jimmy neighbour    fact file

1970 - 1977            winger


Born on 5th November 1950 in Chingford, North-East London, England.

Height : - .m

Weight : -  - kgs

Jimmy Neighbour was a player who came through the ranks at Spurs, making a name for himself with his darting, jinking runs down the wing in an era that saw the heady years of the early 1970s turn into the tougher times of the mid-1970s.

He was a notable schoolboy player in the Chingford area before coming to the notice of Spurs, who he ended up making 190 appearances for.  Although not the slightest of players, his balance was superb and he could throw defenders one way with a dip of his shoulder and glide past them in the traditional winger's style.  Jimmy also got among the goals in his time, with a fine finish and the knack of arriving in the area at the right time to get on the end of a pass.

Neighbour's schooling was at Whitehall Road County Primary and Heathcote Secondary School, the latter where him ability brought him schoolboy representative recognition with Waltham Forest, Essex and London Schools.  One of his London Schools games was at White Hart Lane in 1966 against Birmingham Schools before he signed for the club, although he was already training with Spurs on Thursday evenings having been recommended when playing for Heathcote Youth Club.

Jimmy joined Spurs in 1966 as a 15 year old and his rise to fame was quick, getting into the first team in 1970 and he was in the 1971 League Cup winning side, when Spurs beat Aston Villa at Wembley in a game when he played a part in one of the goals, although he was later replaced by Jimmy Pearce.

His first South-East Counties match for the juniors saw him score against Brentford and within a season he had moved into the Third 'A' team, who played in the Metropolitan League.  Still young enough to represent the Youth team, his 1967-68 season brought him a London FA Youth Cup winners medal, as the side beat Millwall in the final. 

Moving up to the reserves when he signed as a professional, there was a debut goal against Swindon Town in April 1969, one of 19 goals he scored that season in 52 games and was part of two Combination League winning sides.  In the club's reserve side, Jimmy scored 37 goals in 138 matches, netting 11 for the 'A' Team in 46 games and 24 from 61 youth and junior appearances.

His performances made him a player who was one for the future, making his debut in October 1970 as a substitute for Alan Gilzean in a 3-0 win over Stoke City and then getting a first game in the starting line-up in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Bristol City, keeping his place for the final win over Villa.

While still turning out for the reserves on occasion, such as the London Challenge Cup final when he scored against Hayes in 1974, Jimmy was not a regular first-teamer until 1975.  Over the years, Bill Nicholson stuck with Neighbour despite a number of alternatives presenting themselves.  His willingness to chase back helped the midfield and he was always willing to run directly at his opponent to get wide and cross for the likes of Chivers, Peters or Gilzean ... all of whom were excellent with their heads and were grateful for his supply. 

Neighbour's time at Spurs was inextricably linked with Bill Nicholson and he scored in the last game Bill Nick took charge of as manager, hitting the target with both goals in a 2-0 win over Derby County at White Hart Lane.  After Nicholson left the club, Jimmy fell out of favour and he moved on to Norwich City in September 1976, where he had three years before he played in the US for a short spell with Seattle Sounders before he returned to London with West Ham United.  The winger starred in the FA Cup run the Second Division Hammers had in 1979-80, but was not among those who played at Wembley, although he did feature for the side in the 1980-81 League Cup final and replay, which they lost to Liverpool. 

When not in the first team at the end of his time at West Ham, Neighbour went on a three month loan spell at Bournemouth, playing his last league game on 12th February 1983 against Wrexham.  Having spent four years at the Boleyn Ground, Neighbour retired from playing when released at the end of the 1982-82 season.

After hanging up his boots, Jimmy played a few games for Enfield and did a short coaching stint at Wealdstone, before he returned to manage Enfield, taking them to a FA Trophy win in 1988.  Moved onto West Ham United as the club's Youth Development Officer, before moving to Doncaster Rovers as assistant manager in 1994, while also coaching the Spurs Under-14 and Under-16 sides around this time.  Spent two years in charge at Clarence Park as St. Albans City manager, until dismissed in 1998.  Went to Charlton Athletic to head their Youth Development scheme for a short while in 1999.

Still living in Chingford, Jimmy returned to Tottenham to coach the Under-17 side in July 2000 and later took on the management of the U17 side, staying for four years in total, with his last season back with the Under-16s.  In 2002, he guided the U17s to the Premier Academy League Group A Championship.  Staying with Spurs until 2005, Neighbour was a schools community coach and worked with the Premier Academy League as a match-day assessor in the 2008-09 season.

Had his own sports shop in Chingford for many years.

Jimmy Neighbour passed away in a private hospital in Buckhurst Hill of a heart attack on 11th April 2009 following a hip operation.



Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (apprentice) 1966 - - - -
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (professional) November 1968 - 24th October 1970 v Stoke City (First Division) (home) (as sub) won 3-0 134 + 22 as a sub 11
Norwich City 30th September 1976 £75,000 ??  115 5
Seattle Sounders (US) May - August 1979 - ??  21 1
West Ham United September 1979 £150,000 ??  96 6
Bournemouth January 1983 Loan ??  6 0

Career Record
104 + 15 as a sub League appearances; 8 goals
10 + 1 as a sub FA Cup appearances; 1 goal
14 + 3 as a sub League Cup appearances; 1 goal
6 + 3 as a sub European appearances; 1 goal
Norwich City
106 League appearances; 5 goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
West Ham United
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

England international
- full caps;  - goals
Under-21 caps; goals
League Cup winners medal 1970-71 (THFC)
UEFA Cup winners medal 1971-72 (THFC)
London FA Youth Cup winners medal 1967-68  (THFC)
FA Combination championship winners medal 1970-71, 1971-72 (THFC)
London Challenge Cup winners' medal 1973-74  (THFC)
League Cup runners-up medal 1980-81 (West Ham United)
FA Trophy 1988 (Enfield manager)



“Getting into the side for the Semi-final for my first full game was a great thrill. Wembley was a tremendous experience with a difference. As well as the match, I shall always remember Wembley week … the build-up to the game, and even the visit to the stadium on the Friday.”

Supported Spurs as a boy. Stood on terracing with his father beneath the East Stand.
Cliff Jones, Dave Mackay and Jimmy Greaves were his favourites.

Drove a red Cortina 1600E

Lived with parents in Chingford.

Liked pop music, likes comedy films and TV programmes.

Liked swimming and table tennis and is thinking of taking up golf.

Liked watching football including mid-week games at Orient.

Watched brother Ron play in goal for Walthamstow club Forest Sports.
After Jimmy's first team debut - the League Cup semi-final second leg against Bristol City at White Hart Lane - he was given an odd reminder of the event.  Having gone to take a corner, he kicked the corner flag instead and broke it.  The ground-staff presented him with the broken flag as a memento of his debut !!

A week before his debut, he featured for the reserves at No. 11 against Fulham reserves.  The winger and No. 11 for Fulham was Brian Friend.  Talk about Friends and Neighbours.

Jimmy Neighbour's record as manager of St. Albans City   21st December 1996 - 10th March 1998
  Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
League 56 23 12 21 76 81 81
Cup 25 10 5 10 41 29 -

Source : St. Albans City FC website




What they said about Jimmy Neighbour
Jamie O'Hara on his time with Jimmy in the youth side at THFC ...  19.04.2009 (THFC programme)

"Jimmy was my manager at Under-17 level and I really learned a lot from him.  He watched me throughout my career and helped me get to where I am today.  He was a real football man. A great player in his day and everyone respected him.  Jimmy was a great character and it's a true loss for everyone who knew him."

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What Jimmy Neighbour said about ...
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