A Tribute to Danny Blanchflower
by TheChosenOne (Kev)
Danny Blanchflower is in my opinion the most successful Spurs captain of all time.
A 60-61 League and Cup double, a 62 Cup final and the first lifting of a European trophy by a British football team in 1963. Perhaps if he hadn’t missed 22 games through injuries obtained during the Glasgow Rangers game we might have won a second title having finished 2nd, although lifting the ECWC was some consolation.
Having being born in 1926 in Northern Ireland, his life spanned across a myriad of memories. He joined the RAF in the last days of World War II after lying about his age although he didn’t see active service as he was training in Canada when the war ended. [ar][/ar]
He came to Spurs from Aston Villa in 1954 aged 28, Spurs paying £30,000 for his services when Arsenal refused to go higher than £ 28,500. In 1958 he played for Northern Ireland in the World Cup reaching the quarter finals, and became footballer of the year in 1958 and 1961.
A very outspoken and intelligent individual who believed when he was on the pitch that he alone had the right to change tactics during the course of a game. He was a fitness fanatic, both non-smoker, teetotal and very opinionated about football and tactics.
He also refused to appear on “This is Your Life” - the first person ever to do so. His brother Jackie was a Manchester United player who just about survived the Munich air disaster.
Those were "The Glory, Glory Days" in the early sixties but alas age and injuries took their toll and by 1964 he had to officially retire from the game. He worked as a respected journalist for the Sunday Express for 20 odd years and like many other superb footballers he couldn’t quite make a step-up to successful management. Unfortunately, like many other players of that generation the financial rewards were nothing like those of the modern day footballers and he died in relative poverty in 1993 from Alzheimer's disease.
I would class Danny as a shining example of commitment to our club and the game he loved, with a will to win at all times. Here’s a quote of Danny’s, I think it sums up his philosophy of football ...
"Football is not really about winning, or goals, or saves or supporters - it’s about glory. It’s about doing things in style, doing them with a flourish; it’s about going out to beat the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom; it’s about dreaming of the glory that the Double brought.”
Cheers Danny, I will raise a glass on what would have been your 81st, thanks for what you gave us.