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Catching up with...Cliff Jones

Posted on 15 September 2017  - 17:15

Continuing our series where we catch up with a former player - and as we prepare to meet Swansea at Wembley, who better to talk to than our original Welsh wing wizard, legendary double-winner Cliff Jones, who made his debut for the Swans fully 65 years ago and is still going strong, aged 82...

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Cliff Jones

cliff250x300a - Began career at Swansea in 1952, played with his brother Bryn
- Joined Spurs in February, 1958, debut at Arsenal
- Member of double-winning team in 1961 and went on to win FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, European Cup Winners Cup in 1963
- Fourth in our all-time goalscoring list with 159 goals in 378 appearances in all competitions
- Scored in his final match for us against United in October, 1968, then joined Fulham
- Won 59 caps for Wales, reached quarter-finals of World Cup in 1958
- Cliff continued the Jones football dynasty - father Ivor and uncle Bryn both Welsh internationals, brother Bryn also played for Swansea
- After football career, spent 27 years as a PE teacher in Highbury Grove
- Now 82, a member of our legends' matchday hospitality team

Below: Cliff signs in 1958 with Swans' boss Ron Burgess (left) and Spurs boss Jimmy Anderson

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The family business

Cliff: "I come from a footballing family and I always thought I was going to play football, always, no question, all the way back to my school days when I was captain of Swansea Schools and we won the double - the English Trophy and the Welsh Shield. My father Ivor played for West Brom, Swansea and Wales, my Uncle Bryn played for Arsenal and Wales and my brother Bryn played with me at Swansea. Those were special times. I love Swansea, love the place. We were a good Second Division side but I realised that we’d gone as far as we were going to go and I felt the time was right to move on. Ron Burgess, a Spurs legend in the 1950s who the great Bill Nicholson described as the best player to play for Spurs, was manager of Swansea at the time and he said ‘you sign for Tottenham’."

Below: Cliff (front row, far left) and Terry Medwin (next to him) line-up with our double-winners in 1961

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My mate Terry

Cliff: "Terry Medwin was a schoolboy friend of mine all those years ago. His father was a prison warden in Swansea. The prison overlooked the Vetch Field and legend had it that when Swansea were playing badly, all the prisoners were made to watch them as punishment! They’d say ‘oh no, we’re not watching the Swans!’ One of the reasons I came to Spurs was that Terry was there, so was Mel Hopkins, another Welsh team-mates. We all used to live near each other in Palmers Green – wonderful days on and off the pitch! Our double-winning squad was like a big family all together."

Below: Swansea boss Paul Clement

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Swansea today

Cliff: "The Club has such a fantastic story, where they’ve come from to get to the Premier League. It’s a wonderful club and I’m a Swansea Jack, as they say. My roots are in Swansea and I love the city but my heart is at Tottenham and I love London. Tottenham is my team, as much as I love Swansea and my upbringing back home, I’ll always be a Swansea Jack, but I’m Spurs through and through. They’ve lost a couple of important players in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, who has joined us here at Spurs and it will be a difficult season again, but I’m sure they’ll be okay."

Below: Ben in action at Everton last weekend - where he claimed two assists in oiur 3-0 win

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Ben Davies

Cliff: "I speak to him now and then. Actually, he came around for dinner not too long ago, a nice Sunday roast! He’s a good lad and improving all the time. He’s developing into a special player. I like him going forward in this three at the back system. He’s a great defender as well, Ben. He’s become a top player, works hard at his game and he deserves everything he gets, he’s such a lovely lad. He’s doing well for Wales as well, let’s not forget that!"