This article discusses the various members of the squad that made up the
Spurs 1960-61 squad.
The first choice team was Bill Brown, Peter Baker, Ron Henry, Danny
Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones, John White, Bobby Smith, Les Allen
and Terry Dyson. Occasionally, some of the squad were injured and the
following players appeared in their places : John Hollowbread, Ken Barton,
Tony Marchi, Terry Medwin, John Smith and Frank Saul.
The First Choice Team
Bill Brown was a very unflashy goalkeeper who just got on with the
business of playing football instead of playing to the gallery like some
goalkeepers do. Born in 1931, Brown played his first football for junior
teams in Scotland before joining Dundee. In 1959, Nicholson signed Brown
from Dundee for what seems a paltry sum of money these days but was then
an enormous amount. Brown brought confidence to the defence for the first
time since the heyday of Ted Ditchburn. Brown was rarely absent from the
team until he left for Northampton Town in 1966 but in his last two
seasons with Tottenham, he was encouraging the very young Pat Jennings,
who had been signed from Watford. Brown only missed two games during
1960-61. After ending his career at Northampton, Brown emigrated to
Peter Baker was first spotted playing for Enfield Town in the Athenian
League and turned professional with Spurs in 1952. He had to wait for the
departure of Alf Ramsey before he got his chance to play for the first
team. He was a very underrated player and was unlucky to have
contemporaries who were much better than he was as he was one of three
players (Allen and Dyson were the other two) who never received a full
international cap. Baker only missed one game during 1960-61, through
injury. At the end of 1964-65, he emigrated to South Africa.
Ron Henry was signed by Spurs in 1955 and figured regularly in the
Reserves until Mel Hopkins broke his nose whilst playing for Wales in
1959. Henry took his chance so well that Hopkins could not regain his
place. He played in all 49 League and Cup matches and was one of the few
Spurs players to play as well as he normally did in the Cup Final against
Leicester City. Henry retired at the end of the 1965-66 season and helped
to coach the Spurs Juniors for two decades afterwards before retiring.
Danny Blanchflower is so well known that he should scarcely require an
introduction. He was born in Belfast in 1926 and played his first football
for Glentoran. In 1949, he signed for Barnsley and made the further move
to Aston Villa in 1951. He signed for Spurs after a protracted transfer
auction between Spurs and Arsenal. Arthur Rowe intended to rebuild his
side around Blanchflower but was taken ill and resigned as manager.
Blanchflower never saw eye to eye with his successor Jimmy Anderson and
fell out with Bill Nicholson in the early days of Nicholson’s stewardship.
But by March 1959, Blanchflower was restored to the team and appointed
captain. Blanchflower was thereafter only absent through injury until he
retired during the 1963-64 season. In the Double season of 1960-61,
Blanchflower did not miss a single game, scoring 6 goals in the Football
League. In all, Blanchflower made 337 League appearances for Tottenham.
He was briefly manager of Northern Ireland and Chelsea later in his life
but suffered from Alzheimers Disease towards the end of his life. He died
in December 1993.
Maurice Norman was spotted playing for Norwich City and signed for Spurs
in November 1955. His early games were played at right back but eventually
he converted to centre-half where he went on to win international honours.
It was Tottenham who first started to send a tall centre half upfield to
help at corner kicks. In fact it was Danny Blanchflower’s idea which cost
him the captaincy under manager Anderson. It is a common sight today but
was regarded as a risk in the 1950s. Norman was the first choice for club
and country until he broke his leg in a friendly against the Hungarian
International team at Tottenham in November 1965. He tried to regain
fitness but was forced to call it a day in 1967 without ever playing
When Tottenham bought Dave Mackay, they bought the best possible
insurance. Mackay played in 40 Cup Finals during his career and was never
once on the losing side. He was first spotted playing for Hearts. Spurs
were looking to strengthen their team. Nicholson was widely expected to
sign Mel Charles but Nicholson struck in Edinburgh and persuaded Mackay to
come to Tottenham. Whilst Mackay performed great deeds for Tottenham,
Charles flopped at Arsenal. It was Mackay who adjusted the balance. Whilst
he enjoyed rampaging forward, he was careful to defend when Blanchflower
went forward so there were never great chunks in the defence as had
happened with Jim Iley. Mackay twice broke his left leg, the second time
during a come-back game in the Reserves at Tottenham. As he left in the
ambulance, his first thoughts were for Nicholson. “Don’t tell him until
they’ve finished playing at Upton Park!” he barked. After leaving
Tottenham, played for Derby County and won further honours for them. He
then became a manager and won further honours. His last managerial
appointment was at Birmingham City in 1991.
Cliff Jones was the fastest winger of his day, very courageous and often
broke bones simply because he flung himself into areas that others would
not dare to venture. Cliff came from a well-known footballing family. His
father, Ivor, had been a Welsh international between the wars. His
brother, Bryn, plied his trade in the lower echelons of the Football
League, and an uncle, also Bryn, had played for Arsenal before WW2. Spurs
had Cliff under survey for quite a long time before they signed him in
February 1958. He broke a leg during pre-season training during the summer
and did not return until the turn of the year. Cliff played for Tottenham
for 10 years, breaking practically every bone in his body throughout that
time. The dentist was kept busy repairing his teeth after most games
because he insisted on risking being kicked in the mouth to head home a
goal. In 1960-61, injury restricted his League appearances to 29 games,
from which he scored 15 goals. After leaving Spurs in October 1968, he
played for Fulham for a while and wound down his career at King’s Lynn and
Wealdstone. He played rugby union until he was past 45. He can be seen at
Tottenham on most match days entertaining guests in the Legends Suite.
John White’s death was a tragedy. Terry Medwin bitterly regrets that he
did not go with him to the Crews Hill Golf Course as he believes he might
have prevented White’s tragic death sheltering under a tree during a
thunderstorm on 21 July 1964. White was first spotted playing for Alloa
Athletic before transferring to Falkirk. The scouts flocked to Brockville
but had their doubts about whether White could cope with First Division
football. Bill Nicholson talked to the Army and discovered he regularly
won cross-country races. When Blanchflower and Mackay returned from an
international in 1959 raving about White, Nicholson did not hesitate and
signed him. White took a while to settle down but his value to Tottenham
is best illustrated by the fact they only won one of the 15 games he
missed whilst playing for Tottenham.
Bobby Smith was first spotted plying his trade for Chelsea in the early
1950s. He was much slimmer in those days but two years of National Service
added inches to his waistline and he languished in the reserves until
Tottenham signed him in December 1955. Smith was a battering ram of a
player. He terrified goalkeepers, particularly continental ones, with his
shoulder charges. Smith broke George Hunt’s goalscoring record early in
the 1960-61 season and only Greaves (who else?) has scored more for
Tottenham. Smith put on a lot of weight in his declining seasons and
eventually fell out with manager Nicholson, who promptly sacked him less
than six months after playing his final game for England. He left for
Brighton in May 1964 but only stayed there for a season before slipping
into the non-League game. He is now a shadow of his former self and is
known to be ill.
Les Allen was born in Dagenham and was one of a legion of players from the
East End who joined Chelsea in the early 1950s as their Youth Team won
practically every honour available to them. Allen made only 44 League
appearances for Chelsea, scoring 11 goals, before Bill Nicholson swapped
him for the erratic Johnny Brooks. Allen was a shy, diffident man and had
frequent bouts of loss of confidence in his ability. But in 1960-61, he
played in every match, scoring 23 goals in the League and 4 in the FA Cup.
He later moved to Queen’s Park Rangers before making a brief managerial
career and then quit the football world.
Terry Dyson was the smallest player in the squad but made up for it with a
tremendous amount of enthusiasm. Dyson was signed by Spurs in 1955 and had
made occasional first team appearances. But the Double season was his
first full season in the team. He made 40 appearances, scoring 12 goals,
in the League and played in all 7 Cup games, scoring 5 goals, including
the second Cup Final goal. Undoubtedly, his finest moment came in the 1963
European Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Atletico Madrid, which Spurs won,
5-1. Dyson later played for Fulham and Colchester after leaving Spurs in
1965 before becoming involved as a coach for different non-League teams.
John Hollowbread was unlucky to be contemporary with Ted Ditchburn and
Bill Brown. He spent most of his career at Tottenham in the Reserves or
the ‘A’ Team. His best season was during 1958-59 when Ditchburn and
Reynolds both broke fingers and missed the whole of the season.
Hollowbread played in the last 40 matches of that season and was not
blamed for the relegation struggles. Like Peter Baker, he was spotted
playing for Enfield. His role after 1959 was purely as a reserve
goalkeeper, destined to play only when the first choice was injured. He
left for Southampton in the summer of 1964 as Spurs signed Pat Jennings
but injury curtailed his career.
Ken Barton had a trial with Tottenham in January 1954, signed amateur
forms in May 1955 and professional forms in October 1956. Barton never
stood a chance because Baker was too consistent and Barton only played
when Baker was injured. He left Spurs in September 1964 for Millwall but
never played for them and made the further move to Luton in December 1964
but retired soon after. He died on 6th September 1982, only 45.
Tony Marchi was a schoolboy with Tottenham and made his debut for the
reserves whilst still only 15. He made his League debut in April 1950 as a
17 year old and when Ronnie Burgess left for Swansea in 1954 he became his
replacement. In 1957, Marchi left for Lanerossi Vicenza and made the
further move to Torino before he returned to Tottenham in 1959. However,
by then, Spurs had signed Mackay which condemned Marchi to the position of
13th man in a squad or life in the reserves. It was only when Blanchflower
and Mackay were both injured during the 1962-63 season that Marchi began
to play again for the first team. When Mackay broke a leg during the
1963-64 season, Marchi became captain again for a while before Ron Henry
took over the role. He left Tottenham in 1965 to be manager of Cambridge
City in the Southern League and was briefly manager of Northampton.
Terry Medwin came to prominence playing for Swansea Town and transferred
to Tottenham in April 1956. He would have been an automatic choice for
most clubs but Nicholson felt he lacked the devil that made good players
great. So once Dyson became the first choice left winger with a role to
harry the opposition’s defenders, Medwin had to be content with the odd
game or two. His career ended on a club tour of South Africa during the
summer of 1963 when he sustained a broken leg. He then worked with
different clubs in non-League and Football League circles before
ill-health forced his premature retirement in 1983.
John Smith was originally signed from West Ham to replace Danny
Blanchflower in 1959. Smith looked a promising prospect as he had kept the
young Bobby Moore in the reserves at West Ham. But Smith only made 21
appearance during his 4-year spell at Tottenham and had left the club
before Blanchflower retired as a player. He played for a number of other
clubs but undoubtedly the highlight of his career was playing for Swindon
Town when they beat Arsenal at Wembley in the 1969 League Cup Final.
Frank Saul made his debut as a 15 year old in the Spurs Reserve side and
was still only 17 when he made his debut for the first team at Highbury in
September 1960. Great things were expected of Saul but somewhere along the
line he lost confidence and became an ordinary player. His main claim to
fame at Tottenham was in scoring vital goals during the 1967 FA Cup run.
He was the makeweight in the deal that bought Martin Chivers to Tottenham
in January 1968. He wound down his career with QPR and Millwall.
Thus these are the 17 players who represented Tottenham during 1960-61.
By Brian Judson.