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The Bill Nicholson Testimonial

Posted on 7 August 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).

Italian giants Fiorentina will provide the all-star opposition for the Bill Nicholson Testimonial game at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, August 8, kick-off 7.45pm.

The match will also provide the first chance for Spurs fans to see new signings Gus Poyet, Goran Bunjevcevic, Teddy Sheringham and Christian Ziege strut their stuff at the Lane.

With pre-season going well, top Italian opposition flying in, we are hoping for a bumper crowd to turn out and honour Bill - and show the new boys what football at the Lane is all about.

For ticket details, click here

Bill Nicholson, still a regular at home matches, remains ‘Mr. Tottenham’ to Spurs fans of all ages. A one-club man, he originally joined Tottenham as a junior player in 1936 and played in the great ‘Push and Run’ side that won the Championship in 1951. He then went on to manage the club throughout our greatest period of success on the field (see profile below).

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, said: "I hope that Spurs supporters enjoy an evening of celebration in recognition of one of the great men of football. Bill Nicholson is an important part of Tottenham Hotspur and continues to symbolise all of the great things about our Club."

Meanwhile, Bill Nicholson, a humble man who still lives near the ground, was delighted at the news. He said: "I always said that it was an honour to serve Tottenham Hotspur and I feel the same every time I walk back into the stadium. It should be another great night of football as Spurs take on some of the best in Europe."

It will certainly be a competitive game because this is manager Glenn Hoddle’s final preparatory game in this country before the Premiership season kicks-off.

Says Glenn: "Bill Nicholson deserves the support of the Tottenham supporters and I know that they will respond by making it a special night. He was the man that originally signed me for Spurs and I owe him a lot.

"We will be taking this very seriously because it is a game that we want to win to set us up for the start of the new league season."

Fiorentina, under former Leicester City striker Roberto Mancini, will certainly provide stiff opposition. Their forward line includes Italian international Enrico Chiesa, Bunjevcevic’s fellow Yugoslavian international Predrag Mijatovic and Portuguese international striker Nuno Gomes, currently on loan at Ajax.

Tickets will go on sale from Wednesday, July 18, on the Spurs Ticket Line 08700 112222 (Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm) - £15 adults/£5 under-16s & over 65s. As we expect a great demand, supporters are warned that these will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

Bill Nicholson Profile

Born in Scarborough on January 26, 1919, Bill Nicholson’s association with Tottenham Hotspur began in 1936 as a groundstaff boy and he went on to become the most successful manager and influential individual in the club’s history, having served the club as a player, manager and consultant.

He joined while we were in the Second Division and made his league debut against Blackburn Rovers during the 1938-39 season.

His early career was disrupted by the Second World War but he established himself in the side after the hostilities had stopped.

He went on to make 344 senior appearances and won a championship winners’ medal in 1951 before his Spurs playing career ended in 1955. Won just one England cap in that time, scoring after only 19 seconds against Portugal at Goodison Park in 1951.

Appointed manager in 1958 and led the side to a 10-4 defeat of Everton in his first game in charge. During his 16 years at the helm, he guided Spurs to the League and Cup ‘Double’ in 1961, the first side last century to achieve the feat.

We retained the FA Cup in 1962 and in the next season, we became the first British side to win a major European trophy as he led us to a 5-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Further honours included the 1972 UEFA Cup, the FA Cup again in 1967 and League Cup triumphs in 1971 and 1973.

Left the club at the start of the 1974-75 season, but was awarded an OBE in 1975 and was invited back as a consultant in 1976. He was then appointed President in 1991, a position he still maintains and he continues to be a regular at White Hart Lane.

Bill Nicholson countdown: Ron Henry