For the benefit of American readers, when sports minded people in the UK and most parts of the world talk about Spurs, they mean Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, undoubtedly one of the most iconic clubs in English, if not world, football and one with an enormous pedigree. Their name may well have historical links in that Shakespeare’s Harry Hotspur, Sir Harry Percy lived locally and the family owned land in the area.
Although the Spurs have many trophies in their cabinet from before and after, there is little doubt that their greatest period of dominance came at the start of the 1960s. In the 1960-61 season Spurs achieved the first ever “double” of First Division championship and the FA Cup, won the FA Cup again the next year and reached the European Cup semi-final and then went on in 1962-3 to win the European Cup Winners Cup, making them the first British side to win a European trophy.
This heady period was under the managership of Bill Nicholson and with a team containing many great names including captain Danny Blanchflower, a talented and intellectual footballer twice voted FPA Player of the Year. Blanchflower memorably said that “Football is about glory. It is about doing things in style and with a flourish” which to many sums up the Spurs playing philosophy.
Jimmy Greaves was to become the Club’s highest ever goal scorer with 266 goals and the highest goal scorer in the history of England’s top tier football. Injury kept him out of the final stages of England’s World Cup victory in 1966.
Dave Mackay made 318 appearances for Spurs between 1959 and 1968 and was, as a hard tackling midfielder, a crucial factor in the team’s success. Brian Clough described him as Tottenham’s greatest ever player and brought him to his then club, Derby County.
Turning to two Tottenham heroes of later years, Glen Hoddle who made 490 appearances in the years between 1975-1987 was renowned for his goal scoring skills and for the style with which he played. Like many great players, he made the most complicated thing on the pitch seem easy. Gareth Bale showed great attacking and goal-scoring skills during his time at Tottenham where he was twice named PFA Players’ Player of the Year and featured in the EUFA Team of the Year. Bale made the team more of a spectator’s treat than they had been for many years.
The current team came very close at the end of the 2015-16 season to beating Leicester for the Premier League title. Young and exciting English talents such as Harry Kane made Spurs a formidable attacking force. An end of season slump saw them finish third, their highest for some time, and at last qualifying for the Champions League. They are as of now well worth watching.
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