Bill Nic’s Legacy – Champions League Special

Photo: Football Association / Action Images
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We have spoken to five guys with strong connections to Spurs. One is the host of a Spurs podcast, one is the host of a Spurs website, one the son of a Spurs legend and the last two used to play in our famous shirt. 

For the next four days, we’ll do the countdown to Saturday’s big final together. 

Let’s start off with a presentation of all five and put the first question to them. 

Who we have talked to

Paul Smith is a well known figure amongst Spurs fans. He is a season ticket-holder home and away. His website, Spurs Odyssey, has been a home for Spurs fans for a very long time and his match reports are well worth a read. It will be interesting to hear from SpursOd! 

Theo Delaney is one of the co-hosts of the famous podcast Spurs Show, and a film director. He was the creative director behind the sad, but nonetheless perfect, farewell ceremony at the Lane. He is also a season ticket holder for almost 30 years at Spurs. 

Rob White is the son of one of Spurs biggest legends, John White. He is also a writer, among the books was ‘The Ghost’ - about his father. He learned about the glory of Spurs from his dad’s teammates, but these days Rob White, a season ticket holder, is a big presence in the Spurs world himself. 

For most fans, David Howells needs no presentation. He spent 12 seasons at Spurs as a player, coming through the Spurs Academy. He got 335 first team appearances in the Lilywhite shirt and played through tough and good times in North London. 

Micky Hazard is also one of our own. As a skilful midfielder, the original Hazard certainly was playing “the Spurs way”. He came through the ranks at Spurs and, among many highlights in the Lilywhite shirt, made two assists in the two games of the final of the 1984 UEFA Cup, the last big cup we lifted abroad!


Special edition in English

- Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. “Bill Nics arv” means “Bill Nic’s Legacy” in Norwegian. This is a monthly column has been going for the Norwegian Spurs website for a few years, this being the 46th article. However, for this special edition we publish it in English for the very first time. 


Erlend: - My first question for you concerns the legacy of Bill Nicholson. With the game in Amsterdam fresh in mind, are we reaching the level set by Bill Nic’s great 60-70s teams?

Paul Smith: - Until we start to win trophies, I do not see how this can be suggested. Bill Nicholson is one of a small band of managers of English teams that have won all three domestic trophies under their stewardship. Bill had fine principles and his teams played fine football. His place in Tottenham Hotspur folklore was sealed because of the famous double and the other 6 trophies won under his tenure. Pochettino has fine principles and a marvellous work ethic, but no trophies as yet. In truth the two eras are significantly different. Our era is now dominated by Manchester City – a club with a massive budget, thanks to the input of Sheik Mansour. 

Theo Delaney: - Yes, I think so. The only thing missing for this team is trophies, of course. But we may be on the verge of clinching the biggest one of all! Not even Bill won it! 

Rob White: - Sadly, I was too young to see the great Bill Nic-team of the 60s, and I can just about remember the team of the early 70s. From the many discussions that I’ve had with my dad’s old teammates it was clear that Bill bought together a bunch of players who just knew that they would win matches. They instilled total confidence in each other, were fearless, and worked tirelessly as a team, to ensure that they achieved glory.

- I guess that I’m biased, but the double side that my father played in, has been described as one of the finest club sides in the entire history of football, which is a label that cannot be applied to the present team. Yet.

David Howells: - Certainly we are getting towards the consistency that Bill and the team had in the early 60s. The obvious difference being that the 60s team won trophies for 3 seasons in a row. We are most definitely heading in the right direction though and these are incredible days for our club.

Micky Hazard: - I don’t think we are quite there yet, but if we win the Champions League it will surpass anything our club has achieved before. It’s doable for sure, but we must win to surpass Bill, or even Keith and Arthur Rowe. Trophies are ultimately what distinguishes the greatest from the great in history. 

Return tomorrow for the second instalment of this four piece interview leading up to the Champions League Final in Madrid! 

Photo David Howells: Action Images.
Photo Micky Hazard: John Sibley/Reuters

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