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The Bill Nicholson years - scout, President, legend - 1974-2004

Sun 26 October 2014, 08:10|Tottenham Hotspur

The Bill Nicholson Anniversary Match against Newcastle is upon us and here is the final part of our four-part series detailing Bill's 68-year association with Spurs.

We've looked at his playing days, the transition from player to manager and the glory, glory years and now the final chapter, his retirement and swift return as part of Keith Burkinshaw's management team in 1976.


On August 29, 1974, after 16 years as manager and eight major trophies, Bill announced his retirement. He remained in charge until September 13.

Following a spell on the scouting staff at West Ham United he returned to serve us as a consultant and chief scout in July, 1976.

His connection with our scouting department continued until his retirement in July, 1997. During July, 1991 he was appointed Club President.

Bill also served the South East Counties League, the organisation which our youth teams participated in. Elected a Life Member in 1986, he acted as Vice Chairman from 1989 until 1994.

Amongst his personal honours, Bill received an O.B.E. in 1975, the PFA merit award in 1984 and in September, 1970 was voted Bell’s scotch whisky manager of the month.

On Sunday, August 21, 1983 we staged a testimonial match in his honour against West Ham. Alan Brazil equalised Dave Swindlehurst’s opener in a 1-1 draw, before a crowd numbering 20,101.

Our line-up was: Clemence, Hughton (Mabbutt), Thomas, Roberts, Stevens, Perryman, Ardiles (Hazard), Brazil, Galvin (Archibald), Hoddle (Price), Falco.

Macmillan published his autobiography ‘Glory, Glory, My Life With Spurs’ in 1984.

In December, 1998 he received the Freedom of the Borough from Haringey Council and the road leading to the Club from Tottenham High Road was renamed ‘Bill Nicholson Way’. The official unveiling of the newly named road took place in April, 1999 and is now incorporated into the club address.

A near sell out crowd numbering 35,877 delayed the kick-off for 10 minutes when we staged a second testimonial for Bill against AC Fiorentina on Wednesday, August 8, 2001. An emotion-charged evening saw Les Ferdinand, Gustavo Poyet and Steffen Iversen score our goals in a 3-0 victory.

Our team was: Sullivan, Taricco (Piercy 88), King, Freund (Davies 61), Doherty (Perry 69), Bunjevcevic, Clemence, Ziege, Ferdinand (Iversen 46), Poyet, Rebrov (Etherington 84).Subs (not used): Kelly, Thelwell.

Bill became the first inductee into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame at a dinner held on March 11, 2004. The event was attended by 10 members of our Double winning squad. He was similarly honoured a couple of months later by The National Football Museum based at Preston.

He sadly passed away on October 23, 2004.

"It's been my life, Tottenham Hotspur," he said. "And I love the Club."