Looking back at former Spurs player Tony Smith’s footballing career:

Anthony Brian Smith was one of the finest youth teams prospects in the Spurs youth system during the 1950s/60s era. Born in Lavenham, Suffolk, on the 5th of October 1941, the talented centre-half who could also play at left-half, grew up in Royston, Hertfordshire. The player who once represented the old FA Youth XI, was as a schoolboy footballer, scouted by a number of top sides. Smith trialled with Millwall and even Manchester United for a time, before signing for Spurs, initially joining as an amateur in the summer of 1957. The defender would later sign professional forms with Spurs just under two years later. In those early days at Spurs, when Tony was playing for the talented Spurs Youth team, one of Tony’s teammates was a future Spurs Deputy Chairman, the late Tony Berry, and also future Spurs first team player Frank Saul. Part of the Spurs Youth sides which went on tour to Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, to participate in tournaments, those early days at Spurs would have been memorable for Tony.

A highly skilful and vocal defender who read the game really well, Tony Smith is also remembered well by some of his old Spurs teammates, for his excellent ball juggling skills. After progressing up to the old Spurs A side, where he won a number of Eastern Counties League titles, Smith was soon playing regularly for the Spurs reserve side. In one such season (1961/62), Tony made 30 appearances for the Spurs reserve side in the Football Combination League (the second most appearances of anyone in the Spurs side), and that was a season which Spurs won the league in. Back in the October of 1959, Tony Smith would make the first of two first team appearances (in friendly matches). He was 18 when he debuted for the Spurs first team in a friendly against Reading. Smith made his other first team appearance in 1964, this time in a friendly with Leytonstone. He would remain a regular for the Spurs reserve side up until leaving the club in the spring of 1966.

Upon leaving Spurs, Tony Smith moved to South Africa to join a team called Southern Suburbs. Spending the rest of his footballing career in South Africa, the former Spurs man would also play for Addington (Spurs legend Peter Baker was the manager during that time), Durban Spurs, Durban United, Durban City and Hillary. Smith would later go into management, becoming the manager of South African side Bush Bucks for a time during the early 1980s. Although he didn’t get to play for the Spurs first team in a competitive fixture, owing to some of the international players in front of him at Spurs during the early 1960s, just like all of the Spurs  players who were at the club at that incredible time in it’s history, and who worked their way up the ranks at the club, Tony should be very proud of all that he achieved in his playing career. He was like others, very unlucky to not really have been given a chance with the first team at Spurs, but he was very highly thought of at the club, by teammates and coaches alike.

Tony Smith is now retired and still living in South Africa.

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