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The best of friends

Posted on 29 October 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).

Martin Chivers reflected that he will always treasure his closeness to Bill Nicholson after a stormy relationship during his playing days.

Martin played under Bill's management from 1968 until the retirement of the great man in September 1974. He acknowledges it was no secret he did not get along with his boss but a dinner date in Switzerland forged a true friendship that confused a few old teammates who were witness to a few dressing room clashes.

"All us players from the sixties and seventies have such memories of him," said Martin. "People ask me if we had always been so close - no we weren't. We were deadly enemies when I was a player.

"There was a love-hate relationship between Bill Nick and myself - terrible - to the point where players said to me 'how the hell can you be so friendly with Bill?'

"I have been very friendly with Bill for the last 25 years - since I went to Switzerland. We met up over there and I invited him out to dinner with my wife. After the meal she looked at Bill and said 'is that the same person you've been complaining to me about, saying you can't get on with him?'

"Bill had been telling her about the arguments we'd had in the dressing room and, after the meal, she said to me that he was a perfect gentleman. We became such good friends and I am so pleased it happened.

"He simply had a way of geeing me up. Unfortunately, it looked terrible at the time and it was. We had so many heated arguments to the point where I used to storm out of the dressing room, but go and score two goals!

"So it worked. He had a way of dealing with me, but it was such hard work for me. I am just so pleased that he was my manager because I suppose other managers would have given up."