Cliff Jones, the famous double winner, was a fantastic wide man for Spurs. He was also a key player for Wales, receiving 59 caps. During his time, he was considered to be one of, if not the best, left winger in the world.
Swansea Town was the first club Jones played for. At the time, he was just in his final year as an apprentice sheet metal worker in the Prince of Wales Dry Dock. He speaks of the way his foreman would congratulate him on his performances, only to dump his tools in front of him, declaring that he now had “proper work to do”. He didn’t have to worry about working for long. It only took him 25 appearances before he was called up for his country. He was ever-present at the 1958 World Cup. After six years at the club, Spurs came calling. Initially, he was not actually that impressive. His performances lacked any real excitement or edge. Then, he broke his leg in 1958 after that World Cup. After this moment he was transformed. But, really, it may have just been the fact that this was the year Bill Nicholson joined. Under this wonderful helmsman, he really found his form.
Jones was a prolific goalscorer, and currently holds fourth spot in Tottenham’s all-time top goalscorers. In 378 appearances he notched 159 goals. Startlingly, Harry Kane is merely 13 goals behind this legend in 221 matches. But, it is hard to compare the modern game with the much more robust, rough version of the game that Jones’ men played.
Jones was a part of the most successful Spurs side in history. This includes being the first team in the 20th century to win the League and FA Cup double in 1961. The next accolade was a European one, being the first British club to lift the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963. He had a great love for those European nights with “more than 60,000 spectators crammed into White Hart Lane”, in that “all white strip”.
Not only a goalscorer, Jones was fast. Furthermore, Jones was a hard worker too. He certainly was not a lazy winger of today’s game. He would chase players back and was not afraid to challenge for the ball in the air, despite his smaller stature. As a finisher, he was ruthless and unafraid, even in the thickest of melees.
Many comparisons have been made with Spurs ex-superstar Gareth Bale. Here Jones may have been a small influence upon his fellow Welshman. He would give advice to the player, in one interview with a tabloid stating that he helped Bale nail his heading by getting him to arrive later and cut across the defender.
After he left Spurs, his career petered out. He moved from Fulham, to King’s Lynn, before playing for even more local clubs like Bedford Town and Cambridge City. But, his time was up, injury holding him back. He then went on to teach PE and helped manage Highbury Grove School football team.