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Programme: Tie ups

Posted on 24 February 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).

<P class=MsoNormal><I>Programme editor John Fennelly takes an offbeat, personal look at former Spurs-Leeds clashes.</I><P class=MsoNormal>I was convinced that I had made the right decision. As a Spurs supporter, I had travelled to Leeds by Inter-City for the first time and, after a tiring, continually interrupted journey, here was the Elland Road ground in sight.<P class=MsoNormal>But the train just kept going…and going…and going! The stadium disappeared into the distance and my hopes of us stopping close to the ground faded with each passing minute.<P class=MsoNormal>Maybe I had been spoilt on previous train journeys to watch the lads at Cardiff and Hull. In both cases, and at others, there was actually a platform right next to the ground. Only used on matchdays, perhaps, but what a good idea &mdash&#59; for both ease of access and keeping hordes of supporters away from city centres.<P class=MsoNormal>Thankfully, Leeds have that bus link to the ground well organised and it hadn&rsquo&#59;t work too well at Hull back in the old Second Division days when we were told after the final whistle that the train was not waiting at the nearby Halt but miles away in the town centre!<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp&#59; </SPAN><P class=MsoNormal>On reflection, maybe there&rsquo&#59;s little logic to rail travel…but sometimes it&rsquo&#59;s all we&rsquo&#59;ve got.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>Whenever I think of Leeds, my mind goes back to sunny days at the Lane and that great United side of Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles and Co.<P class=MsoNormal>It is a rarity in the game but while most Spurs supporters can name the entire Tottenham team that played in specific eras, they can rarely do so for the opposition. But many of us can still do so with that Leeds team of the Seventies.<P class=MsoNormal>They had such strength and power in every department but, just as importantly, they had balance. A good example was the aptly nicknamed Sniffer Clarke in attack alongside the more muscular Mick Jones while Martin Chivers battled well against Jack Charlton and Norman Hunter as those Pat Jennings bombshells rained down.<P class=MsoNormal>With two good attacking full-backs, matching the crossing of our own Cyril Knowles and Joe Kinnear, they could also score from distance through the likes of Peter Lorimer, which gave them another tremendous option. Flair ran through the team with some to spare but they could also look after themselves and were the team that we all loved to hate. But we respected them too.<P class=MsoNormal>Times have clearly changed but Don Revie would never have attempted to &lsquo&#59;rotate&rsquo&#59; that side as some well-blessed sides are trying today. United had one first team and consistency was a strength to be protected.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>However, we still had the power to beat them &mdash&#59; although they were not a side to face when you needed points to escape relegation!<P class=MsoNormal>That was the exact situation back in April, 1975, when we looked down and out. It was the last game of the season and only a win would keep us in Division One.<P class=MsoNormal>Maybe United had one eye on their impending European Cup Final but this was to be a special night at the Lane. A great free-kick goal from Knowles&#59; the recalled Chivers added a second after a melee&#59; Knowles scored the third from the penalty spot&#59; Joe Jordan pulled one back&#59; Alfie Conn made it four after a piece of magic&#59; and Peter Lorimer&rsquo&#59;s late reply didn&rsquo&#59;t matter.<P class=MsoNormal>And Alfie Conn even had time to sit on the ball in the whirlwind around him! A brave man. A great night!<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>And what a triumph that result was for real Spurs fans. I remember disembarking at Cheshunt station as we sang our way home and entering the adjacent Windmill for a celebratory swift one just before the bell.<P class=MsoNormal>Inside were many fairweather supporters, some had even written us off to such an extent that they weren&rsquo&#59;t even aware that we had a game that night! As usual, they were ready to slag off the team in what had obviously been a difficult and disappointing season but suddenly they were Spurs supporters again.<P class=MsoNormal>They should have been there &mdash&#59; to support, to play their part,<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp&#59; </SPAN>as 49,886 others had done. And they had missed one of the greatest nights in my memory as a Spurs fan. As frustrated as we all sometimes get, how can you abandon your team when the going gets rough?<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>I remember Terry Yorath with great fondness. I was working on the Tottenham Herald when he came here from Coventry in 1979 and manager Keith Burkinshaw planned to use him at centre-half where his experience on our return to the First Division would be invaluable.<P class=MsoNormal>In the end, he reverted back to midfield as the perfect foil to the skills of Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles. And he did a good job for us before leaving for Canada.<P class=MsoNormal>But if I think of Yorath I think of him on top of a 10ft chain-link fence with one leg either side and a piece of wire attached to his trousers in a potentially disastrous place! One slip and his days in a Welsh mens&rsquo&#59; choir would be over and the Snowman would have to be added to his singing repertoire!<P class=MsoNormal>Because that&rsquo&#59;s where I found him one morning at the old Cheshunt training ground! Burkinshaw had wanted him to move to London but Yorath could not see the point in bringing his family south from Coventry, where they were well settled, when he might only be here for a few years.<P class=MsoNormal>So Terry would drive home immediately after a game on a Saturday and return Monday morning. But he had obviously been a bit late on a few occasions so Burkinshaw locked the gate to catch him out. Clearly Yorath hoped to sneak in, do a quick change and suddenly appear as if he had been there all the time.<P class=MsoNormal>And here he was swinging gently to and fro high above the car park. The fence itself was on the top of a mound so the fall was considerable &mdash&#59; not to mention his vulnerability in other areas! I had to laugh as I supported one of Terry&rsquo&#59;s feet to give him the stability to disentangle himself and he jumped down and ran to the dressing room.<P class=MsoNormal>To make matters worse I then walked through the gate. It wasn&rsquo&#59;t locked &mdash&#59; the chain had merely been placed to look as though it was!<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp&#59; </SPAN><P class=MsoNormal>Great days with a great man &mdash&#59; but all too brief. Terry has overcome personal tragedy to remain one of the games more likeable and experienced personalities. As he did as a player, he still gives everything to the game and I wish him well at Wednesday.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;