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Bobby Smith - Obituary

Thu, November 04, 2010 - 8:59, Diary, Administrator,

Bobby Smith

Bobby Smith stands second in our all time list of goal scorers, only surpassed by his great friend and team mate Jimmy Greaves. His tally of 208 goals in 317 matches was amassed during the glory years from 1955 until 1964, leading our goals chart with 33 during the Double campaign.

Born at Scarth Street, Lingdale, Yorkshire on February 22, 1933, Robert Alfred Smith attended Lingdale Council School. On leaving school he joined his father working in the local ironstone mine.

Bobby originally played as a full back for Redcar Albion and Redcar Boy’s Club before being spotted as a centre forward by Chelsea, signed amateur forms and was placed with their local nursery club Tudor Rose.

After a year working in the mine he joined the Chelsea ground staff during 1948. Bobby scored a hat-trick in the 1949-50 London FA Youth Cup Final against Spurs at Stamford Bridge and travelled with the England squad to Vienna for the International Youth Tournament there during May, 1950.

Having signed professional forms during May, 1950, Bobby made his Football League debut at Bolton Wanderers on September 4, 1950 and was on the scoresheet on his second senior appearance, a 2-0 home win over Fulham on December 9.

By the time he arrived at Tottenham for a £16,000 fee on December 21, 1955 he had scored 30 goals in 86 games for Chelsea, missing out on their 1954-55 League Championship success with only four senior games that season.

Bobby made his Spurs debut against Luton Town three days later but had to wait until January 21 to net his first goal in our colours, at home to Everton. Handed the captain’s role for the final game of the season, he celebrated with a hat-trick versus Sheffield United on April 28. Two years later he became our regular skipper until Danny Blanchflower succeeded him during March, 1959.

His 36 goal haul during season 1957-58 saw Bobby head the top flight scoring chart and equalled the club record set by Ted Harper back in the 1930-31 Second Division campaign. That record stood until Greaves surpassed them both scoring 37 during 1962-63. Bobby and Jimmy each scored 32 goals during 1958-59 to share the title as leading First Division goalscorer.

Bobby became our record aggregate League goalscorer with the second of his three goals in a 3-1 home win over Blackpool on August 31, 1960. George Hunt had held the record of 125 League goals since March, 1937. Bobby’s final tally of 176 League goals in 271 appearances remained the club record until Greaves overtook him during March, 1968.

Bobby’s 208 goals for Spurs came against 39 different clubs. He scored 17 versus West Bromwich Albion, 12 apiece versus Blackpool and Wolves and 11 versus Aston Villa, Bolton, Everton and Manchester United.

Bobby notched 11 hat-tricks during his time with us. Ten came in First Division matches with the exception being his four goal haul against Crewe Alexandra in an FA Cup fourth round replay.

Some reports credited him with five goals in a 6-2 home win against Aston Villa on March 29, 1958, but his tally that day was only four with Terry Medwin apologising for getting the final touch on the first goal!

During March and May, 1958 Bobby featured in the inaugural Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, playing for London against Barcelona in both legs of the deciding tie.

Bobby’s England career spanned three years and 43 days, gaining 15 Full caps and netting 13 goals. He scored in each of his first five internationals and was on the winning side in his first five and last five games. First selected by England for the 1958 World Cup squad, he took just 16 minutes to score the opening goal on his debut, in a 5-2 win over Northern Ireland at Belfast on October 8, 1960.

He was on target in both of our 1961 and 1962 FA Cup triumphs and was also a member of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup winning side the following year.

Bobby joined Brighton & Hove Albion on May 19, 1964 for a £5,000 fee and helped them to the Fourth Division title the following season. His career tally of Football League goals was 218 in 376 appearances, plus a further 41 goals in 61 cup matches.

On leaving Brighton during October, 1965 Bobby joined Hastings United. He had a trial spell with Orient during March, 1967 and a stint with Banbury United the following year.

He turned out regularly in charity games during the 1970’s for the Television & Sporting Personalities XI and the Top Ten XI, playing alongside the likes of Rod Stewart, Tommy Steele, Bill Oddie and David Hamilton.

Bobby was the subject of three testimonial events; matches at Edgware Town on October 13, 1968 and at Edmonton & Haringey on December 16, 1973; plus a dinner at the Starlight Suite, Enfield on October 31, 1996.

He was also the subject of two books; The Bobby Smith Story in Pictures, published by Brighton & Hove Albion during 1965; and My Memories of Spurs, published by Britespot during 2002.

Having lived at nearby Palmers Green, Bobby was a welcome and regular visitor at our home games over the years. He passed away at an Enfield hospital following a short illness on September 18, aged 77.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.


Mel Hopkins - Obituary

Thu, November 04, 2010 - 8:51, Diary, Administrator,

Mel Hopkins

Welsh international full back Mel Hopkins spent the vast majority of his playing career on our books, playing as a 16 year old trialist during the early months of 1951 and moving on to Brighton & Hove Albion during October, 1964.

In between, he rose through the ranks to make 240 senior appearances in our colours, play 34 games for Wales and featuring at the 1958 World Cup Finals. It was at Gothenburg, in the quarter final tie with Brazil, that Mel had his finest game at international level, marking Garrincha out of the game.

Born at Ystrad Rhondda on November 7, 1934, Melvyn Hopkins attended the local Elementary School and gained a scholarship to Tonypandy Grammar School – a rugby playing school. He developed his football with Ystrad Rhondda Boys’ Club.

Our scouts in the area spotted his talents and he was offered an extended trial with our youth team, then known as Tottenham Hotspur Juniors. During February, 1951 we made a donation of 10 guineas (£10.50) to the Ystrad Rhondda Boys’ Club and by the end of the season Mel had played for our ‘B’ team in the London Midweek League.

On May 10, 1951 he signed amateur forms, was given a job on our groundstaff and found lodgings at Enfield.

Mel made his ‘A’ team debut in our Eastern Counties League game against Arsenal on October 4, 1951 and stepped up for his reserve team bow at Bristol Rovers on April 2, 1952. Twelve days later, on Easter Monday, he returned to Ystrad Rhondda to play for a Spurs XI against a past and present Boys’ Club XI at Gelligaled Park.

A further donation of £100 was added to the Boys’ Club coffers when Mel signed professional forms on May 12, 1952. National Service was spent with the R.A.O.C. near Shrewsbury where he represented the Army XI and was also able to turn out for our intermediate sides. Mel featured in all four of our games when we participated in the first FA Youth Cup campaign during 1952-53. He became only the third 17 year old to feature in our Football League team when selected to play at Derby County on October 11, 1952. During September, 1954 he claimed a regular place in our senior side and remained there for five years until a broken nose suffered on international duty at Hampden Park on November 4, 1959.

Having represented the London Combination against a Dutch XI during season 1954-55, Mel made his international debut the following season, facing Northern Ireland at Ninian Park, Cardiff on April 11, 1956. He was ever-present in 23 consecutive international matches for Wales until being injured against Scotland. This included their five games at the 1958 World Cup Finals which ended in a 0-1 defeat to eventual winners Brazil, a young Pele scoring the only goal.

Mel resumed his international career during April, 1961 and gained the last of his 34 caps against Northern Ireland on April 3, 1963. He also played once at Under-23 level, featuring in the 2-1 win over England at Wrexham on April 23, 1958.

He made his final senior appearance for us against Ipswich Town on April 4, 1964. His tally of 240 appearances included 219 in the First Division, 20 in the FA Cup and one in the European Cup-Winners Cup. His only senior goal for the club came in one of 31 friendly appearances, that being in a 3-3 draw with Hibernian in an Anglo-Scottish Floodlit match on October 31, 1956.

At intermediate level, Mel scored twice in his 200-plus competitive games for our reserve, ‘A’, ‘B’ and youth teams. Both of those came in the Football Combination during season 1960-61; the first in a 6-3 home win over Bristol City on August 27 and the other in a 9-1 home win over Ipswich Town on December 10.

Having played mostly on the left during his time with us, Mel featured regularly at right back after joining Brighton for a £4,500 fee during October, 1964. He helped them to the Fourth Division title in his first season at the Goldstone Ground and netted his first senior goal on his 240th Football League appearance, versus Chesterfield on February 27. His three years with Brighton yielded two goals in 62 league and cup games.

Spells with Canterbury City and Irish club Ballymena followed until moving back into League action with Bradford Park Avenue during January, 1969. Mel featured in their last two seasons of Football League membership, making 31 league and cup appearances. His final senior game was at Colchester United on October 11, 1969.

Mel played for and coached at Lancing, served as secretary to the Sussex coaches association and worked as a sports instructor for the Brighton Education Authority, coaching at local schools. He also scouted for Derby County during Dave Mackay’s time there as manager. Mel then spent 20 years as sports officer and sports centre manager at Horsham Sports Club until retiring during 1998.

Along with his surviving colleagues from the 1958 World Cup, he received the FA of Wales merit award during 2003.

One of his cousins, Graham Hopkins, played for our Eastern Counties League ‘A’ team during the mid 1950’s.

Mel had lived at Shoreham-by-Sea in recent years and was a regular visitor to our Legends lounge since it first opened during 1992. He was last here for the Wolves game on September 18 and also attended Brighton games at the Withdean Stadium.

Mel Hopkins passed away at a Worthing hospice on October 18, aged 75. He is survived by sons Paul, Simon and Mark and second wife Barbara.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.


Eddie Baily - Obituary

Thu, November 04, 2010 - 8:44, Diary, Administrator,

Eddie Baily

Eddie Baily was associated with the club for 29 years, 18 as a player plus 11 as assistant manager. He played at inside left as a key member of our Push ‘n’ Run team, gained nine Full England caps, three for the ‘B’ team, represented the Football League XI on six occasions and was also selected for the FA XI.

He made his first team debut during the 1945-46 transitional season and went on to score 64 goals in 296 Football League appearances plus five in 29 FA Cup matches. His assistant manager role saw him take charge of the team in Bill Nicholson’s absence as well as guide our reserve team to several trophies.

Born at Clapton on August 6, 1925, Edward Francis Baily attended Mount Pleasant School. He was spotted by Tottenham Juniors whilst playing for Hackney Schoolboys against Edmonton in the 1938 Corinthian Shield match and invited by schoolboy scout Jim ‘Dodger’ Joyce to train with the club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. He also represented Middlesex Schools and played cricket for London Boys, later featuring in a few games for Essex CCC second XI.

On leaving school Eddie worked for Hunt Partners, a local printing company, and for Gustav Ellison, a London stockbroking firm. He signed amateur forms for us on February 1, 1940 and was loaned to Finchley to develop. He featured for Tottenham Juniors in their 1942-43 Tottenham Charity Cup final victory over Crossbrook Sports at White Hart Lane.

National Service saw him join the 79th Battalion of Royal Scots, serving in Belgium, the Netherlands and at Oldenburg, Germany. Having played for his Army unit he was recommended for the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) team, playing alongside established professionals as a 21 year old. Having signed amateur forms for Chelsea – which were immediately cancelled - Eddie returned to sign professional forms for us on February 12, 1946 and made his senior debut eight days later in a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa.

His first Football League appearance came in a 2-0 home victory versus West Bromwich Albion on January 4, 1947 but it was not until October that year that he joined our full time ranks, on completing his National Service.

His second League outing saw him register his first goal, netting our third in a 4-0 win over Brentford on November 1. He had an acrobatic overhead kick saved and also struck a post before successfully converting a neat pass from Len Duquemin.

A regular from then on, he missed just two matches in each of our title winning campaigns, lifting the Second Division Championship of 1949-50 and the Football League Championship 12 months later.

By this time Eddie had been recognised at international level. He scored for England ‘B’ against their Swiss counterparts at Hillsborough on January 18, 1950 and featured in the tour matches against Italy and the Netherlands during May. Selected for the World Cup squad, Eddie became one of eight England players to date to receive their first cap at the World Cup Finals, featuring in the final group game against Spain at Rio de Janeiro on July 2, a 0-1 defeat.

That proved to be the only loss on England duty with his eight other Full caps resulting in four wins and four drawn matches. Eddie scored two goals each on his second and third appearances, against Northern Ireland and Wales during October/November, 1950 and found the net again versus Wales the following season. His final cap was gained against Northern Ireland on October 4, 1952, although he did feature in the annual England versus Young England fixture on May 6, 1955. Interspersed with these were his six games for the Football League representative XI, between February, 1950 and October, 1954, facing the Irish League three times, the League of Ireland twice and the Scottish League. He scored on each of his first two appearances, versus the League of Ireland and Scottish League during February/March, 1950.

Other representative honours included playing for the FA XI versus the RAF during 1948-89; for the Rest of UK v Wales during 1951-52; and for London XI v Saxony XI during 1954-55.

Eddie was involved in a controversial goal against Huddersfield Town on April 2, 1952. His last minute corner kick struck the referee and rebounded for him to deliver a cross from which Len Duquemin headed the only goal. The visitors protested but the goal was allowed to stand, contrary to Law 17 regarding playing the ball again until another player has touched it.

He joined Port Vale for an £8,000 fee on January 14, 1956 and scored eight goals in 26 League appearances for them before moving on to Nottingham Forest during October, 1956. He had notched 14 goals in 68 League outings and helped them back to the top flight by the time he returned to London to join Leyton Orient, the club he had supported as a schoolboy.

He scored three goals in 30 senior games for the O’s between December, 1958 and October, 1959, making the last of his 419 Football League appearances against Sunderland on October 3. His goals tally in those games was 89.

Having gained his Full Coaching badge, Eddie became coach to Orient during 1960 and helped them to reach the First Division for the only time in their history two years later.

He was appointed assistant manager to Bill Nicholson on October 2, 1963 and played a full part in the cup successes over the next 11 years. With Bill often involved with the England Under-23 team, Eddie was member in charge on several of the end of season overseas tours. He was also on reserve team duty when they won Football Combination titles and the London Challenge Cup.

On leaving Tottenham during September, 1974, Eddie combined working as a sports master at an Enfield school with scouting for Chelsea. He also coached at Corinthian Casuals and Chesham United until offered the job as chief scout at West Ham United during 1976. He remained there for 16 years and also helped out as an England scout during Ron Greenwood’s tenure as national team boss.

Eddie was a familiar figure at our reserve team games during the late 1990’s, as southern area scout for Ipswich Town. He was the recipient of two testimonial matches; our first team faced Enfield at their old Southbury Road ground on May 14, 1993; and on May 19, 1995 Chesham United staged a match against an Ex-Spurs XI which his former England colleague Sir Stanley Matthews attended. Eddie’s family also organised a reunion lunch for the 1949-50-51 side during August, 1996.

In recent years Eddie lived at Brookmans Park. He passed away at a Welwyn Garden City hospital on October 13 following a short illness. Eddie is survived by Elsie, his wife of 63 years, daughter Jane, son Graham, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.


Ted Ditchburn - Tribute

Mon, December 26, 2005 - 16:07, Diary, Administrator,

Ted Ditchburn - Tribute

Ted Ditchburn, goalkeeper in the Push and Run team of 1949-50-51, was rated by those lucky enough to have seen him play as Spur's greatest ever ‘keeper. He made 505 senior appearances for the club between 1940 and 1958, held the club record of 418 League games from 1957 until 1975, and remains the record holder in terms of consecutive appearances with 247 in the league plus a further 22 in the FA Cup.

Ted joined the club groundstaff in 1937 and featured for nursery club Northfleet United and in the reserve and ‘A’ teams prior to the war. He signed professional forms during May, 1939 and made his senior debut against Chelsea 12 months later. Serving in the RAF Ted played twice for England in wartime internationals and travelled far and wide with service teams Wanderers and the Tommy Walker XI.

A model of consistency, Ted missed just a handful of games between 1946 and 1954. Given his Full international debut against Switzerland in 1948, Ted gained six caps over the next eight years and was a member of the 1950 World Cup squad in Brazil. He also gained Second and First Division title medals in 1949-50 and 1950-51. In addition to his Full caps, Ted also won two 'B' caps, plus representative honours for the Football League XI, FA XI and Football Combination XI.

Released by the club in 1959 Ted joined Romford as player/manager and ended his career in 1965 with a stint at Brentwood Town. For a number of years Ted ran a sports outfitters shop in Romford. He lived in retirement at Wickham Market, Suffolk with his wife Joan.

Born at Gillingham on October 24, 1921, Edwin George Ditchburn passed away in Suffolk on December 26, 2005.


Ron Burgess

Mon, March 14, 2005 - 16:18, Diary, Administrator,

The Tribute Trust were saddened to hear of the passing of former captain Ron Burgess.

This was taken from the official site:

We were saddened to hear today of the passing away of our former captain Ron Burgess at the age of 87.

Ron was captain of our Championship winning side of 1951 as well as being captain of the team that won 2nd Division Championship in the previous season.

Also captain of Wales, Burgess actually kicked-off his career as a forward and it was only by chance, when he was called upon while watching a Spurs A match, that he was introduced to the half-back position he made his own.

He made his Spurs debut in 1939 and stayed there for the next 15 years, his appearances only interrupted by injury, national service or international calls.

Always willing to join in every attack, Burgess formed a perfect partnership with fellow half-back Bill Nicholson as we followed our Second Division title in 1949 with the big one in 1951.

He eventually took up a player-manager's role at Swansea Town before moving to Watford - where he discovered Pat Jennings - and he also managed Hendon and Bedford Town.

Our condolences go to his family at this sad time.


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