Return of the King – Alan Gilzean seen at White Hart Lane

It’s finally happened the King has come out of the wilderness and visited White Hart Lane to see friends old and new and what a reception he received. As we walked down Paxton Road this afternoon word started to spread with a tweet from Paul Coyte being seen by young Mac saying “a true legend here today, just hope I can entice him on to the pitch at HT #kingofwhitehartlane.”

Straight away for me it was Alan Gilzean but would he come out pitch side, now that was another thing altogether. First thought. Is James Morgan, author of the excellent “In Search of Alan Gilzean” here? Immediate tweet to him speedy response, “No but if it is he would love to see it.”

Team announced, Dawson back in and some tempo in our first half performance and a fantasic goal from JD to boot. Half time will it happen? Paul Coyte comes out and stands for what seems an age before announcing a real treat for himself and out comes the great man himself.

Looking around spontaneous applause and a lot of the older supporters who saw his whole career stand to hear what he has to say. Lots of things covered in the book, his desire to play at Wembley in the cup final and Tottenham being the team he thought he could achieve that with, playing in John White’s memorial game for Scotland which helped set up the opportunity for the deal to be done, his love of the stadium, Berba shouldn’t have left Spurs and his favourite Spurs moment, parading the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium in 1967 to the Spurs fans.

Its been nearly 40 years since he attended White Hart Lane and he brought his grandson with him. If he didn’t appreciate the affection with which Spurs fans hold him before today he certainly does now and despite the passage of time his performances and sublime skills have not and will not be forgotten.

If you would like to learn more about Alan’s life and career in football pick up a copy of James Morgan’s outstanding book “In Search of Alan Gilzean” which is published by Backpage Press.  

Gilzean, Gilzean, Born is the King of White Hart Lane.

17 responses to “Return of the King – Alan Gilzean seen at White Hart Lane

  1. Made my day, the result was great but so so special to see Gilly back at the Lane. Wish I could agree about the book tho’. Bought and read it but was very disappointed. All we need now is the two G men together at the Lane at half time – PLEASE.

  2. At the game today, Massive thrill to see Alan Gilzean at half time.
    True legend.
    Please take me back.

  3. Wow he was the best and still would be for heading a ball of his bald patch i have ever seen a real icon for me. I thought he had passed away remember seeing him score a glancing header we won 3-1 came from behind at Forest me and my mate hitched from Widnes my home Town

  4. Young fans probably don’t realise how good Gilly was; an indication is that many speculated whether Berbatov was getting close. He had the close control but AG was also an amazing header of the ball either to glance to score or a trademark knock down for Jimmy Greaves. He had loyalty and was always a favourite: the fact that he and Greavsie did this whilst managing profigious thirsts for beer makes their achievement doubly impressive.

  5. harmer the charmer

    Head like a threepenny bit, Gilly could control and direct the ball with his head like Ronnie O’Sullivan can control the cue ball on the snooker table. A great player and a true Spurs legend. I appreciate you younger reader’s will probably have no idea what a threepenny bit was, but us older one’s will, and it will also mean we had the pleasure of seeing Gilly in the white shirt of Tottenham.

  6. Wish i had been there to have seen him, a true Spurs legend

  7. Alan Gilzean was my first true Spurs hero. Either at center forward or later playing on the right touching the ball on with his head, or standing at the near post for a corner and nodding it back for Chivers or Peters to steam in and score. The passwords on my computer are still Gilzean themed so if you ever want to hack me you know where to start !

  8. Wonderfull to see Gilly back at The Lane yesterday after all these year’s. It’s been too long. Hope Gilly’s rewarded with his rightfull place in the Hall of Fame!

  9. gillysbaldpatch

    True legend

  10. What a great day at The Lane on Sunday the coming home of Gilly. I can to this day still see him heading a ball with such power and perfect direction and excellent lay offs to Greaves, Chivers and Peters. Half time would have been very special to old and young fans alike to celebrate Alan Gilzean back at The Lane.

  11. Kennedy Marbella

    Lovely article, cheers! Shame there’s no video of the event floating about and the TV coverage didn’t pick it up

  12. growing up in scotland Gilly was my favourite player and has remained so all my life.So wished i could hve seen him at white hart lane.So glad Dundee have named a lounge after him in honourof his recod to that club.
    His partnership wih Greavsie was something to behold.There will never ever be another footballer who could gain my respect and affection lik Alan Gilzean.The king of white hart lane

  13. There is not another player I can think of who had his finesse. It’s my 57th birthday and I grew up watching this God of football at the Lane (the proper Lane, on the Shelf (level with the 18 yard line at the Paxton rd end) before it all went tits up and that wanker Irving Scholar (claimed to be a fan but he’s just a wanker. Proved it by fucking up Forest too) took the Shelf away. Berbatov comes close sometimes in the vision stakes but cannot compete in the ‘deft flicked header’ department. But where Gily is unique, as far as as I know, is that he was the foil in TWO great striking partnerships- with Greaves first and then Chivers. Cheeeeevers! We all know about SAS and Tudor/MacDonald, Keegan/Toshack etc., but was there ever anyone else who had two famous partnerships? LEGEND. HERO. GOD OF FOOTBALL. I worship at your feet.

  14. saw spurs at elland road, gilzean scored with a rocket of a header from outside the box in the early 70s

  15. I was lucky enough to see the G-Men at WHL a number of times, (not a Spurs fan), saw them destroy MU 5-1 in 65, also saw them thrash my beloved Wol;ves 7-4, The year we went down and sacked Stan Cullis. Greavsie didn’t score that day believe it or not.
    Glad to see Gillie is ok, he’s much loved and remembered, how many of todays prima-donnas will be remembered in the same way?
    Take 20 or 30 million to buy a Gilzean or Greaves at todays inflated prices, christ even I’d be worth a 100 grand, and I’m a 62 year old with one lung!
    Glad I saw him play.

  16. Will never forget the 4th round FA Cup tie at home to Burnley in 1966, still then a strong top side. We were 3-1 down, Came back to win 4-3 including a Gilly hat-trick, one of the best matches ever. Of course we managed to lose 2-1 to 2nd div Preston in the next round. Struggled past Millwall 1-0 in a lock out home replay in the following year’s 3rd round with a very lucky Gilly goal. Went on to Wembley and the cup after that.

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