Manager of the Club between 1976 and 1984, Keith guided us to an immediate return to the First Division after we dropped down to the second tier in his first season in charge, before securing one of the biggest transfer coups of all time by enticing Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa – fresh from winning the World Cup with Argentina – to join us in 1978.
He then guided us to consecutive FA Cup wins in 1981 and 1982 as well as the League Cup Final in 1982 – where we lost out to Liverpool in extra time – and followed that up by leading the team to UEFA Cup Final glory against Anderlecht on his last day in charge in May, 1984.
Born at Higham, Barnsley, on June 23, 1935, former Liverpool, Workington and Scunthorpe United defender Keith celebrates his 80th birthday today with the best wishes of all at White Hart Lane.
To mark the occasion, we’re re-running parts of an insightful interview Keith gave us in 2013, when he shared his thoughts on a number of the key individuals from around the Club during his time in charge.
So here are the words of Keith on...
"Glenn was the best technical player I came across. One of my biggest disappointments was that England never really gave him the credit he was due. I think they should have picked the team around him. He was such a gifted player and fantastic for us."
"For me, Steve was the one that understood the team. We had it all together. He would ring on a Sunday and we’d talk for a couple of hours about how the team had done on the Saturday, the preparations and what we’d do for the following week. We’d talk for ages. He was tremendous for the club. He understood how I looked at football. He was my captain and a big influence over the rest of the players. Everyone looked up to him. He was the best captain I ever came across. I used to say to him ‘when you are out on the field, if you see something that can improve the team, do it without coming to the sidelines and if it comes off, fantastic.’ If it didn’t I took the blame. That’s how we were."
Chris Hughton, Tony Galvin
"Chrissie was a kid here when I came in, about 18, 19. He used to work as a lift engineer. He was such a good player that nobody noticed how easy it was for him to come into the side and become one of our great players. He also had Tony Galvin in front of him. I was at Scunthorpe as a player, my last club and I had a mate who was on the board and he’d heard of this fantastic player Tony Galvin who was at Goole Town. He made me aware of him and suggested I went to have a look at him. I said to Bill Nicholson, my chief scout, to go and have a look at him. Bill came back and said ‘sign him.’ For the money we paid, he would have to be the best. He went on to play for Republic of Ireland, a great player, such an engine. You talk about Chrissie, but I believe Tony helped make Chrissie become the player he was."
"Maxy was one of those lads who was just a kid when I first came into the club. He was a bit head strong and I wanted him to know what life was about. So when he was about 17, I sent him to Norway (Skeid Oslo) one summer. I wanted him to go there with no-one with him and he played all summer. I made a good decision, because when he came into the team he had confidence after doing that and the bigger the game, the better he played. I bought Gary Stevens from Brighton as well and he played for England, but at full-back or in midfield. I bought him as a centre-half, but he couldn’t push Maxy out of the team, he played that well."
"Mark was a kid who came through the system. At the same time, we had another kid who went on to play for Chelsea – Kerry Dixon. At the time, I had to make a decision, I only wanted one of the two, so I picked Mark instead of Kerry Dixon. He went on to be quite a player for Chelsea, but I didn’t think he was as good as Mark. If you are looking at a finisher, he was one of the best I’ve seen. He hit the target most of the time and had a great shot. He was a terrific player."
Steve Archibald, Garth Crooks
"In their first full season together, I think they scored 48 goals between them. We worked hard with the pair of them from the team point of view, individually and as a pair. They saw things together, knew exactly what the other was doing. I was really pleased with that partnership. They were such good players. Steve went on to Barcelona and did really well there as well."
"Micky was a tremendous player and when we played in the UEFA Cup Final, he was our best player."
"He started at Southampton, went to Weymouth and I picked him up from there. Bill Nicholson went to see him and said ‘he’s a good player, this kid’ but the next thing I read in the paper was that he was on his way to West Brom. I managed to get hold of him and said ‘forget West Brom, you are coming to Spurs.’ He came to see me, we chatted and he signed for us. To be fair, him and Maxy together, they did really well for us. He played for England as well. If you look at his statistics, he scored a lot of important goals for us, including in the UEFA Cup Final. How much did I pay for him? £35,000!"
"Ray played with me at Scunthorpe, not many people know that. He always says that I made him because he had so much to do with me playing centre-half! I was acting manager when he went from Scunthorpe to Liverpool. He was a tremendous goalkeeper and not just a goalkeeper, but the fifth defender. He read the game so well, he’d often clear up just outside the area."
"He was playing for Bristol Rovers. I wasn’t sure if he was a fantastic player, but I knew he was a dogged player, all heart and a great character. But he became much more than that, a really top captain, a leader."
"A lot of people said I was making a big mistake when I brought him back into the club. They told me he’d been such a big manager here and asked ‘can you handle that?’ I said ‘I think I can’ and we got on like a house on fire, no problems at all. He’d gone off to West Ham, but I spoke to him and said ‘come on Bill, come back with me as Chief Scout.’ He was delighted. Tottenham Hotspur was his life. He didn’t normally get it wrong on the player. We would always meet, maybe once, maybe two or three times a week, sit down at White Hart Lane and talk football. That was fantastic for me. Who could you talk to with more experience than Bill Nicholson?"