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Cliff's United memories - the great games

Posted on 12 March 2015  - 15:00

We played in some incredible, historic games against Manchester United during Cliff Jones' 10 years at Spurs between 1958-68.


Manchester United had just suffered the tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster when Cliff arrived at the club in February, 1958.

His first match for us against the Reds was a 1-0 win at the Lane on April 17, 1958 when Tommy Harmer’s penalty won the points in front of 59,836 fans.

Cliff’s first game for us at Old Trafford was a memorable 5-1 victory on September 12, 1959 - Bobby Smith scored twice that day, Dave Mackay, Dave Dunmore and Harmer again also on target - as the double team started to take shape.

Over the next nine years, Cliff would play a key role in our double success of 1960-61, retaining the FA Cup in 1962 and becoming the first British team to win a European trophy with the Cup Winners Cup triumph in 1963.

United also rebuilt with the ‘United Trinity’ of George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law providing the platform for the FA Cup in 1963 and First Division titles in 1965 and 1967. Then, 10 years after the Munich Air Disaster, United lifted the European Cup against Benfica at Wembley in 1968.

Cliff’s completed his personal circle against United in the perfect way - a late equaliser against the European champions at the Lane on October 9, 1968. Days after, he joined Fulham.

“The games against United were always special,” said Cliff, who played 378 games for us, scoring 159 goals.

“I had so many memorable matches against them and generally, they used to get the better of us at Old Trafford and we’d do well against them at White Hart Lane.

“They had a fantastic team with some of the greats of the game, Best, Law, Charlton and I’m sure anyone who was at some of those games in the 1960s will never forget them.”


September 3, 1960 - Spurs 4-1 United - White Hart Lane
Our fifth straight win at the start of the double season as two goals each from Les Allen and Bobby Smith put United to the sword.

October 24, 1962 - Spurs 6-2 United - White Hart Lane
Jimmy Greaves led the way with a hat-trick, Terry Medwin scored twice and Cliff was also on target in this fantastic win. We went on to score 111 goals in 42 games but finished runners-up to Everton in Division One.

Below: Dave Mackay scores in the ECWC first leg at the Lane, 1963


December 10, 1963 - United 4-1 Spurs - Old Trafford
Our defence of the European Cup Winners’ Cup fell at the first hurdle against United, the FA Cup winners. It was a night few Spurs fans will forget as Dave Mackay broke his leg and the 10 men - leading 2-0 from the first leg - battled gamely until the end, Bobby Charlton eventually breaking our hearts with a late fourth that took United through.

Below: Jimmy Greaves golden goal in 1965


October 16, 1965 - Spurs 5-1 United - White Hart Lane
United were reigning champions but were taken apart at the Lane in a game remembered for a wonderful goal by Jimmy Greaves. It was our third that day as we kept possession before switching the ball from back to front, Dave Mackay fed Greaves who turned and simply exploded into the box, leaving three players in his wake before skipping around Dunne and slotting home. Neil Johnson, Eddie Clayton, Alan Gilzean and Jimmy Robertson also scored.

August 12, 1967 - Spurs 3-3 United - Old Trafford
United won the league in 1966-67, we won the FA Cup in 1967 and so we met in the Charity Shield – the match where Pat Jennings scored! Big Pat was looking for Alan Gilzean but his huge clearance sailed past the striker, bounced over Alex Stepney and nestled into the back of the net.

Below: Captains Dave Mackay and Denis Law with the shared Charity Shield, 1967