player within his youth team at Spurs ever since joining them as an amateur in 1958. The fast developing forward who turned professional in 1960 and who made his debut for both the A team and the reserves while still at school, was the type of forward who could play up front as well as out on the flanks as an inside forward. Saul was quick and strong, he could ride a challenge well but he was also good with both feet, which helped him in front of goal. Making his competitive debut for the first team in a league game against Bolton Wanderers in September of 1960, the then 17 year old who was one of the players used by Bill Nicholson during the double winning season, he was also used by the reserves during their league winning season of 1961/62. The striker who scored 60 goals from 158 first team appearances made 25 league appearances for the reserves during that season (mostly at centre forward) as he scored 22 goals. Arguably Saul’s finest moment in a Spurs shirt came when he scored against Chelsea in our 2-0 win over them in the 1967 FA Cup final. Saul left Spurs as part of the deal which brought Martin Chivers to the club in 1968, as he went the other way to Southampton. Saul later played for Queens Park Rangers, Millwall and Dagenham before later going into the fashion industry and the building industry, after leaving the game.
Eddie Clayton: Bethnal Green born (1937) Edward Clayton joined Spurs initially part time as an amateur in 1955 from Eton Manor, along with his good friend Bill Dodge, after being spotted by the great Sir Alf Ramsey, Eddie combined playing for Spurs with his day job as an apprentice printer. Clayton missed virtually two years of his footballing career however, as he had to do his national service, and he ended up being stationed in West Germany. An inside forward by trade, Clayton was a versatile player who was highly thought of among the younger players who followed the reserves and the first team. Good on the ball, a calm and composed player and somebody who had good distribution, Clayton had an eye for goal too and a thumping shot at his disposal, and he scored 26 goals in 125 first team appearances for Spurs. Making his first team debut in style up at Goodison Park in 1958 in a league game against Everton by scoring a brace, Eddie followed this up by scoring the winner against West Bromwich Albion soon afterwards. While he was with the reserve side exclusively during the 1960/61 double winning season, Clayton did make a couple of first team appearances during the 1961/62 season however, he was again with the reserves for most of that time. The stylish ball playing inside forward was outstanding for the reserve team that season and he played a big part in us winning the league. Averaging a goal a game, Clayton scored 24 goals from 24 appearances (all at inside-left) and he scored some big ones in big games too, as well as scoring four goals on one occasion in a 10-3 win over Ipswich Town. Extremely unlucky to miss out on playing in the 1967 FA Cup final having been a regular for the first team that season, the player whose older brother Ronnie served Spurs as a scout for a number of years, left Spurs after 13 years at the club in 1968.
Clayton later on his career played for Southend United, Ashford Town, Margate (where he remains a club legend), Aylesbury United and Leyton-Wingate. He also coached at Norwich City despite being offered the chance by Bill Nicholson to coach Spurs’ reserves. He then trained successfully to become a teacher, a job that Eddie did for many years, and now retired he still supports Spurs and enjoys playing golf in his spare time.
Terry Dyson: Terence Kent Dyson, born in 1934 in Malton, Yorkshire, was another of the double winning squad who played for the reserves during the 1961/62 season. A speedy and tricky winger who had an eye for goal, Dyson had been on Scarborough’s books prior to joining Spurs as an amateur in the winter of 1954, but during that 1961/62 season he chipped in with five goals from 14 appearances for the reserves. He turned professional in the April of 1955 but had to wait a while to become a regular in the first team. He did however, force his way into the side for the start of the double winning season when he was a key player for Bill Nicholson’s team. The scorer of 68 goals in 239 first team appearances, the small but highly skilful winger enjoyed arguably his finest moment in a Spurs shirt when he scored a brace in the 5-1 triumph over Spanish side Atlético Madrid in the 1963 European Cup Winners Cup final. He left Spurs in the summer of 1965 and would later play for the likes of Colchester United and Guildford City before managing several clubs at non-League level. The only Spurs player to ever score a hat-trick in a North London Derby would later run a sports shop prior to retiring.
Terry Medwin: Swansea man and former Wales international Terence Cameron Medwin (born 1932) was the scorer of 90 goals in 247 appearances for Spurs’ first team. The highly skilled and potent winger was another of the players who made a significant impact on the first team during the double winning season, but during the following campaign he made 11 appearances for the reserves, scoring five goals. The player who joined Spurs from Swansea Town in 1956, had a hugely successful time at Spurs and along with his compatriot Cliff Jones, the pair were a major thorn in opposition defences sides. Apart from playing a big part in our double winning success, he also helped us to win the FA Cup during the following season. Medwin retired from the game in 1964 while still on Spurs’ books however, he would later hold a number of coaching and managerial jobs such as being manager of Enfield and Cheshunt, and the assistant manager of Swansea City. Nowadays the legendary former Spurs man lives back in his native Wales.
Ron Piper: Of slight build but still a skilful and creative inside forward, Ronald David Piper (born in Crestwell, Derbyshire in 1943) started his career off on Arsenal’s books as an amateur, but joined rivals Spurs as an amateur in 1960. A regular for the A team during his first season at the club, Piper made 11 appearances for the reserves during the 1961/62 season, scoring two goals. He did make one appearance for our first team in a First Division game against Blackburn Rovers in 1963, but he left Spurs after being released at the end of 1964/65 season. He would go on to play for Guildford City and Wimbledon before retiring from the game and settling in Suffolk. Piper used to work for Lowestoft Town football club.
Bobby Smith: Legendary centre forward and Spurs’ second all time top scorer Robert Alfred Smith grew up in Lingdale in North Yorkshire (born 1933) and played for Redcar United before moving down to London to sign for Chelsea as an amateur in 1948. A very robust striker who wouldn’t back out of anything, was strong in the air and clinical in front of goal, the skilful Bobby Smith always caused defenders problems. Prolific throughout his time at Spurs and outstanding during the double winning season, Smith won six major trophies during his extremely successful time at Spurs, and he scored an incredible total of 251 goals from 358 appearances for the first team in all competitions (includes friendlies). A true Spurs legend, the Yorkshireman dropped down to the reserve side on eight occasions during the 1961/62 season, scoring ten goals and also even playing at centre half on one occasion. Smith would later play for the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Hastings United and Leyton Orient in a career that spanned over 20 years. Sadly Bobby passed away in Enfield, London in 2010. His profound influence on Spurs was the stuff of legends.
Graham Thomson: Skilful, quick and creative inside forward Graham Thomson still holds the record for being the youngest ever player to play for his first club Kings Lynn. The county Norfolk man who played seven times for Spurs’ reserves in 1961/62 (all as an outside-right) scoring two goals, joined Spurs in 1955 and remained at the Lilywhites until the end of that 1961/62 season until deciding to leave, as his wife wanted to return to Norfolk. Thomson would later return to Kings Lynn before playing part time for Spalding, the final team of his footballing career. A keen golfer, Thomson resides back in his home county.