Clive Thomas and “the most controversial decision that any referee has ever made.”
Back in 1981, Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers played an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough. It was a game that I happened to be present at – my wife’s family all being dedicated Wolves fans. Late on in the game, Spurs looked to be on the way to Wembley, having been given the lead for a second time with a goal from Glenn Hoddle. Wolves had huffed and puffed, but this time, the house didn’t look like it was going to be blown down. Then, with time ticking away, Kenny Hibbitt ran into the Spurs penalty to be challenged by Hoddle. The midfielder fell to the floor and the referee, to the astonishment of Spurs players and fans, and the surprised delight of those clad in old gold and black, pointed to the spot. You know that phrase? “Never in a million years…” Yeah, it was one of them. Willie Carr stepped up to score and the game went to a reply, which Spurs won 3-0. Continue reading →
Ray Parlour – The Romford Pelé
Anyone knowingly comparing himself to the legendary Brazilian may initially be perceived as being somewhat ambitious in his self-appraisal. Despite the title of this article being borrowed from the player’s autobiography however, such an assessment of Ray Parlour would be wide of the mark. Not adverse to a slice of self-deprecation, Parlour certainly doesn’t rate his abilities as a footballer as comparable to Pelé. It’s a nom de guerre spoken with tongue firmly in cheek, allegedly gifted to him by Dutch former tam-mate Marc Overmars. Continue reading →
Rafael van der Vaart – When Dutch magic lived at White Hart Lane
Interviewed by ‘FourFourTwo’ in May 2019, Rafael van der Vaart remarked that, “I shouldn’t have left Tottenham, but AVB wasn’t the right coach for me.” Despite the recent success and progress now being enjoyed under Mauricio Pochettino, it’s a sentiment that so many Spurs fans would sympathise with, as when van der Vaart was at Spurs, Dutch magic lived at White Hart Lane.A Maverick player is often idolised by fans and that was certainly the case with van der Vaart at Tottenham. Continue reading →
The exquisite life and mysterious death of Matthias Sindelar – Austria’s ‘Papery Man’.
On 23 January 1939, Gustav Hartman knocked on the door of his friend’s flat in Vienna. By almost any definition, at the time, Vienna was a city under occupation. Hitler’s Wehrmacht had swept across the border in March of the previous year in what was portrayed as the Anschluss. Previously independent Austria was swallowed up and redefined as merely part of the greater Germany. The situation in Vienna was anything but normal therefore, and for Hartman standing outside the flat, waiting for someone to respond to his insistent demands for attention, things were about to become even more sinister. Continue reading →