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Obituary – John Duncan

Sat 08 October 2022, 21:05|Tottenham Hotspur

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former player John Duncan, who died on Saturday at the age of 73.

Born in Dundee in February, 1949, John grew up watching his local side Dundee as a youngster and signed professionally for them on leaving school. Over the course of the next eight years, he scored 109 goals in 188 appearances – including finishing as Scottish football’s top scorer when netting 40 goals in 46 games in 1972/73. He also helped Dundee to League Cup glory over Celtic in 1974 and remains their seventh top scorer of all time.

In October, 1974, he left Scotland for north London when he became Terry Neill’s first signing as our manager and his 12 goals that season effectively kept us in the First Division, as he top scored for us. John repeated that feat in 1975/76 and 1977/78 and his notable average of a goal every other game (62 goals, 120 appearances) while with us is testament to his goalscoring prowess.

After moving to Derby County in September, 1978, he joined Scunthorpe United three years later and quickly moved into management when he became player/manager. His first taste of success as a manager came with Chesterfield, who he led to the Fourth Division championship in 1985 and, after a spell in charge at Ipswich Town, he returned to the Spireites in 1993. Two years later, he guided the club to promotion from Division Three via the play-offs and in 1997, led third-tier Chesterfield all the way to the FA Cup semi-finals, only to lose to Middlesbrough in a replay.

Having become involved with the League Managers Association during his time in club management, John became an employee of the organisation in 2009 and was LMA Technical Manager at the time of his passing.

We should like to extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.