Bill Nicholson [Photo: Logan Holmes]

23rd October 2004 – The Passing Of Tottenham Legend Bill Nicholson


 

On the Saturday morning, 23rd October, 2004 prior to the home game against Bolton Wanderers, the death of the former Tottenham player, manager and President, Bill Nicholson, was announced. It was a sombre White Hart Lane that watched a dull game which Spurs lost 1-2. The goal being scored by Robbie Keane. The result was an inappropriate way for Nicholson’s death to be marked. A manager who had enjoyed so much success and given so much to the club throughout his life deserved so much better.

Fitting tributes were paid to the former manager who had dedicated his life to his beloved Spurs and many floral tributes were left by fans as a sign of their great respect for the former manager.

To refer to Bill Nicholson as a Tottenham ‘Legend’ is inadequate for a man who came to Tottenham as a player in 1936 and made his debut in October, 1938. Missing a large part of his career through being in the services during the Second World War, he returned to playing regularly for Spurs in March, 1946. He was an integral member of Arthur Rowe’s ‘Push and Run’ team which won promotion as 2nd Division in May, 1950 and twelve months later lifted the 1st Division title for the first time. He retired in 1955 to become a coach at the club having made 395 appearances for Spurs. He was appointed manager in October, 1958.

Ten years after winning the title as a player, as Tottenham manager he was leading the club to the first ‘Double’ of the 20th century. The following year they retained the FA Cup and became the first British club to win a European trophy with a 5 – 1 win over Atletico Madrid. Another FA Cup triumph in 1967 with two League Cup successes in the early 1970s plus a UEFA Cup triumph. He resigned in 1974 after a poor start to the season, disillusioned with the changing face of football.

He left the club but returned when Keith Burkinshaw was appointed and remained as a consultant and then President.

‘Legend’ is used widely now-a-days but Bill Nicholson is an example of the true definition of the word. Loyal to the club, he served throughout his life and he will always be remembered for the great success and glory he brought to the club.

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  • spurs62

    I was at Heathrow airport that morning, and saw some old footage of Spurs and Bill on the TV news, and soon realised why. Talk about Mr Spurs. Not just from 1958 to 1974, but before and after too.
    Enjoyed his first testimonial in 1983, particularly the legends game that preceded the main match.
    Look at the teams:
    Yellows – Jennings, Kinnear, Knowles, Bond, England, Holder, Neighbour, Dyson, Chivers, Peters, Clayton.
    Blues – Parks, Naylor, Henry, Robertson, Lacy, Collins, Pratt, Greaves, Gilzean, Brooks, Jones.
    Saw Jimmy Robertson walking up to the stadium carrying his boots.
    Bill looked so happy in amongst those old players.