2005, to tie in with the "Kick Racism out of Football" week,
MEHSTG decided to hold a poll on the website to find out who fans
thought the best black footballer to play for Tottenham Hotspur was.
While there was some debate about whether
this was a good idea in terms of dealing with "racism", which
some thought was not much of a problem these days. While
appreciating that we are not stuck in the bad old days of blatant racism
in football grounds, there are still problems in some areas of the
country and certainly abroad.
Many asked if MEHSTG was going to run a
"Best White Spurs Player of all-time" and I was going to, but
the reason for this poll was twofold.
One was to celebrate the contribution
that black players made to THFC (and this is not denigrating the
contribution from other players in the club's history) and also to
stress that the campaign's slogan of last season that "Only the
colour of the shirt matters."
We can see from the results that the
outstanding contribution to THFC by a black player from your votes has
come from Garth Crooks (although many stressed this was as a footballer
and not an interviewer !!).
The range of players we received votes
for show that the interpretation of "black" and also the era
the player came from were quite varied. Ledley is closing hard on
Garth's shoulder (would have been even closer if we had run the poll for
another week after his performance against the Gooners) and no doubt in
time, Ledders will be a Spurs legend. And this won't be an unusual
thing as the club embraces the best of British and the best of Black
The graph below shows the percentage of
votes received for each player.