An Evening with Dave Mackay and Bobby Smith - second half

Discussion in 'Columns' started by BoringOldFan, Apr 19, 2007.

  • by BoringOldFan, Apr 19, 2007 at 10:08 PM
  • BoringOldFan

    BoringOldFan It's better to burn out than to fade away...

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    with probably even more legendary league and triple FA Cup winning Dave Mackay.

    The Game Then and Now

    When it came to comparing the game when they played and nowadays, both men agreed that it is much faster today. There was also agreement on the increased amount of rolling over – possibly related to the “too many foreigners” comment earlier – and Bobby had a simple solution: “I would hit them harder!”

    Mackay was equally forthright, saying that if a player is rolling around one minute and can get up and run about the next, he should be sent off.

    The mention of referees set Bobby Smith off. “These days referees are paid £400 a match, but they can be intimidated by the crowd”. At a dinner recently he was asked his opinion of refs and answered “they’re bloody rubbish”. The diner next to him said “I’m a ref” but Bobby stuck to his guns “Well you’re still bloody rubbish!”

    On the subject of pain-killing injections, while Mackay said he’d never played with one, Smith claimed he had eight before the 1961 FA Cup Final!

    One of the favoured pre- and post-match watering holes amongst supporters is the Bell & Hare pub. Bobby Smith said that all the Double side would go there after games to speak to the fans. He hardly needed to add that you wouldn’t see that happening these days.

    But he did tell the sad tale of being at Spurs’ ground and saying “Hi Robbie!” to one of our current squad – who ignored him and walked off because he didn’t know who he was! “Big-headed ****!”

    Getting Sent Off – Or Not

    Then it was Dave Mackay’s turn to explain the curious sending-off that never was. Spurs were playing Nottingham Forest and Mackay said that he and Johnny Quigley had “a scene”. “The ref came up to me and said “You’re off!” I said to him “I’m not f**king going off!” And I didn’t!”

    But Bobby Smith was able to trump this with an incident that happened towards the end of his career. “I was playing for Hastings (Hastings???). I was taking a corner and the ref came over to tell me where to place the ball. I said “F**k off!” And he sent me off! So at half time, I went into the ref’s room with three large Irishmen. They held him down and I hit him. He didn’t come out for the second half!”

    I can’t help thinking that if there was more honest interaction like that between players and referees these days there would be far fewer problems on the pitch.


    When asked about managers, Dave Mackay said that he worked with three of the best: Tommy Walker at Hearts, Bill Nicholson at Spurs and Brian Clough at Derby. These were men who when they talked, you listened. Asked what Clough had said to make him sign for Derby, the reply was simple enough: “It was easy to sign for Derby. He didn’t butter me up – he just gave me plenty of money!”

    At the mention of Brian Clough’s name, Bobby Smith told the story of his first England call-up. The squad trained at the Bank of England ground, and he was met by Clough with an unwelcoming “Why are you here?” Before Bobby could reply, another England regular at the time Peter Swann shot back with “To take your place!”

    Apparently in those days Clough was a bit of a big-head (gee, who knew?) and here was the chance to take him down a peg or two. “On the Thursday we played Ireland. I got picked instead of Clough”. No more grief from BC after that.

    Tottenham Today

    The discussion then turned to the current Tottenham side and their fortunes. Mackay said that he thought Jol was a good manager, but needed to start showing something.

    Talking about our current form, Smith added “We play well for 15 minutes, then go off. You need hard men up front. I made damage (great phrase) for Greavsie to score. These days I’d get sent off every two weeks”.

    On our UEFA Cup exit the previous night against Sevilla, Smith added “We should have left Zokora on, He was the best player in the side. They need a good half back to put the ball through like Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower did”.

    The Late Great John White

    On the subject of midfielders, the pair were asked whether we saw the best of John White. White was the member of the Double side who was tragically killed by lightning on a golf course in 1964.

    Smith was emphatic in his reply: “No, we didn’t see the best of him. He crossed a great ball. Once I scored with a diving header and I didn’t even know it went in!” Speaking about the day White died, Smith said “It was terrible weather. He wanted us to go with him. My last words to him were ‘Don’t go up there in this weather, you’re stupid’.

    Dave Mackay filled in some more of the background: “He was supposed to meet Cliff Jones, but Jones was late so he went off on his own. He was brilliant, but he was killed by lightning. I never got over that”.

    Closing Time

    The evening was drawing to a close, and the last few questions were asked. “Dave, would you have managed Spurs?” “Yes” replied Mackay, “But I went to Derby. Anything to do with Tottenham, I would have said yes. But it never came up”.

    There is one subject that is still something of a sore topic between these two great players and friends: the famous England 9-3 victory on 15 April 1961 over Scotland. Smith scored twice for England. Even now it raises the hackles, but Mackay was in good enough humour to say “If it wasn’t for me, it would have been 9-2!”

    And that was pretty much it. Bobby Smith mentioned that he is well looked after by Chelsea, who make a Christmas gift of £1,500 to each player from the squad that won the title in 1955. But when asked whether he would rather play these days or when he did, he was emphatic: “Back then. I wouldn’t know what to do with £60,000 a week!”

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Discussion in 'Columns' started by BoringOldFan, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Archibald&Crooks
    Quality read, thanks BOF. :clap:

    Interesting to note Bobby Smith saying Zokora was our best player against Seville. That'll wind up some of the amateur 'experts' on the site! :grin:
  2. Cyril
    Fantastic stuff -- legends both of them!:bow: :bow:
  3. SpurSince57
    Great stuff, BOF. I was fully intending to go myself, but completely forget it was on. Damned Alzheimer's.
  4. ChRiStOpHe
    Very good piece and a very good read :clap:
  5. waresy
    brilliant read. although I am too young to have seen them play first hand it is great to hear how the game has changed and their views on it.
    must get Bobby Smiths Autobigraphy too. The real mackay is a great read
  6. nipponyid
    F**king exellente, Thank you for that over my morning coffee..
  7. BoringOldFan
    Thanks for all the positive comments.

    I forgot to mention that there is a DVD called "60-61", which is the story of our most successful season. Just looked on the shop web site and I can't see it there.

    I got mine from the club shop. It's well worth seeking out. It has the whole Cup final, plus some highlights of the league. we won all 11 opening games and Bobby Smith scored 13 goals.

    Won the league by 8 points, beat The Goons home and away.... *drifts into dream...*
  8. GDG
    “The ref came up to me and said “You’re off!” I said to him “I’m not f**king going off!” And I didn’t!”

    "I was taking a corner and the ref came over to tell me where to place the ball. I said “F**k off!” And he sent me off! So at half time, I went into the ref’s room with three large Irishmen. They held him down and I hit him. He didn’t come out for the second half!”

    They made me chuckle. You can imagine Mackay getting away with it too. Good job, BOF, sounds like a good evening.
  9. TheChosenOne
    Lovely anecdote BOF.
    Players from a different planet/lifetime
  10. Hartfelt
    Great read. Cheers for the effort.

    I've always wanted a copy of that photo of Mac. Anyone know where you can get hold of one?
  11. AussieArdiles
    Great stuff. Muchos thankos.
  12. Jody
    bof's first article? :wink:

    cheers for that bof, you would of thought our first team squad would make it a priority to get to know the legends of teams gone by.
  13. Allygold
    Two great articles, mate. Terrific work.
  14. CosmicHotspur
    A very enjoyable read and nice photos.

    I used to babysit Bobby's two sons in Palmers Green (same road where Cliff Jones and Mel Hopkins lived and for whom I also babysat) so I knew him and his ex-wife Mavis quite well in those days. Nice to see him out and about as I know he's been suffering with really bad arthritis.

    And some of you will know that I had my very own night out with Dave Mackay - when I was 17...
  15. RamboRoberts
    Top class.

    They could teach us a thing or two eh!

    Marvelous...bloody marvelous.
  16. LondonGuy52
    I remember those days!

    What a great read, thank you so very much, it brought tears to my eyes remembering those days, not least because it made me think of my late father who would take me by the hand to go and watch the Great Spurs!

    I think they never won the title again for a couple of reasons, they did have a habit of "taking it easy" after winning the double and it would cost them dear points against weaker sides. Also they were a bit unlucky in 63/4, I remember Jimmy Greaves "scoring" at Filbert Street in an end of the season "must win game" but the ref blew up for half-time in between the time the ball left Jimmy's foot and hit the back of the net - game finnished 2-2. It was as well Bobby Smith was not playing that day (I dont think) or I am sure the ref would not have been able to come out at half-time! That day my father had taken me to the game on a football special from Euston (I think) and you can imagine how excited I was when the whole team passed us by on the platform as they made their way to one of the first class carriages to travel on the same train. Can you imagine that happening these days!

    Also, Dave Mackay broke his leg plus there was the John White tradgedy and Cliff Jones was injured more times than he played, add to that the players began to age and well I think we have possible answers.

    The sweetest memory I still have was Liverpool's first season back in Div 1. They beat us 5-2 at Anfield on Good Friday and Billy Nick threatened to play the reserve team for the return on Easter Monday. He didnt and the result was we beat them 7-2 with Jimmy Greaves scoring 4 times.

    Wonderful days and such great memories.
  17. justfookinhitit
    John White was, apparently (I'm too young to have seen him play), a world class player cut down very early in his career. I used to live next door to his mum in Bush Hill Park (think he was killed on Bush Hill Park golf course) and the club looked after her - not just immediately after his death but for decades after. This young guy served us well - it was the least we could do. Well done to the club.
    He was killed by lighting on Crewes Hill Golf course under a tree on the 11th.

    I know this because my Grandad has been a member there for fifty odd years
  19. CosmicHotspur
    Yes it was Crews Hill. I spoke to him a few hours before he went off to play golf. And the rest is history.

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