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Anfield memories - long wait over - '85

Posted on 1 April 2016  - 12:45

Anfield. One of the most iconic stadiums in the world. We first played league football there in 1910 and it's certainly been a tough place for us - but there have been highs as well - and we'll document a few as we prepare to travel to the Red half of Merseyside again on Saturday...

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73 YEARS WAIT OVER - 1985

Spurs fans of a certain vintage will know all about the stat thrown at the team every time we set off for Red half of Merseyside - up until the mid-1980s.

'Spurs haven't won at Anfield since the Titanic went down' was the phrase rammed down the throats of just about every Spurs side attempting to end that jinx.

None of our great teams could do it - the 1951 title-winners lost 2-1 and after a gap of almost 10 years (1954-62) with the Reds out of the top flight, Bill Nicholson's great teams of the 1960s and early 1970s couldn't manage it.

Below: Ray Clemence

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In the end, it was March 16, 1985 - amazingly, the same date as our previous win back in 1912 - when the jinx was ended thanks Garth Crook's second half strike, following in after Bruce Grobbelaar saved Micky Hazard's volley.

Both teams were chasing the title that season and that win drew us level with leaders Everton.

It looked like we were in pole position with nine of our 13 matches at home but sadly it wasn't to be. Everton won a crunch game at the Lane on April 3 and went on to win the title by a huge 13 points from ourselves and Liverpool.

Ray Clemence won the lot for the Reds - five league titles, three European Cups, two UEFA Cups, FA Cup and League Cup between 1967-81 - and after that afternoon back on Merseyside, he remembers clearly the belief that he could add another championship to his CV, this time with Spurs.

"I remember after making the decision to leave Liverpool I had to come to a club that had European football," recalled Ray.

"Spurs had just won the FA Cup in 1981, so it was an ideal fix for me, to come to London, to play for one of the top clubs in the country, a team that was playing European football, a team that had the likes of Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa, Glenn Hoddle, Stevie Perryman, it was ideal.

Below: Mark Falco takes on Alan Hansen at Anfield, 1985

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"I knew I could come here and have a chance of winning things and in the first season we reached the League Cup Final, won the FA Cup, reached the semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup and had a good league run as well.

"But the year that was frustrating was when we went to Liverpool and won for the first time in 70-odd years in a really good performance.

"We were on the coach coming back from Liverpool thinking if we were ever going to win it, this was a fantastic opportunity for us with so many home games, but we couldn’t win those home games. Everton beat us here on a wet, windy night in and went on to win the title - and Andy Gray never stops reminding me!"

ANFIELD MEMORIES - '63 and '73