Martin Chivers

‘Big Chiv’ was, indeed, a big striker who loved scoring goals for Tottenham Hotspur. He has been described as a defining player of his time, “looking like a target man but playing like an angel”.

He began his football at Southampton, where he grew up and went to school. During his youth he was a discus thrower. At 17 years old, he made his football debut. It wasn’t until the season after when he became a regular fixture in the first team. But, he ended up as the joint leading goalscorer in this second year. Next, he helped his club reach promotion in the 1965-66 season. After this moment in time he was displaced by Ron Davies and Mick Channon. Thus, he engineered a transfer away, with Tottenham his choice suitors. His fee was the biggest in England at the time.

On his debut, he scored in 1968. However, competition was again fierce at his new club. Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean lead the line. It wasn’t really until Greaves departed in 1970, that he secured some good playing time. His breakthrough season included an FA Cup win against Aston Villa, in a year where he played in all the matches, hitting 34 goals.

Chiv’s greatest moment was probably the inaugural UEFA Cup final. He notched two goals in the away first leg, which later secured the trophy. These two goals were the first ever scored in this competition. It was an all English final, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, after he and his team competed against Icelandic, French, Romanian and Italian opponents. During these matches he smashed home a fantastic hat-trick against Keflavik IF, in a startling display of his power but also finesse.

He reflects on the great irony of the European final being an all-English affair. The wives and family of the stars were promised a complimentary away trip to the final. At first this seemed a far off possibility. But eventually it was realised. However, aspirations of visiting Paris, Madrid or Milan were extinguished. Instead, they were all heading to the Midlands.

Internationally, Chivers did manage 24 caps for his country. He would have collected more, if it was not for his rotten time with injuries. He did however, manage to score 13 times in his limited appearances for England. A decent return for the prolific striker. For Tottenham, he hit 174 goals

The later parts of his career couldn’t ever live up to the bright lights of European glory. The club were struggling in the League, just avoiding relegation, with Nicholson gone. He was released and he headed off to Switzerland. He did eventually return to England.

After his playing days were over, he was the boss of a Hertfordshire hotel. Since he was been involved with FA, performing the National Development Manager role in 2008. Now, he often helps with the club as an ambassador, match day host and such jobs. He loves being around a club that he founded such glory with.