Sunday, January 01, 2012

It's Spurs: 1st January, 1986 - Roberts Takes Out Nicholas

Graham Roberts has a 'legendary' reputation as the 'hardman' of the Tottenham team of the 1980s.  It was enhanced twenty six years ago today as Spurs and Arsenal met at Highbury.

1st January, 1986
Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Graham Roberts - Tottenham's hardman of the 1980s

The main talking point during and after this scoreless draw at Highbury on New Year's Day 1986 was Graham Roberts' challenge on Charlie Nicholas which deposited the Arsenal player in the crowd.

The match was the first goal-less draw between the two clubs at Highbury in 77 years of competitive action.  That, however, was to given little thought or discussion when there were was something of greater interest to chew over.

'The Times' reported the incident as follows:

'Despite spurts of genius from Ardiles, Hoddle and Nicholas, it was regrettably true that the game would be best remembered for one horrendous tackle by Roberts on Nicholas which carried both players off the field, through an advertising hoarding and into the laps of th eringside spectators.

Roberts' 'tackle' had all the finesse of  acharging rhino but thoiugh hopeless ill-times - as so many of his challenges this season have been - I do not believe it was malicious.  For a moment it threatened to spark a riot as Arsenal players reacted furiously to the referee's decision merely to warn Roberts.  Peter Shreeve, the Tottenham manager, commented: "Roberts was totally committed.  Charlie never complained.  And he's an honest lad.  Situations in front of the main stand always do tend to flare up."

Fortunately tempers cooled before any real damage could be done, the hoarding apart.  The least affected seemed Roberts who ten minutes later went in a trifle roughly on Davis as if to prove his mental well-being and was booked by the referee with a keenness that suggested he had had self-recriminations about his earlier decision to absolve Roberts.' 

On such events are reputations built and for that act alone, Graham Roberts will be forever remembered by Tottenham supporters, never mind his goals and all-action performances which helped to bring silverware to White Hart Lane during his time with the club.

1st January, 1985 
 Spurs Take Highbury: Read more


No comments:

Post a Comment