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We continue to hear what former players remember as they delve into their personal “Memory Lane”.
Clive Allen, centre forward from 1984-1988 scored 49 goals in the 1986-87 season and he remembers: “My Dad played for Tottenham’s Double winners and he’d take me to the ground and show me round. I grew up listening to his stories. How Bill Nicholson was tough and would demand the best. Dave McKay, the best he played with. Jimmy Greaves, who came and took Dad’s place, the greatest goalscorer. They would lock the gates an hour before kick-off with 60,000 already inside.
When I signed in 1984 it felt like home. It was a proud moment. I have great memories of 1986-87 when I scored 49 goals. We had a good team, played exciting football and went close on three fronts. Returning as a coach, I had three years with the reserves and three with Harry Redknapp in the first team. They were good times, none more so than the Champions League campaign. That night against Inter Milan was the best atmosphere I’ve ever known at the Lane. Gareth Bale announced himself in the San Siro and followed it with another spectacular performance. It was just electric.”
There has always been a bit of romance about the old place, not least when film star and pin-up Jayne Mansfield made a guest appearance in October 1959 for the match against champions Wolverhampton Wanderers in the old First Division. Not even Bobby Smith’s four goals in a brilliant 5-1 win for second-placed Spurs could eclipse the Hollywood star and her husband Mickey Hargitay, who was Mr Universe
Gary Mabbutt, wing half from 1982-1998, winner of the UEFA Cup in 1984 and the FA Cup in 1991 remembers.
“My first game was 1982 against Luton Town. I’d been bought from Bristol Rovers and Tottenham were used to big-name players with international quality. The fans had never heard of me, I’d cost next to nothing. Five minutes into the game and Glenn Hoddle puts a free kick right on my head and I scored. The fans warmed to me and my relationship with them from that day has been fantastic. Leading out the team as captain for 11 years, the first out of the tunnel into the wall of noise. That was always a special feeling. Winning the UEFA Cup in 1984 was very special. We played Feyenoord on the way to the final and I was told to man-mark Johan Cruyff. When I was a boy I had two pet tortoises, Pele and Cruyff. He was at the end of his career but he was still a little bit quicker than my tortoise.”
Spurs were in Division Two of the Football League under manager Peter McWilliam when this photograph was taken but during this season, 1938-39, two young men made their debuts and would take Tottenham Hotspur back to the pinnacle of the game. They were Bill Nicholson and Ron Burgess.
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