Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur: On This Day Spurs Won The European Cup Winners' Cup

It's been 59 years since one of the club's most famous days
07:00, 15 May 2022

Tottenham Hotspur head into the final two games of the season with genuine hopes of finishing in the Champions League places after a demolition of Arsenal in the North London derby. 

Should Spurs qualify for Europe’s elite competition, they will continue a relatively successful recent history on the continent. 

Of course it's only been three years since Tottenham, led by Mauricio Pochettino played in the showpiece event of club football - the Champions League final. In Madrid, they came up short against Liverpool, but it didn’t undo the magical run they had been on to reach that stage. 

Spurs thrashed Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. They took a point off Barcelona in the Nou Camp, and beat Manchester City over two legs. Then all hope was lost with a three-goal deficit against Ajax in the semi-final, Lucas Moura engineered the incomprehensible.   

The final didn’t go their way, but Spurs have progressed as a European force over the past decade.  Think back to that momentous night away at Manchester City in 2010, when Peter Crouch’s header catapulted them into the competition for the first time in the modern era.

It brought some of White Hart Lane’s most famous nights, against the Milan clubs, a quarter-final against Real Madrid, the sight of Rafa van der Vaart, Luka Modric, and Gareth Bale going toe-to-toe with the best Europe had to offer.

However, Tottenham are not without prestige on the continent and on this day in 1963, they won the European Cup Winners’ Cup. On this glorious anniversary, here’s a quick look at their past success on the continent. 

1963 Cup Winners’ Cup

Spurs became the first British team to win a European trophy in 1963, four years before Celtic’s Lisbon Lions. Jimmy Greaves and Terry Dyson scored a brace apiece, sandwiching a 35th-minute strike from John White as Bill Nicholson’s side thrashed Atletico Madrid. 

It was a vindication of their credentials, a year after they had fallen at the semi-final hurdle in the European Cup. It was a fitting end to an era too, proving to be the last trophy that great side would win together.

1972 UEFA Cup 

Much like the 2019 Champions League final, the inaugural UEFA Cup final was an all-English affair, with Wolverhampton Wanderers the opponents this time around. Spurs came out on top with an aggregate score of 3-2 over two legs, the second taking place at the Lane. Martin Chivers was decisive, netting twice in the first leg, including an 87th-minute winner. Alan Mullery opened the scoring in the return, to be cancelled out by David Wagstaffe.

1984 UEFA Cup

The sight of Graham Roberts lifting the trophy has become the image most synonymous with Spurs in Europe. The defender netted a crucial late equaliser in the second leg to take it to extra time, before a 4-3 triumph on penalties despite Danny Thomas’ miss. That Tottenham XI has gone down as one of their greatest ever sides, boasting the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Tony Parks and Micky Hazard.

Tottenham aren't close to replicating these achievements with their current crop, but Champions League football could well mean that Harry Kane stays at the club - which will have a seismic impact on their future fortunes. The legends of the past have written their names into folklore, and Spurs will be desperate to write some more history on the continent. They came so close in 2019, and would love to have another crack at some of Europe's big guns.

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