Tottenham On This Day: Happy Birthday Steve Perryman – Hope You’re Well


Steve Perryman lifts the 1982 FA Cup Photo: [Logan Holmes]21st December, 1951

Steve Perryman was born on this day in 1951 – Happy Birthday Steve, I hope you’ve recovered from your recent illness and are keeping well.

Steve Perryman [Photo:]Steve Perryman came into the Tottenham team in September, 1969 as a teenager, aged 17 years, playing in midfield. He made his debut in a home defeat to Sunderland but remained in the team until after an FA Cup defeat at Crystal Palace at the end of January when Bill Nicholson decided to drop a number of senior players, including Jimmy Greaves. He rested Perryman for a few weeks as it had been a busy period for the youngster who was also a member of the youth team which was on its way to winning the FA Youth Cup. Perryman returned to the team later in the season, Greaves didn’t, and became a regular for the remainder of his 17-year career at White Hart Lane.

The young Perryman brought energy, drive, enthusiasm, consistency, a work ethic and skill to the Spurs midfield in 1969. He was made captain at the age of 23 by Terry Neill and played a major part in every success during his time with Tottenham. In the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1972, Perryman scored the two goals of the 1st leg at home to AC Milan as Spurs won 2 – 1 before drawing the second match in Italy.

In the mid-70s when Spurs were relegated Perryman was determined to lead the club to promotion the following season and it was he scored the final goal of the 1977-78 season for a late win against Hull at White Hart Lane which all but secured promotion.

He moved into defence in the late 1970s and captained Keith Burkinshaw’s team to successive FA Cup wins from right back in 1981 and 1982. Perryman was voted Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year in 1982 and that year he won his one and only England cap as a substitute against Iceland. He missed the EUFA Cup win in 1984 because of suspension, but received a medal as Ossie Ardiles insisted he have his.

The End of an Era

On 2nd March, 1986, he made his final League appearance for Tottenham. It was his 654th appearance in Spurs colours as the team lost 1-2 at home to Liverpool.  The team had been having a difficult season and this defeat meant that they had only won once in eight League games, a 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday in their previous match. Chris Waddle scored for Spurs after two minutes but Liverpool won with a last minute goal, denying Spurs a deserved point.

Following a Cup defeat to Everton two days later, he was dropped and joined Oxford United.

Perryman’s Record:

Perryman amassed a record 655 League appearances and 854 in all competitions. He served Spurs loyally from his debut in 1969. In total he made 1023 appearances for Spurs, including friendlies and other games.

He holds the record for the number of appearances for Spurs in the league, both Cup competitions and in Europe as well as the most games as captain. Steve Perryman scored a total of 39 goals in competitive matches and at least one League goal in each of his 17 consecutive seasons with Spurs. [Source: The Glory of Spurs by Jim Duggan]

League Appearances: 653 (2)  31 goalsFA Cup: 69 app.  2 goals
League Cup: 66 app.  3 goals
Europe: 63 (1) app.  3 goals

He was an inspirational and committed leader and a model professional. He was a loyal servant to the club coming through the club’s youth system, turning professional in 1969 and playing regularly for 17 years.

A True and Worthy Spurs ‘Legend.’

He was transferred to Oxford for £50,000 but Perryman later returned to the club as Assistant Manager under Ossie Ardiles in the summer of 1994. When Ardiles was sacked, Perryman took charge for one game until a new appointment was made. The team lost 2 – 0 at Blackburn Rovers in November, 1995 but by the time of the next game, Gerry Francis had been appointed and Perryman left the club. He later teamed up with Ardiles to manage in Japan and was a successful manager himself in the Far East.

Since 2003 he has been Director of Football at Exeter City. In 2012, he suffered a heart attack while watching Exeter and was rushed to hospital where he had to undergo major surgery. He recovered fully but was in hospital last week with an infection but is making good progress.

Thank you Steve Perryman – A Tottenham Legend.

Happy Birthday and I hope you make a full recovery from your recent illness.