Thursday, 27 February 2014

The 1954-55 FA Cup semi-final farce between Sunderland and Manchester City

Sunderland has never played Manchester City in the final of a major competition. The sides did though clash in the semi-final of the FA Cup in the 1954-55 season. City triumphed 1-0 on a pitch unfit for play and Sunderland thus missed out on a chance to play Newcastle at Wembley. In his CAPTAIN OF THE NORTH autobiography, written with the assistance of Sunderland fanatic Mark Metcalf, Stan Anderson had this to say about what was a disappointing day for Sunderland.

We had beaten Manchester City 3-2 at home in December in the league and so were confident. In goal City had Bert Trautmann, a real character who following his time as a prisoner of war stayed in Britain rather than return to Germany. he was a goalkeeper I always rated. 

At number nine there was Don Revie, who had followed the Hungarian tactics of the time by playing a deep-lying role rather than staying up front facing the centre-half as was the tradition.

I was to get to know Don pretty well when he signed for Sunderland before falling out with him when one of his Leeds players broke the leg of a Newcastle lad. 

Shack was fully fit and the team stayed at Buxton in the week leading up to the match. One good performance and we’d be running out in front of 100,000 in May. It was a great thought - and then there was the prospect of playing Newcastle in the final. They were favourites to reach Wembley. Manchester City, Sunderland Newcastle and York in the semifinals of the FA Cup - it might be sometime before that happens again!

What happened next was a farce. When Saturday arrived the heavens opened and from Buxton to Aston Villa there were floods of water everywhere. Villa Park was in a dreadful terrible state and try as they might the groundsmen were making no impression on the pitch.

Bill Murray called us all together to say that it looked likely that the game would be called off but the referee was prepared to inspect the pitch half an hour later. As it just kept pouring down no one seriously expected him to do anything except postpone the match. It was a shock therefore to be told the referee intended starting the game but if it got worse he would abandon it. Obviously this was not the right sort of atmosphere to be playing a semi-final.

It seemed the only reason for starting the game was that spectators had travelled long distances away. It stills seems a daft decision to play the game. 

It was farcical. George Aitken, a big strong left wing half, tried to hit a ball upfield and managed to shift it only five yards. Despite the conditions I felt we were the better side and only a fluke prevented us taking the lead. Shack wriggled his way past the City defence to the byline and squared the ball across to Charlie Fleming who we hit it powerfully enough. Trautmann, in a desperate attempt to block the shot, actually slipped and his momentum helped stop the ball and it dropped just over the bar for a corner. 

This was a time when you didn’t argue with referees but at half-time, as we walked down the tunnel, players from both sides asked him to call it off. Ironically, as neither side looked as if they would score the tie seemed certain to be settled another day anyway. 

However, early in the second half City’s left winger Roy Clarke beat Bill Fraser with a header to give his team the lead. There was no way the referee was going to call the game off now and try - Shack especially worked tirelessly to fashion an equaliser - we couldn’t recover. We just didn’t have enough up front to punish Manchester City. It was a very quiet dressing room afterwards. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Workload drives social workers to quit

Social workers are rejecting lucrative rates of pay to quit the profession amidst fears at being unable to cope with an exhaustive workload of serious cases.

This is the view of Hulls Ian Newton, who a decade ago used the funds from DUSTBINGATE, his best-selling comedy book featuring John Prescott, to quit his night-shift factory job and train as a social worker. 

Higher pay 

Newton was employed mainly in mental health, learning disability and with older people and adults. As a contract social worker, 18 local authorities hired him, usually at much higher rates of pay than permanent staff because of urgent vacancies to fill.  But he has seen the profession radically change in eight years and he quit at Christmas and since when he has been bombarded with job offers

Bureaucratic nightmare 

I quit because social work has become a bureaucratic nightmare in which clients’ needs have been lost,” said Newton.

“When I started it was about 25% paperwork and 75% working with the client. Now it is 85% paperwork. 

“Some of the increase is the result of the introduction of direct payments and personal budgets, which work well for some clients. The mental capacity act in 2005 also opened up a Pandoras box of complexity and resulted in endless meetings, more paperwork and yet again more computer work and assessment heaped upon assessment. 

“The 2003 Laming inquiry following the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie also led to reforms of the social care system that prioritised paperwork 

You are still expected to find time to help clients by dealing with their often complex needs,” said Newton, two of whose former colleagues, more experienced than him, have recently quit to fill shelves at Asda.

“Work overload means you are terrified about losing sight of the client and they harm themselves and you land up in a coroners court or before a professional body. 

‘Difficult relationships’

“Every social worker has at least two clients they fear will end up dead because they dont have the time to fully attend to them.

Recently Newton also became dispirited at having to tell his clients that cuts were being made to their care packages. He said: I found myself constantly telling parents or the clients there will be less financial support. 

Instantly you are no longer a social worker but the enemy, an accountant. Relationships become difficult and in order to keep social workers safe there are restrictions imposed on client visits to our offices.

As part of a long term case review, retired social worker Celia Stubbs recently returned to her former workplace at Islington Council. I was horrified to see social workers sitting at their computers hour after hour. Our offices were open plan and user friendly. They are like prisons now with locked doors everywhere.

There are few resources and there appears be no contact between the different council departments. Yet you need a joined up approach to complex cases. I am not surprised people are leaving the profession.

Northern police oppose use of controversial anti-riot water cannon

Northern police oppose use of controversial anti-riot water cannon
From the current issue of the Big Issue in the North magazine, please buy a copy when you see a seller. 
Police in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire have refused to authorise the use of water cannon across England and Wales.
The three forces have all opposed the plans amid concerns that the equipment would be costly, ineffective, and damaging to community relations.
Lancashire and Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioners Clive Grunshaw and Tony Lloyd both said there was “no convincing argument” as to how water cannon would improve policing or community safety.
Lloyd, the former Manchester Central MP, added the method would have been “completely ineffective” during the 2011 riots in Manchester and Salford.
West Yorkshire PCC Mark Burns Williamson said: “The level of disorder that would warrant the use of cannon has not been seen in West Yorkshire, and contributing to such equipment at a time of government cuts should not be a priority for West Yorkshire Police.
“We need to protect frontline policing and the neighbourhood policing teams to help prevent the level of disorder leading to the use of water cannon.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson and Metropolitan Police Chief Constable Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe have, however, voiced their support for the introduction of the new equipment.
Johnson backed the deployment of water cannon “for those circumstances where its absence would lead to greater disorder or the use of more extreme force”.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), a not-for-profit private company that acts as a forum for chief police officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, wants the cannon to be available “to support public order and public safety operations”.
It cites their use in Northern Ireland since the late 1990s and states that water cannon could have been used during the 2011 riots to “support police lines and create distance between police and protesters.”
Theresa May, the home secretary, will be approached in the coming months to make a decision on the introduction of water cannon. If she agrees to the policy, water cannon could soon be rolled out throughout England and Wales.
A briefing paper, written by the College of Policing and Acpo, has asked chief constables to discuss water cannon with their commissioners. The paper was drawn up as part of a much broader research programme into public order and safety.
‘Deterrent effect’
Acpo, which is funded by the Home Office and profits from commercial activities, claims that a water cannon, costing between £600,000 and £1 million, can help “exert control from a distance... by providing a flexible application of force ranging from spray to forceful water jets. The mere presence of water cannon can have a deterrent effect.”
Acpo claimed water cannon will help prevent the need for tactics like baton rounds – which have never been used outside Northern Ireland but are authorised for use in the UK – and mounted officers, vehicles, police dogs or even firearms.
It has, however, accepted that a 9,000-litre water cannon can cause serious injury or death.
In 2002, the Defence Scientific Advisory Council’s sub-committee on the medical implications of less lethal weapons told the Northern Ireland Office: “The impact of a high-pressure jet from a water cannon is a high momentum event, and may therefore lead to the displacement of the body. In certain scenarios (such as people close to solid obstacles), the potential for an increased risk of injury exists.”

In May 2013, an unnamed Turkish protester in Istanbul was hit with a high velocity jet from a water cannon and was killed when his head hit the ground after his feet were taken from under him.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Sixty years ago and Len Shackleton rips apart Arsenal

When Sunderland travelled to Arsenal in January 1954 they were struggling against relegation and lay just one spot outside the drop zone. It had therefore come as something of a shock when manager Bill Murray had allowed such a lethal goalscorer as Trevor Ford to leave the club and sign for Cardiff. The striker was replaced by Birmingham City’s Ted Purdon, who by scoring after just ten seconds of the match at Highbury became the fastest to net in Sunderland’s history.

Just why did Murray replace Ford with Purdon?  Stan Anderson’s biography, Captain of the North, explains more.

‘There was generally a good spirit in the dressing room in the early 50s with one exception: the relationship between Fordie and Shack. This was a shame. They were the mainstays of the side: Shack was the provider and Ford the scorer. If they’d played together, as they should have done, then we would have won the league. 

One of the problems was that Ford was very friendly with a director, W.S Martin, and I think Shack took umbrage, thinking, ‘Does he think he’s better than the other lads?’ It  became an issue. 

Also Ford would stand in front of the mirror, combing his hair, and say: ‘You must be the best looking player in the game’ - it was only partly in jest! Shack used to cringe. He’d say, ‘Look at that silly bastard’, 

So Shack didn’t like him;  if he liked you he’d tell you. He didn’t like Ford and the feeling was mutual. There wasn’t really room for both of them in the dressing room. Now I have nothing against Ted Purdon but he was nowhere near as good as Trevor Ford. 
Shack played his finest game of the season in the 4-1 victory at Highbury. Shack was brilliant. Typically, he couldn’t keep himself from taking the mickey out of the Arsenal defenders. If only he had played like that every week away from home. In fact Len’s attitude to away games was very different to playing at Roker Park, and he wasn’t the only one. Many of the more experienced players had the attitude that as long as you did well in front of your own spectators then that was good enough.

In the Highbury win he had the ball out on the wing with the Arsenal and Wales fullback Walley Barnes twenty five yards away. Shack kept moving the ball halfway over the touchline and then back. He did this a few times as the linesman watched intently to see if the whole of the ball had gone over the line. Finally an exasperated Barnes decided to attempt to win the ball and Shack just waltzed past him and ran away up the wing. What made it better in Shack’s eyes was that this took place in front of the main stand, so the Arsenal management and dignitaries were closest to the action. He enjoyed that because he was always angry that the Londoners had turned him down as a schoolboy in the spring of 1939, only months before the start of the war. 

As is well known, Len did not think highly of directors at any club. His autobiography, Clown Prince of Soccer, famously had a chapter entitled ‘The Average Director’s Knowledge of Football’ followed by a page containing only a note at the bottom which read: ‘This Chapter has deliberately been left blank in accordance with the author’s wishes.’

There is something in Len’s book that i have never seen mentioned but which I think is worth raising. It concerns a part of the book in which Len praises two of the Sunderland directors, Bill Ditchburn and W.S Martin, for their ‘progressive approach.’ I am convinced that Len was in fact having a laugh at them, and Ditchburn in particular.

In 1953-54, when the side was playing so desperately badly despite the big-money signings such as Ray Daniel, Bill Murray said that Ditchburn wanted to speak to us. This was very unusual. Directors speaking to players - never! 

We trooped through to the away dressing room where Ditchburn said, ‘Well I don’t know what’s gannin on. It’s a poor show, but I think I know what’s the problem. It’s yer boots. I’ve had a look at them, and you’ve hammered doon the toes.’ 

Amazingly, this was true. In those days you’d get a pair of boots two sizes too small for you, put them on and sit in a hot bath to soften the leather. Then you’d hammer down the tin toecaps.

“But Mr Chairman you don’t kick the ball with your toes.’ replied Len.

‘Oh, aye, I see. Well I just think it’s a queer thing, that’s all I thought,’  said the now somewhat bemused chairman. 

Len couldn’t possibly have forgotten that incident when he wrote the book. Neither would he have forgotten that Martin had been very close to Trevor Ford. Len wasn’t daft - he didn’t name anyone in his book!’

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Canal trust's tunnel vision

From the current edition of the Big Issue in the North magazine. Please help the sellers and buy 
the magazine when you have the chance to do so. 

Canal boat owners believe the government’s decision in 2012 to transfer public ownership of England and Wales’s canals to a charitable national trust is working out a success.
Two years ago, the website expressed fears that the Canal & River Trust (CRT) would fail to find alternative funds to replace the annual government grant to British Waterways (BW), the public body that spearheaded the revival in the inland waterway system after it fell into disarray following the arrival of railways and the automobile.
The new body has had its annual government funding cut until 2027, by which time it’s intended for CRT to be self- financing. Without guaranteed funds believed CRT would be unable to properly maintain the 2,000-mile canal and river system. But CRT is now able to raise money itself, through rents on properties, and is free from any further government cuts.
‘Unique opportunity’
Canal users believe the new arrangement is bearing fruit. Les Etheridge, chair of the Inland Waterways Association, which has 16,000 members, said:
“The canal system is over 200 years old and inevitably has unpredictable problems. But when I first started boating in the early 1980s there were much more regular tunnel closures.”
Nigel Stevens, owner of Sowerby Bridge narrow boat holiday company Shire Cruisers and CRT executive council member, said: “There is a unique opportunity to plan for the long term future. That would not have been the case if the canals remained under government control.
“The change is concentrating minds and I am certain that
in the end the waterways will become sustainable.”
Seventy-year old Ken Hall, a narrowboat owner in Hebden Bridge, said: “The outlook for canals is good.
“Generally when tunnels collapse they don’t take too long to repair.”
However continues to express concerns about “crumbling waterways” and said CRT should spend more on maintenance.

A spokesperson for CART said: “Not everything is perfect. But the canal structures in the worst condition have halved to 15 per cent in the last decade. The future of the canal network is the best for generations, especially as we have recruited many volunteers, including 250 lock keepers, without impacting on the numbers of staff, who have retained their terms and conditions.”

1964 FA Cup fifth round: Sunderland 3 Everton 1

The front cover of the book on
Charlie shows him leading the Sunderland
side out prior to the cup tie with Everton in
The fifth round FA cup tie on February 15th 1964 attracted what is officially Sunderland’s last ever 60,000 plus home crowd to date with 62,817 passing through the turnstiles, a quarter of them from Liverpool. 
At the time the Sunderland team used to run out of the tunnel to the music from the popular Police TV series Z cars. The music was intended to inspire the team, but as Everton also used the same tune at Goodison Park before their home matches it was decided to drop the tune for the game. The replacement was Charlie is m’Darling, but he was not to be for the Everton forwards. 

The Merseysiders were to be well beaten by a rampant Sunderland side skippered by an inspirational Hurley who had the joy of watching as his charges scored three in the first thirty-two minutes. Hurley’s partner Jimmy McNab had the pleasure of scoring the first in the third minute in front of the Fulwell End; Hurley scored the second in the twenty-sixth minute ‘after a corner, which West missed, the ball bounced off Usher to Hurley who hit it first time and it deflected off Harris over the line,’ reported the Liverpool Echo. Brian Harris did score a beauty for Everton from a free-kick but Sunderland ran out worthy winners by three goals to one. 

Hurley was simply sublime. It was one of his finest ever performances in a Sunderland strip and in his Monday match report, the Liverpool Echo reporter remarked that Jimmy Gabriel, normally a wing-half but standing in at centre forward, missed an eighth minute chance, ‘the only time Gabriel was able to escape the magnificent Hurley, the best centre-half I’ve ever seen since T.G.Jones.’ Jones is an Everton legend who made over 400 appearances in the 1950s. 

Hurley remembers the match well: “They stuck Jimmy Gabriel up front, he was midfield player who’d been doing well, I thought ‘well Jimmy, it’s going to be a different game today, son’. I scored and Jimmy Mac scored and our third goal was an own goal from Mick Meagan, another wing half…all the goals were scored by half backs.

It was as good a display as any we ever made when I was at Sunderland. It was a tremendous day, and the fans went crazy.” 

The Sunderland team had taken to visiting Wetheralls, the first night club in the north-east, after Hurley had found out about it. 

“Oh yes. Wetheralls was a very pokey little place. My wife and I have always loved going out; we love socialising. We always dig out these places, and I found out about this one. It was a membership place so I got all the players free memberships be because we were very popular. 

The club became very successful. After the Everton match I remember the manager phoned my house to see if we were going in on the night. They’d been inundated by calls from members asking if the players were coming in and he said if we did then there’d be a meal and free champagne. So all the lads went - we had dinner, champagne all night, Tom Jones was on, place was packed and we were all sitting together, signing autographs. It wasn’t fans and players, we were all part of the same club. The ‘60s were a good time to be around and the players at Sunderland got on well with each other. We also had Crossan and Mulhall at the time, who were a great comedy duo!

It would be nice today if players today had more contact, I think they’re missing out today on that with the fan. After all these players have to realise that if these supporters don’t come in then there would be no £10,000, £20,000 a week wages, I think fans are now being priced away from the game, the danger is that the game will kill itself. You might end up with a Premier League and a lot of the smaller clubs will go out of business, I think that the players have lost their way, I read their comments in the papers about financial matters, it just seems football has turned into a pound note, multi-pound notes, no great camaraderie between the fans and the players, you’ve got to remember, without the fans you’ve got nothing.“ 

Sunderland's finest footballer signs autographs for the fans. 

Alice Wheeldon - peace activist, socialist and suffragette who was wrongly convicted

Alice Wheeldon – peace activist, socialist and suffragette

In 2013 Derby City Council and Derby Civic Society erected a Blue Plaque as a memorial to Alice Wheeldon at her home on 29 Pear Tree Road, Derby. This was public recognition for the campaign, instigated by the Derby People’s History Group, to clear Wheeldon and her daughter and son-in-law, Winnie and Alf Mason, of their convictions for conspiracy to murder Prime Minister Lloyd George and his cabinet minister Arthur Henderson in 1917. Sentences of ten, five and seven years were imposed after a swift trial that gripped the nation.
Alice Wheeldon was a socialist who was active in the Women’s Social and Political Union until the outbreak of the First World War when along with the rest of her family she began sheltering young men fleeing conscription.
In 1917, Alex Gordon, a MI5 secret agent with a lengthy list of previous criminal convictions, stayed the night at the Wheeldon home after claiming he was a conscientious objector. Gordon constructed an elaborate plot to fabricate evidence that the Wheeldon family were intent on murdering some of the most prominent politicians of the day.
When case came to the Old Bailey the Attorney General, F E Smith, led the prosecution and at the trial he refused to call Gordon, who had twice previously been diagnosed as criminally insane, as a witness. The agent later emigrated to South Africa. This prevented cross-examination of the key witness and a fair trial.
Following her conviction, Alice was sent to Aylesbury Prison, where she went on hunger strike in protest at her innocence. When her health quickly deteriorated the authorities feared she might die in prison and become a martyr in a period when increasing numbers of people were beginning to question the continuing slaughter in the trenches. She was released on 31 December 1917 but Alice never recovered from her ordeal and she died of flu during the 1919 pandemic. A red flag was placed on her coffin at the funeral. Her daughter and son-in-law were released at the conclusion of the War in 1918.

Two years ago a campaign was launched to clear the names of Alice Wheeldon, Winnie and Alf Mason. Counsel has been fully briefed to make an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and in early February 2014 the stage where the material upon which the application will be founded is only weeks away from completion. This preparation has been made possible through legal research by University of New South Wales, Australia where Deirdre and Chloe Mason; Alice Wheeldon’s living descendants live.
The case of the Wheeldon’s featured on 10 February 2014 in Jeremy Paxman’s BBC TV series Britain’s Great War and you can find out more on the campaign to clear their names at

Monday, 10 February 2014

Build up to Miners' Strike - MacGregor lies about USA coal industry

When Ian MacGregor was appointed Coal board chairman in 1983 he sought to confuse miners by telling them how wonderful he helped make the lives of American miners. The Yorkshire Miner newspaper of February 1984 highlighted the reality. 

Yorkshire Miner - February 1984 

Yorkshire Miner - February 1984 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Sunderland 2 Aston Villa 2 in FA Cup second round 1894 was a brilliant match

10th  February 1894                                                                     English Cup 2nd Round

                        SUNDERLAND   2                                  ASTON VILLA    2                             
                       (Gillespie 6,Wilson)                               (Hodgetts 46, Cowan 82)               

Referee Mr C.S.Hughes of Cheshire                                                      Attendance 15,956

Sunderland:-- Doig, Meehan, Gow, Dunlop, Auld, Wilson, Gillespie, Harvie, Campbell, Millar, Hannah(J).
Aston Villa.:- Dunning, Elliott, Baird, Reynolds, Cowan(J), Groves, Athersmith, Chatt, Devey(J), Hodgetts, Woolley.

This match between present league Champions Sunderland and champions elect Aston Villa had been keenly awaited since they were drawn together in the English Cup. Now after 120 minutes of the hardest football imaginable the teams must replay in Birmingham after a 2-2 draw. Regardless of the result of the replay there is no doubt that the finances of both clubs will receive a boost as a huge gate is certain at the great Perry Barr enclosure. Sunderland's chance of the league championship is gone and they now face a severe test if they are to realise their hopes of winning the English Cup.

A record attendance was expected at the Newcastle Rd ground and new stands had been erected to accommodate 5,000 people. This brought the ground capacity to 20,000 but it was still not enough to accommodate all those who wished to see the game. Trains arrived before noon from Hartlepool and Durham bringing vast numbers of people into the town. Around noon a train arrived from Birmingham with around 1800 Villa partisans who had to leave home at 4-30 in the morning. 

Excursions from Richmond, Willington, Hartlepool and Saltburn etc were well filled and the service trains from South Shields and Newcastle were packed. The gates were opened at 12-30 and by 1pm there was a steady stream of people wending their way to the ground. By 2pm the cheaper stands were packed and the more agile climbed onto the roof of the press box in such numbers that it seemed likely to collapse at any moment. The roof of the dressing rooms was next and in a moment it too was packed. This building is even frailer than the press box and the committee implored the people to come down.

They refused to budge even when confronted by a body of police and soldiers and by 2-50 not a square inch of space remained and the gates were closed in the faces of the several thousands still trying to gain admission. Villa had left Birmingham on Friday and stayed overnight at the Queens Hotel before travelling by brake to the ground. Rain had fallen at intervals during the morning and the wind was blowing half a gale from the NW. Sunderland won the toss and attacked the Road end with the gale at their backs. 

Devey kicked off and immediately sent the ball out to Athersmith but Gow got the ball away. Wilson accidentally caught Reynolds in the face and the game was stopped for a few minutes and from the restart Gow sent a huge kick soaring over the Villa goalline. Devey, Hodgetts and Chatt had Villa on the move again but Wilson cleverly checked them and passed to Millar whose long pass gave Campbell a run but the wind took the ball out of play before he got catch it. A couple of throw ins from Dunlop enabled Sunderland to gradually work their way up but Baird and Elliott soon repelled them.

Gow got possession on the halfway line and sent in a terrific shot that flashed into the net just under the bar as the ground erupted in cheering for what appeared a capital goal. Devey protested to the referee that he had been impeded by Millar and the official disallowed the goal. Gillespie was fouled by Groves but Meehan placed the free kick just over the bar. Wilson checked Devey in Villas next raid but the ball went to Woolley who got close to goal before being stopped by Meehan. Hodgetts got the ball over to Chatt but with a great chance he shot a long way wide.

Sunderland had a turn and Baird conceded a corner. Hannah took it but the visitors cleared into touch. Gillespie got in a shot from the throw that was deflected for a corner by Elliott. Gillespie took it and when Baird headed the ball out Wilson chipped it up to Gillespie whose header flashed past Dunning to put Sunderland ahead in the 6th minute. Villa tried to respond straight from the kick off but against the strong wind they made little progress. A long kick by Devey was missed by Gow on the halfway line and Chatt dashed away towards the home goal with Wilson in hot pursuit.

Wilson managed to get in a last ditch tackle and when the ball ran loose Gow retrieved his mistake with a big kick. Devey sent the ball into touch to stop Campbell and soon after Groves gave away a free kick. Meehan sent the ball across goal where Campbell just failed to get a touch before the ball went out. Groves put the ball out to halt Harvie and from the throw Meehan tried to find Millar with a pass. It was just out of his reach but Gillespie came dashing in to send a great shot just a few inches wide.

Sunderland raided again and Harvie had a good chance but dawdled and Elliott nipped in to put the ball out for a corner. Villa cleared but with the wind in their favour Sunderland kept the ball continually in the visitors half with Meehan and Gow standing inside the Villa half just over the halfway line. A free kick to Sunderland brought a corner from which Dunlop drove powerfully behind. Athersmith got away for Villa and another mistake by Gow allowed him to get close to the home goal. 

Wilson and Auld quickly closed in on him and Auld managed to kick the ball to safety. A sharp raid by Sunderland saw Campbell get in a shot that looked like a winner but the ball crashed against the underside of the crossbar and came back into play.  Immediately afterwards Baird fouled Hannah right in front of goal but Dunning saved well from the free kick. Sunderland maintained the pressure and the Villa defence were having a severe putting up. Campbell shot over the bar and then Millar drove wide from Wilsons pass.

Baird did well to block three successive shots from Gow and then a long kick out by Chatt gave Villa some respite. Back came Sunderland and Harvie wasted a great chance by putting the ball high over the bar. Villa were struggling to get their goal kicks very far against the wind and Campbell got possession again but his weak shot was easily gathered by Dunning. Hannah headed in a cross from Dunlop that Baird did well to clear and then Reynolds kicked into touch to stop Millar. Campbell spun round to crack in a beauty from Wilsons throw but the shot flashed into the side netting. 

Harvie then had a good chance but his shot was poor and he was jeered for his pains. Gow and Meehan sent long shots wide and when Dunning miscued from the goal kick Cowan only just beat Campbell to the ball. Woolley made a quick break for Villa but Wilson robbed him and the ball was soon back in front of the Villa goal. Harvie missed an opportunity after Campbell had hit the bar and when the ball came out Auld swung it across but the wind carried it out of play. Woolley and Hodgetts moved forward for Villa and got the ball to Devey. 

Gow failed to stop him but Meehan was on his toes and kicked into touch. The throw in enabled Woolley, Hodgett and Devey to launch a dangerous attack but Devey handled right in front of goal and the attack fizzled out with a free kick to Sunderland. The free kick found Wilson on the halfway line and he moved forward a few yards before sending in a terrific shot that dropped just in front of Dunning. The bounce was higher than the custodian was expecting and he was left bewildered as it flew high over his shoulder and into the net for Sunderland's 2nd goal.

Villa retaliated but Wilson returned the ball deep into the visitor’s half. Sunderland won a free kick for handball by Devey and when Meehan swung the ball in the Villa defence were sorely tested for a few minutes. Campbell forced a corner off Cowan and when the kick came over Gillespie shot over the bar. Reynolds tackled Wilson as he was lining up a shot and then Hannah put Campbell in but his grand shot went just a bit too high. Athersmith got into the Sunderland goalmouth and when challenged by Gow he sent the ball out to Woolley on the other wing.

Woolley forced Villas 1st corner but Devey blazed over the bar from Hodgetts well placed kick. Campbell broke away and sent in a shot that Dunning saved well under strong challenge from Hannah. Keeping up the pressure Sunderland forced another corner and Campbell drove a shot over the bar. Sunderland deserved more goals and almost got one when Wilson fired in a marvellous shot that only just missed the mark. The Villa defence were given no rest as corner followed corner and it was remarkable that only 2 goals had been scored. 

Just before the break Gillespie banged in a clinking shot that Dunning saved splendidly and then Elliott turned another shot by Gillespie for a corner. Before the kick could be taken the whistle blew for halftime. On the restart Villa came with a rush and within a minute Chatt had whipped the ball across to Hodgetts who sent a beautiful header into the net. Sunderland responded but against the gale they were easily repelled and Athersmith, Devey and Hodgetts raced away only to allow the ball to run out of play.

Devey sent a shot wide after receiving the ball from a throw as Villa tried all they knew to make the most of their wind advantage. A lot of dangerous play from the Villa forwards gave Reynolds a chance but he blazed wildly over the bar as Sunderland struggled to hold their opponents at bay. A great shot from Groves went just wide and then Campbell and Millar tried to change the venue but found Elliott too sharp for them. Hannah passed out to Gillespie who was racing away when he was badly fouled by Groves.

Dunlop took the free kick but put his shot too high. Villa returned to the attack but another free kick gave Sunderland relief. Baird returned Meehans free kick and Reynolds crossed the ball to Devey who headed a good opportunity wide. Sunderland gradually worked their way into the Villa half where Gillespie and Harvie had good shots blocked by Woolley. Gillespie had another try to get away but when he crossed to Campbell Groves was too quick for him and got the ball away to Hodgetts who quickly lost the ball.

Nice passing between Hannah, Campbell and Gillespie looked promising for Sunderland but at a critical moment Hannah ran offside and was penalised as soon as he got the ball. The home side pressed again and Wilson, Campbell and Millar all put in shots that failed to find the target as good defensive play by the visitors managed to repel the home forwards. Sunderland had the better of the exchanges for a few minutes and then Villa came again with Athersmith and Wilson tussling hard for the ball which ultimately ran out of play.

Just afterwards Woolley fired in a great shot that Doig had great difficulty in clawing away from underneath the crossbar and Gow stepped in to complete the clearance. When the ball was kicked back into the home goalmouth Wilson managed to clear his lines. Elliott checked a run by Campbell and Groves got the ball to Reynolds who shot very wide. Villa swarmed round the home goal and put in shot after shot but the wind was playing havoc with their accuracy and Doig was not seriously troubled. 

A free kick gave Sunderland a moments respite but the ball was soon back in Sunderland territory where Auld in trying to clear skied the ball. The wind whipped it to Reynolds who wasted the chance with a poor shot. Chatt fouled Millar to give Sunderland breathing space but Harvie immediately lost the ball to Elliott who passed to Groves. He sent the ball to Reynolds but once again the Villa man wasted the opportunity. Campbell set off on a fine solo run but Baird and Elliott bustled him off the ball. Hannah got possession but again Elliott saved the visitors.

A free kick against Cowan took Sunderland into Villa territory and another free kick took them closer to the Villa goal. Campbell got possession just outside the penalty area where yet another foul gave the home side a free kick. Gillespie took it and Campbell headed the ball on to Hannah whose header went past the post. Sunderland were playing with a lot of spirit and looked much the fitter team with Villa showing signs of tiredness. Hannah sent a good shot just over the bar and then Millar passed to Campbell who dropped the ball right into the goalmouth where Elliott just beat Gillespie to it.

Villa tried another rush and Gow kicked high into touch to keep them out. The throw in found Baird whose shot went just over the bar. Campbell tried to break for the home side but Elliott but was robbed by Elliott who dropped the ball nicely into the home goalmouth. A terrific scrimmage ensued with the home goal in danger of falling at any second. Eventually it came when Cowan shot the ball through a crowd of players and into the net to put Villa on level terms with 8 minutes left for play.

In the closing minutes both sides tried hard to for a winning goal but the defences prevailed though with the wind Villa were pressing when the final whistle went. Thirty minutes of extra time began immediately and once again Sunderland won the toss and took advantage of the wind which by now had dropped somewhat. There was little of interest in the opening stages with the ball being confined mainly to the middle of the field. Campbell was still full of energy however and banged in a shot that Dunning saved comfortably.

The clearance brought only temporary respite for Villa and when Millar drove in a fierce shot cheers went up in the growing darkness as spectators thought that the ball had gone in but it was wide. Gow then had a characteristic long shot saved by Dunning as Sunderland continued to attack. Villa however were not to be caught napping and packed their goal. Athersmith got possession and made a sudden break that almost caught Sunderland out. He whipped in a flying centre to Woolley who was quickly tackled by Gow and the ball went out for a corner.

The 2nd period of extra time saw Sunderland still attacking and winning a free kick which led to a fierce scrimmage right in front of the Villa posts. Woolley eventually broke away and took play into the Sunderland half and got the ball to Devey. Gow was on his case however and Sunderland resumed attacking to bring Dunning rushing from his line to kick away. Moments later Chatt set off on a grand run and when Gow failed to cut out his centre Woolley beat Doig with a fine shot that slid inches past the post. Villa tried again and Woolley got in another shot that also missed the target.

The ball was quickly transferred to the other end where Gillespie’s centre was cut out by Elliott. Wilson got the ball back in and Campbell and Millar combined to force Dunning to save once more. Athersmith looked like getting away until Meehan checked him magnificently and sent the ball up to his forwards. A brief stoppage occurred after Hodgetts was hurt but as the end drew near Sunderland were still hammering away at a superb Villa defence with seemingly boundless energy.

Right on time Villa forced a corner but the final whistle went as Woolley sent in his shot. Doig had left his goal to head for the dressing rooms and the ball actually went into the net. It was of course ruled out and the teams must replay in Birmingham in a weeks time. The receipts were said to be £930 but this seems to be a remarkably small sum. The admission prices to all stands were doubled and the great majority paid more than a shilling to get in. Even so at a shilling a time a crowd of 20,000 would pay £1,000.

There has been a lot of discussion about this and it was later announced that the official attendance was 15,956 and the receipts were £928-18s-11d.           (Newc Dly Ldr) 

When Preston became the Invincibles - the 125th anniversary on Sunday

Taken from 'The Origins of the Football League - the first season 1888/89' by Mark Metcalf and published by Amberley Publishing
On Saturday 9 February 1889 Preston North End beat Aston Villa in the final Division One match of the season and by doing so confirmed their place in history by going undefeated in the League. They later won the FA Cup and rightly became known as THE INVINCIBLES. This is how the match at Villa was reported on. 

9 February 1889
Aston Villa 0 v. Preston 2
When these sides had last clashed at Wellington Road during the previous season’s FA Cup competition it proved a historic occasion when the game was abandoned after the crowd invaded the pitch with North 3-1 to the good. Although a replay date was agreed the FA intervened to order the result to stand. This was the first of a handful of first-class games in English football to remain uncompleted.
Immense interest attached to the visit of the Preston team to Birmingham today. It was their last League match and they were to meet the only one of the other eleven members of the League whom they had not beaten in the tournament. When the Villa were at Deepdale the score was a goal each, so that today’s game was expected to be the greatest of the series. Unfortunately the North End were without the valuable services of Robertson, who fractured his collarbone at Bootle a week ago.
Ten thousand spectators gathered. The ground had a thin covering of snow and there was a wind blowing. The North End kicked off with the sun in their eyes, and the game became fast. Hodgetts and Allen darted down the left, but were pulled up by Drummond and shot over and play of a give and take character followed. After pretty passing Dewhurst centred, Goodall shooting over, and a beautiful centre by Gordon missed right in front. North End was now pressing and from a corner Thompson headed against the bar.
An excellent run followed by the Villa forwards, but Howarth pulled them up and the visitors’ right made away, the ball again being put wide of the Villa posts. The home backs were in rare trim, and their forwards were very speedy. Ross won another corner, Gordon heading by the upright. Green and Allen were then rather dangerous, and made Holmes kick out, but the ball was soon again near Warner, who had to stop a shot from Ross. Brown and Hunter were let in through misunderstanding and Mills- Roberts conceded a corner. The Villains were playing desperately hard, but kept in check by the North End backs. The ball was frequently in touch through the wind.
A grand attempt by Brown made Dr Robert Mills-Roberts give a corner away from under the bar. Play was now very even. From a free-kick Brown was again looking dangerous but was again repulsed by Howarth and Thomson. Thomson coming away, he and Goodall got right through the Villa backs, but the latter shot over the bar. A corner then fell to North End, and the game was taken in midfield. North End got a free-kick for a foul, but soon Holmes had to head away, and Green shot over. At the interval no goals were scored.
No time was lost in crossing over and after Devey had kicked out Gordon won a corner. In a minute Dewhurst scored a goal with a splendid shot. North End had a free-kick near Warner, but Hodgetts got clear away, but the game was soon again near Trainer, where beautiful passing ended in Thomson shooting wide and after another run by Hodgetts Ross shot wide. Give and take play now became the order, the halfbacks on both sides showing up well until Ross again shot. Howarth neatly robbed Hodgetts and Allen, but Green centred from the right and Hodgetts missed another chance. Gordon ran down the right, but was floored by Cox, but Ross centred and Thomson just missing. Dewhurst again putting the ball through. The point was protested against for offside, and after some consideration the goal was allowed. This was after sixteen minutes’ play. On restarting Gordon again centred and Ross put the ball wide.
Villa seemed to fall off, but from a pass by Hunter, Hodgetts struck the crossbar and Mills-Roberts put over, the corner coming to nothing. North End was again threatening when they were ruled offside. Repeated efforts of the Villa forwards were nullified and from a pass by Gordon, Goodall nearly scored another. North End continued to have the best of matters, and was very aggressive, winning two more corners and winning a good game by two to none.
(Report from Cricket and Football Field, 9 February 1889)
Brilliant Display
North End arrived at New Street Station at seven minutes to three and had dressed in the saloon, so no time was lost in starting. From the start it was obvious that the Villa were carefully trained and they exhibited some fine fast runs. On the other hand North End relied on their passing, but though favoured by the wind could do nothing to half-time in the way of shooting. In fact at the interval it was difficult to surmise which way fortune would turn.
However, in the second half the Prestonians soon showed their superiority and played a grand passing game to the finish.
The Villa appeared to have been over-trained and fell away greatly towards the end. Their forwards showed poor combination, Brown, Green and Hodgetts being the best. Devey was the best of the halves. Both backs played well. Warner could not have stopped either goal of the winners, who all played grandly. Drummond was a good substitute for Robertson. The defence was very safe, and the forward play much admired.
Among the Preston North End it was a case of superlatively fine individual and collective work. Nothing grander than the North End play in the second half of the game has ever been seen at Perry Barr.
The perfection of unity of action, through the command over the ball, dashing attack, impregnable defence, and untiring physical exertion were all seen at their best in this grand eleven.
Every pass those forwards made had some intent and purpose; each man knew where the ball would go, why it was sent there, and who would receive it.
There were lessons given at Perry Barr on Saturday for even the Villa to take to heart. It was combination of the highest order; a picture and poem of football motion. The Prestonians have left a magnificent impression behind them on that huge assemblage who saw them beat the Villa.
(Birmingham Daily Times)
The general expression of opinion after the match was that Preston North End was the cleverest Association team in the world; and after Saturday’s display I am bound to concur in this opinion.ount
(Birmingham Correspondent, Athletic News)
The feat North End have accomplished, gaining eighteen victories and four draws – a record for which no comparison can fairly be found at English Association football. Attention will now be directed towards the progress of Preston in the competition for the Association Cup. On public form Preston once more look to have a better chance of ultimate success than any other eleven and whether they win or not, their record in the League matches must stamp them, as the champion club of 1888/89.

(Daily News)

Jimmy Greaves - the only player to finish top scorer in English football on six occasions

Only one player has finished top scorer in England's top flight on six occasions. The following
is from Golden Boot book by myself and Tony Matthews. Reproduced with permission of
Tony Matthews, who wrote the piece on Greaves for the book. 

1958-59 - finished 14th
32 goals (out of 77) 22 home, 10 away. Percentage: 41.4%
Finished joint top scorer with Bobby Smith (Tottenham Hotspur)
1960-61 – finished 12th
41 goals (out of 98) 28 home, 13 away. Percentage: 41.8%
Runner’s-up David Herd (Arsenal) and Gerry Hitchens (Aston Villa) both with 29
Tottenham Hotspur
1962-63 – finished 2nd
37 goals (out of 111) 27 home, 10 away. Percentage: 33.3%
joint runner’s-up Joe Baker (Arsenal) and David Layne (Sheffield Wednesday) both with 29
1963-64 – finished 4th
35 goals (out of 97) 20 home, 15 away. Percentage: 36%
Joint runner’s-up: Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers) and Fred Pickering (Blackburn Rovers & Everton) both with 32
1964-65 – finished  6th
29 goals (out of 87) 20 home, nine away Percentage: 33%
Joint top scorer with Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers)
1968-69 – finished 6th
27 goals (out of 61) 18 home, nine away. Percentage:
Runner-up Geoff Hurst (West Ham United) with 25
Without a shadow of doubt Jimmy Greaves has been one of the greatest goalscorers in Football League history.
Quick over the ground and blessed with an incredibly cool assurance and superb balance, he had unnerving anticipation in and around opposing penalty areas when chances presented themselves and above all, he simply knew where and when to find the back of the net!
He would ghost past a defender, sometimes two, even three as if they were not there and then smartly tuck away his shot... brilliant.
Like so many of his generation, Greaves (J.P. to his pals) was born in the East End of London on 20 February 1940, at a time when Germans and the Allies were blinking at each other during the worst winter for 100 years.
He became an avid Spurs supporter, preferring to make the trek from the East End to White Hart Lane rather than walk to the nearer Upton Park at a time when West Ham were nothing more than Second Division nonentities. 
In the late 1940s/early ‘50s, Spurs were exciting to watch, their push and run football bringing them successive Second and First Division championship victories.
In the autumn of 1954, Greaves almost joined the Tottenham ground staff but with the threat of relegation looming, manager Arthur Rowe had second thoughts about signing an ‘untried’ youngster.
Disappointed, Greaves was quickly taken under the wing of one Jimmy Thompson, a one-man Pied Piper, who led so many East End boys to Chelsea, including Peter Brabrook, Barry Bridges and Terry Venables. 
Greaves was a smash hit in the Chelsea youth side, bagging no less than 114 goals in the 1956-57 season. 
On 24 August 1957, Greaves made his senior debut for the Blues and as was to be a pattern over the course of time, he did absolutely nothing at all apart from scoring in the 1-1 draw at, of all places, Tottenham!
For 89 minutes of a game, he seemed to idle around, chatting to anyone who cared to talk back, but his instincts were razor sharp and rarely missed the target when a chance came along. 
In his first season at Stamford Bridge – despite missing six matches up to Christmas Day 1957 - he returned in style, blitzing in a four-timer in a 7-4 home victory over Portsmouth. He scored 22 League goals that term and in his second netted 32 to finish equal top dog with Bobby Smith in Division One while also setting a new Chelsea record, surpassing Bob Whittingham’s tally of 30 goals in 1910-11. Two seasons later he once again topped the League’s scoring charts with a haul of 29.
He got off to a flier in 1958-59, notching eight goals in his first three matches, including a stunning five-timer in a 6-2 home win over the reigning League champions Wolves. In mid-September he netted twice in a thrilling 6-5 victory over Newcastle and at the end of the month struck a hat-trick in a 4-1 defeat of Nottingham Forest. He was on fire and, as so often happens, all of a sudden the goals dried up!  
However, you couldn’t keep ‘J.P’ quiet for long and he returned with a brace when Leeds lost 2-0 in early November, following up soon afterwards with a clinical finish to beat Birmingham City 1-0 at the Bridge.
After some mediocre performances by his standards, Greaves had a good January and February, salvaging a point against Portsmouth (2-2) and netting in a 3-2 home win over West Ham.
By this time Chelsea were edging well clear of relegation and Greaves, although not at his best, still popped in a few goals as the season wound down, his efforts at Leicester City and Nottingham Forest and at home to Preston, Manchester City and Everton all securing victories. Unfortunately his two FA Cup and three Inter Cities Fairs Cup goals (for London) were all in vain.
Still only 19 when the 1959-60 season started, Greaves was now staking a claim for a regular place in the England team as well as being Chelsea’s ‘pride and joy’ and what a start he made to the new campaign, cracking in a hat-trick in a thrilling 4-4 home draw with Preston. Later in the season he scored all his side’s goals at Deepdale – with the minimum of fuss – as Chelsea won 5-4.
His second treble of the campaign came in a 4-2 home win over Birmingham City in mid-September but between then and his goal feast at Preston, he wasn’t quite himself, netting only  three times in 12 League games as Chelsea plummeted to the bottom end of the table.
Another six-week barren spell followed after Christmas, but thankfully - for club and fans alike - his goal touch returned when it mattered most and braces helped see off Fulham (4-2) and Luton Town (3-0) and also earn a point against West Brom. Late on he netted in a 3-0 home win over Manchester City, helped salvage a draw with Nottingham Forest and beat his former club Tottenham, with the only goal of the game at White Hart Lane.  In the end Greaves’ goals certainly did the trick as Chelsea escaped the drop by just three points!
During the 1960-61 season, footballers were increasingly restive as the Players Union, led by Fulham’s Jimmy Hill, fought to improve their wages. There was talk of a strike but this fizzled out when the Football League conceded the players had a case. In the meantime, Greaves could not wait he was transferred to AC Milan for £80,000 in June 1961 but only after scoring another 41 League goals ( a club record that brought his tally up to 132 in 169 appearances for the Blues) including hat-tricks against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City as well as four-timers against Newcastle at St James’ Park and at home to Nottingham Forest in his final game for the Pensioners. On December 3rd 1960 he also scored five times as West Brom were thrashed 7-1 at Stamford Bridge. 
Greaves was never a happy chappie in Italy. The system used by his club was far too regimented. Sex was banned for three days before a match as was alcohol. He could not bear this sort of restrictiveness and made it clear he didn’t like Italian food either. In short, he was a typical British holidaymaker!
It soon became evident that Milan hierarchy was not pleased with Greaves’ attitude or indeed his performances, especially after he had hinted he wanted to return to England, Tottenham were first to make a bid which Chelsea countered. Spurs then increased their offer, Chelsea dropped out, and in December 1961, Greaves was signed for a fee of £99,999, manager Bill Nicholson refusing to make him a £100,000 footballer. He had scored just nine times in Serie A.
Greaves' first appearance for Spurs was in a reserve game at Plymouth but on the day of his senior debut shortly afterwards, against Blackpool at home, he scored a hat-trick (Les Allen grabbed the other two goals) in a 5-2 thrashing of the Seasiders and no-one who was present will ever forget his spectacular bicycle kick which brought him his third goal. Quite an effort this – just ask the Blackpool goalkeeper Tony Waiters.
Before Greaves made his debut, Spurs’ attack had been somewhat lack-lustre with Bobby Smith injured and Allen suffering a lack of confidence. Greaves came in and made one hell of a difference. He went on to score 21 goals in 22 League appearances that season, becoming a huge favourite with the fans. In fact, he almost single handedly brought the championship back to White Hart Lane, but Spurs failed to beat Ipswich in the run-in. He did, however, gain a medal by netting a vital goal in a 3-1 FA Cup final victory over Burnley.
In his first full season for Spurs, Greaves broke the club record for scoring most League goals (37) in one single campaign, Ted Harper (1930-31) and Bobby Smith (1957-58) having been the joint holders with 36. He also topped the First Division scoring charts for the third time in five years.... and this was despite the winter being the second worst since WW2. Football was hard hit. Very few games were played from Boxing Day until the beginning of March, so it was amazing that Greaves was able to create this amazing record. 
Six goals in the opening five matches, including a stunner in a 6-1 win over West Ham and two beauties in a 4-2 home victory over Aston Villa, set the pattern. He bagged a couple more in a tight game at Wolves (2-2) before having his best game for quite some time, certainly his best for Spurs (at that time) when Nottingham Forest were comprehensively battered 9-2 at the end of September. 
He was outstanding and scored four times that afternoon. He equalised Trevor Hockey’s early goal in the sixth minute from Medwin’s cross and then put his side in front five minutes later from another pin-point Medwin pass. Goals by Cliff Jones and Medwin himself then made it 5-1 before Greaves completed his hat-trick with a sixth strike on the half-hour mark.
At this juncture many records looked endangered. But, as so often happens, Spurs felt they had done enough, eased up and managed only three more goals (to Forest’s two) in the next hour, from a Les Allen penalty (51 minutes), a Jones ground shot (53) and Greaves’ fourth (on 72) from Dave Mackay’s measured pass. Towards the end Greaves had two more goal-bound shots well saved by Peter Grummitt but who cared really... this was a great win and another great day out for hot-shot Greaves.
Hat-trick number two for Greaves followed in a superb 6-2 home win over Manchester United in late October and after narrowly failing to make it three trebles with a brace and two near misses against Leicester City (won 4-0) he whipped in three snorters to see off League champions Ipswich Town 5-0 at White Hart Lane, later adding another two more to his tally (one a rare penalty) when Spurs beat the ‘Tractor boys’ 4-2 in the return fixture at Portman Road.
In between times, Greaves struck twice to beat Blackpool 2-0 and towards the end of the season, he did something special, a feat very few footballers over the years have achieved. He scored four goals in a game against Liverpool. It happened at White Hart Lane in mid-April when everything he touched turned to gold as the Merseysiders were humiliated to the tune of 7-2... this being sweet revenge for Spurs who had been whipped 5-2 at Anfield three days earlier.
Greaves eventually set the new – and still existing - record when he fired home in a 4-2 win over Sheffield United on 4 May 1963. Surprisingly, he then failed to score in the remaining three games, when only one point was gained. Four would have given Spurs the championship.
Spurs made history on another front in 1962-63 when they won the European Cup-winner’s Cup, thrashing Atletico Madrid, 5-1 in the final. The star of the night was not Greaves who scored twice, but darting midget left-winger Terry Dyson, who ran the Spanish defence ragged.
In 1963-64, Greaves notched another 35 goals in 41 League matches, to once again finish as the First Division’s leading marksman. He claimed four well-taken hat-tricks in resounding wins over the club he loved playing against Nottingham Forest (4-1), Blackpool (6-1), Birmingham City (6-1) and Blackburn Rovers (4-1). He also struck twice (once from the spot) in a 4-2 win at Wolves, did likewise in the 4-2 victory at Villa Park, played his part with a splendid goal in a thrill-a-minute 4-4 draw with Arsenal at Highbury in front of a near 68,000 crowd, beat Fulham on his own (1-0), did the same thing against Stoke City (netting twice to seal a 2-1 win), tucked away the winner against Nottingham Forest (2-1) and denied West Brom victory with two fine individual efforts in a 4-4 draw at The Hawthorns.
During the second half of the season, his goals earned full points off Blackpool (2-0), Aston Villa (3-1), Arsenal (3-1), Birmingham City (2-1) and Bolton (1-0);  his penalties in the games against the Gunners and Blues being so vital. He also played his heart out, scored, all to no avail in a devastating 7-2 defeat at Burnley.
Cliff Jones (14 goals) and Bobby Smith (13) followed Greaves home in the scoring charts this season.
And it was Jones (13), Alan Gilzean (11) and Frank Saul (11) who assisted Greaves (29) in 1964-65 when, for the second season running, he was the top striker, this time jointly with the Blackburn striker Andy McEvoy, in the First Division.
Perhaps not as strong as they had been in the previous three seasons, Spurs were perhaps relying too much on Greaves’ goals... but he did the business and the fans loved him!
Once again keeping himself free from injury – surprising this for a striker – this was the third season running Greaves had missed only one League game. He scored in three of the first five games, missed the sixth and then netted twice at West Ham (lost 3-2) and in home wins over Stoke City (2-1) and West Brom (1-0). Further strikes followed in home wins over Fulham (3-0), Arsenal (3-1), Sunderland 3-0, Aston Villa (4-0) and Sheffield Wednesday (3-2), in successive victories over Nottingham Forest (2-1 away and 4-0 at home) and draws at Liverpool (1-1) and Sheffield United (3-3) and at home to Everton (2-2).  Into the New Year his double helped see off the FA Cup holders West Ham (3-2) and in mid-March he netted a spanker in a 4-1 win over Blackpool before netting twice in a 5-2 roasting of Blackburn and doing likewise in a last-match 6-2 tonking of Leicester City.  All good stuff as far as Greaves was concerned, but his efforts were in vain as Spurs floundered to finish sixth in the Division, their lowest placing since 1958-59.
The goals were hard to come by for Greaves in 1965-66, only 15 scored. He was also part of England’s World Cup-winning squad, but sustained a minor injury which let in Geoff Hurst at the quarter-final stage. The rest is history.
Greaves, in fact, had been taken ill with hepatitis B after scoring twice in a 2-1 League win over West Bromwich Albion on 30 October and did not reappear in the Spurs side until the end of January when he converted a penalty in a 4-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.
The oddest game during the 1965-66 season was the 5-5 draw with Aston Villa. It wasn't funny at the time, however!  When the second-half started, Spurs held a 5-1 lead and were cruising to victory. With ten minutes of the game remaining, Tony Hateley equalised to make it 5-5 and in the dying seconds Villa missed an open goal!
Greaves weighed in with another 25 League goals in 1966-67 as Spurs finished third in the League, behind Manchester United and Nottingham Forest. He also netted six goals in the FA Cup which Spurs won by beating Greaves’ former club, Chelsea in the final. 
Wow, in 1967-68 Greaves scored only 23 League goals! He followed up however, with a haul of 27 in 1968-69 to become the First Division’s top man for the sixth time – a feat never achieved before or since. 
This was to be Greaves’ last full season at White Hart Lane, and in the game against Leicester City in October he scored the ‘best goal’ of his entire career. Unfortunately there were no TV cameras to capture the moment but those who saw it will surely agree it was something special. ‘Keeper Pat Jennings booted the ball out to the wing where Greaves had wandered. He killed the ball dead, spun round and was away before his marker had realised where he’d gone. He glided past four defenders, even rounded the referee, drew Peter Shilton and stroked the ball into the net. Shear perfection. He netted twice more against the Foxes in a 3-1 win.
Prior to that ‘special occasion’ he had already knocked in nine goals in eleven games including a hat-trick in a 7-0 drubbing of Burnley at White Hart Lane. Soon after his exploits against Leicester, he swept home two grand efforts to beat Liverpool 2-1 in London and earned a point against Stoke City (1-1) before going goal crazy again, this time with a four-timer in a brilliant 5-1 home victory over Sunderland on a freezing cold day in mid-November. He netted at Southampton in his next game (1-2) but after this the ‘goal king’ couldn’t do a thing right!  He was absent from the scoresheet in each of the next seven League games (only one of which ended in a victory) before obliging in a 1-1 draw with QPR. Still the goals were at a premium – only one scored, a penalty v. Ipswich Town, in his next eight outings, but he ended on a high, scoring in four consecutive matches during April including two in a 4-3 triumph at West Brom and the winner in the London derby v. West Ham (1-0).  
His four FA Cup and five League Cup goals proved worthless, with defeat in the semi-final of the latter competition being something Greaves found hard to forget. In an earlier round he had netted his first-ever League Cup hat-trick v. Exeter City (won 6-3).
After Greaves had netted eight League goals in 29 games during the first two-thirds of 1969-70, Spurs’ manager Bill Nicholson stunned the fans by using his champion and record goalscorer as a makeweight in a £200,000 player-exchange deal that brought Martin Peters to White Hart Lane from West Ham. Greaves had notched an amazing total of 306 goals in 440 first-team games for Spurs, including 220 in 322 League outings and 46 in 59 Cup matches.  
He spent just one season with the Hammers (13 goals) before winding down his career with Barnet, Chelmsford City, Brentwood Town and Woodford Town, finally calling it a day in 1976.  During a wonderful career Greaves scored no less than 554 goals in 750 games for clubs and country. He netted 44 times in 57 full internationals for England (1959-67) struck 13 in 12 U23 matches, three more for an England XI, five in 10 Inter-league games, one for the Rest of The World and six in two youth internationals.

He went on to become a popular pundit, hosting the ITV Saturday lunchtime soccer programme (Saint and Greavsie) with ex-Liverpool star Ian St John. He also wrote a column in a national newspaper, travelled round the south-east on the after-dinner speaking circuit, appeared in the theatre and co-wrote (with the help of some expert journalists) some excellent books.