MAY 1984

The visit of Norwich City to White Hart Lane on the first Saturday of May attracted a crowd of only 18,874. Spurs won by two goals to nil, thanks to strikes from Archibald and Falco, that sent the Canaries back to their nest pointless.

The first leg of the UEFA Cup Final, away to Anderlecht was set for the following Wednesday, but before then, Spurs had to fulfill a Bank Holiday Monday fixture at Southampton. The Football League decided not to help Tottenham’s chances in Europe, insisting that the game at the Dell go ahead as scheduled. Thus, Spurs were due to play on the Saturday, the following Monday and then in Brussels two days later. It was a punishing run of games and Spurs took the option of resting most of the first team in the match against Southampton. Only Paul Miller and Richard Cooke were in the starting line-up for both the Norwich and Southampton matches. Spurs Reserves were over-run by an impressive Saints team, who ended up sticking five past our stiffs with no reply.

The first leg of the UEFA Cup final against the crack Belgian side Anderlecht at the ended in a 1-1 draw, with defender Paul Miller heading home in the 58th minute to give Spurs a lead that was cancelled out by Danish sweeper, Morten Olsen’s equaliser just six minutes from time. Prior to the game, a Spurs fan had been shot dead by a bar-keeper in the city after a disturbance, but it was only after the game that the real trouble started involving fighting with rival fans and police and cars being set alight.

Tottenham brought their League season to a close the following Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United in front of a near 40,000 crowd. Spurs finished eighth in the old Division One with a points total of 61, gained from 17 wins and 10 draws. Steve Archibald’s goal against United was his 21st of the season, making him top scorer in the League, followed by Mark Falco (13) and Graham Roberts, whose six strikes were not a bad return for a defender. Liverpool took the League title with runners-up Southampton only three points behind. At the other end of the table, Birmingham, Notts. County and Wolves were relegated to the Second Division.

The home leg of the UEFA Cup final took place eleven days after the end of the League season. The game was not made all-ticket and attracted a capacity 48,000 crowd. Anderlecht took the lead after an hour with a goal that was greeted by almost total silence at White Hart Lane. With time running out, Keith Burkinshaw, in his last game as Tottenham manager, took off Paul Miller and Gary Mabbutt, replacing them with Ossie Ardiles and Ally Dick. The little Argentinian soon missed a glorious opportunity to equalise when he hit the bar from close range. The ball was then cleared, but immediately hoisted back into the crowded penalty area. Graham Roberts, captain on the night for the suspended Steve Perryman, chested the ball down and forced it home. The ground erupted, more in relief than anything else. As in the first leg in Belgium, the home side had brought the scores level with six minutes remaining. A nervy period of extra time followed as a further goal for Anderlecht would have left us needing to score twice as the away goals rule would have favoured the Belgian side. However, both sides failed to score and the UEFA Cup final progressed to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winners.

The Paxton Road end was chosen to stage the contest and Roberts fired home to give Spurs a 1-0 lead. Enter 21 year old Tottenham goalkeeper, Tony Parks for his Warholesque fifteen minutes of fame. Up stepped Morten Olsen for his penalty. Parks dived to his left, apparently having seen from Olsen’s eyes which way the kick was going to go. Parks guessed right and saved the kick. The next six penalties were all scored; Mark Falco, Gary Stevens and Steve Archibald notching for Spurs. With Tottenham 4-3 up there was one spot kick left for each team. Danny Thomas would win the UEFA Cup for Tottenham if he scored. Sadly for Danny and all the Spurs fans, his shot was saved. The crowd sang his name as he walked disconsolately back to the centre-circle. If Arnor Gudjohnson scored, the penalty shoot-out would go to sudden death. Tony Parks, having dived left for the previous five penalties, decided to go right and palmed the penalty kick away. He leapt straight up and off on a glory run, hotly pursued by his team-mates. Tottenham had won the UEFA Cup for the second time and minutes later, Graham Roberts was lifting the trophy aloft before an ecstatic White Hart Lane - a fitting way for Keith Burkinshaw’s reign as Spurs manager to finish.

It was the end of an era. Not only was Burkinshaw leaving, but Steve Archibald was also on his way out of the club, enticed by a tempting offer from Barcelona.

Tottenham’s priorities as the 1984 close season began were to find worthy replacements for both men.

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