I wish I had the chance to say goodbye - Alfie
23 April 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Alfie Conn had one regret on his mind as he returned to White Hart Lane for the first time in 37 years on Saturday.
Famously Bill Nicholson’s last signing when he was snapped up from Glasgow Rangers in July, 1974, Alfie quickly attained cult status with his performances to help us stave off relegation in the second half of the 1974-75 season.
He eventually departed for Celtic in March, 1977, with his final appearance in a reserve match against Hereford.
Now he was back again, taking a moment to reminisce about the six goals he scored in 16 appearances in the old First Division between a hat-trick on his full debut against Newcastle on January 11, 1975 and the match every Spurs fan of a certain age will remember, against reigning champions and European Cup finalists Leeds United in April 28, 1975.
Alfie scored - and famously sat on the ball - as a crowd of 49,886 witnessed a 4-2 win and two points that guaranteed safety.
“I’m just trying to compare the stadium now to what it was back in the 1970s,” said Alfie, who met up with former team-mates Pat Jennings, Phil Beal and Martin Chivers ahead of the game against Fulham.
“This is a fabulous stadium now, but I also loved it how it was. The Shelf side packed out, the fans so close, the atmosphere was incredible.
“It was unfortunate the big games at that time were all about us avoiding relegation, but the crowd always turned up. They helped drag us out of trouble.
“The one thing I regret is not having the chance to say goodbye to everyone at Spurs.
“One minute I was here, next minute I was gone. I played a reserve match here, I got taken off and the coach said ‘there’s someone who wants to see you in the office’ and it was Jock Stein, the Celtic manager.
“I was off the next day. I never got a chance to say goodbye to the players and I got on so well with the Spurs supporters. I would have loved the chance to say thanks and goodbye.”
Look out for more from Alfie here on tottenhamhotspur.com…
Below - Alfie back at the Lane ahead of Saturday's Premier League fixture against Fulham