81-82 vintage

07.04.2004

Rather than do a conventional "I was there" and concentrate on one match, I thought Iíd mention a few of the bigger ones (and there were many) back in season 1981-2.

We were in the run for all four competitions, until we were pipped at the post by Liverpool in the Milk (nee League) Cup in March.  We lost our unbeaten Wembley/domestic cup unbeaten record having led until the 87th minute.

Just the three left now, which led to the song:

"Sing, sing wherever you maybe,

We lost the League Cup at Wembley,

But weíll be back to win the other three,

And weíll go down in history ..."

 

Didnít quite work out that way, but the song was good at the time, particularly when sung loudly at Scumbury (which coincided with a rare, but more than deserved 3-1 victory for us.  Mickey Hazard was outstanding that day, as he was for a great deal of the season). 

FA Cup quarter final at the Bridge. Second Division Chelski against the form team in Britain.  The team bus gets held up and the team arrive 15 minutes before kick-off.  They score through a great free kick just before half time.  The Shed are delirious.  15 minutes into the second half, and itís Ďall gone quiet over thereí.  We lead 3-1. Mickey Hazard's goal is shown on the pre-match video at WHL, but Hodsí goal is the better; A fantastic passing build-up led to the goal.  Perhaps when they re-do the video, they can swap it ?

The rest of the game was a stroll, apart from the last couple of minutes, when they pulled one back.  The only other interesting part was exiting the ground.  Them on one side of the road, ten thousand of us on the other.  The road sweepers must have made a fortune the next day, such was the number of coins exchanging sides.  One of the worst experiences I had that season.  Getting into the ground in the first place was unpleasant too.

A straight forward win at Villa against Leicester, more remembered for being Ossieís last game due to the Falklands war, put us in the final.  The league was always going to be the most difficult, and our form dipped, understandably, with the number of games we were playing, which left the Cup Winners Cup as the next one to concentrate on.

 

They donít come much bigger than Barcelona in the semi.  First leg at WHL, where we witnessed a game of outright thuggery.  Anything in an all-white strip was kicked to bits, including Graham Roberts.

Ex Goons keeper, Bob Wilson (by then a pundit), called it the most violent game heíd ever seen.  Coming from someone who played at the same time as Chopper Harris, Peter Storey, half the Leeds team of that era, etc, it was high praise indeed !  Anyone who witnessed it was dumbstruck that they only had one player sent off.

A huge error by Clem in goal gave them the lead, which we eventually pulled back late on through Robbo.  1-1.

A 1-0 defeat in the Nou Camp put us out.

Two down, realistically three, only one to go.

 

The Saturday before the final was a trip to Anfield.  The league was long gone, but Liverpool could win it that day, providing they beat us, and Ipswich didnít win something like 17-0 at Boro (someone correct me if Iím wrong, the memoryís getting a bit rusty now) to keep things going until the final game !

Clem's first appearance back there, and the reception was fantastic from the Kop.  Seeing the Kop sing ĎWalk Oní in those days was inspiring.  Itís just not the same now.

Unbelievably, we take the lead.  This isnít supposed to happen.  Weíve not won there since Titanic sank, and theyíre supposed to lift the trophy.  Unfortunately for them, Hod scored one of his greatest long range efforts.  He picked it up just inside their half, and from 30 yards hit a shot that curled away from Grobbelaar, into the top right corner.  We went potty.  Songs lasted all through half time.  Sadly they scored the usual three after that, Ipswich lost, so they lifted the trophy in the end, not that stopped us telling them where they should put it !  I can honestly say that Iíve never enjoyed a defeat so much.

The atmosphere was fantastic, we were playing in the final the next week, so who cared that they won ?

Souness almost cocked-up on the lap of honour too.  He decided to throw the trophy to a team-mate, but no one was ready for it and it almost ended up on the turf, before someone caught it.

 

Come the FA Cup final, we were knackered and could have done without Fenwick equalising with two minutes to go ('here we go again' we thought).

The replay was a let down, but a win was the least we deserved for the most enjoyable season in my 30 years watching Spurs.

65 games played that season, with eight league games from May 1st-17th.  That meant playing Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, etc for nearly three weeks, prior to the final and replay.  What would Sven and Arsene have to say about that ?

Thousands turned out to see us that year, playing football as it should be played.  

Hope this stirs some memories for others out there.

If only I could forward to the future as much I enjoy looking at the past!

Paul Garrard

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