Barcelona’s Night Of Shame At Tottenham on 7th April 1982


Barcelona are a club who receive regular plaudits  for their free-flowing football. The Spanish Cup winners made headlines after their match against Tottenham in the European Cup Winners’ Cup on 7th April, 1982 but on that occasion it was for the wrong reasons.

On This Day

7th April, 1982

Tottenham Hotspur 1  Barcelona 1

Scorers: Roberts                   Olmo

Team: Clemence; Perryman, Miller (Jones), Price, Hughton; Hazard, Roberts, Villa, Hoddle, Galvin; Crooks

Tottenham v Barcelona 1982 ECWC s/f [Photo:]As 1980-81 FA Cup winners  Tottenham had progressed to the semi-finals of the 1981-82 European Cup Winners’ Cup. They had been drawn against Barcelona with the 1st leg to be played at White Hart Lane. It was Spurs second semi-final in four days, having disposed of Leicester City the previous weekend to reach their second successive FA Cup Final.

The FA Cup winners against the Cup winners of Spain. A football extravaganza was expected as Barcelona arrived at White hart Lane with a fully deserved reputation as a good footballing side. However, they left London being called ‘animals’.

Barcelona came determined to stop Spurs at all costs. They took out the man at every opportunity and it wasn’t until early in the second half that the Dutch referee finally took action and sent off one of the Spaniards.

With the visitors down to ten men, Spurs went looking for a goal – but were knocked back when Barcelona scored. A shot from 40 yards slipped through Ray Clemence’s fingers and into the net. Spurs still pressed forward to equalise and with five minutes left Graham Roberts met a free kick from Glenn Hoddle to score from close range.

Barcelona were oblivious to the jeers and chants aimed in their direction, so pleased were they to achieve a draw and get an away goal.

A night of European football at White Hart Lane that is remembered for the wrong reasons.

The following morning’s newspaper ran the headline:


The Glory Glory Nights by Martin Cloake and Adan Powley

The excellent book written by Martin Cloake and Adam Powley on Tottenham’s European exploits, The Glory Glory Nights’ describes the events at White Hart Lane that night:

‘….The match began testily and got worse as a series of Barcelons fouls, sly transgressions and blatant assaults went unpunished. When referee Egbert Mulder finally dismissed Juan Estella in the 57th minute, all hell threatened to break loose; at one point a policeman had to intervene to stop Martinez Manolo from attacking an increasingly incensed Graham Roberts.’

They record manager, Keith Burkinshaw’s comment to the Sun journalist, Brian Woolnough,

"“If we play in Spain like Barcelona did here, there will be a revolution.”"

Alan Hill’s earlier blog on season 1981-82 recalls that match.

Over To You!

What are your memories of that night of European shame for Barcelona at White Hart Lane?

#knowyourtottenhamhistory  6th April, 1968  Spurs Scored 5 Goals in 20 Minutes against Southampton