Tottenham At White Hart Lane In 1960s: Saturday Fever (Video)


What was it like at White Hart Lane in the early 1960s? An early football video/documentary from 1960 provides us with an idea of football at that time with its focus on Tottenham and a match against Manchester City.

Cliff Jones’ goal is disallowed – referee had blown for half-time [Photo: Logan Holmes]The colour footage is of the match at the end of the 1959-60 season against Manchester City. The commentary to the video shows the referee and linesmen inspecting the pitch before the game with a remark that turns out to be very accurate.

"The referee inspects the pitch. Inevitably, I suppose, he’s bound to upset somebody before the day’s out."

Cliff Jones knocks in the rebound from a saved penalty but his goal is disallowed. [Photo: Logan Holmes]There was only one goal in the game and it was scored late on by City. As was suggested one set of fans would be annoyed by the referee and it was the Spurs’ supporters who were upset by a major decision taken right on half-time. Spurs were awarded a penalty but Cliff Jones’ spot kick was saved by the City goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann, and although Jones knocked in the rebound, the referee disallowed the goal as he had blown his whistle for half-time.

Saturday Fever

The video is part of a series called Look at Life produced by The Rank Organisation and is entitled Saturday Fever. The focus is on the interest in football with thousands upon thousands of people flocking to matches up and down the country.

The video illustrates how much football has changed since those days. See the players at home in their modest houses and cars, the training and tactics of the day. Look at the White Hart Lane pitch – it is so worn at the end of the season that there is only a narrow strip of grass on the far side of the ground in front of the East Stand, the rest is brown with no grass anywhere.

The modern White Hart Lane all-seater stadium with its executive boxes holds a little over 36,000 fans for most matches now-a-days but that match attracted a crowd of 49,767. The highest attendance that season had been for the FA Cup replay against Crewe Alexandra which Spurs won 13 – 2 in front of a crowd of 64,365.

This is an interesting insight into football and Tottenham at the start of the 1960s just as Bill Nicholson was putting the final touches to the team which would lift the ‘Double’ the following season.