Saturday, December 31, 2011

They Played for Spurs and Swansea

The history of Tottenham Hotspur is littered with Welshmen who have played for the club and have brought glory to the club both as individuals and with trophy winning teams.  Gareth Bale is currently the name on everyone's mind but before him there was Mike England, Ron Burgess, Cliff Jones and Terry Medwin.  Some of those players played for both Spurs and Swansea with the Welsh club providing Spurs with two members of the 'Double' winning squad.

As Gareth Bale returns to Wales, Spurs can be extremely grateful for the Welsh born players who represented the club in earlier years and for a time after the Second World War there was a succession of players who came from Wales to play football at White Hart Lane.

Terry Medwin signed from Swansea Town in April, 1956 for £25,000.  He played mostly for Spurs on the right wing but had filled all of the forward positions for Swansea.  He had already made three international appearances for Wales prior to joining Spurs and went on to add another 27 caps for his country.  He was a regular for Spurs for the next four seasons but lost his place to Terry Dyson at the start of the 1960 - 61 season but came into the team at times of injury, making 15 appearances.  He regained his place for the 1962 FA Cup triumph but a serious injury on tour in the summer of 1963 led to his eventual retirement.  He made over 200 appearances for Spurs and scored 72 goals.

Cliff Jones - 'Spurs Legend'
Cliff Jones followed Medwin from Swansea to London in February, 1958 and became a Tottenham 'Legend' in his ten years with the club.  He was a member of the 'Double' winning team and the success that followed in 1962 and 1963.  He was an unused substitute for the 1967 FA Cup Final and was still a member of the team when he was transferred to Fulham in October, 1968.  A quick winger who could create and score goals and was fearless when diving in to score goals with his head against players of much greater height and build.  He made 378 League and Cup appearances, scoring 159 goals.

Ron Burgess captained the 'Push and Run' team of the late 1940s and early 1950s, leading them to promotion in 1950 as 2nd Division Champions and then securing the 1st Division title the following year.  He was one of Spurs greatest players and had arrived from Wales in 1939, an immense half-back he eventually moved to Swansea as player-manager in 1954 and ten years later as manager of Watford sold a young Northern Ireland goalkeeper to Tottenham - Pat Jennings was his name.  He made 301 Football League appearances for the club but like so many players of that era, the total would have been so much greater but for losing six years of his footballing career to the Second World War.

Ernie Jones was another winger to move from Swansea to Spurs. He was an amateur with Swansea before the War but joined Bolton in the early 1940s and turned professional.  He returned to Swansea and played for them in the war-time football and had a year in the Football League with the Welsh club before joining Spurs in June, 1947.  He made his debut a few days later on 7th June, 1947 - the latest date on which Spurs has ever played their final game of a season.  He spent two seasons with the club before joining Southampton in May, 1949 as part of the deal which brought Alf Ramsey to White Hart Lane.

Arthur Willis was a full back in the 'Push and Run' team which won the 1st Division title in 1951.  He had joined Spurs in 1938 as an amateur and made 145 League appearances before moving to Swansea in 1954.  He played for them for four seasons and helped them to the Welsh Cup Final in 1956.  He later joined their coaching staff.

In more recent times, Paul Price who played in the 1982 FA Cup Final spent three seasons with Spurs, having joined from Luton Town in 1981.  Price, a Welsh international central defender, joined Swansea in 1984 and spent two years at the Vetch Field.

Mark Kendall was a reserve goalkeeper with Spurs in the late 1970s, making 36 appearances during his time at White Hart Lane.  He left Spurs in 1980 but later in his career he had two seasons with Swansea, helping then win the Welsh Cup.  He also played for them in European competition but was back-up during his time there.  Sadly, Kendall passed away suddenly in 2008, aged 49.

John Hendry who had five seasons with Spurs joined Swansea on loan for a period in 1994.  He later joined Motherwell.  He scored on his Spurs debut at Norwich and scored twice at Highbury as Spurs beat Arsenal 3 - 1 in the last game of 1992 - 93.  He scored five League goals for Spurs in 17 League appearances.

Paul Miller who was such a vital member of the Spurs central defence in the successful team of the 1980s made 12 appearances for Swansea in 1990.  At Tottenham, he formed a great partnership with Graham Roberts and scored the goal in the first leg of the 1984 UEFA Cup Final against Anderlecht in Belgium.

Mark Gower and Wayne Routledge who are currently with Swansea spent time with Spurs earlier in their careers, while Steven Caulker is on loan at Swansea from Spurs for this season to gain Premier league experience.

Terry Yorath played for both clubs as did Mick Stead, Alan Woods, Derek King, Joe Meek, Percy Hooper, Jack Illingworth, Charlie Handley and Wilie Davies.


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