How would Bobby Smith cope in today’s game? It’s an interesting question based on the fact that his approach was mostly based on strength and courage with a lot of intimidation thrown in!
Yes he could play a bit too but he operated at a time when - providing it was considered a ‘fair’ shoulder-to-shoulder’ connection – you could basically hammer a goalkeeper into the back of the net as he came out to collect a cross! And Bobby did it better than most!
With 208 goals for Tottenham, he remains our second leading goalscorer of all time behind his Spurs and England team mate Jimmy Greaves while the amount of goals that he actually created must be incredible.
Famously, he would literally go through brick walls in our cause and he was always more than willing to put his own wellbeing on the line if it meant getting on the end of a cross in front of goal.
Meanwhile, our centre-half at the time – Maurice Norman – was also as hard as nails and always up for a scrap. I remember once asking him who was the toughest opponent he faced in those days. His answer? Bobby Smith in training!
Yet would either of them survive 90 minutes in the modern cosseted game? Unlikely - yet we have to consider Bobby’s game in the context that he too was getting lumps kicked out of him with no quarter asked!
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