John Lacy was unfortunate to join Spurs. at a time when they were revelling in the signing of Ardiles and Villa, with other players suffering in comparison to the Argentineans. With Lacy's signing designed to shore up things at the back, all the focus was on the attacking options and John and others suffered because of that.
The signing from Fulham was a solid player, but being way over six foot and slightly built, he had an awkward appearance and without the skills of the Spurs midfield, he became one of those players that elements of the Spurs crowd chose to get on the back of. He was unlucky in joining Spurs at a difficult time, as their promotion back to the top flight saw them suffer a few heavy defeats and the defence took the flak for that, but one of the reasons Lacy was bought by Spurs was his ability to bring the ball out of defence. Strangely, Tottenham did not play that way and the onus was to give the ball to the midfielders, who then launched attacks. I remember one game against Swansea City at home when Lacy stunned the crowd by taking the ball past a couple of players on a lengthy run up the left wing. He could do it, but probably fitting into the team's structure, he was not permitted to.
His schoolboy career saw him represent both Merseyside and Lancashire Schools, before he joined Liverpool Marine. Academically, Lacy also did well and earned a place at the London School of Economics studying a BSc in Economics, he represented London University at football and he was selected to represent the British Universities side.
His ability on the pitch was noted by London University coach - former Fulham and England defender George Cohen - who recommended him to his old club and they signed him firstly as an amateur and then a professional in 1972. in a side with experienced heads around him, Lacy made good progress in the professional game, with his partnership alongside Bobby Moore a mix of the young and the old. Alan Mullery was also in the team and the West London club made the FA Cup final in 1975, where they lost out to West Ham United.
On signing for Spurs, John was an almost ever-present in his first season, as Spurs re-joined the First Division after their season in Division Two, but Keith Burkinshaw made the introduction of Paul Miller to the first team squad and injuries to Lacy severely limited his appearances in the following campaign. However, he appeared to have re-gained his place in the side for the early stages of the 1980-81 season, but as it went on, he dropped out of the picture as the team headed for the FA Cup final and Lacy wasn't able to be part of a winning team this time, with Miller and Graham Roberts filling the centre back positions as injury hit him again. This time a hamstring problem put him out of the side initially, then a thigh muscle picked up in training developed compartment syndrome, where there is a build up of pressure from a blood clot that can lead to muscle dying off and can be very serious. An emergency operation allowed a speedy recovery, although left him with a scar on his thigh as a reminder of the injury.
John did get to play for Spurs at Wembley in the 1982 FA Charity Shield match, but after that was used mainly as cover for the pair in possession of the places in central defence, Lacy was sold to Crystal Palace in 1983, but within 16 months his contract was cancelled to allow him to play in Norway and when he returned, he played a year at Barnet, before dropping into non-league, where he enjoyed three years at St. Albans City and ended his career at Wivenhoe Town, alongside former team-mates Paul Price and Garry Brooke.
Later went on to sell double-glazing and conservatories in the Hertfordshire area and regularly turned out for the Spurs Legends side at the age of over 60.