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Super Spurs

Nickname of the great Tottenham Hotspur team that in 1961 became the first English side of the 20th century to win the double of the FA Cup and the League Championship.

The remarkable achievements of Tottenham in the early 1960s was largely due to their manager Bill Nicholson building upon the work of his predecessor Arthur Rowe.  The team built by Nicholson included Danny Blanchflower, Bobby Smith, Dave MacKay, John White and goalkeeper Bill Brown, who combined skill and physical strength.  Nicholson established a strong team spirit by refusing to chop and change his side, using on seventeen players in the double winning side of 1961.

They finished the season with 115 goals, the highest First Division total for 27 years, with Bobby Smith (28) and Les Allen (23) their leasing scorers.  They also equalled the points record of 66, set by Arsenal in 1931.

The players enjoyed few financial rewards.  Back in 1961 the maximum wage was still in force and the Spurs players wages was pegged at £22 a week. To commemorate the players' success the club wanted to give the players watches. But as gifts were also forbidden, Spurs had to write to the Football League and Football Association to ask their permission.

Nicholson rejected the nickname 'Super Spurs', declaring 'It is a neat tag but is simply not true.  I feel we could do so much better'. Former player Cliff Jones later said 'Bill was a big influence on all of that team. He was a great believer that managers should take responsibility for what happened on the pitch. Take for example, referees. He hated to see players chase after refs. He would say, “Look, referees are human. They are going to make mistakes. I just hope they don’t make as many mistakes as you lot out there. He also used to remind us that most players didn’t understand the rules of the game as well as referees, and he was right. That, for me, is leadership.'

With Jimmy Greaves added to the team, they followed the double winning season by winning the FA Cup in 1962 and became the first side to win a Europe trophy by thrashing Atletico Madrid 5-1 to collect the Cup Winners Cup in 1963.

As the Daily Telegraph declared at the end of the double winning season.  'Spurs will be remembered...for the scintillating football they played week after week, a thrilling, attacking game in which every man played his part'.  Few of the record two-and-a-half million people who watched Spurs throughout that season would disagree.