Twenty Tottenham Taffies

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This article features 20 players from Wales, who have graced the White Hart Lane turf, over the years.

The list will be in ascending form, from the inception of the club in 1882, to present day and will include a few words on each of the individuals.

The list is by no means exhaustive, but contains the most notable Welsh players who have played for Spurs, over the last 130 years.

  • Jack Leonard Jones – born Rhuddlan – played for Spurs between 1897 and 1904. He captained the side that won the 1901 FA Cup. Jack played outside-left and racked up 132 appearances for the club.
  • Ted Hughes – born 1876 in Ruabon, Denbighshire. Played for Spurs from 1898-1908. Another member of the 1901 FA Cup side, he racked up 148 appearances.
  • Eugene ‘Taffy’ O Callaghan – born Ebbw Vale, in 1906, he was a key member of the ‘greyhounds’ side, and made 252 appearances, scoring 93 goals.
  • Tom Evans – born 1907, in Ton Pentre. He played left-half and had two spells at Spurs, 1927-29 and again, between 1929 and 1936, making over one hundred appearances.
  • Willie Davies – born Troedyrhiw, in 1900, he played for Spurs, from 1930-33 at outside-right and made 109 appearances.
  • Alf Day- born 1907, Ebbw Vale, he played as a wing-half and played for Spurs between 1931 and 1936.
  • Willie Evans – born Waunllwyd, Ebbw Vale, in 1912, he played as an outside-left and made 178 appearances for the club, between the years, 1931-36.
  • Bill Whatley – born Ebbw Vale, in 1912, he was a full-back and made 254 appearances. His career was interrupted by the Second World War and in the latter years of his time at Tottenham, he was in competition for his first-team place with Bill Nicholson.
  • Ron Burgess – born Cwm, Ebbw Vale, 1917, he captained the league title winning team of 1951. He also captained Wales. He died in 2005 and in his obituary in The INDEPENDENT of 21st February 2005, he was said to have had, ‘a Titanic presence at Tottenham Hotspur’. It also went on to say, ‘if one man embodied the ethos of the visionary manager Arthur Rowe, it was the genial, prematurely balding Welshman’.
  • Billy Rees – born Blaengarw, he joined Spurs in 1949-50, injuries caused his early form to suffer and he was sold, having appeared 11 times, scoring 3 goals.
  • Ernie Jones – born Cwmbwria, 1920 – free-scoring winger, he played 55 times for the club, scoring 14 times. He was transferred to Southampton, in 1949, a deal involving Alf Ramsey.
  • Mel Hopkins – born Ystrad, Rhonddha in 1934, he was a full-back and made 219 appearances, between 1952 &1964. He was part of the Welsh side, who took part in the 1958 World Cup, losing narrowly to Brazil, in the quarter-finals. He lost two years of playing time when at Spurs, as in 1959, in a collision with Ian St. John, his nose and jaw were broken. He famously said, ‘Ian St. John broke my nose and Pele broke my heart’, a reference to his World Cup exploits.
  • Terry Medwin – born Swansea, in 1932, he made 148 appearances for his home team, before joining Spurs in 1956, where he made 197 (215 in all) appearances, scoring 65 goals (72 in all competitions). He helped the team complete the double and also the FA Cup win in 1962. For Wales, he scored the winning goal in the first round play-off, that took them to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1958. In all, he was capped 30 times, scoring 6 goals, between 1953 and ’63.
  • Cliff Jones – born Swansea, 1935, he made 315 appearances, scoring 135 goals, between the years 1958 and ’68. His successes include being part of the double winning side, part of the 1962 cup winning team and also the 1963 European Cup Winners Cup side. He was capped 59 times for Wales, scoring 16 goals.
  • Mike England, MBE- born Holywell, Flintshire, in 1941, he made 300 appearances for Spurs, between the years 1966 and ’75 and is a true Spurs legend. He was capped 44 times, scoring 4 goals. He won the FA Cup in 1967, League Cups in 1971 and ’73 and the UEFA Cup in 1972. He went on to manage Wales from 1979 to 1987. In his first match as manager, Wales beat England 4-1. He was deeply affected by the death of Scotland manager, Jock Stein, when Wales met Scotland in a 1986 World Cup qualifier and shortly afterwards, England quit Wales, to run a nursing-home.
  • Terry Yorath – born 1950, in Cardiff, he played for Tottenham, between 1979 and ’81. He made 46 appearances, scoring once. He is, of course, Gabby Logan’s father. Yorath’s honours with Leeds United, include, winning the League Championship in season 1973-’74 and reached the final of the UEFA Cup in the ’74/’75 season, losing out 0-2, to Bayern Munich. He made a £3000.000 move to Tottenham in 1979.
  • Paul Price – born St Alban’s, Hertfordshire, in 1954, played at Tottenham 1981-’84, making 39 appearances. He played for the national side 25 times, scoring 1 goal. He was part of the 1982 FA Cup Winners team.
  • Pat Van Den Hauwe – born 1960, in Belgium, to a Belgian father and Welsh mother. He joined Spurs 1989 -1983, making 116 appearances. A resolute defender, he was commonly known as, ‘Psycho Pat’, a title he used for his autobiography. He won the 1991 FA Cup with Spurs. He played 13 times for Wales, between 1985-’89. In 1993, he married model Mandy Smith, ex-wife of Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman, but they later divorced.
  • Simon Davies – born 1979 in Haverfordwest, Wales, he joined Spurs in 2000-2005 playing as a winger. He made 154 appearances in all, scoring 24 times in all competitions.. He played for the national side 58 times, scoring 6 goals, between 2001 and 2010. Went on to play for Everton and Fulham.
  • Gareth Bale – born Cardiff, 1989, he joined from Southampton in 2007, making 146 appearances, scoring 42 goals. He joined Real Madrid in September 2013, for a world record fee of £80,000,000. Gareth’s honours don’t include any winners medals with the club, but he has won numerous honours for his play, including, PWF ‘Player of the Year’ in 2010-2011, and 2012-2013; PFA Young player of the Year 2012-2013; UEFA Team of the Year: 2011; Premier League Player of the Month, April 2010; January 2012 & February 2013.   To date, he has been capped 42 times for the National side, scoring 11 times.

I am aware, (strictly-speaking) that the term ‘taffy’, can be used as a pejorative term for Welsh people or Welsh things in general, but, being a Celt myself, there is no deprecatory meaning whatsoever, intended in this article. The term assisted the alliterative assonance of the title.

The article is informative in nature, and if anything, celebrates the Welsh nation and the many players from there, particularly Ebbw Vale, who have wowed the fans of Tottenham Hotspur, for over more than a century.

 

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