The Glory Glory nights
The Official Story of Tottenham Hotspur in Europe
by Martin Cloake, Adam Powley and Doug Cheeseman
RRP : – £25.00
Black and white and colour photography
Published by Vision Sports Publishing
An updated version of the original book about Spurs in Europe had been published by the prolific Spurs book producers Martin Cloake, Adam Powley and Doug Cheeseman.
With all three originating from the fanzine subculture that produced “The Spur” and “Off The Shelf”, the new version of this book contains interviews with some of the participants in the matches involved and the photos have been well selected by Doug Cheeseman to give the special feeling of the European nights at White Hart Lane.
From the first foray into the old European Cup (when it was really for Champions) and the trip into the unknown in Poland to face Gornik Zabzrze to the exit of last season’s Europa League at the group stage, the matches are reported on and the ex-players are called upon for their memories of times good and bad.
For those who are not of an age to remember Barcelona not being the footballing pinnacle that everybody strives to replicate, the book takes you back to 1982 when Spurs suffered at the hands (and feet and elbows and heads) of the Catalan club’s players and there are also memories of the some long trips into Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s, when crowds were hostile and the weather was bitter.
With more recent memories of the Champions League campaign, there are some wonderful colour photos, but perhaps the ones that Cheeseman has picked for the early European encounters are more moving. Not just the iconic black and white images we are all familiar with, but the ones which are really revealing are those away from the action on the pitch. Players in the dressing room or on the victory bus, as well as players at formal functions or in their time off before a game are interesting glimpses into what they were getting up to, while many Spurs fans who had travelled to the away games were familiarising themselves with the local brew.
Some areas of the book expose the lack of success in the years covered, when Spurs were out of Europe through non-qualification, but the tome is an addition to the Spurs library that you would be glad of. There are echoes of the previous version of the book, with newspaper headlines, trophies and pennants from the club’s opponents, but these do tend to complete the memorabilia surrounding the matches, with programme covers and match tickets also featured. Previous match reports in the former edition from newspapers of the day have been replaced with more concise reports of the games. The more recent years feature more colour photos than those from the 1980s and before.
Being the “Official Story” I suppose that the writers were not able to include some of the more racy adventures that we have in our web-pages … but then perhaps that is another book entirely.
One for the Christmas list definitely to re-live the glory, glory nights … or to hear about them for the first time.
Marco van Hip