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A great judge of player

Posted on 25 October 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Pat Jennings reflected that Bill Nicholson was clearly a good judge of players - with the great man having picked him out from the old third division.

The Northern Irishman was plying his trade with Watford and had 48 league appearances under his belt when Bill paid £27,000 to bring the goalkeeper to the Lane in 1964. By the start of the 1966-67 season Pat was first choice keeper and went on to play in 675 first team games for the club.

Pat was a pivotal figure in Bill's teams that won the FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Cup and it was naturally an emotional time for the 59-year-old on the morning of his former manager's passing.

"It is very sad for everyone involved at the club," said Pat. "I have a lot of great memories of him as he plucked me out of the old third division to come here way back in 1964. He was obviously a good judge!

"Not only me, when you look at the players he has taken over the years - incredible players. In those days, whenever the best players came up, he was in for them."

Pat added that it was a great knowledge of the game along with his man-management skills that was key to Bill's huge success as Spurs boss.

"He knew the game inside out. In all the years since, with all the managers I've played for both at international and club level, I never heard anything new that I hadn't heard from Bill Nick all those years ago.

"He was right on top of his football, we never had meetings for hours on end, but he went round every player and told them what they needed to know. That was him, he got his points across without spending hours on it.

"Nothing changed him, he was down to earth and football-mad through and through. Whenever you bought the kids down with you when he was manager he would have them up on a chair eating crisps - that was the way he was, a smashing man."