Continuing our series featuring some of the many highlights of the epic Tottenham Hotspur Opus - the biggest and best book ever written and produced about the Club.
17 - Glory, Glory - The Lionheart - Dave Mackay
From Scotland to White Hart Lane glory, the fearless Dave Mackay led a victorious football crusade. There were trophies to match the crunching challenges too...
Think of Spurs midfielder Dave Mackay and what do you see? A grainy black-and-white photo most probably; the image of Mackay, all tree trunk biceps and thunderous scowl, uprooting a quivering Billy Bremner at White Hart Lane during the clash with Leeds United in 1966.
Today, it's one of the most enduring images in British football, and understandably so: Mackay's aggression, Bremner's apologetic shrug, a referee rushing over to break the ugly scene, whistle in mouth. There's even a glimpse of Terry Venables peering on nervously. Mackay, more than anyone, is aware of its iconography.
"If I had a fiver for every time somebody asked me to sign a copy of that picture, I'd be a millionaire," he says, relaxing at White Hart Lane, his once jutting jaw breaking into a broad grin. "I have never been so angry in my life. I was just back from a broken leg for the second time [his leg was broken in 1963 and 1964]. I'd had real concerns about whether I would ever play again, especially after I'd broken it in my comeback game some time earlier. So when Bremner went for me in my next comeback, I lost it.
"It had started with a throw-in down the line. I'd pushed him over so we both went down on all fours. When we got back up he gave me a whack on my bad left leg - even coming across my right leg and going for it deliberately. I was so angry I thought I could throw him over the stand.
"I would not like to repeat what I said to him but it was not complimentary," he laughs. "Fortunately I didn't hit him, but to this day I still don't know how I got away without getting booked."
Mackay admits he is not proud of the incident and, indeed, actively dislikes the picture because it shows a rare lack of control. "It makes me look like a bully," he says, "and I've always hated bullies. My whole life I've stood up against them."
Dave Mackay is featured in conversation over four pages in the ‘Glory, Glory' section of the Opus.
With 300,000 words and 1,500 photographs, the Opus is the ultimate piece of Tottenham Hotspur memorabilia.
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