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Pleat on Gough

Posted on 13 January 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

You don’t need to look far to see exactly what David Pleat thinks of Richard Gough.

Wander into his office at Spurs Lodge and you’ll see two large, framed photographs of the braveheart defender on the walls.

That is testament to the impact Gough made in just over a season at the Lane.

But what a season. With David, now our director of football, in charge we finished third in the league, runners-up in the FA Cup and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup — arguably our last, great season.

Incredibly, that was 14 years ago and perhaps even more incredibly, Gough is still playing at the age of 38.

He will miss out against us on Saturday but is expected to return to action after a knee injury next weekend.

David said: “He was a very good player, tremendous professional but in my wildest dreams I didn’t think he would still be playing at 38.

“In fact when he left Glasgow, after he’d been tempted many times during his nine years and nine championship medals, to come back to England but went to America, everyone thought that was it.

“But the lure of the Premiership got the better of him and he came back, went to Forest, did very well there and suddenly two or three clubs thought he could do a short-term job.

“Incredibly it was more than a short-term job, more than a year and he survived.

“But if he doesn’t come back after this latest injury and recovers, feels he can do a good job, I think he will finally hang his boots up and perhaps go back to America.

“He was a great leader, a tremendous guy, a good captain and it was a very sad day for Tottenham when he went back to Glasgow Rangers.

“He did have a family problem at the time though, we understood that, and I think we doubled our money on him within 12 months. That was last thing we wanted to do though, we wanted him to stay at Tottenham.

“He was one of that elite group that played wonderful football in a wonderful way and shall not be forgotten.

“I still have two large pictures of Goughy in my office at the training ground amongst other greats like Mackay, Hoddle, Mabbutt. So Goughy, never be forgotten and always much respected.

“Time moves on, players move on, people move on but the memories of that fine football are ingrained and cannot be taken away.”