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Big Chiv - the League Cup king!

Posted on 21 January 2015  - 11:30

Martin Chivers is almost untouchable in the history of Spurs and the League Cup.

Martin celebrates our 1971 League Cup win with Bill Nicholson and Alan MulleryMartin shakes hands with Princess Alexandra ahead of the 1971 League Cup FinalMartin up against Villa's Brian Godfrey at WembleyThe team at the 1971 League Cup Final at Wembley - back row, from left - Martin Chivers, Peter Collins, Martin Peters, Pat Jennings, Joe Kinnear, Eddie Baily, Bill Nicholson, Jimmy Pearce, Phil Beal. Front row, from left - Alan Gilzean, Steve Perryman, Jimmy Neighbour, Alan Mullery, Cyril Knowles

Our legendary former striker sits third in our all-time goalscoring list behind Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Smith with 174 goals in 367 matches between 1968-76.

A closer look at that record and you'll see 23 goals in the League Cup - nine ahead of Jermain Defoe, 10 clear of Clive Allen and Teddy Sheringham - including both goals in our first triumph in the competition back in 1971.

Martin was a key member of the team that enjoyed two Wembley victories in the League Cup and reached another three semi-finals between 1968-69 and 1975-76.

He scored a hat-trick in his first League Cup tie for us in 1968 and didn't look back.

Turn the clock back to 1971 and Martin proved the difference as Aston Villa - then in the old Third Division (now League One) - fought their way to the final and scrapped every inch of the way at Wembley.

Martin finally broke through in the 78th minute with a tap-in from Jimmy Neightbour's shot before a wonderful second goal as he pulled down Alan Mullery’s pass on the edge of the box, turned away from two Villa defenders and drilled into the bottom corner.

“The 1971 final was the schoolboy dream,” reflected Martin. “It was the first time I’d played at Wembley so to score two goals on your first appearance has to be the dream of all dreams.

“We edged it in the end against Villa. I was gifted with the chance all strikers dream of - six yards out, no goalkeeper, I just just had to keep the ball down and stick it in the back of the net. The second wasn’t bad though! That was the icing on the cake.”

Two years later, we were back at the home of football for another League Cup Final, this time a narrow 1-0 win against Norwich City - Ralph Coates striking the only goal of the game.

“Ralph was my room-mate, God bless him. He scored the goal and we always took the mickey out of him - he made that shot a yard further out every year!"

Below: Martin pictured recently at the Lane


Martin’s eyes light up at the prospect of our 14th semi-final in the competition and a clash over two legs against Sheffield United for the right to face either Chelsea or Liverpool in the final at Wembley on March 1.

"I’m excited by this semi-final coming up," he added. "I just think it’s an opportunity for us and I just hope someone gets the luck I had back in those days. But the semi-finals were always tough.

"I always liked it when you could play away first, especially coming back to White Hart Lane. We did that often in Europe. This time around, we’re at home so we have to go out from the off, try to score some goals and try to win well."