Looking back at former Spurs Youth Team, A Team, reserves and England Schoolboys international Paul Shoemark’s time at Spurs during the 1960s:

Paul Shoemark was a very highly rated England Schoolboys international, who had a very impressive goals to games ratio for his country at that level. Born and brought up in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, Paul Shoemark played local football in the Wellingborough area prior to playing for England Schoolboys. He was in the same England Schoolboys side as Peter Shilton, Alan Evans and John Stenson. And it was with England that the very highly rated young footballer was being scouted by a number of top clubs. In his last game for the England Schoolboys side, Paul Shoemark scored two goals against West Germany in Berlin. Clubs such as Arsenal, Southampton, Coventry City and obviously Spurs, all wanted to sign him. However, in the end Paul made the decision to join Bill Nicholson’s Spurs in 1965. He joined the club as an apprentice for the start of the 1965/66 season, and of those in his age group at Spurs, Paul came further away from Spurs, than any of the other apprentices and part-time/amateur youth players.

Although Paul joined Spurs as a centre-forward, he also played as an inside-forward, during his time at the club. With outstanding pace and an excellent low centre of gravity, Shoemark was a great finisher inside the penalty area, and he was also good with both feet. As one of the two forward players in the Spurs Youth and A side, Shoemark was strong on the ball and was capable of shielding it well. However, it was his brilliant pace, skill on the ball and finishing ability which made him one of the most highly rated youth footballers in England during the mid 1960s. Joining Spurs as a Youth team player in 1965, Shoemark played in the same Spurs youth side as future Spurs first team player Ray Evans, and during his first season at the club, Paul was a member of the Spurs youth side that won the South-East Counties League Division II, scoring five goals from nine league games. Shoemark was a clever player, and just like some of the more recent players that Spurs fans will remember who have played for the club and youth level, and who have been described as outstanding prospects, such as Terry Dixon, Shaun Murray and Marcus Edwards, well Paul had exactly the same amount of hype around him, at Spurs and around England.

Paul Shoemark would progress up to the senior Spurs youth side, into the A team for matches in the Metropolitan League, and also to the Spurs reserves, later on in the 1960s. Playing alongside the likes of future Spurs first team players Steve Perryman, Jimmy Pearce and the previously mentioned Ray Evans, would have been great for the young Paul Shoemark. Paul joined the Spurs first team on the coach to an away game at Northampton (near to where Paul is from), during the mid 1960s, and he would sit on the touchline for that game, in what must have been a very special day for him. Other memorable moments for Paul during his time at the club, would have been travelling to a tournament in The Netherlands with the Spurs Youth team, being a member of the Spurs A team that won the Metropolitan League and also just being at such a top club, at such a special time. I recently spoke with former Spurs player Terry Naylor, and he spoke very highly of Paul Shoemark’s ability at Spurs.

Paul later played non-League football for Hatfield Town, Kings Lynn and Downham Market after leaving Spurs in 1969. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Paul about his time at Spurs in 2021, and I was also very happy when he attended my mid 1960s Spurs Youth team reunion last summer. He is a really top man, who I believe was very unlucky to not have featured for the Spurs first team during his time at the club in the 1960s, owing to the fact that the first team and reserves were just so incredibly strong. However, Paul has so much to be proud about, looking back on his time at Spurs and his overall footballing career.

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