Stricken Maurice Norman 'a proper gentleman' at the Lane
12 April 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
A defensive rock of our all-conquering team of the early 1960s, Maurice Norman also had a caring side in those days – as revealed in another brilliant response to our recent appeal for fans’ memories from down the years at White Hart Lane.
Renowned for his power on the pitch, Maurice was an integral part of our Double-winning side in 1961 and helped us retain the FA Cup the following year, in addition to lifting the 1963 European Cup Winners' Cup.
Sadly, the former Norwich City man suffered a badly broken leg in our friendly against a Hungarian Select XI in November, 1965, which ultimately brought his playing career to an end.
In the months that followed his injury, Maurice could still be seen in attendance on matchdays and, as young fan Gary Selby (pictured, above, with his dad Malcolm in the early 1960s) found out at the time, he had a somewhat difficult time nursing his leg.
Above: Maurice Norman with Bobby Smith and Danny Blanchflower in the White Hart Lane changing room in 1958.
“In the 1960s, youngsters were lifted over the heads of others to sit on the perimeter of the pitch, giving them a great view of the games,” recalled Gary, who these days lives in Wanstead.
“One day around Christmas in 1965, I found myself sat next to Maurice Norman on those low-slung benches for a match. During the game, the ball came towards me – the ultimate thrill at that time for a six- or seven-year-old boy – and in my eagerness to get my hands on it, I knocked, accidentally, onto his plaster cast-covered leg. He yelped in pain and uttered a very minor expletive.
“Anyway, I got the ball, handed it to the player on the pitch and sat back down. Maurice turned to me and apologised for his little outburst. ‘That’s okay,’ I said, ‘I’m really sorry that I hurt you.’ He smiled and patted me on the head.
“I’ve never forgotten that and often think of that moment whenever I’m at the Lane. A proper gentleman and a great Spurs player.”
Above: Gary with his son, Malcolm, who enjoys playing in goal.
Gary's story is just one of hundreds we've received from our fantastic fan base following our request for your memories of White Hart Lane. Tell us about what it is that sticks out in your mind – whether it’s a tale of your first ever visit or a match, goal or moment that holds special significance for you, we’d love to hear from you.
We’ll select our favourites to appear on our Club channels as we celebrate and honour our historic home, now and in the future.