‘61: The Spurs Double’
In 1961 Tottenham Hotspur Football team made history by winning both the League and the Cup. Such was the occasion that the population of North London from Tottenham to Cheshunt followed the open top double decker bus carrying the team on its celebratory journey with the Cup from White Heart Lane football ground to Tottenham Town Hall in High Cross.
Memories of the ‘glory days’ of football were brilliantly brought back some 50 years or so later with two of the great Spurs players, Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson, at “The Spurs Double” book signing event organised by Waterstone’s Books in east London’s Canary Wharf.
“61: The SPURS Double” is an officially endorsed book that commemorates the 50th anniversary of Tottenham Hotspur’s famous League and Cup double - the first ‘double’ achieved in the modern era of football.
The book is both a compilation of stunning photographs and with the full co-operation of the surviving players and Tottenham Hotspur FC, their personal recollections of the series of matches from that time. The book photographically illustrates how much the ‘beautiful game’ has changed, how different the physicality of footballers is and how different the mix of ‘besuited’ fans crowding into the stadiums in the days when football was heroic and footballers fondly adopted as local heroes. They were skilled and tough - the game was not so fast, the pitches less like wall to wall fitted carpet and the footballs were dead heavy from mud and dubbin’d leather. Most games ended with the players’ shin pads discarded and socks rolled down as cramp set in. Penalty shoot outs and golden goals were not the solution to impasse - just another tough play off a week later. First, second and third divisions separated out the ‘professional’ teams. It was also easier to understand ‘the league’ and ‘the cup’ (with no commercial sponsored competitions) and when a win of £75,000 on Littlewoods pools was beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. Footballers didn’t receive the massive earnings we see these days,and although footballer life style was seen as glamourous, playing for your country was the greatest accolade and ambition of all footballers - both professional or amateur.
The collective energy between teams and their fans has for over 150 years sustained a sport that can still claim to be our ‘national sport’. Although many aspects of the game may have been booted away from the fan base into the hands of multi-millionaire club owners, football still inspires the “collective” interest. Football Club co-ops, from glamorous Barcelona to humble Crystal Palace, are blossoming. Fans are formally organising through co-operatives such as “Supporters Direct”.
Back to Spurs - the book commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “Double” is timely - under Harry Redknapp’s management Spurs have just secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League, and the team is looking more like the one in “Nicholson” days....
Whether they will ever repeat the “61 Double” - well let’s see! Certainly the book will inspire players and fans alike.
Football fans - there will be more book signings taking place in a book shop near you and, if you are lucky, you can hear for yourself two players reminiscing about “... that pass ....that shot ...that goal!”
“‘61: The SPURS Double” book can also be ordered through the ‘spurs legends’ website.
Hardcover book (canvas covered navy blue case)
215 pages - £30