Tottenham Win 1st Division Title on 17th April, 1961-Champions


Tottenham completed the first leg of the ‘Double’ by winning the 1st Division title for the second time in their history. They defeated Sheffield Wednesday at White Hart Lane on this day, 17th April, 1961.

Tottenham Hotspur – CHAMPIONS

On This Day

17th April, 1961

Tottenham v Sheffield Wednesday programme [Photo: Logan Holmes]

A Monday evening game at White Hart Lane against their closest rivals for the title, was the setting for this game. Wednesday had been the first team to beat Tottenham earlier in the season, winning 2 – 1 at Hillsborough, but Spurs had marched on and were now nearing the final glory.

Tottenham Hotspur 2  Sheffield Wednesday 1

Scorers: Smith, Allen            Megson

With all that was at stake, it was an exciting and tense match. Wednesday went ahead after thirty minutes with a goal by left back Don Megson when a free-kick rebounded to him from spurs’ defensive wall. With three minutes of the half remaining Spurs equalised through Bobby Smith. One minute later they were ahead when Les Allen scored.

A match report in the following morning’s Daily Express by Clive Toye describes those vital moments which brought Tottenham’s two goals.

‘Moments so filled with the magic impulse that makes Spurs THE great team, THE great goal machine, THE great champions as the 120 seconds of sheer, incisive savage soccer which threw back the final challenge from Sheffield Wednesday.

The seconds of success started their brief life three minutes before half-time. Spurs, on their night of nights, were a goal down……..Wednesday were fighting grimly…….in front of 61,000 fans waiting only to hail the champions.

Then Bobby Smith hooked the ball past one England team mate, Peter Swan, swung it viciously past another, Wednesday goalkeeper Peter Springett, and dived a whirling dance of delight into the arms of his own colleagues.

One minute later Maurice Norman leaped to head a free-kick down on to the right foot of Les Allen. And the roof of the net bulged with the goal which took the title to White Hart Lane and turned the crowd’s roar into a crescendo.

The second half was a tough affair but when the final whistle blew, Spurs were Champions for the second time in their history.

Pandemonium broke out around White Hart Lane as the fans rushed onto the pitch. They chanted, “We want Danny!” and refused to leave until until the Captain led the players out to acknowledge their cheers.

Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.

(Ten years earlier, a win over Wednesday at White Hart Lane had brought Spurs first League win – (28th April, 1951)

Bill Nicholson celebrates with the Tottenham team. [Photo: Logan Holmes]

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