Echoes of Glory

looks back at the incredible life of Tottenham Hostspur legend Bill Nicohlson, ten years after his death

There are a lot of things on the new Tottenham Hotspur kit that, to the uneducated fan, would go unnoticed.

On this season’s lilywhite home kit, he words ‘echo of glory’ can be seen woven into the fabric across the shoulders, referencing a famous quote from ex-manager Bill Nicholson.

The words are formed around an intricate pattern that is found on the front gates to White Hart Lane, which is on Bill Nicholson Way.

On the away shirt, the centre of the chest is vertically dissected by eleven yellow lines, with each line representing each of the eleven trophies that were won by Bill Nicholson as a manager.

The 23rd October will mark ten years since the passing of Bill Nicholson. He was a true club legend, a one-club man who played, scouted, coached and managed at Tottenham Hotspur in a career that spanned 36 years.

At age 18, he signed as a professional player, but the outbreak of the Second World War meant he only played a few games before becoming a sergeant-instructor and training new recruits.

Taking time out during the war may have cost him half his playing career, but it was this experience that gave him the man-management skills that made him the legend that he became.

Bill continued to play until 1951, earning 314 caps playing mostly as a right-back.

He only ever received one call-up to the England squad and is the only player to score for England on his debut and then to never play internationally again.

This was partly due to his dedication to his club – “well, they pay my wages, don’t they” – and also to the dominance of England captain Billy Wright, who played in Nicholson’s position.

It was his management career that made him the legend that he is today, probably spurred on by a ‘victory or nothing’ approach instilled in him by the army.

In total, Bill secured three FA Cups, two League Cups, four Community Shields, a league title, a UEFA Cup and a European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Nicholson left the club after Spurs lost the 1974 UEFA Cup. Spurs fans rioted after the game in an era when hooliganism was on the rise and football become increasingly commercialised.

He head finally stepped back from what he had fallen in love with as the game that he knew changed out of recognition. Yet it was his aiming high that meant that Tottenham’s Glory Days will always have an echo of glory.

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