Remembering former Spurs Academy player Noni Madueke’s only competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 18 side:  

Former Spurs Academy player Noni Madueke is now playing his football for Chelsea’s first team, following a big move to the West London club from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, in January. Madueke was with Spurs as a schoolboy Academy footballer up until the end of the 2017/18 season, when he chose not to sign scholarship forms with the club, instead opting to join PSV Eindhoven. The extremely skilful winger started his career with the Crystal Palace Academy, prior to joining Spurs’ Academy set-up. Noni progressed up through the Academy ranks at the club (I saw him play on maybe three occasions), and his creativity and excellent skill always stood out whenever I saw him play. Part of the same Academy age group as Harvey White, Madueke made his one and only appearance for the Spurs Under 18 side in a Premier League South fixture away to Aston Villa, in the February of 2017. In this fixture against Aston Villa, Spurs basically fielded an Under 16 side, because of the fact that the Spurs Under 18 side had an important FA Youth Cup quarter-final tie with Newcastle United the following mid-week.

In the game against Aston Villa, players such as Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jamie Bowden and Phoenix Patterson all started for Spurs, while Aston Villa had Jacob Ramsey featuring from the bench for the home side. The game finished 2-1 to Aston Villa, but quite late on in the second half Noni Madueke, a player who at the time was a member of the Spurs Under 15 side, came on to make his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side. A little bit earlier on in the game, another player from the same Academy age group, Luis Binks (Now of Bologna, in Serie A) also made his debut for the Spurs Under 18 side. Binks came close to scoring during the Aston Villa game, while shortly after Madueke was substituted on, he found the back of the net, but his effort was ruled out for offside. Even in the limited time that he played in that game, Noni stood out and showed real glimpses of his quality. As did Luis Binks, who had a good game for Spurs in defence. Noni Madueke, despite spending some time out with injury, would do really well with PSV.

Returning to Hotspur Way with a PSV Under 19 side for a UEFA Youth League game in 2018, Noni Madueke did really well with PSV’s first team, prior to his return to England. And the England Under 21 international has so far made 11 Premier League appearances for Chelsea, scoring one goal.

Memory Lane – Remembering Jimmy Pearce’s superb goal against Crystal Palace, in a First Division fixture in 1969:

This particular fixture between Spurs and Crystal Palace, was the first meeting between the two sides since 1945, when they met in the old Football League South. This fixture took place at Selhurst Park, in the early stages of the 1969/70 season, in front of over 39,000 supporters, and it would end in Spurs winning 2-0, with goals from Jimmy Pearce and Martin Chivers winning the game for Spurs. However, it was one particular goal from forward Jimmy Pearce, which will have stood out for the fans who were in attendance at the game. It wasn’t a goal from long distance, nor was it a goal with great build-up play. Instead it was a goal scored with a really fine piece of skill from the boyhood Spurs supporter, Jimmy Pearce. After Alan Gilzean had latched onto a loose ball in midfield, the former Scotland international went forward with the ball before passing it to Pearce, who was just inside the Crystal Palace penalty area, on the right side of the box.

Jimmy Pearce’s first time effort on goal was quite sublime. He hit the ball with power, with the outside of his boot, and although it initially looked as if it might go wide of the goal, it had such swerve on it, that it nestled into the bottom left corner of the Crystal Palace goal. It left the goalkeeper with no chance of saving it, as the ball was struck so well and with such swerve on it. It was one of a number of fine goals that Jimmy Pearce scored during his Spurs career.

Looking back at former Spurs Youth Team player Terry Lloyd’s time at Spurs:

Versatile forward Terry Lloyd was a real prospect at Spurs during the late 1950’s/early 1960’s era of the club. From east London, Terry played schoolboy football for East Ham, and he would excel at that time in schools football, and in the process he was scouted by a number of major London clubs, ranging from Spurs to QPR. Lloyd was recommended to Spurs and then manager Bill Nicholson, by Spurs’ Chief-scout at the time – Dickie Walker (former West Ham United player). Bill Nicholson personally visited Terry’s parents’ house in east London to ask them if Spurs could sign him onto the ground-staff. A centre-forward by trade, who was also more than adept at playing out wide as a winger. Terry Lloyd had excellent off the ball movement, was very alert and also incredibly fast, liking to make runs in behind the other team’s defence. He was a fine goal-scorer who could finish well with both feet, but he was also strong in the air and capable of scoring a good amount of headed goals. In one game for the Spurs youth side against QPR in the FA Youth Cup, Terry scored five goals!

Terry Lloyd was a player with an impressive work-rate, and his ability to play on the flanks as a winger, made him an important player for Spurs’ Youth team, and he would go on several tours with the youth team, to compete in tournaments in Europe. He would also play in the same Spurs youth side as Phil Beal and Frank Saul. As a youngster Terry looked up to Spurs greats Cliff Jones and Bobby Smith, to try and further improve his game. Terry would progress to play some games for the Spurs A team on occasions, but it was in the youth team where he had his best time at the club, making some good friends with the other players along the way. Terry was also in attendance at the celebrations of the double winning season dinner at the Savoy Hotel. Unfortunately he wasn’t retained by Spurs at the end of the double winning season of 1960/61, although assistant manager at the time Harry Evans, said to Terry that he wanted him to stay at the club. He would later join his boyhood club West Ham United, where he would play for their A team, after returning from an injury that had ruled him out for six months.

Terry would later play amateur football for Brentwood Town, before later working in the city, and then working for the port of London. However, after doing the knowledge, Terry would become a London cabbie, a job that he did for many, many years. Now retired, Terry enjoyed his time at Spurs immensely, and like so many others at the club he was just so unlucky that the Spurs A team, reserves and first team were just so incredibly competitive at that special time in the club’s history. However, there is so much to be proud of in his footballing career alone.

Memory Lane – Spurs 4-3 Everton (April 5th, 1958):

This old First Division fixture with Everton occurred well over 60 years ago, at a time before Bill Nicholson had even taken over as manager of Spurs. The year was 1958, and Spurs, whose manager at the time was Jimmy Anderson, were in Liverpool to face Everton, at a time of the year when the Grand National was taking place. The Spurs team were staying at the Adelphi Hotel the night before the game, with the Spurs players meeting all of the famous jockeys of the time, as well as stars and actors such as Laurence Olivier. However, the game which took place at Goodison Park the following day, couldn’t have started any better for Spurs, who took the lead early on through a young part-time/amateur player – Eddie Clayton, on his first team debut (he had only found out that he was playing for Spurs earlier that day). The Spurs team had great players such as the goalkeeper Ted Ditchburn starting, plus other top players of the time, such as Bobby Smith and Danny Blanchflower. In front of over 30,000 spectators, Spurs doubled their lead thanks to a goal from Bobby Smith, before Clayton got his second goal of the game, to make it 3-0.

Early on in the second half, Spurs made it 4-0, with Bobby Smith getting his second goal of the game. Everton responded really well to conceding their fourth goal of the game, and they ended up getting three second half goals, to make it a nervous end to the game for Jimmy Anderson’s side, although Spurs did manage to hold on. During the game, Eddie Clayton thought that he’d got his hat-trick, to make it a dream debut, after scoring with a headed goal from a corner-kick, but he’d given one of the Everton players a little push, and so the referee ended up disallowing the goal. Clayton also had an effort which hit the woodwork during that game. It was an incredibly memorable debut for the east Londoner, and the former Eton Manor player still remembers that game really well to this day. Spurs finished in third place in the First Division during the 1957/58 season. It was to be Jimmy Anderson’s last full season in charge of the side, with Bill Nicholson taking charge of the team during the following season. Those years post Arthur Rowe and pre Bill Nicholson, were very interesting ones in the history of Spurs.

Where are they now? Former Spurs youth player Aron Sharpe:

Aron Sharpe was with Spurs as a youth player on associate schoolboy forms with the club for a time during the early 1980s (Aron spent six months with the club as a youth player during that time). A boyhood Spurs fan from Finchley, Aron was a central midfielder, who had a lot of ability with the ball, and who was also creative with it. Although he was a midfielder, as a youngster Aron’s footballing hero was Spurs legend and former goalkeeper Pat Jennings. Despite being invited up for trials in Derby by a man called Jimmy Burton (Dave Mackay’s old business partner), Aron Sharpe eventually ended up being invited to Spurs because of Dave Mackay’s connections with the club. When I interviewed Aron about his memories of his time at Spurs in 2019, I remember him telling me just how different it was, stepping-up from one level to another, and also how different the pace and physicality of the games were. Aron wasn’t released by Spurs, instead the former schoolboy youth player left the club after he was not getting picked to start matches. After spending some time with Luton Town after leaving Spurs, Aron since went into the fashion industry. An industry which he is still very much involved with to this day.

A highly intelligent football man, with a lot of experience in coaching and football since his association with Spurs all those years ago. During the 2000’s Aron became the chairman of non-League side and current Isthmian Premier Division side Wingate & Finchley, and he is still the chairman of the club to this day. Wingate, before they merged with Finchley during the early 1990’s, had quite a lot of ex-Spurs players involved with the club, involved in playing and coaching capacities, as well as at Finchley also. Associated with Wingate was the late, former Spurs player Micky Dulin, who had a long association with the club, and it would be great if at some point in the future, a Spurs Under 21 side were to visit Wingate for a pre-season friendly. Wingate & Finchley do a lot of good work off the pitch in the community, and their stadium in Finchley (The Maurice Rebak Stadium) is a really nice stadium. I finally got to go to a Wingate & Finchley game at The Maurice Rebak Stadium last season, in an Isthmian Premier Division fixture with Enfield Town. It was a really enjoyable Saturday afternoon spent at Wingate & Finchley.

There is also a really good youth policy for young players at Wingate & Finchley, as I have noticed over the last couple of seasons. Last season the club’s men’s team finished in 16th place in the Isthmian Premier Division, finishing the season strongly to avoid the relegation zone. Aron is a nice man and a top football man, and I wish his club all the very best for the 2023/24 season.

What they achieved post football – Former Spurs Youth Team player and apprentice Martin O’Donnell:

Martin O’Donnell was incredibly unlucky in the sense that he never got to reach his full potential at Spurs. However, he bounced back really well from a terrible injury, to forge a very successful career post Spurs, as well as also doing well in non-League football. O’Donnell is from Chiswick in West London, although a versatile player, he did play mainly at left-half for Spurs at youth level. Martin was formerly of Eton Manor, prior to being scouted by Spurs scout Ronnie Clayton and assistant manager at the time, Eddie Baily (Eddie’s son Graham Baily was playing against Eton Manor, when Martin was spotted). Martin would join Spurs as a schoolboy footballer in around 1963, and he would progress well and would later be offfered apprenticeship forms in 1965, which he signed. Training with the likes of Jimmy Pearce, Ray Evans and Paul Shoemark during those days at Spurs’ old Cheshunt training ground, Martin was progressing well and he was playing regularly for the Spurs Under 17 side in the 1965/66 season. A season in which Martin helped the Spurs Under 17 side win the South-East Counties League II and Cup double.

A fast, skilful, creative and composed player, who had a real eye for goal, O’Donnell once scored a memorable hat-trick for the Spurs Under 17 side in the South-East Counties League II in a league game with Chelsea in 1965/66. He was compared to former Rangers player Jim Baxter by Spurs’ former Chief-scout Dickie Walker during his time as an apprentice. However, just days after being told that he was going to be offered a professional contract by Spurs, Martin fractured his femur (thigh bone) at Cheshunt. He would spend nine months in plaster in hospital, and he could not play football properly again for another 18 months. However, Spurs looked after Martin well during this time, and he even returned for them at youth level for a while on a short basis later on in the 1960’s. After leaving Spurs O’Donnell would play non-League football for the likes of Hayes (alongside his now very good friend Dave Bassett), Northwood, Southall and a Walthamstow Avenue side which contained a number of former Spurs youth team players. At one time in his non-League football career, Martin was meant to go to Nottingham Forest for a trial, and going back to his time at Spurs, he had ambitions of playing for the Republic of Ireland, as his parents were from there. Although he still played at a good standard of football, he was understandably not quite the same player after his thigh injury. 

After football Martin O’Donnell embarked on a highly successful career in business. He started in sales and would later go into the fragrance and cosmetics business, where he worked for Revlon and later Estée Lauder, where he became sales director for Europe. Martin was also very successful when he set-up his own fragrance and cosmetics business, later on in his career post Spurs. Although he didn’t get the chance to progress as he would have hoped to at Spurs, because of his injury, Martin O’Donnell did ever so well for himself in his professional career. Since I interviewed Martin in 2018, he has become a good friend. Now retired, he has so much to be proud of, and Spurs is still a club close to his heart. He is a really top man, and he was at my Spurs mid 1960’s youth team reunion last summer in Essex.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Youth Team graduate and player Allan Cockram:

A talented player who was clever in his all-round play, midfielder Allan Charles Cockram was born in Kensington, London, in October of 1963. Playing for Camden Schools during his youth, Allan was invited to Spurs by a scout called Fred Ricketts during the 1970’s. Allan’s association with Spurs was quite a long one, and he played for the second Spurs youth team in the South-East Counties League Division Two, before later progressing to the senior youth team, a team which he made good progress in. The Londoner was also a member of Spurs’ South-East Counties League Senior Division One that won the league in 1980/81. The Spurs man did sustain a bad injury as a youth player at the club, which could have ended his footballing career. However, Allan bounced back and he went on to later help Spurs’  very talented youth side reach the final of the 1980/81 FA Youth Cup against West Ham. He also went on to play for the very competitive Spurs reserve side in the Football Combination League in the 1980’s, before achieving what every Spurs youth player dreams of doing, and that is playing for the first team.

A central midfielder with a real eye for a forward pass, but also someone who liked to get on the ball and keep it moving in the central areas of the pitch. Allan Cockram could also play on the right of midfield, and the player who signed professional forms with Spurs in 1981, would make his debut for the Spurs first team in a league game against Watford in 1984, at White Hart Lane. He did make an additional appearance for Spurs’ first team (also in a league game), in a match against Southampton shortly before the 1984 UEFA Cup final. Allan Cockram left Spurs after the following 1984/85 season. He would go on to achieve some really good things in the game, post Spurs. At Brentford he was a part of a good Brentford side who went on a memorable FA cup run during the 1980’s, eventually setting-up a glamour tie with Liverpool. A game in which Allan also played in, and which he recalled to me in our interview in 2019, just how special a memory that was to him. In no particular order, Allan also played for San Francisco Flyers, Bristol Rovers, St Albans City and Reading, post Spurs.

During his career Allan was player-manager of St Albans City and also Chertsey Town, as well as later becoming assistant manager of Leatherhead, and then in more recent years manager of the Cambridge University side. However, the former professional footballer and at one time firefighter, has since 2017, been dedicating his time to volunteer and run the Brentford Penguins FC, which he played a big part in setting-up. They are a football programme for footballers with Down’s syndrome. Allan is helping to do absolutely wonderful work for the Brentford Penguins FC, and just recently he deservedly won (after being nominated) the Royal Voluntary Champions Award, for the recent coronation. Also, the Brentford Penguins now have charity status (Planet Penguin football foundation), and they also have an over 55 men’s mental health walking football team, and also recently an over 40’s women’s walking football team. There have also been two films made on the charity. I have had the pleasure of meeting Allan, and he is probably the nicest ex-footballer that I have ever met. He still loves Spurs, as well as his old club Brentford. And he has so much to be proud of, and he has given so much to the community of Brentford/West London in recent years. He is an absolute gentleman, and a legend!

Where are they now? Former Spurs Youth Team player Glen Alzapiedi:

A real character in the game of football, whose talent and tenacity saw him recommended to Spurs, who he later joined during the late 1970’s as a youth player on part-time forms, Glen Alzapiedi was in fact an Arsenal supporter as a youth. For this part of my where are they now, former Spurs youth/Academy players series, we’re going back a good while in time. However, still very much involved in football to this day, Glen has given a lot to non-League football in recent years alone. Brought up in Waltham Abbey, the talented, tough tackling central midfielder was highly thought of at Spurs at the time, and he was a regular for Spurs’ South-East Counties Division Two side during his time at the club, as well as making one appearance for the very talented Division One side in that time, during the 1980/81 season, when they won the league. During his time at the club, he was also selected to play for a Spurs Youth side in a friendly with Swiss side Chenois Geneva, at Cheshunt. Graham Roberts, Terry Yorath and Don McAllister all started that game, which must have been a great experience for Glen at the time. Glen’s era of Spurs Youth Team players would have had players such as Ian Crook and Allan Cockram around at the time.

Glen did however, spend basically a whole season out injured for Spurs at youth level, which didn’t help his progress at the club. Glen’s final season at Spurs was in 1980/81, and at the end of the season he sadly didn’t get an apprenticeship. However, Glen did get an apprenticeship at Birmingham City, who he spent a while with, which would have added to his footballing grounding as a youth player. Later spending some time at Stevenage later on in his footballing career, although he did unfortunately have some injury problems while he was playing for them. Glen did the knowledge to become a London taxi driver during his footballing career, and he still does that job to this day. However, still very much involved in football on the non-League scene, the former Spurs man has a great knowledge of the game, and Glen is using his knowledge to help players at non-League level, and he has so far had a really successful coaching career in the non-League. One of his finest achievements so far, was helping Concord Rangers get promoted to the National League South, alongside Danny Cowley.

In addition to his coaching achievements with Concord Rangers as an assistant manager/coach, Glen has also managed and coached at clubs such as Ware, St Albans City, Cheshunt and Brentwood Town, and he has a lot of experience at that level. And at the beginning of the Isthmian League Premier Division season that has just finished, alongside his son Dan, Glen was appointed by Aveley on to the management staff. And both Glen and Dan helped Aveley (they had only been promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division for the start of the 2022/23 season), to achieve a great feat, in winning last season’s Isthmian League Premier Division play-offs, to impressively win promotion to the National League South. I attended an Aveley game last season, and I was impressed by the way that they played, and also at how difficult they made it for the other side to play their game against them. Glen’s time at Spurs and days spent at their old Cheshunt training ground may have been over 40 years ago, but it would still have left an impression on Glen, and his coaching career. He is a really nice man who has a lot to be proud of, and I wish him and Aveley further success in the future.

Looking back to when Spurs’ Youth Team first started going abroad to regularly compete in end of season tournaments:

Nowadays Spurs’ Academy/youth players often go abroad to compete in an end of season tournament, as well as often participating in a pre-season tournament and sometimes a mid-season tournament (in recent seasons for example: they have competed in a French pre-season tournament). However, it was during the late 1950’s, in the years after the Second World War, that I believe that Spurs first started regularly entering their Youth Team into tournaments in Europe, with this trend first starting just prior to the beginning of the 1960s, in around 1958/59. Spurs would enter youth sides into tournaments in Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands as well as one in Austria, during the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. These tournaments, although not always end of season tournaments, were often the pinnacle of the players’ footballing careers, and many of those former Spurs youth team players still talk about those tournaments/tours with great affection. During the early days of the tournaments that Spurs used to enter, one of the teams that they sent to compete in a tournament was in Groningen, in The Netherlands, during the 1958/59 season. Spurs won this tournament.

In the tournament in Groningen, Spurs competed with the host club Groningen’s youth team, as well as Ajax, Belgian side Beerschot and a couple of other sides. Spurs won this tournament, with players such as Frank Saul featuring for Spurs in the Netherlands. For that particular tournament the Spurs youth players would all have to meet at Liverpool Street Station in London, and then with the Spurs members of staff (usually it was Jimmy Joyce and former player Sid Tickridge, who were in charge), they would get the train to Harwich, before getting the ferry to The Netherlands. In another tournament this time in Zurich, Switzerland, the Spurs Youth Team stayed in a great hotel in Zurich – The Hotel Stoller. Although they didn’t actually win this tournament (the Blue Stars Youth Tournament) Spurs did reach the semi-finals, which they lost to Italian side Juventus. Former Spurs youth and A team player David Sunshine played in the tournament in Zurich, and when I interviewed him in 2019, he was pretty sure that Manchester United won that tournament, which took place in May of 1961. Spurs had a really talented team at the Blue Stars Youth Tournament, and with forwards such as Frank Saul and Terry Lloyd playing, Spurs would have been a difficult team to play against.

Other youth tournaments that took place around the time of the late 1950’s/early 1960’s include one in Berrenrath in Germany, in 1959/60, which I understand that Spurs won. There was also an interesting tournament which took place in Imst in Austria. This tournament was particularly interesting as a number of junior players who weren’t on the Spurs ground-staff, were included in the squad, as a thank you for their hard work during the season in the Spurs Youth Team. Although as I understand it, Spurs did include a number of more experienced/older players in the squad that traveled to Austria during the late 1950’s. However, there was some sort of misunderstanding regarding player eligibility in the tournament, and so some of the players were unable to really play in the tournament in Imst. Fast forward a couple of years to the mid 1960’s, and Spurs had competed in a couple of youth tournaments in Den Haag, in the Netherlands. In one of these tournaments, which included future Spurs first team players such as Jimmy Pearce and Joe Kinnear, Spurs played against a talented Ajax side which included the legendary Johan Cruyff.

During another year and tournament at Den Haag, Spurs won the tournament. Other teams competing in that tournament were Arsenal, Ajax and Charlton Athletic. Former Spurs assistant manager Eddie Baily traveled out with the Spurs Youth Team for that tournament. This is just a very brief history of some of the early days of Spurs entering teams into end of season tournaments. However, in the many years that have followed, Spurs have competed in very similar tournaments on many, many occasions. Just last season a Spurs Under 19 side competed in the annual end of season Terborg Tournament, in The Netherlands. These tournaments are an important part of Academy development, where you get to play against some top, top sides in a very competitive tournament scenario. Youth football has certainly changed in the years since the days of youth tournaments in Groningen, but as I mentioned previously, they created memories for those Spurs youth players that they won’t ever forget.

My interview with Spurs supporter for over 80 years – Martin Plaskow

Martin Plaskow has been attending Spurs matches for over 80 years. The lifelong Spurs supporter from South Tottenham, attended his first Spurs match in 1942. Martin has since been a regular at Spurs matches, and he is a loyal Spurs supporter, who I recently had the great pleasure and privilege of talking to, at length, about his Spurs memories.

How did you come about supporting Spurs? And what are some of your earliest memories of watching their games?

Martin: I lived in South Tottenham, which is obviously not very far from the ground, and would take about 3/4 of an hour to walk to. My father wasn’t really a football man, but he did take me to a couple of away games. Also, my friends from school were all Spurs supporters, and that’s how it all started. The first Spurs game that I actually saw was during the Second World War (1942), but the actual first match was actually Arsenal versus Brentford, as they used to share the same ground as Spurs. Then the first Spurs game that I ever saw, was in October of 1942, when they played Aldershot in the league south. Spurs won 4-0, and they had an amateur playing for them called AH Gibbons, who was a centre-forward, and he scored four of the goals. Aldershot had the international half-back line of Britton, Cullis and Mercer. After that my friends and I started going regularly to Spurs, and a little later on I attended Tottenham Grammar School, which was even closer to White Hart Lane. So from there it just developed and developed, and we went more regularly to games as we got older. 

When Spurs were playing away from home, then we would go to what we thought might be the best game in London. Generally it was Arsenal, as we thought that they were quite good, and also to teams like Leyton Orient, but it was always Spurs who were our first love. We used to go to away Spurs matches in London, as they were easy to get tickets to, but further afield we didn’t go a great deal, because of our age. But we did go to see a semi-final at Villa Park, and also to Leeds, to see Spurs play in the FA Cup, and also at Sheffield United, as well. I’ll always remember that we went up to Sunderland for a cup match, and I think that it finished 2-2, but the amazing part was that we were in the enclosure with Sunderland supporters. And even though they had bottles of beer, we were all friendly and jovial, and it was just quite a nice atmosphere.

What your early days of watching Spurs in the 1940s like? And also what was it like watching Spurs during the following decades?

Martin: There was probably a crowd of about 6,000, but in those days you had a league south with other London teams and southern teams, because of the war. We used to get a taxi from Stamford Hill to the Spurs ground. There was six of us, but they only allowed five in a cab, and so one of us lay on the floor. It cost us one and six pence to get to Tottenham, which was seven and a half pence each, in money today. To get in the seats at Spurs (the old White Hart Lane West stand) it would cost 15p in today’s money. But if you gave the man on the turnstile half of that, then you’d go under the turnstile. So going to Spurs was a regular thing, and we used to stand on The Shelf. At the time there used to be an orange programme which was a single sheet for just one penny. And during the war they didn’t know who was going to turn up on the programme, so they used to put in AN Other, or something like new man. So one match that I saw this AN Other played a brilliant game, and then in the next home match that we were at, I said to my friend that the AN Other was not on the team-sheet, but the reason is that the AN Other was just written down, because they didn’t know who was going to turn up. So I don’t even know who I saw that day!

During the war they used to put the player’s rank in the services, on the match day programme. So you had people like Roy White, who was a lieutenant, but you also used to have corporals and captains in the team, as well. You used to see all of the fixtures being put up on the board at White Hart Lane, and then you had the Enfield central band, who gave us the entertainment. As the war started to finish we started getting bigger crowds at the games. In 1949/50 season Under Arthur Rowe when we got promoted from the second division, and then in 1950/51 we saw the push and run team, who won the league (the first division) that season. However, the 1960/61 season was the greatest period of football that I have seen. I saw the first game that Bill Nicholson took charge of as manager, which was against Everton, when we won 10-4. I couldn’t believe it! 

From your first three decades of watching Spurs play, are there any matches that really stand out in your memory?

Martin: A lot of those games were high scoring ones. I saw us beat Nottingham Forest 9-2, and I also saw us beat Crewe Alexandra 13-2 in the FA Cup. It was an incredible match, but when I got home that night my father said to me that I must of enjoyed myself at the game (he’d been watching a sports programme on the television) and that he was surprised that it had finished 10-1. But then I told him that that was only the half-time score! Another exciting game that I attended, but disappointing, was the return match against Benfica in the European Cup, our first season in that competition. We’d lost the first leg 3-1, and then we were 2-1 up in the second leg. If we’d have got another goal in the return leg then we’d have played extra time. However, the referee disallowed goals and penalties, so it was a very frustrating game, but we played well although we didn’t do it. Also, another memorable game in the European Cup, we played Gornik (that’s when the people dressed up as angels appeared at White Hart Lane). Going back in no particular order to the first year after the war (1947/48), when we played our first game in the second division that season (against Sheffield Wednesday), we had a player called Johnny Jordan playing. That was his league debut and he scored two goals as we beat Sheffield Wednesday.

In a cup match against West Bromwich Albion which we won 3-1, there were 71,000 people at White Hart Lane. So that was another exciting game. Another cup match, this time in 1949/50, was against Sunderland (then a first division side). Two weeks before we had to go up to Tottenham to queue up for tickets, and we used to queue up from the Paxton Road end to get your tickets, and in fact they sold out very quickly. Then we won promotion during the same season, it was our last home match (which was against Grimsby Town) and having already won the league we thought that we’d walk it. But bugger me we lost 2-1. And we also lost our last home game of the season in 1950/51 as well, when we won the first division. When I was interviewed by Tottenham they asked me who was the best player that I ever saw? And I said Jimmy Greaves. He was just great, and he was in that six yard box, and in the right position at the right time, and he could sense where that ball was going to go. I saw him score his greatest ever goal for Spurs, against Leicester. He dribbled with the ball from the halfway line, and he was going past the Leicester players before scoring with a powerful effort.

On Jimmy Greaves I can remember his first game for Chelsea (against Spurs), and also his first game for Spurs, which I believe was against Blackpool. Individuals scoring goals for Spurs always stand out to me, and I can remember when Alfie Stokes scored five goals in a game against Brighton, which was similar to when Colin Lee scored scored four goals against Bristol Rovers some years later. Years ago if a player were to get injured in a match then they’d stick them out on the wing. And I can remember Charlie Withers in a game against Preston North End, when we recorded a 2-2 draw, and yet despite being injured he scored both of Spurs’ goals! A similar thing happened to Les Bennett when he got injured in a match against Middlesbrough, with a player called Ugolini in goal, and yet he scored four goals as Spurs won 7-1! And as for the 1960/61 team, they were winning games 6-1 and 6-0 against good teams. But a game that really stands out from the 21st century, was the Spurs 6-4 Reading game. We were winning, then Reading caught up, and then Dimitar Berbatov scored yet another goal at the end. Now that was an exciting game and mainly because there were a lot of goals in the game. 

In an FA Cup match many years ago, Spurs beat Sunderland 5-1. And Sid McClellan scored a goal, but in the first ten minutes of the game he got knocked out, and had to be carried off the pitch. And although Sunderland were the much better team at the time, we still managed to beat them 5-1. So that game really stands out. One worrying/scary moment from when I was watching Spurs, took place in about October 1943, in a game against West Ham at White Hart Lane, in a league south game. Anyway, this doodlebug was spotted above the ground, and that was pilotless, and when the engine stopped, well that was when it was going to drop. The players as well as us supporters all went to the ground, as we didn’t know where it was going to fall! So anyway it ended up falling at the Angel, Edmonton. So that was V1, but later on when I was at grammar school in Tottenham, unfortunately this V2 landed on a teachers training college opposite. I went to the ground, and I also pushed a friend of mine to the ground with me, when it landed. And as I did that this sheet of glass came across the table where we’d been standing, but luckily we were on the ground.

Who are some of your favourite ever Spurs players who you remember well from your time watching Spurs in the 20th century?

Martin: Going back to the early 1950s, you had Ditchburn, Willis, Withers and Ronnie Burgess, who was a brilliant captain. You also had Bennett, Medley and the centre-forward Len Duquemin. But coming up to the 1960/61 side, which I saw, then you had players like Bill Brown, Dave Mackay, Maurice Norman, Blanchflower and John White and Cliff Jones, and also Bobby Smith. And Bobby Smith was as strong as an ox, but he was also a skilful footballer. So those Spurs teams played beautiful football, and then of course years later you had Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa playing for Spurs. So we’ve had some great individual players at the club, but I think that apart from a spell in the 1980s, after 1960/61, that we never really gelled again as a Spurs team, apart from also the Mauricio Pochettino team that also reached the UEFA Champions League final. Jimmy Greaves was my favourite player, because I loved his football and the way that he played the game. But there’s been so many great players for Spurs, like your Danny Blanchflower’s, and he was a real leader! Blanchflower was the governor for Spurs on the pitch, and he would switch the players’ positions on the pitch. Also, there was Dave Mackay, who was a hard player, but also a great footballer.

I feel as if the players from years ago for the Spurs had charisma, which I don’t feel as if the current players do. Other memories which stand out, were the UEFA Cup final at White Hart Lane in 1984, that we won on penalties, and also Paul Gascoigne’s free-kick goal against Arsenal in the semi-finals of the 1991 FA Cup.