Friday, August 13, 2010

50 Years Ago today - Saturday, 13th August,1960

Spurs 'Double' winning team - 1960
It was 50 years ago today that Spurs supporters had the first glimpse of the greatest team in the club's history which was about to embark on a season that would never be forgotten and would set the standards for every other Tottenham Hotspur team, standards which, to date, none have ever reached.
On the second Saturday of August the Public Trial Match was played at White Hart Lane.  In those days there were no pre-season tours or friendly matches played, the final preparation was the annual match between the 'Whites' (1st Team) and the 'Blues' (Reserves) and the public had their first opportunity to see the team ahead of the new season.  There were no new players on view and the first team only showed one change from the team which had finished the previous year - Les Allen replacing Tony Marchi. The matches were always very competitive as players tried to catch the manager's eye with an impressive performance that would ensure their place in the team for the first League game to be played the following Saturday at 3.00pm.
Reporting on the game in the match programme for the Everton game it was noted that the players had completed three weeks training at Cheshunt and 11,677 spectators were present to see a 4-4 draw with all the proceeds donated to charity. 
The match was evenly contested but midway through the second half the 'Whites' had taken a 4-1 lead and looked to be on their way to a comfortable win.  The 'Whites' went ahead from a Cliff Jones penalty half way through the first half and this was followed a few minutes later by a goal from Dave Mackay who having 'joined in a left-wing attack and from almost the bye-line lashed a fierce drive just inside the near post' - one of the highlights of the afternoon.
Early in the second half Terry Dyson scored the third after a shot from Les Allen hit the bar.  Immediately, the 'Blues' pulled a goal back when Terry Medwin scored from Frank Saul's cross with a flying header.  Immediately, Les Allen restored the three goal margin.
The 'Blues' staged a late comeback as Jimmy Collins and Frank Saul scored to reduce the arrears and then Collins added his second in the final minutes following a defensive mix-up.
Bill Nicholson obviously knew his best team as the 'Whites' team was composed of all the players who are most closely associated with the 'Double' team and who were to appear in the final 'Double' clinching match at Wembley the following May.
'Whites': Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith (R), Allen, Dyson.
'Blues': Hollowbread, Hills, Hopkins; Smith (J), Ryden, Marchi; Medwin, Harmer, Saul, Collins, Aitchison.

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