Five Excellent Books on Tottenhan Hotspur – Highly Recommened


Spurs supporters are spoiled for choice this Christmas with the quality of books available on their favourite topic – Tottenham Hotspur. There are a number of  recently published books which will provide interesting reading over the holiday period for yourself or as a present to a fellow Spurs supporter.

It can be most annoying to buy a book about Tottenham only to discover that the author has little knowledge or feeling for the club and that the book contains numerous factual errors that has you putting the book down in disgust. Rest assured that this collection of books comes highly recommended and have been written by Tottenham supporting writers with a wealth of experience, skill and knowledge of the club. They know all about the ‘ Tottenham Way’ – they have true feelings for the club and what it means to be a Spurs supporter.

The Biography of Tottenham Hotspur by Julie Welch (Published November, 2012)

The Biography of Tottenham Hotspur delves into the history of the club to uncover what makes it special. Julia Welch has a distinguished career in football journalism and is loved by Tottenham supporters for the film, Those Glory, Glory Days about her passion as a child for the 1960-61 Tottenham ‘Double’ team. How many times have you watched that film? She has written a number of books including The Ghost of White Hart Lane with Rob White.

The book traces the steps of those Tottenham schoolboys who founded the club in 1882, through the early stages of development to the club that is today famous around the world. It contains many stories from across the decades and includes the memories of former players, managers and supporters. While it seeks to explain the `Tottenham Way’, the rivalry with Arsenal it also recalls the highs and the lows of Tottenham Hotspur.

A wonderfully written book that gives you a real sense of Tottenham Hotspur.

The Glory Glory Nights by Martin Cloake and Adam Powley

Martin Cloake and Adam Powley have written a number of books about Tottenham, both individually, including, – The Pocket Book of Spurs (Martin Cloake), When Football Was Football Tottenham Hotspur (Adam Powley) and together – The Boys from White Hart Lane, We Are Tottenham and The Spurs Miscellany.

The Glory, Glory Nights details the success of Tottenham in European competitions through the decades from the European Cup of 1961-62 to the end of season 2011-12. Every game is detailed with many standout memorable occasions including the classic encounters with Benfica in 1962, Totttenham becoming the first British team to win a European trophy in Rotterdam in 1963 plus the later UEFA Cup successes with that unforgettable night at White Hart Lane when Spurs beat Anderlecht on penalties in Keith Burkinshaw’s last match as manager. The recent European adventures are recalled with Tottenham’s amazing first experience of the Champions League.

The Glory Glory Nights is a brilliant book with amazing photographs, old programmes, reports and interviews with some of the Spurs players, past and present, as they recall the games against foreign opposition all across Europe. White Hart Lane under lights for a European game is a very special place and The Glory Glory Nights catches perfectly that unique atmosphere.

Other Books Published Earlier

The Ghost of White Hart Lane John White by Rob White and Julie Welch (Published in February, 2011.  Paperback in June, 2012)

The Ghost of White Hart Lane tells the story of John White one of the heroes of Tottenham’s successful team in the early 1960s. The book is a fitting tribute to the late, great John White who died at the age of 27 in such tragic circumstances when playing golf in July, 1964. Written by Rob White, John’s son, and Julie Welch the acclaimed journalist and author, the book details John’s early life, his major role in the Tottenham success story of the 1960s and Rob’s struggle to learn more about the father who was killed when he was only a few months old.

There have been many books written about the Tottenham team who won the “Double”, both collectively and as individuals, but none about John White. ‘The Ghost of White Hart Lane’ corrects that anomaly and as it trawls through the match reports of the time it becomes abundantly clear that John White played a very significant part in the success that the team enjoyed from 1960 to 1963.

A superb read and excellently written book. A must for any Tottenham supporter who wants to discover more about John White and the success that Tottenham enjoyed in the early 1960s.

The Search for Alan Gilzean by James Morgan (Published September, 2010 Paperback October, 2011)

The recent return of Alan Gilzean to White Hart Lane revived memories of his days with Tottenham when he spent ten successful years at the club from 1964. It was Gilzean’s first visit to the ground for many years and in the intervening period the player’s whereabouts had become something of  a mystery. It was this and internet rumours of Gilzean having fallen into hard times that prompted James Morgan to write his excellent book, ‘The Search for Alan Gilzean’.

Morgan’s research was extensive as he used his numerous contacts as a journalist to speak to former friends, colleagues and acquaintances of Gilzean in his endeavours to discover the truth. Everyone whom he spoke to regarded Gillie highly – in awe at his talent as a player and of his generosity as a person. His former colleagues recounted many stories of his playing days both north and south of the border and regretted having lost touch with him. The return of Gilzean to Tottenham for the West Ham match, as Morgan writes in his blog, ‘marks the end of a series of aims that I had hoped would come to fruition when I set about trying to track him down.’

This is a great book, wonderfully researched and the author did a great job weaving the past detail of Gilzean’s career with his search for the great man. James Morgan’s struggle to keep his emotions as a Spurs’ supporter in control was clearly evident as he met some of his past heroes for the first time. He achieved this and his journalistic endeavours were rewarded in an outstanding book.

Vertigo by John Crace (Published September, 2011)

Vertigo superbly catalogues the trials and tribulations of being a Tottenham supporter. A personal journey for the writer can become one for the reader too. Vertigo is written around the 2010-11 season – what a fantastic year to be following Spurs on a European tour to such footballing hotbeds as Milan and Madrid in their first Champions League season.

I read this book a year ago while in hospital and I smiled and laughed inwardly as I turned each page only to identify yet another trait I so often display before, during and after a Tottenham match. An early goal is met with the thought, ‘We’ve scored too early, can we hold on for 87 minutes?’ while the nail-biting final minutes of every match are endured with the fear that even with a comfortable advantage, Spurs are still capable of throwing it all away to ‘snatch defeat from the jaws of victory’.

A book about Tottenham which addresses the issues faced by supporters of every club whatever the sport. As one reviewer on Amazon wrote, “Great book. I re-lived the whole season. It’s exactly how most Spurs fans I talk to feel about our team.”

All of these books take you away from the mundane trivia of a player’s biography which are so often the staple diet for the football supporter. Each book is superbly written by talented and experienced writers who love Spurs just like every other Tottenham fan.