Fulham Spurred On
Fulham take on Tottenham this weekend for the second time in sixteen days as they get an early opportunity to avenge their disappointing defeat in the fourth round of the Worthington Cup. Spurs will come into the game off the back of a convincing six-nil quarterfinal win over a much-weakened Bolton, manager Glen Hoddle once again demonstrating his determination to grab a EUFA Cup place via the Worthington Cup by fielding a full-strength team against yet another side who clearly did not take the competition seriously. Fierce rivals Arsenal also crashed out of the Cup after fielding a reserve side against Blackburn, leaving Tottenham's run to the Final in Cardiff even clearer.
Fulham's fine unbeaten run continued against Liverpool with their nil-nil draw, and the Whites have now gone eight games without defeat and four games since conceding a goal.
Tottenham had gone in to the Bolton game after losing three-one at Charlton, a defeat that had brought to an end their nine match run that had seen them lose only once and move up to fifth in the table. The run had started after their incredible game at home to Manchester United where they had been three-nil up at half time only to lose the match five-three.
One of the keys to Tottenham's recent displays has been the fine form of striker Les Ferdinand. The former England international has been back to his powerful best, and his return to fitness has coincided with Tottenham's resurgence. Ferdinand was missing from the Charlton defeat, but returned against Bolton. After scoring a first-half hat trick he was withdrawn at the interval, presumably to protect his ankle injury. Christian Ziege's foot problem kept him out of the match and he remains doubtful for the Fulham game.
He Wore Both Colours
In the nineteen-sixties, as Fulham struggled to establish themselves amongst football's elite, they transformed themselves from a selling-club into a buying-club, raiding some of the First Division's biggest clubs for their top stars.
Unfortunately these were, to a man, over the hill, knackered has-beens who were looking for one last payday before hanging their boots up forever. Great names like Terry Dyson from Spurs, Johnny Byrne from West Ham, Jackie Henderson from Arsenal, they were all of a type: internationals, outstanding footballers and all absolute rubbish when they came to the Cottage. The ambitions of Fulham at that time were perfectly summed up by these purchases.
One of the best-known names to follow this well-trod path was Welsh international Cliff Jones. One of the greatest traditional style wingers of that period, Jones was a skilful and tricky player renowned for his crossing and scoring ability. Although small he was a tremendous header of the ball. He played in the great double-winning Spurs side of 1961 and won two further FA Cup medals as well as a European Cup-Winners Cup medal.
Jones moved to Fulham in October 1968 for a fee of £5,000, where he stayed for a year, making twenty-six appearances and scoring two goals. Sadly, his best days were long gone and once again the Fulham faithful had to put up with the embarrassing sight of a great player not realising when to call it a day.
After Fulham, he moved on to non-league football with Kings Lynn and Wealdstone, worked for a time at a sports centre before becoming games master at a London school. He is now retired but can be seen at Tottenham on match days helping out in their Legends Club.
From The Past
Fulham 1 - Tottenham 1 March 28th 1964
Excerpts from the match-day programme:
"Telephone: Renown 5621 Telegrams: Fulhamish, London, SW6"
"Inside the Cottage - It's a long time since Fulham has faced two such tough games at Easter. Yesterday we had Manchester United as our guests - a brilliant team when in top form - today we have the man-sized task of trying to take two points from Tottenham."
"Advert: Kai Ling Restaurant, Fulham Road. Chinese set luncheon: 4/6."
"Fred Callaghan, one of our up-and-coming teenagers, stepped into the limelight last week when he made his League debut against Aston Villa."
"Advert: All the music you hear is from "PYE", including the fabulous "Golden Guineas" - 12in. L.P.'s for 19/11 each."
"Pen - Pictures of our Visitors - Alan Mullery (right half): Needs no introduction. A Fulham player until a few weeks ago, he is a tireless driving force and has been capped several times for England Under-23's."
"Supporters' Club Corner - The final payment on one of the costliest schemes ever undertaken by the Supporters' Club - the floodlights at the Cottage - is being made this weekend."
"Advert: Cadets cigarettes. Tipped: 2/10. Plain: 3/5."
Not Many People Know That
If it hadn't been for a kind-hearted official, Tottenham might still be an obscure amateur side. The Spurs official in question bought a pair of boots for a player who had left his at home. The London FA took great exception to this and suspended Spurs from the League. The Club had no option but to turn professional, and the rest, as they say, is history.