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It was 50 years ago today...

Posted on 6 May 2011  - 12:00

It’s 50 years to the day - May 6, 1961 - that the club secured the famous ‘double’ by beating Leicester City in the FA Cup Final.

It was 50 years ago today...

It’s 50 years to the day - May 6, 1961 - that the club secured the famous ‘double’ by beating Leicester City in the FA Cup Final.

Goals from centre-forward Bobby Smith and winger Terry Dyson made reality what many believed was impossible at the time – winning the First Division championship and the FA Cup in the same season.

We were the first team to achieve the feat in the 20th century after Preston first did it in 1889 and then Aston Villa in 1897.

The title was already in the bag by the time manager Bill Nicholson led his team out at Wembley Stadium on that Saturday afternoon 50 years ago.

The championship was clinched with a 2-1 victory against Sheffield Wednesday at the Lane on April 17, 1961. That meant second-placed Owls were eight points adrift with three games remaining – remember, it was two points for a win.

The damage was done in a staggering start to that campaign. The team won its first 11 matches, 14 out of the first 15 and 22 of the first 25 and were 10 points clear by the turn of the year.

Seen as one of the greatest teams in football history, Bill’s players lit up the country with an attacking style of football, scored 115 goals in 42 league matches and another 21 in seven FA Cup ties.

double team

Terry Dyson, the man whose goal put the FA Cup Final beyond doubt, underlined just what it meant to the team.

"We made history that day," he said. "People always remember the first – Roger Bannister’s mile, Hilary climbing Everest – and people remember us. They can’t take it away from us.

"I was fortunate to score in big games. I missed a sitter earlier in the game but I scored and when I was jogging back to the half-way line I thought to myself 'I’ve done something all kids dream about'."

Cliff Jones was another integral part of the team, weighing in with 19 goals from the wing.

"It was a great feeling walking off the pitch at Wembley knowing that we were the first team to achieve the double that century," he said. "We did it with style, we were effective and entertained at the same time.

"We had a great mixture of talent and skilful players, the likes of Danny Blanchflower, John White and then you had the power of Dave Mackay and Bobby Smith and the pace of someone like myself, so it was a great blend."

Defender Maurice Norman added: “There are so many memories, but the biggest memory was playing with such a great side and the players around me. I could have played in the middle sitting on a chair, it was that easy at times.”

The final word goes to Bill, who wrote the following in his autobiography ‘Glory, Glory, My Life With Spurs’.

"Football is a simple game and simple beliefs and tactics are those which bring the greatest rewards. One of the factors in Tottenham’s success in 1960-61 was that I had a sensible bunch of players who liked each other and wanted to play. There was no odd-man out, no maverick in the camp. They were whole-hearted enthusiasts like Dave Mackay, Terry Dyson, Terry Medwin and Cliff Jones, nice people who wanted their colleagues to be as successful as they were. We were a team in every sense of the world, and a happy team with it."