Tottenham – Top 10 Players in History
Top 10 Players of Tottenham Hotspur in the History of Club Ever
Tottenham faithful have been treated to a number of world-class players over the years, but who is the best of them all?
Tottenham Hotspurs has a rich 139-year history and, hundreds of players have represented the club ever since. It has not been a smooth ride for the club and, yet, at some definite points in time, some players completely took the footballing world by storm. They were integral in Tottenham's dominance during different periods in the twentieth century. The character, skill and, perseverance they possessed were unmatched.
Let us take a look at the ten most valuable players in the history of Tottenham and how they paved the way for the club's success during their time.
10. Gary Lineker (1989-92)
We might recognize Gary Lineker as a popular sports broadcaster now but, he had a stellar footballing career during his time. Regarded as one of the greatest English strikers, Lineker had successful spells with Leicester City, Everton and, Barcelona. He eventually signed for the Spurs in 1989 for £1.1 million.
Even though he donned the Spurs jersey for just three years, he joins the ranks of great players. During his stint, he appeared 105 times for the club while scoring an astonishing 67 goals. The most important of his contributions being, winning the FA Cup with Tottenham in the 1991-92 season. In his final season with the club, he scored 28 goals from 35 games, even though the Spurs could manage just a fifteenth-place finish. These stats speak volumes about his quality and cement his place as one of the club's greats.
9. Ted Ditchburn (1939-58)
From being a part of the club's ground staff to being one of the longest-serving players for the club, Ted Ditchburn's career is nothing short of a fairytale. He served as a physical education trainer for the Royal Air Force during World War II. He debuted for Spurs in a wartime league match against Chelsea in 1940 and, since then, there was no turning back. He went on to make over 452 appearances for the club in a career spanning over 18 years.
Ditchburn invented "the short-throw" from the goalkeeper's end, passing the ball to the full-backs and allowing a patient build-up of play. No player dared to that until him. Ditchburn played a significant role during Tottenham's "push and run" style in the 1950s. He went on to win the Second Division title and the First Division title in consecutive years in 1950 and 1952, respectively. Unfortunately, his career ended in 1958 after enduring an injury to the finger during a match against Chelsea.
8. Pat Jennings (1964-77)
Another goalkeeper who arrived after Ted Ditchburn, Pat Jennings, raked in a whopping 590 appearances for the Lilywhites over a thirteen-year career. He was an ironclad wall at the goal, not letting anything pass through. During his time at the White Hart Lane, he won the FA Cup in 1967, the League Cup in 1971 and 1973, and the UEFA Super Cup in 1972.
Owing to his exceptional performances during the 1970s, Jennings won the older version of the PFA Footballer of the Year award twice, making him the first goalkeeper ever to win the prized accolade. Spurs fans consider Jennings as one of their greatest ever players. Even though he represented their arch-rivals Arsenal for the next eight years, Jennings' cult status did not flinch.
7. Cliff Jones (1958-68)
Cliff Jones is one of the most prolific goalscorers in the club's history. Coming from a footballing family, the Welsh winger was instrumental during the club's trophy spree in the early 1960s under manager Bill Nicholson. He played in both wings under Nicholson, transforming him into a lethal weapon during his ten-year stay.
He won the domestic double in 1961, FA Cup in 1961 and, European Cup Winners' Cup in 1963 with the Spurs. He is still one of the top goalscorers for the club, scoring 159 times in 378 appearances. Undoubtedly, a legend of the club.
6. Danny Blanchflower (1954-64)
Robert Dennis Blanchflower, fondly called Danny Blanchflower, captained the Spurs' side during its golden years in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his ten-year stay at the club, Blanchflower made 382 appearances, scoring 21 goals.
He was an engine in the midfield with exquisite passing and vision. A midfield maestro, Blanchflower linked up with Jimmy Greaves and other legendary forwards, forming lethal partnerships. He captained the side to a First Division title, two FA Cups and, a European Cup Winners' Cup. He went on to win the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year twice in 1958 and 1961, respectively, one of the few players to do so.
5. Bobby Smith (1955-64)
Bobby Smith was an integral part of the 'Spurs 1961' side under manager Bill Nicholson. Smith had a knack for scoring goals from all over the park, and evidently, he is third in the club's all-time top goalscorers behind Harry Kane and Jimmy Greaves.
In his nine glorious years at the club, he scored 208 goals in his 317 appearances for the club, including 12 hat-tricks. In the 1960-61 season that he blasted Tottenham to the domestic double with 33 goals, he played by injecting himself with painkillers. Such was his dedication and determination to win. He went on to win a First Division title, two FA Cups, two FA Community Shields and, a European Cup Winners' Cup with the Spurs.
4. Steve Perryman (1969-86)
Serving for 17 long years at the club, Stephen Perryman is the club's record appearance maker with stupendous 854 appearances. Initially an energetic box-to-box midfielder and later a dependable right-back, Perryman consistently performed at his peak for the club.
Captaining the side for 11 years, he guided them to two FA Cups, two League Cups and, two UEFA Cups. He had a penchant for reading the game and always lead by example. He went on to win the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1982. In 1984, he was also crowned the esteemed MBE from the British Royal Empire for his services to football.
3. Dave Mackay (1959-68)
David Mackay played as a midfielder and occasionally as a defender for Tottenham Hotspurs during his time. His fierce determination and skill were frowned upon by the oppositions. Known as 'the heartbeat' of the club's most successful side, Mackay raked in 318 appearances for the club, scoring 51 goals.
Considered as one of the most influential players of all time, Mackay went on to win a First Division title, two FA Cups, a European Cup Winners' Cup and, three FA Charity Shields with Tottenham. A terrible injury to his left leg halted his playing career for a while but, that could not stop him. Mackay tied for the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1969. He was also inducted into both the English and the Scottish Football Halls of Fame.
2. Glenn Hoddle (1975-87)
Cited as one of the most gifted English footballers of his generation, Glenn Hoddle represented Tottenham over 490 times, scoring 110 goals in the process. He was his best under the management of Keith Burkinshaw. After being relegated to the Second Division in 1976-77 after 27 consecutive seasons in the First Division, Hoddle-inspired Spurs immediately bounced back and returned to top-flight in the very next season.
He won two FA Cups, a FA Charity Shield and, a UEFA Cup with the Spurs. He also received many individual accolades including, the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 1979-80, and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2007. With extraordinary shooting ability and vision, he is a true club legend by all means.
Jimmy Greaves (1961-70)
English striker Jimmy Greaves is Tottenham Hotspur's highest ever goalscorer and the highest goalscorer in the history of English top-flight football. Considered the most lethal striker ever to play in English football, Greaves represented Tottenham in 379 appearances, scoring an inhuman 266 goals.
Greaves went on to win two FA Cups, a European Cup Winners' Cup and, two FA Charity Shields with the Spurs. Along with Perryman, he was also crowned with the MBE from the British Royal Empire. With skillful positional skills, exceptional acceleration, and otherworldly dribbling, Greaves turned into a beast of a striker, obliterating any opposition he faced. He is not only a legend of the club but also a legend of the game.