Pat Jennings: 'Cyril would be proud that Sonny has his song'
14 March 2018|Tottenham Hotspur
It’s one of the all-time great terrace chants at Spurs with a modern twist – and the legendary Pat Jennings believes his late former team-mate Cyril Knowles would have been thrilled to hear his song being adapted for Heung-Min Son!
Over the last few weeks, pockets of our superb supporters have been heard singing the famous ‘Nice one Cyril, nice one son. Nice one Cyril, let’s have another one!’ ditty in the direction of our in-form South Korean attacker at some of our home games at Wembley, albeit with ‘Sonny’ in place of the all-action former left-back’s name.
But things were taken to new levels during Sunday’s 4-1 win at Bournemouth as a clear rendition was bellowed aloud from the away end in celebration of the forward’s two-goal showing, which took him up to seven goals in our last four games and 18 for the season – just three short of the 21-goal tally he reached last term.
Like Cyril, goalkeeper Pat joined us in 1964 and the pair would spend the next 12 glorious years together at the heart of our defensive operation as we lifted the FA Cup (1967), UEFA Cup (1972) and two League Cups (1971 and 1973).
After hearing the modern take on a song that initially came from a bread commercial before being latched onto by Spurs fans and officially released by Harold Spiro’s Cockerel Chorus in advance of our 1973 League Cup Final success over Norwich City, Pat reckons Cyril – who, like Sonny, was known as a smiling, bubbly character – would have loved what our fans have done with the catchy number.
“Absolutely, he’d have been proud,” said Pat (pictured, below), now 72 and still going strong in a part-time coaching role with our Academy goalkeepers.
“What a player Cyril was – a brilliant attacking left-back and, along with Joe Kinnear, one of the first attacking full-backs around. I can remember playing against Torino in 1971 and their wingers spent all their time chasing our full-backs! I’d never seen it before so when you look at all those years in terms of attacking full-backs, that’s how far back we go.”
Tragically, Cyril died of cancer in 1991 at the age of 47. After joining us from Middlesbrough, he made a staggering 506 appearances in our colours and scored 17 goals, none more important than his two strikes in our 4-2 home win over reigning champions and European Cup finalists Leeds United in 1975 that spared us from being relegated to the Second Division. He also won four caps for England.
“He was a good laugh, a smashing lad. He really was the heart and soul of the party,” said Pat. “I can remember the ‘Nice one Cyril’ song being really popular at the time when it was released for the 1973 League Cup Final.
“Now Sonny has it, it’s a nice one to be going into battle with!”