Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 480 - 27.05.24)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 480) (27.05.24)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Jolly good Fellows wins the SOQL championship

So we've got in first with an election. Our new Prime Quiz Master is Jonathan Fellows, who is the only one of all our contestants who agreed to a man with my selection of the greatest Tottenham FA Cup combination.

A lot of you will be cussing and cursing, because so many were one or two players away from agreeing with my selection in this second Spurs Odyssey Quiz League tie breaker. Several of you were tripped up by my naming Mauricio Pochettino as the team's manager.

I rate him by far the most positive and productive Tottenham manager of the Premier League era, with hopefully Ange Postecoglou about to overtake him. Some put the peerless Bill Nicholson in charge but the choice was restricted to the Premier League era.

The man who got everything right (I'm not going to be corny and say Jolly Good Fellows) is a 65-year-old, semi-retired Staffordshire accountant, who voluntarily keeps in the numbers game with the NHS. He made everything add up with the following selection...

Pat Jennings

(in 99% of teams. Safest - and biggest - hands in the business)

Steve Perryman

(Mr Utility, a born leader who was comfortable in any Spurs shirt)

Mike England

(Thoroughbred centre-half, just getting the nod ahead of Maurice Norman)

Gary Mabbutt

(Heart bigger than his head, the perfect partner for the elegant England)

Cyril Knowles

(Cheekiest of left-backs, with a telling tackle and superb technique)

Danny Blanchflower (capt)

(Chief orchestrator, and inspiring by word and deed)

Glenn Hoddle

(The pass master, giving the team drive and direction)

Osvaldo Ardiles

(A little dictator, bringing invention and inspiration to the midfield)

Dave Mackay

(Clap of thunder tackling and an educated left foot, heart of the team)

Jimmy Greaves

(The Artful Dodger, only Pat Jennings got more selections)

Alan Gilzean

(One of the irresistible G-Men, just ousting Gary Lineker)

My substitutes are:

Ray Clemence

(Almost in the Jennings class while at Liverpool)

Alan Mullery

(The Tank who always gave 100% in every match)

John White

(Could ghost through any defence, the thinking man's schemer)

Cliff Jones

(Ideal man to come on and attack at speed from either wing)

Bobby Smith

(Could always be counted on to score goals at the Double for Spurs)

Manager Mauricio Pochettino

(Master organiser. Chelsea will regret letting him go)

This is what our new champion had to say yesterday when I informed him that he was the winner:

"I am 65 and have supported Spurs for most of my life, from the first moment I clapped eyes on Jimmy Greaves playing in a Tottenham shirt. I was born in Streatham but now live in Shenstone in Staffordshire, where my granddad played for Wolves and, later, Northampton. As a qualified accountant, I spent my career working in television, followed by several retail companies, with products covering drugs, chocolates, ladies wear, golf and video games - sort of like a script for another Hangover movie sequel! I am now largely retired, although I still work part time in the NHS.

As a boy, Greavsie was my hero and I persuaded my Nan to sew the number 8 onto the back of a white Spurs shirt so I could go in the garden and score goals like him! Dad was a butcher and on Saturdays, after I'd cleaned out the vans, I got to kick a ball about in the back yard and I'd practice with my weaker right foot as I wanted to be two footed, just like Jimmy.

Then during my career I was really fortunate to work at Central Television, where Billy Wright was head of sport and Greavsie was a football pundit, on Star Soccer initially. They say you shouldn't meet your heroes as you sometimes find they have feet of clay, but Jimmy was the nicest, funniest and friendliest man. He was also incredibly patient, as every time I met him I was so in awe I couldn't string two words together! What a genius, what a man and what an inspiration to so many others.

I'm genuinely overwhelmed to have won the Odyssey Quiz League. I've so enjoyed taking part for many years now. I look forward every Monday in the season to the questions and, in spite of how incredibly difficult they all are, I really love the tie break challenges.

I'm off to do a lap of honour round the garden, imagining I have a number 8 on my back. Wish the shirt still fitted!"

Our new champion collects a coveted, framed SOQL Quiz League champion certificate, plus signed copies of my latest books on The G-Men (Greavsie and Gilly) and my official Jimmy Greaves biography, plus a 45-year-old collectors' item out of print novel I wrote with Jimmy in 1979, just after he had kicked the booze. It's called The Ball Game, and centres on the attempt to sell Soccer in the USA when they said it could never happen. With the great subtlety for which I am famed, I name our hero of the book Jackie Groves. You can buy my books at

And now it's time for me to close down until next season and our eleventh running of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League. Thanks to webmaster Paul H. Smith for giving me the platform and to you for bothering to read the meandering thoughts of an old bore. But I mean well.

All my questions and killer tie breaks are just for fun and to keep you thinking about Tottenham Hotspur, the club that draws us all together like one big (mostly) happy family.

I hope you will join me next August when Ange's Angels are back in Europe for Thursday night treats! Lots to look forward to and Paul and the team will relish bringing you the ups and downs of the new season here in Spurs Odyssey, the balanced and authoritative Tottenham website. It gets my vote.

For we are Jolly Good Fellows.


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