The Club’s first trip to Australasia was in May 1976. An early end to the domestic season – that had seen us finish ninth in the old Division One table – enabled us to visit the region before the players went on their annual leave.
Having played a match in Toronto, Canada, on April 27, we continued our long global journey to Fiji and a match with a Fijian Select XI in Lautoka on May 1, 1976. A crowd of around 6,000 saw us win 4-0 thanks to goals from Martin Chivers, John Duncan, Gerry Armstrong and Chris Jones.
It was then on to New Zealand, for a match with a local FA XI in Auckland on May 3, 1976. An end-to-end game finished 5-3 in our favour, with Duncan bagging a brace, while John Pratt and Jimmy Neighbour were also on target for us with Keith Osgood converting a penalty. In Wellington two days later, we met a representative XI of the New Zealand capital city, with Pratt, Armstrong and Duncan getting our goals to edge the match 3-2.
We touched down in Australia for the first time a few days later and kicked off a series of five matches there against Victoria in Melbourne on May 9, 1976. Pratt, Jones and skipper Steve Perryman scored as our victorious run on the tour continued with a 3-1 triumph.
We ran out convincing 5-1 winners against Northern New South Wales four days later, with strikes from Willie Young, Glenn Hoddle, Osgood (penalty), Chivers and an own goal.
A meeting with an Australian National XI provided our largest crowd of the tour, with 26,561 fans present for the game in Sydney on May 16, 1976. We edged the game 3-2 with Neighbour, Jones and Ralph Coates our goal scorers.
A day later, we enjoyed a 5-2 win over Southern Australia in Adelaide, with Osgood (pictured, above) getting a brace while Jones, Chivers and Coates also found the back of the net. Our tour concluded with a 4-0 win against Western Australia, with a Chivers hat-trick and a further goal from Jones in Perth on May 23, 1976.
Prior to our imminent visit to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, our most high profile trip to Australia came in 1985 as we competed in the $200,000 International Soccer Tournament. Spurs, Brazilian side Vasco da Gama, Italy’s Udinese and the Australian national team were invited to take part in the competition, which carried a hefty prize fund for the winners.
Three iconic Australian sporting venues were selected for the four days of competition – the Sydney Cricket Ground, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Football Park in Adelaide. The tournament saw three rounds of matches with the top two sides after those games proceeding to the final, while the other two teams played off for third place. We went down 1-0 to the Australian National Team on the opening day of the tournament on May 29, 1985. There was a crowd of 20,503 inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground for that game and the meeting of Vasco da Gama and Udinese that had kicked-off the competition.
A 2-0 loss to Udinese in the second round of matches on June 1, 1985, in Sydney ended our hopes of competing in the final, while Mark Falco (pictured, above) netted as we drew 1-1 with Vasco da Gama in Adelaide four days later. We managed a convincing 4-1 triumph over Udinese as we began the final day of competition in Melbourne on June 9, 1985, with Paul Miller, Falco and David Leworthy on target for us, while we also benefited from an own-goal.
For the record, it was Australia who went on to win the tournament, with a 2-1 victory over Vasco da Gama in the final. John Kosmina got both their goals.
A year earlier, the Australian Soccer Federation sent a variety of full, ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides on a tour of Europe with matches played against the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa, PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Glasgow Rangers.
On December 3, 1984, we staged a game against the Australia national team at our old training ground at Brookfield Lane in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Garth Crooks and Mark Bowen got our goals that day in a 2-1 win while Tommy McCulloch scored for the visitors.
In terms of Australian playing connections over the years, Socceroos fans will be familiar with current national team star Massimo Luongo. Having just signed for Queens Park Rangers from Swindon Town, the midfielder joined us after an impressive trial in January, 2011, and featured for our Development Squad thereafter.
His only first team appearance came as substitute in a League Cup match away at Stoke City on September 20, 2011. He unfortunately had a penalty attempt saved as we lost 7-6 to the Potters in a shootout after the 90 minutes and extra-time ended without score. He was also an unused substitute for a Premier League match at Liverpool and an FA Cup tie away at Stevenage during the 2011-12 season.
Luongo (pictured, above), who has 12 caps for Australia and has scored two goals for the national team, was loaned to Ipswich Town in 2009 and spent two loan spells with Swindon before signing permanently for them in 2013.
Our former defender William Gallas ended his playing career at Perth Glory, playing 15 A-League games and scoring once between 2013 and 2014. Our ex-player and manager Terry Venables was in charge of the Australian national team between 1996 and 1997 while ex-Spurs players now living in Australia include Paul Price, who has held managerial positions with clubs including Western Knights and Sorrento FC, and Don McAllister, who works in Sydney as a finance manager.