Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture on the cover of the May 17, 1968, issue of Soccer Star? Look closer at the badge on Joe Kinnear’s shirt. The photograph has been printed back to front!
Joe is pictured in Wembley action in the 1967 FA Cup Final against Chelsea when, aged 22, he was the youngest player on the pitch. It was dubbed the ‘Cockney Final’ but there were more Scots in action that day while Joe himself was a Republic of Ireland international.
Kinnear, who was born in Dublin but brought up in Watford from the age of seven, did well in schools representative football and was playing for St Albans City at the age of 16 when we spotted his potential and invited him to join the amateur staff at White Hart Lane.
That was in August, 1963, and by February, 1965, he was a full professional. He made his senior debut at home to West Ham United in April the following year but it wasn’t a memorable occasion as we went down 4-1!
Still he did well enough to keep his place for the rest of the season and once Phil Beal, his main rival for the right-back slot, had moved into a more central defensive position, Kinnear made the number two shirt his own.
Joe also came under severe pressure from Ray Evans, Terry Naylor and Tony Want at a time when Bill Nicholson’s squad possessed a lot of home-grown talent. But he still played in 258 senior games for us and helped us win the FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Cup.
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