I began supporting Spurs in 1961.
We’d just done the Double. It’s the players who I remember from my first decade as a young Spurs fan – Greaves above all, but Mackay, Jennings, England, Gilzean, Jones and the rest – whose names still roll off my tongue as if it were yesterday.
But the man who actually made it all happen was Bill Nicholson, our manager from 1958-1974. Without doubt one of the greats of his era, Bill was ‘old school’ in his attitude to long hair and player contracts. But he was positively ‘new wave’ in his commitment to flair and flourish. Danny Blanchflower’s famous comment about the game being about Glory was simply a verbal expression of Bill Nick’s footballing philosophy.
He died on October 23, 2004. But the spirit of Bill and his 60s-early 70s teams lived on. His ashes (and his wife Darkie’s) were buried under the old White Hart Lane pitch, before being transferred into safe keeping as demolition began.
Now, with a touch of class, the Club has re-interred their caskets at a secret location where the new pitch will overlap the old. So, Bill’s underlying ethos of style and swagger will live on into our new stadium. Other teams may come to ‘park the bus’ or play ‘Pulis-ball’. But Spurs will try and beat the other lot with football rather than let us all die of boredom.
Bill’s daughter Jean Nicholson is delighted that her father has “returned home,” and that her parents remain together. According to the official Spurs website, Jean said:
“My sister Linda and I are so grateful for the respect and affection that everyone at the club continues to show towards our father. There is no more fitting memorial than for him to rest below the new pitch, and having Mum by his side makes it even more special.
“Dad’s dream was always for his beloved Spurs to be the best in the world and it is clear that this new stadium project is a giant step towards that aspiration. We are proud that Dad played a major role in developing the club’s history and that his contribution is being remembered in this way.
“We’re sure Dad would have enjoyed watching the current team play, in the way that he always advocated. The fact that the Spurs are taking him with them into the future means so much to us all.”