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Xtra - Captains' week

13 November 2013|Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of Danny Blanchflower’s final game for Spurs – against Manchester United at Old Trafford on November 9, 1963.

Meanwhile, when Michael Dawson led the team out against Newcastle on Sunday, it represented his 299th appearance for the club and he’s set to become the 42nd player to reach the 300-game milestone in the club’s history when he next pulls on the famous white shirt.

In a special feature this week, we look at five of our great captains of the past 50 years – next up, the man who received the FA Cup from Princess Diana at Wembley in 1991, Gary Mabbutt.


GARY MABBUTT 1982-1998

The story goes that Bill Nicholson scouted Gary Mabbutt and advised Keith Burkinshaw to sign the versatile, dogged defender from Bristol Rovers. As you might expect, Bill's advice was spot on - 16 years later, 'Mabbsy' had clocked up over 600 appearances for the club, and remains third in our all-time list behind Steve Perryman and Pat Jennings.

An inspirational captain who overcame serious injury and the affects of diabetes to win the UEFA Cup in 1984 and then lead the team to FA Cup glory in 1991, Gary was also capped 16 times by England.

Interviewed for our '50 Greatest Players' DVD in 2009, Gary explained what it was like to captain Spurs...

"I signed a new contract in 1987, just after that a number of players left the club and one of them was Richard Gough, who was the club captain at that time. I was made captain just after the start of that season.

"It was a great honour to be following the likes of Stevie Perryman, Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower going back over the years, the legends of Tottenham Hotspur. I was being given that role and it was a role I was to keep for the next 11 years. I think it was a great honour to be given it and at the end of my career when I looked back, one of the biggest privileges that I had was being captain of the club for that period of time."

Also interviewed for that DVD, Clive Allen gaves his thoughts on his team-mate and skipper.

"Mabbsy was first and foremost an incredible athlete. He was dedicated to his profession and a real gentleman in terms of the way he played the game, the way he was a person on and off the field. He was a fierce competitor but he always played in the right way.

"He had a lot of quality a lot of style and I think to play for Tottenham Hotspur FC for as many years as he did, you don’t do that unless you are a very special person and Mabbsy was certainly that, a great captain. I think everybody that played with him, played for him, respected him by the way he approached the game and the way he played the game. He was a fantastic ambassador for the football club."

Tomorrow: Ledley King.