Tottenham Hotspur – the Norwich City Connections


Ledley King – last home game against Norwich

Amid all the frantic transfer speculation, negotiations and activity this week, the fact that Tottenham and Norwich City meet at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Saturday tends to be overlooked. It is a vital game for both clubs as they look for their first win of the season. Both teams started with a defeat on the opening day of the season and followed it with a draw last weekend. There are numerous connections between the two clubs over the years and most surprisingly this fixture can be regarded as a local derby for Norwich as Tottenham are their closest rivals among all the teams currently in the Premier League.

1. Manager

Chris Hughton and Martin Jol at Tottenham

Norwich City’s recently appointed manager is Tottenham’s very own, Chris Hughton. He took over as manager in the summer after a season with Birmingham City having been unfortunate to be sacked from Newcastle United eighteen months ago. Hughton made 297 League appearances for Tottenham and was a member of Keith Burkinshaw’s successful team in the early 1980s. He left in 1990 to join West Ham but returned three years later and held a number of coaching positions under ten different managers, rising to Assistant Manager but was sacked along with Martin Jol in October, 2007. He took on the role of Caretaker Manager on two occasions as Spurs tried to fill the vacancy at White Hart Lane. Every Spurs supporter will wish him well at Carrow Road, after Saturday’s match.

2. Sebastien Bassong

One of Hughton’s summer signings was to take Sebastien Bassong to Carrow Road from White Hart Lane last week. Following Norwich’s five goal defeat at Fulham on the first day of the season, Hughton moved to sign Bassong with whom he had worked during his time at Newcastle. Bassong helped Norwich to a point last Saturday against Queen’s Park Rangers and like Hughton we will wish him every success at Carrow Road, after this coming weekend’s fixture.

3. 1973 League Cup Final

Tottenham and Norwich contested the League Cup Final at Wembley in 1973. Ralph Coates scored the goal which took the League Cup to White Hart Lane for the second time in three seasons. He had been substitute on the day but an injury after twenty five minutes to the unlucky John Pratt gave Coates his chance. Norwich defended stoutly throughout the game but the breakthrough came after 72 minutes. Spurs then became more dominant in a game that was memorable only to Coates and Spurs fans.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles; Pratt (Coates), England, Beal; Gilzean, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Pearce.

4. Maurice Norman

Maurice Norman is one of only three players who has been transferred from Norwich City to Tottenham Hotspur. He had played only 35 League games as a centre half for Norwich when he signed for Spurs in November, 1955 to replace Alf Ramsey at right-back. He immediately settled into his new position which he held for most of the next two seasons. In late October, 1957 he reverted to centre half – his position through the greatest years in Tottenham’s history. At the start of season 1965-66 he returned to right back and was an ever present in the team until cruelly struck down by injury sustained in a friendly that November.  So serious was his broken leg that he never played again and retired in 1967.

5. Next Stop Carrow Road

In the 1980s there were a number of young Tottenham players who came through the youth system at White Hart Lane but with limited opportunities at Spurs moved to Norwich City where they carved out very successful careers, frequently returning to haunt Tottenham. Ian Culverhouse (over 360 appearances for Norwich), Ian Crook (418) , Mark Bowen (over 300) and John Polston (over 260) all had lengthy careers with Norwich having made a combined total of just over 60 appearances during their time at White Hart Lane.

Other players who have been transferred from Tottenham to Norwich include Laurie Brown in the 1960s, Martin Peters in the 70s and Gary Doherty in 2004.

6. Ledley King

Last season’s match at White Hart Lane between Spurs and Norwich marked the final home appearance of Ledley King for Tottenham. Norwich won 2 – 1 and were thoroughly deserving of the three points.

7. Giant Killers

In February, 1959 Norwich who were in the old 3rd Division surprised Tottenham in the FA Cup 5th Round tie. They had already defeated Manchester United and Cardiff City and the first match at White Hart Lane ended in a 1 – 1 draw when Cliff Jones snatched a last minute equaliser after Terry Allcock had put Norwich ahead in the second half. Norwich won the replay with a single goal scored by centre forward Terry Bly in the second half. Cliff Jones talking about the Carrow Road crowd that night said,

"“I have played on grounds all over the world but I have never seen a crowd quite like the one they had at Carrow Road. They lifted Norwich and they crushed us. It was almost as though they had taken over the game.”"

This was no understrength Tottenham side – it included – Peter Baker, Danny Blanchflower, Maurice Norman, Terry Medwin, Bobby Smith and Cliff Jones who would all play a significant role in Tottenham’s success at the beginning of the 1960s.

Watch highlights of the two matches on HotspurHQ blog – the Hub: 5th Round at White Hart Lane

Replay at Carrow Road

8. Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker loved to play against Norwich City for Tottenham. In his three season with the club he scored nine League and Cup goals in six appearances, including a hat-trick in February, 1990. Lineker failed to score in his first 6 league and Cup games for Spurs but scored his first goal in a 2 – 2 draw at Norwich. The only match that Norwich won against Spurs over that period was a game in which Lineker didn’t play in April, 1991.