Darren Anderton – A Tottenham Legend?


Teddy Sheringham and Darren Anderton [Photo: Logan Holmes]There are many players from Tottenham’s glorious past who are regarded as Legends but can Darren Anderton be included among their number?

We can all name former players who are accepted as Legends – Jimmy Greaves, Pat Jennings, Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, Martin Chivers, Ron Burgess, Jimmy Dimmock and many more – but there are other players of whom it is difficult to decide whether they too should be held in the same high esteem.

Former Tottenham and England International, Darren Anderton is one of those players.

Darren Anderton was signed for Spurs by manager Terry Venables in the summer of 1992 for £1.75 million from Portsmouth for whom he had played a leading role in reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup that season. He had a number of further FA Cup semi-final appearances for Spurs but never succeeded in reaching the Final of that competition.

During his career with Spurs which lasted for 12 years until 2004, Anderton made over 350 appearances and scored 48 goals in League and Cup but none in European competitions.

Anderton’s Stats:

League: App. 273 (26)  Goals: 34
FA Cup:  App. 26 (2)  Goals: 6
LC Cup:  App. 30 (1)  Goals: 8

Anderton made his Spurs debut in a scoreless draw at Southampton on the first  day of the new Premier League (Premiership). He played under 6 Tottenham managers plus a number of caretaker bosses, including David Pleat who released him in he summer of 2004, his last appearance having been in a 1 – 0 home win over Newcastle United the previous March.

Ossie Ardiles [Photo: Alan Hill]He was one of Ossie Ardiles ‘famous five’ attacking players along with Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Barmby and Ilie Dumitrescu and scored in Klinsmann’s debut game against Sheffield Wednesday.

Anderton played in the team which won the 1999 Worthington Cup, defeating Leicester City 1 – 0 at Wembley in George Graham’s first season as manager. He was also in the team which lost to Blackburn Rovers in the Final in Cardiff three years later when Glenn Hoddle was in charge.

Anderton scored many memorable goals in his time at White Hart Lane, one of special note was a volley in an FA Cup replay against Leeds in 1999 when playing in tandem with David Ginola.

Unfortunately, Anderton’s time at Spurs was seriously hampered with injury and he acquired the nickname, ‘Sicknote’. The three seasons 1995 – 1998 saw him play only a limited part in Spurs’ season making only 8, 15 and 16 appearances in those those years although he did manage to recover from injury in time to play for England in the European Championships in the summer of 1996.

Anderton was released by Spurs in the July, 2004 when he signed for Birmingham City and a year later he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers who were managed at the time by Hoddle.

He made 30 International appearances for England, scoring 7 goals.

Anderton signed for Bournemouth in the summer of 2006 having been released by Wolves. He spent 30 months with the Division 1 club and scored the first hat-trick of his career in a comfortable 5-0 home win over Leyton Orient. It was a true hat-trick being the middle three goals scored consecutively in Bournemouth’s win. He retired from football in December, 2008 the day after he had scored the winning goal with a volley in the 88th minute after coming on as a second half substitute against Chester City.


Having read his autobiography, ‘Take Note!’, it is clear that Anderton was very annoyed at the ‘Sicknote’ tag and his list of injuries reads like a script from a medical drama and I felt bad about having constantly referred to him by the nickname. He countered the negative comments on his lengthy absences through injury by pointing to occasions when he played with injury, aggravating the situation and also to occasions when injuries were wrongly diagnosed and treated incorrectly. His injury problems brought him into conflict with Alan Sugar who was frustrated at his constant lengthy absences.

The 1995-96 season was the most annoying from a Tottenham perspective and called into question Anderton’s priorities. He missed the opening two games of the season then made 4 appearances before injury took him out of the team from mid-September through to mid-April. He returned to play in the final 4 matches, scoring twice in a win at Leeds, just in time for selection by England for the European Championships but then missed the start of the following season when he again was out with injury for long periods.

Is Darren Anderton a Tottenham Legend?

Anderton has the years service at White Hart Lane, the appearances, the spectacular goals, the silverware and the international recognition from his time with Tottenham but for me he’s just below the level of Legend.

What’s your view of Darren Anderton?