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Spurs v Qarabag - back in time

Posted on 17 September 2015  - 10:00

Our first home match in Europe was just over 54 years ago - and one of the most famous night's in the club's long history.


Not only were Polish opponents Gornik Zabrze spectacularly put to the sword 8-1 in the preliminary round, second leg of the European Cup - just a week after we'd trailed 4-0 (eventually losing 4-2) in the away leg - but it was the first time 'Glory, Glory' was sung from the terraces at White Hart Lane.

Bill Nicholson's double-winning team went on to reach the semi-finals of the competition where they lost out to Benfica. That was a huge blow, but a year later, we made history again by becoming the first British team to win a European trophy when we beat Atletico Madrid 5-1 to lift the Cup Winners' Cup in Rotterdam.

That first European night under the lights made quite an impression though, not least on Bill Nick, as described in his autobiography below.

Below: The 'Tottenham Angels' at our first European home match against Gornik - September, 1961



"A new sound was heard in English football in the 1961-2 season. It was the hymn Glory, Glory Hallelujah beng sung by 60,000 fans at White Hart Lane in our European Cup matches. I do no know how it started or who started it, but it took over the ground like a religious feeling.

"No congregation at the biggest church assembly in the country could possibly match the noise that was to be heard off the Tottenham High Road.

"The Poles were hardy men...but they were overwhelmed by the noise and the aggression and passion of our football. Pohl scored the first goal and we were 2-5 down, but it didn't seem to matter. Blanchflower scored from a penalty. There was a hat-trick for Jones, two for Smith and one goal each for Dyson and White. We won 8-1 and 10-5 on aggregate."