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Ralph's split loyalties

Posted on 9 November 2004  - 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).

Wembley hero Ralph Coates admits he's split straight down the middle as we travel to Burnley in the Carling Cup tonight.


Lane legend Ralph had distinguished careers at both clubs and is the guest of honour at Turf Moor for the last 16 clash.


The skilful midfielder kicked-off his career at Burnley after being signed as a 17-year-old in 1963 and made 216 appearances in eight years. He also won his first England cap with the Clarets in 1970.


Snapped up by Bill Nicholson in 1971, Ralph enjoyed his goal-den moment by hammering home the winner in the League Cup Final against Norwich City at Wembley Stadium in 1973.


He went on to make over ?? appearances before departing for Leyton Orient in 1978.


"I'm totally 50-50, sitting on the fence - personally, I can't lose, whoever wins" said Ralph.


"I had wonderful experiences with both teams and both sets of supporters were always fantastic to me.


"I graduated through the ranks from juniors to the first team at Burnley after initially going for a trial. I also gained B international honours, Under-23 and then full England caps, so I didn't do too bad there.


"They had a reputation for scouting and looking after the kids and I was another player that made it through the system there."


Naturally, Ralph is best know at Spurs for that Wembley strike and it's a moment he fondly recalls. "It's one of the greatest moments in my career.


"As I say to the kids when I'm coaching, I had three ambitions as a kid myself - to play professional football, to play for England and to score the winner in a cup final at Wembley. What were the chances of me completing all three?"


Ralph was naturally saddened by the recent loss of Bill and believes it would be fitting if the club could win some silverware in the season of our greatest manager's passing.


"Yes, it would be a great tribute to him if we could get some success this season. He will never be forgotten neither by myself, the club or in the history of British football. He was one of the greats."