Tag Archives: Tottenham Hotspur


Back in the 1960s Leicester were something of a bogey side for Liverpool but as they closed in on the 1964 league title the Reds finally broke the spell. Goals from Roger Hunt and Alf Arrowsmith gave the Reds a 2-0 win, but only after the Filbert Street groundstaff had re-painted the lines and posts.

With nine games to go of the 1963-64 season Liverpool were locked in a three way battle with Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at the top of the 1st Division. The title was in Liverpool’s hands as they had two games in hand on leaders Everton, who were two points ahead, but pundits suggested the Blues had an easier run in. One  of their fans was so confident that he even wrote to the Liverpool Echo suggesting that their fixture against FA Cup finalists West Ham on 25th April should double as the following season’s Charity Shield.

The Easter period, when teams faced a gruelling schedule of three games in four days would prove crucial and Liverpool faced Spurs at both White Hart Lane and Anfield, with the Leicester game sandwiched in between. Everton had home games on successive days against Blackpool and West Bromwich Albion, followed by a trip to the West Midlands for the return game with Albion.

Liverpool’s squad set off for London on the Thursday before Good Friday, the day that ten men were found guilty at Aylesbury Crown Court of various charges in relation to the Great Train Robbery. The Reds’ party of thirteen was without captain Ron Yeats, who was serving a three match suspension  after getting sent of for fighting in an FA Cup tie at Arsenal the previous month. Chris Lawler deputised for him at centre half but otherwise the Reds were at full strength, with Gordon Milne captaining the side.

In front of 56,952 at White Hart Lane, Roger Hunt hit a hat trick as the Reds dominated from start to finish in a 3-1 win. Many of the home crowd had already left when Maurice Norman scored a late consolation, while the threat of Jimmy Greaves and recent £72,000 signing Alan Mullery was completely nullified by the Reds back line.

There was a further boost when news came through that Everton had dropped a point at home, getting booed off in a 1-1 draw with West Brom. There was no time for celebrations though as the squad then headed for Leicester, where they would be playing less than 24 hours later. Bob Paisley had with him an electrical massage box, which was to be used on Milne and Hunt who had both picked up knocks to their ankles, but Shankly was confident they would be fit for the game.

They were joined in the East Midlands by an army of fans who had also gone to London, many not having any accommodation. Once in Leicester, a few fans scaled the low walls of Filbert Street and painted the goalposts, corner flags and line markings red. This exuberance though hid a deep fear that once again the Reds would come unstuck against the Foxes. Since promotion in 1962 Leicester had won all three league games between the sides without conceding a goal, as well as the FA Cup semi final the previous season.

By the morning the rain had led to the repainted markings and posts turning from red to runny pink. Many more Reds fans travelled to Leicester from Liverpool, while Yeats also made the journey, taking a seat in the stands alongside Scottish national manager Ian McColl who would be watching Ian St John, Willie Stevenson and Leicester’s Frank McLintock.

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The game was end to end at the start and much more open than previous encounters between the two sides. Ronnie Moran had a free kick deflected wide and after Tommy Lawrence slipped whilst racing from his goalmouth, Bobby Roberts missed an open goal when he prodded the ball wide.

Then in the seventeenth minute the Reds contingent erupted when Peter Thompson crossed and Hunt’s shot was deflected past Gordon Banks by Richard Norman. Colin Appleton got back to the goal but the ball had already crossed the line when he hooked it clear. As the Reds fans celebrated, every outfield Liverpool player ran to Hunt, all of them dancing with joy.

The rest of the first half was a tough affair, Gerry Byrne having his name taken for fouling Mike Stringfellow and the same happening to Leicester’s David Gibson for a foul on Milne. Thompson almost doubled the lead but he saw a shot headed off the line, but Leicester also came close when McLintock’s thirty yard effort came back off the bar.

Early in the second half the Reds had a let off when Billy Hodgson headed over from close range, but they then took the game to the opposition and another shot, this time from Hunt, was cleared off the line with Banks beaten. At the back Byrne and Moran gave nothing away, Lawler was like  a seasoned pro at centre half and the three of them played great balls to the forwards, creating attack after attack. Leicester were defending just like they had against the Reds in previous games but this time there was a major difference, they were not defending a lead but instead trying to prevent a heavier defeat.

With fifteen minutes left Ian Callaghan clashed heads and was severely dazed, leaving Liverpool effectively playing with ten men. But Leicester couldn’t take advantage of this and with five minutes left Hunt passed to Arrowsmith and he drilled the ball past Banks into the bottom corner to the delight of Reds fans on all four sides of the ground. Before the end it was almost 3-0 but Banks saved Arrowsmith’s shot at point blank range.

The win kept Liverpool in second due to Everton beating Blackpool 3-1. However the tide had clearly turned and in the Daily Post on the Monday Horace Yates wrote how the victory was achieved by unrivalled teamwork and that the two away performances had the ‘stamp of champions.’ The following day Spurs were beaten 3-0 at Anfield which, coupled with Everton’s 4-2 defeat at The Hawthorns, took them to the summit of the 1st Division. They were never off it and won the next three games against Manchester United, Burnley and Arsenal to clinch the title with three games to spare.

Reds Win At Spurs to Kick Start Challenge

In 1985-86 Liverpool bounced back from a disappointing derby defeat with a win at White Hart Lane to start off a run that would see them crowned as Champions.

With just twelve games to go Liverpool were eight points behind Everton in the title race, a 2-0 home defeat to the Blues the following week seriously denting their hopes. It wasn’t just Everton that Liverpool had to overhaul if they were to win the league. Manchester United were in five points ahead in second place while Chelsea, who were in fourth and separated from the Reds by goal difference, also had three games in hand.

In the game against Everton Bruce Grobbelaar had inexplicably allowed a low Kevin Ratcliffe shot to squirm under his body, the latest of a serious of gaffes that season. On BBC Grandstand’s Football Focus the day before the Spurs game, it was estimated that Grobbelaar’s errors had cost the Reds as many as fifteen points already that season.

It was a bitterly cold Sunday and Liverpool’s fans setting off for London did so in the knowledge that the game was sill in some doubt. However heavy sanding of the pitch managed to save the day as Spurs were desperate not to lose out on television revenue and late morning the pitch was declared fit for the 3.05pm kick off. There was now even more ground to make up, as the previous day Everton had beaten Aston Villa to open up an eleven point lead.

White Hart Lane, Spurs and English football in general were completely different propositions than now. Although they had been Everton’s main challengers for the title the previous season, Spurs were struggling in the bottom half of the table this time around and the pressure was building on manager Peter Shreeves after three successive home league defeats. The stadium too was crumbling, with three of the four stands dating from before World War II, although it was seen as somewhat modern (for the time) in that it offered both standing and seating on all four sides and was totally covered.

There was no need to worry about tickets, with all terraced areas being pay on the day and admission prices being below £3. Liverpool’s support was accommodated in just two of the four sections in the away end and they were only about half full, with the total crowd being just 16,436 in a ground that could hold close to 50,000.


After just four minutes Liverpool were a goal down and it was again Grobbelaar who had to take responsibility. After turning Chris Waddle’s shot around the post for a corner that was taken by Glenn Hoddle, the Reds keeper jumped for the ball and palmed it goalwards, Waddle helping it over the line.  The rest of the first half was dire from the Reds, who struggled to put more than a couple of passes together on the bone hard pitch and at half time they were given a rollicking by Kenny Dalglish and Ronnie Moran.

The players came out rejuvenated for the second half and played some of their best football for some weeks. Former Reds keeper Ray Clemence made two great saves from Steve McMahon and Craig Johnston, while Jan Molby had a powerful headed bounce back off the crossbar. McMahon, returning after an injury, was dominating the midfield allowing Molby the space and vision to seek out the attackers and it was the big Dane who eventually got the equaliser in the 66th minute.  From a Johnston corner, Ronnie Whelan’s shot rebounded back to Molby who scored with a low drive from the edge of the area.

Liverpool dominated the rest of the game as the temperature remained around freezing point. McMahon hit the bar and Clemence made three good saves from Rush. As the game entered injury time, it was the home side who were whistling for the referee to blow for full time. Then in the 94th minute, Whelan played a defence splitting pass into the path of Rush, who was one on one with Clemence. He calmly stroked the ball past him into the corner of the net, sparking huge celebrations amongst the visiting fans, while Rush was mobbed by most of his teammates.

Rush told the Daily Mail after the match: ‘Bruce was the most relieved man in the ground when I scored the goal. I’m glad for him that I got the winner.’ Grobbelaar himself was honest in his assessment of the mistake that could have cost Liverpool he game, saying: ‘After all the publicity I’ve been getting it was a poor show to make a mistake like that. Fortunately the lads pulled it round for me. In the past I’ve made mistakes and they haven’t been able to do that but this time it might be quickly forgotten.’

The win was the fillip for Liverpool’s title charge. They won ten out of their next eleven fixtures and clinched the league championship on the last day of the season, when Dalglish himself scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Chelsea.