The story of Spurs 1963 European Cup-Winners' Cup win - Semi-Final v OFK Belgrade
Brian Judson wrote this series on the fortieth anniversary of these events
I was hoping when this series started at the beginning of the 2012-13 season that Spurs would be able to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their famous 1963 win with a Europa League Final in Amsterdam. That is not to be, due to our quarter-final exit against Basel, but we can still enjoy a trip through the archives. Here is Brian's piece:-
The first leg was played on Wednesday, April 24th 1963.
Spurs lost a long-cherished record in the first leg of the Semi-Final.
Never had Spurs had a player dismissed since the 1920s when Cecil Poynton
had been banished to the dressing rooms.
In the 24th minute the game exploded when Smith was up-ended by a Belgrade
defender. As Spurs attempted to take a free-kick, one of the Belgrade
defenders appeared to collapse as if pole-axed. Immediately, the Belgrade
players surrounded the Hungarian referee, demanding Smith be sent off.
After consulting the linesman, the referee censured nobody and insisted on
the free-kick being taken. Marchi took the free-kick,tapping the ball to
Smith, who laid the ball off for White to volley the ball into the
Belgrade net from 20 yards.
Belgrade equalised nine minutes before half-time when Popov cracked home a
penalty awarded on the basis of the ball ricochetting off Mackay's boot onto his hand.
In the 55th minute of the match, Greaves was sent off for allegedly
kicking centre-half Krivokucain in an off the ball incident. At first,
Greaves refused to leave the pitch. The referee instructed Tony Marchi,
as captain, to order Greaves to go. Finally, manager Nicholson persuaded
Greaves to leave the pitch but the Yorkshireman was himself furious about
Spurs reacted in the right way by taking the game by the scruff of its
neck and proceeded to snatch a vital goal. The Belgrade side were
completely unable to withstand Tottenham's cold, tactical fury. Dyson
scored the winner with a brilliant opportunistic goal 20 minutes from the
end of the match. It knocked the stuffing out of the Belgrade side.
Maurice Norman played despite having a painful toe and required two
stitches after the game over one eye.
OFK Belgrade 1 Spurs 2 - Attendance:- 45,000
The return match a week later saw a very ill-at-ease Spurs side win the
match. Blanchflower returned to the side after injury and Mackay replaced
the banned Greaves up front.
Mackay settled the Tottenham nerves in the 29th minute when he lashed home
a shot, following a superb pass from Blanchflower. Six minutes later,
hesitation in the Spurs defence allowed Belgrade to equalise through
Skoblar. But Blanchflower rose to the occasion to calm Spurs when, two
minutes before half-time, he slipped the ball to White. White pushed the
ball on to Mackay, who chested the ball down for Dyson to stab home.
The final goal came early in the second half when Smith headed home a
cross from White. There was no way back for the Belgrade side as Spurs
became the first British club side to qualify for a Final in Europe.
Spurs 3 OFK Belgrade 1- Attendance:- 59,736 (Aggregate Spurs 5 - OFK Belgrade 2)
· Introduction to the Cup-Winners Cup series
· Round One - Spurs beat Rangers 8-4 on aggregate.
· Round Two - Spurs beat Slovan Bratislava 6-2 on aggregate.
· The Final - Spurs beat Athletico Madrid 5-1.
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