Friday, April 07, 2006

Spurs Legend - Graham Roberts

Graham Roberts, a true Spurs Legend

Graham Roberts talking about the Spurs supporters:

'They will always be in my heart and my memories; they are a special bunch of supporters. The way I look at it though is that Tottenham gave me a chance and I hope I repaid the supporters for getting that chance. I played with my heart, I loved playing for Tottenham and I never, ever wanted to leave. I went to Glasgow Rangers and I don't regret that but I just want to make Spurs fans aware of the fact I wanted to stay with Tottenham for my whole career because it is a fantastic club.'
from Spurs Monthly

Graham Roberts joined Spurs from non-League, Weymouth. He was signed by Keith Burkinshaw, having been spotted by former Spurs manager, Bill Nicholson.

Roberts played in central defence or midfield and in whatever he position he played, he always gave total commitment. This made him a great favourite of the fans in the early 1980s. Roberts even took over in goal in an FA Cup tie when Ray Clemence was injured. The game ended scoreless and Roberts played his part in achieving that score line.

Graham Roberts wasn't just a hardman - he had skill aplenty and played alongside, Villa, Hoddle and Ardiles inmidfield. Paul Miller and Roberts were a strong central defensive partnership in the 1991 Cup Final win against Manchester City but by 1992, Graham had moved into central midfield. He played for England and scored many important goals for Tottenham including a hat-trick against his home town club, Southampton.

None of his goals was more important than the goal in the 2nd Leg of the Final of the UEFA Cup. Anderlecht had taken the lead late in the game but Roberts burst through a packed defence to equalise and take the game into extra time. With no further goals, the game went to penalties. 

Roberts, captain on the night for the suspended Steve Perryman, again led by example. He stepped up to score the first penalty and with Tony Parks saving two of the visitors penalty kicks, Spurs won the trophy for Keith Burkinshaw who was in charge of Spurs for the last time.

The appointment of David Pleat saw the end of Graham Roberts at Tottenham. He was sold to Rangers and Pleat made some unnecessary comments on Roberts departure. Roberts had served Spurs loyally and many were sorry to see him go.


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