FIFTY YEARS AFTER
The Double Series was written by the eminent Brian Judson
October began with a bang. Tottenham travelled to Molineux to play Wolves,
who were probably the best team of the middle 1950s after the Busby Babes
of Manchester United. But with the disaster of Munich in February 1958,
Wolves were more or less unchallenged. They had been champions in 1957-58
and 1958-59 and foiled of the Double in 1959-60 because Burnley pipped
them to the title. So the fact that Spurs crushed Wolves 4-0 at Molineux
was a big shock even allowing for the solid start to the season that Spurs
The first goal was scored by Cliff Jones in the 32nd minute. Les Allen
crept up the bye-line and crossed the ball to Jones, who only had to turn
the ball into an empty net.
The second goal was scored by Danny Blanchflower in the 44th minute.
Blanchflower picked up a loose ball in midfield some 30 yards from goal
but could find no one free to pass to. He veered to the right and
unleashed a terrific shot that Geoff Sidebottom, the Wolves goalkeeper,
could do nothing to stop flying into his goal.
The third goal was scored by Les Allen in the 52nd minute. White had
drifted out to the wing and Allen was left with a simple chance to tap the
The fourth goal was scored by Terry Dyson in the 79th minute.
Spurs could have had more goals as a shot from Bobby Smith struck an
upright and Terry Dyson could have scored three more goals.
By the end of the match, the Wolves fans had long since left the ground as
they could not bear to see Wolves dominated so much by the visitors.
Stan Cullis was quoted after the game as saying, "Spurs are the finest
club team I've ever seen in the Football League. The present lot are
better than the great side of ten years ago." (Final score:- Wolves 0 Spurs 4 - Attendance:- 52,829)
Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday maintained the pressure by winning 2-1 at
Nottingham Forest to remain in second place, three points behind Spurs.
Everton were third following a 3-3 draw at Chelsea whilst Burnley were
4th, having crushed Fulham 5-0 at Turf Moor. Blackburn lost ground
following a 3-2 defeat at West Ham.
Blackpool were bottom, having lost 1-0 at Preston. Above them were
Nottingham Forest. Bolton were 20th and Manchester United 19th after
drawing 1-1 at Burnden Park. WBA were 18th after losing 1-0 at Highbury.
The following weekend three games were postponed. These were Chelsea v
Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester United v Nottingham Forest and Spurs v
With the leaders out of action, Burnley won 4-1 at Blackburn Rovers to
climb to 3rd place, three points adrift of Sheffield Wednesday and seven
of Tottenham. Everton slipped to 4th after Preston had held them to a
goal-less draw at Goodison Park. Wolves drew 2-2 against Cardiff to climb
into 5th place.
At the bottom, Blackpool lost at home to Fulham, 2-5, to remain 22nd. The
other positions remained unchanged as Manchester United and Nottingham
Forest did not play and Bolton lost at home to WBA.
On the Monday, Spurs played Manchester City. Spurs were on top form in the
first half and threatened to run riot against the visitors. Smith had
headed Spurs ahead in the 27th minute. But in the second half, City
equalised against the run of play. Betts prodded a long pass down the
centre, Hannah headed it back to Hayes. A quick pass saw Hayes put
Colbridge clear and ram the ball home. But Spurs protested that Colbridge
had handled the ball to bring it under control before scoring. The
referee, Mr Pullin, was having none of that and pointed firmly to the
Spurs worked hard in the remainder of the match to regain the lead. But
Bert Trautmann, the former German PoW, pulled off so many brilliant saves
that Spurs probably became a little frustrated. Colbridge nearly provided
a winner for City with ten minutes to go by laying on a great chance for
Barlow, who skied the ball over the bar.
To show how one-sided the match was Spurs had 39 shots compared to City's
9 and 14 corners against City's 2. Thus City ended Spurs record winning run of games. Final score:- Spurs 1 Man City 1 - Attendance:- 58,916)
The following weekend, Spurs trounced Nottingham Forest 4-0. The hosts
didn't have a clue how to contain rampant Tottenham. White scored the
first goal after 7 minutes when Allen and Dyson swapped passes to lay on
the opportunity for White to score. Mackay scored the second twelve
minutes later when a centre was deflected into his own goal by McKinlay.
The third goal was scored after 24 minutes when Smith and goalkeeper
Thomson both went up to challenge for a centre from White. The ball ran
loose to Cliff Jones, who made no mistake.
The fourth goal came in the second half when Spurs were demonstrating
their complete arrogance. Forest were running around like headless
chickens by this time. Mackay prodded the ball forward and took a quick
look round. He saw Jones well placed and chipped the ball in the direction
of the Welshman. The Forest defence was so spread eagled that it looked as
if Jones could have gone for a walk and still had time to score on his
return. Forest were so poor that Brown only had one save to make in the
whole of the match. (Final score Nottm Forest 0 Spurs 4 - Attendance:- 37,248)
Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday maintained the pressure on Spurs by
thrashing Blackpool 4-0. Burnley remained in third place after beating
Manchester United 5-3. Everton were fourth after winning 3-2 at Fulham.
Manchester City climbed to 5th place after beating Leicester 3-1 at Maine
Blackpool remained bottom with Nottingham Forest in 21st position.
Manchester United dropped to 20th whilst Bolton moved up one place to 19th
as a result of their 1-0 win over Cardiff, who dropped to 18th.
Because of international calls for the Wales -v- Scotland game, Spurs had
no match the following Saturday. Sheffield Wednesday failed to take
advantage of Tottenham's inactivity and lost their first game of the
season at Molineux, where Wolves beat them 4-1, which enabled Wolves to
climb to 5th. Burnley went to Chelsea and thrashed them 6-2 at Stamford
Bridge to remain third. Everton's match against Manchester City was
postponed from the Saturday and played on the Monday night. The Toffees
won 4-2 to remain 4th.
At the other end of the table, Nottingham Forest played twice in three
days. On the Saturday, they were thrashed 4-0 by Blackpool, at Bloomfield
Road, which enabled the Seasiders to climb off the bottom and dump Forest
there. On the Monday night, Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest, 2-1,
in a match postponed from October 8th. This was the Reds second victory as
they had beaten Newcastle, 3-2, at Old Trafford two days earlier. Bolton
dropped to 20th after losing 0-3 at home to Fulham and Cardiff dropped to
19th as they were due to play Tottenham but the game was postponed.
On October 29th, Spurs made the long journey to the north-east to play
Newcastle. Newcastle led 2-1 at half-time but Spurs ran out 4-3 winners,
only securing the win with four minutes to go.
Len White, the Newcastle centre-forward, put Newcastle ahead in the 33rd
minute. He took a pass from Ivor Allchurch and beat three Spurs defenders
to score. Two minutes later, Spurs were level when 'keeper Harvey failed
to cut out a Dyson cross and Norman nodded the ball home. A minute later,
Newcastle were back in front when Norman miskicked the ball and Len White
pounced to force the ball home.
In the second half, Harvey could only push out a back pass to White for
the Scot to slot home. Spurs took the lead in the 58th minute when Jones
netted the ball from a suspiciously looking offside position. Four
minutes later, Brown made a rare mistake when he totally misjudged a cross
from Hughes and was stunned to see it drop into the goal behind him. Then
came Smith's winner from a cross by Allen with just four minutes to go. (Final score Newcastle 3 Spurs 4 - Attendance:- 51,369)
On the following Wednesday (November 2nd), Spurs played the postponed match against
Cardiff City. Spurs did not play at all well for much of the game and were
considered to be very lucky they had won the match. They fell behind to a
20th minute goal by Donnelly, who came down the middle, unmarked, to beat
the advancing Brown. Tottenham were over elaborate in attacking which
played into the hands of the Cardiff defenders. Spurs equalised in the
35th minute when Medwin took a quick throw on the left, Mackay's centre
was so precise that Dyson only had to twist his head to deflect the ball
home. Just before half-time, Spurs went ahead. Allen ran past three
defenders, moved down the right wing, and prodded the ball to Medwin, who
time his run to perfection to score.
In the second half, Tottenham were so far ahead in terms of skill they
were queueing up to take pot shots at the Cardiff goalkeeper but they
wasted most of their chances. Then Spurs were awarded a controversial
penalty that enraged the Cardiff players. Mr Tuck, the referee, awarded a
penalty on the grounds that Gammon had handled the ball. Cardiff swarmed
round the referee in protest but they were waved aside. Blanchflower
calmly waited for the fuss to die down and then slammed the ball high into
the net. But five minutes from time, Cardiff pulled the deficit back to
3-2 when Donnelly flung himself at Tapscott's centre to head the ball
home. (Final score - Cardiff 2 Spurs 3 - Attendance:- 47,605)
Sheffield Wednesday regained winning ways by beating Bolton Wanderers,
2-0, at Hillsborough. They were now 4 points behind Tottenham. Everton
beat bottom club Nottingham Forest, 2-1, at the City Ground, to climb to
third place. Burnley had a shock home defeat against Blackpool, 1-2, which
forced Burnley further off the pace, dropping to 4th. Wolves' 2-1 victory
away to Birmingham enabled them to climb back to 5th.
The teams at the bottom of the table were beginning to fall behind.
Nottingham Forest, 22nd, were two points behind Blackpool (21st) and
Bolton (20th) and four points behind Manchester United (19th), who had
lost 2-1 at Highbury against Arsenal.
Pos Pl W D L For-Ag Pts
1 Spurs 14 13 1 0 45-15 27
2 Sheff Wed 14 10 3 1 26-11 23
3 Everton 15 10 2 3 37-24 22
4 Burnley 15 10 0 5 41-23 20
5 Wolves 15 8 4 3 32-26 20
6 Manc City 14 7 4 3 31-24 18
7 Fulham 15 8 2 5 33-34 18
8 Arsenal 15 8 1 6 25-17 17
9 A. Villa 15 8 1 6 34-35 17
10 West Ham 15 6 2 7 32-34 14
11 Blackburn 15 6 2 7 30-34 14
12 Leicester 15 5 3 7 26-28 13
13 Chelsea 14 5 2 7 32-35 12
14 B'mingham 15 5 2 8 24-29 12
15 Preston 15 5 2 8 18-27 12
16 West Brom 15 5 1 9 25-26 11
17 Newcastle 15 5 1 9 34-41 11
18 Cardiff 13 4 3 7 16-25 11
19 Man United 14 4 2 8 26-32 10
20 Bolton 15 3 2 10 17-29 8
21 Blackpool 15 3 2 10 21-35 8
22 Nott'm Forest 15 2 2 11 16-35 6