OCTOBER 1983

The televised football revolution got underway in October 1983. The Football League made a deal whereby BBC and ITV would each show a small number of live league games. Tottenham’s home match v Notts. Forest was picked as the first requiring that the game be switched to the afternoon of Sunday October 2nd to accommodate the ITV cameras (BBC chose Friday nights for their coverage). The club were concerned that the live showing would affect the attendance at the ground and laid on special entertainment to encourage people to come along to the Lane. There was a girls marching band, a brass band, a parachute jump, the Guinness Book of Records stilt champion and Chas ‘n’ Dave performing Live. I’m not sure how much of this “entertainment” actually deterred fans from attending !! Hosts for the day were “top Radio One personality” Simon Bates and “Game For A Laugh”’s Henry Kelly. Despite all that, 30,596 filed through the turnstiles to match the previous seasons gate. On a fine, sunny afternoon, with commentator Brian Moore in his prime (that’s between the “shouting“ period of the early 70’s and his “getting lots of players names wrong” phase of the mid-to-late 90’s), Spurs came from behind to win 2-1 with Stevens scoring the first and Archibald scoring the winner five minutes from time in a good advertisement for football.

Following the razzmatazz of the live game, the second round of the Milk Cup took Spurs to Lincoln City (starring John Fashanu) and it was a tightly fought tie with Spurs progressing thanks to a 4-3 aggregate score, despite losing 2-1 at Sincil Bank in the second leg. Meanwhile, back in the League Tottenham made it two wins on the trot on their travels, winning at Wolves (3-2) and Birmingham (1-0). It must be something about the air in the Midlands !! October closed with Notts. County visiting White Hart Lane, Spurs taking the three points with a Steve Archibald goal, his eleventh in nine appearances since his return to the first team following his enforced exile, courtesy of Burkinshaw.

After easy ties in the previous round of the UEFA Cup, Feyenoord provided somewhat stiffer opposition. Johann Cruyff played in the first leg at White Hart Lane and was completely outshone by Glenn Hoddle. Also plying for the Dutch side was a pre-dreadlocked Ruud Gullitt (sporting a Garth Crooks-type microphone cover hairstyle in those days). It was another of the great European nights at the Lane with Spurs romping to a 4-0 lead at half-time - Galvin and Archibald both getting two each. Feyenoord struck back as they looked more menacing going forward and got two late goals for their troubles, leaving the tie in the balance with a tricky trip to Rotterdam facing Tottenham.

Off the pitch, Tottenham Hotspur was floated on the Stock Exchange in October 1983 the first football club to do so. A holding company. Tottenham Hotspur plc was formed to acquire the shares of the football club. This company would then be listed on the Stock Exchange and have a subsidiary - Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. The share issue was launched at the televised Nottingham Forest match, with a prospectus giving details wrapped around the match programme. The official launch followed the next day, when the issue got fully underway. The shares, sold at 1 each, were oversubscribed three and a half times and although trading began at 1.08, they closed the day at 90p. It took another three and a half years for the price to rise above 1 ! Tottenham Hotspur FC was now inextricably linked to Tottenham Hotspur plc. It would be an alliance that would suffer a fair amount of conflict of interest over the years.

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