Tottenham On This Day: John White Memorial Match


In Memory of John White

John White Memorial Match

11th November, 1964

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Scotland XI 6

Scorers: White, T., Marchi  Wilson, Gilzean (2), Wallace, Martin (2)

This game gave Spurs’ fans the opportunity to pay their respects to a ‘Legend of White Hart Lane’, the late John White, the Scottish International who had so tragically died when struck by lightning while playing golf during the summer.

He played his final game for Tottenham the previous April. The last match of the season at Leicester City, John scored the only goal of the game.

John’s brother, Tommy who played professionally both in Scotland and England appeared as a guest player for Spurs, scoring one of the goals with the other coming from Tony Marchi.

Over 29,000 spectators attended the game which had been postponed from the previous night because of fog. Two of the Scotland XI’s goals were scored by Alan Gilzean who was to sign for Spurs from Dundee a few weeks later.

John White had been a very important member of the ‘Double’ team and his death at the age of twenty seven was a tragic loss. The programme for the game contained many tributes to the player from respected managers, players and journalists.

The Evening Standard had a special feature for the match which contained tributes from the Tottenham manager, Bill Nicholson,  and goalkeeper Bill Brown.

Bill Nicholson said,

"John White’s death was not only  a great loss to the club but a great personal loss to me. He was a great personalty as well as being a superb footballer."

Bill Brown, the Scottish international goalkeeper who enjoyed great success with John white for Spurs and Scotland said,

"He was a terrific bloke – the sort whose company I enjoyed. And on the field he was one of the greatest inside-forwards I have ever player with."

[Photo: Logan Holmes]Match Report:

Team: Brown, W.; Baker, Henry; Mullery, Brown, L., Marchi; Robertson, Greaves, White, T., Jones, Dyson

Spurs went ahead when John’s brother Tommy who played for Hearts scored after 10 minutes. Scotland equalised two minutes later with a goal by Davy Wilson of Rangers. Alan Gilzean scored the first of his two goals in the 65th minute only for Tony Marchi to bring Spurs level ten minutes later.

Scotland swept to victory with four goals in 7 minutes from the 77th minute. Neil Martin of Hibs scored two, Willie Wallace from Hearts scored with Gilzean completed the scoring.

Related articles:

John White – Tottenham Legend: Read more

The Ghost of White Hart Lane John White by Rob White: Read more

2013 John White Memorial Match

Last May the Spurs Legends team played a match in memory of John White against FC ScotSpurs, a dedicated team of Scottish fans of Tottenham which included John’s son, Rob.