Martin Chivers came through Southampton's youth system and signed as a professional footballer in September 1962, at the age of 17. He played an integral role in the club's promotion to the top flight in 1967, starring up front alongside the great Welsh striker Ron Davies.
After scoring 97 league goals in only five seasons, Tottenham Hotspur manager Bill Nicholson signed Chivers for a club record fee of £125,000, with 24-year-old Frank Saul moving from White Hart Lane to the Hampshire coast.
[al][/al]He scored on his Spurs debut against Sheffield Wednesday in January 1968 but the initial stages of his White Hart Lane career were relatively unsuccessful with Spurs legends Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean still considered to be the preferred attacking partnership. Chivers remained a fixture of the England Under-23 squad and eventually became the most important goalscorer at Tottenham, following the sale of Greaves to West Ham United in 1970.
Chivers was often seen as a lethargic and lazy player but his pace and natural strength established 'Big Chiv' as a star of the Spurs side and England throughout the early 1970s. During this period of his career, he helped Spurs to League Cup triumphs in 1971 and 1973 and UEFA Cup success in 1972, as well as a runners up medal in the same European competition in 1974. He famously scored both goals in the first League Cup victory against Aston Villa in February 1971 and a thirty-yard wonder goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the club's memorable UEFA Cup campaign.
Chivers was also a regular goalscorer in the First Division, tallying 92 league goals between 1969 and 1974.
In his eight and a half year Spurs career, Chivers scored a total of 174 goals in 367 first-team appearances and remains the leading Tottenham goalscorer in European competition to this day. He was capped 24 times for the England, scoring 13 goals.
First Division: 278 matches, 118 goals
FA Cup: 24 matches, 11 goals
League Cup: 33 matches, 23 goals
Europe: 32 matches, 22 goals
TOTAL: 367 matches, 174 goals
Martin is Spurs third highest ever goalscorer and it was he who scored the first goal I ever saw scored by a Spurs player. More than once this season I have heard older supporters compare "big Chiv" to Dimitar Berbatov and although I saw him play, It was during his last season at the club and i'm too young to be able to say if this assessment is accurate or not. One thing is for sure, it's a huge compliment to Berby if true!
Martin still works at Spurs as a matchday host at White Hart Lane.