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I used to have my season ticket in the Shelf or East Lower as it's now called. Me and my mates used to go to the Northumberland Arms before the game, which means walking back through the school to get to our entrance. So every home game about 2.15 to 2.30 we would leave and sure enough as if by clockwork Bill would pull in in his blue Vauxhall Cavalier and get out of the car with such a glint in his eye. We all said hello to him and in his broad accent he would simply smile and say "Hello lads, we need a result today", and he would smile again. I hope this story small though it is lets people know what kind of man Sir Bill was - a man of the people for the people.|
|Well, can I really claim I met him? Actuallly, I did!|
I was a thrilled 10 year-old, clutching my newly-bought Spurs flag. I was with my Dad - where? Along the High Street, just outside the ground, thronged with so many - all there to celebrate the open top bus victory parade, days after the fabulous, glorious 1961 double, that set new standards for football.
After a long, excited wait, the bus approached us. I could see those great players at the front of the bus - Peter Baker with one of the trophies, Jones, White, the great Danny, Mackay smiling, reserve goalie Hollowbread whooping up the crowd. As the bus passed by, we - my dad at first I think - spotted someone sitting quietly, halfway back along the open top bus, not joining, but sitting quiet, watching, satisfied. Billy Nicholson.
Everyone else was waving at the players waving the cups at the front of the bus. My father knew better. He shouted: 'Well done, Bill!!'
And Bill, hearing the call, looked down directly at us from the top of the bus: grinned at us and gave the thumbs up. His look fixed on me, this gawky, over-awed enthralled kid. What could I do? Speechless, bursting, I waved my new flag for all I was worth. Bill kept grinning, looking at me and my Dad. And then, of course, the bus pulled past us.
Yes. I met Bill Nicholson.
|During the war Bill Nick as he was known even then helped Darlington to be one of the best teams in England along with other quality guest players like Jimmy Mullen. As kids we used to hang around outside the changing rooms kicking a tennis ball around waiting for the players to come out hoping they would join in. Bill Nick always did for a few seconds only but it made our day. He was always in uniform going to get the bus back to camp. He also played for Northern Command.|
About two years ago I took the tour of White Hart Lane, when Sir Bill suddenly arrived at the reception area. I felt instantly that this was my only chance to get a picture together with the legend. A Swede had the same idea a few seconds before me, and when he was finished, I had my son Even take a picture of me and Bill. I didn`t get the chance to talk much to him because the others were already gone, but it was a great moment and a fond memory for me. It`s sad that he has passed away, but I hope his passing is a symbolic new start for our beloved club.
Svein K. Johansen - Rørvik, Norway
It must have been in the early 70's when my friend Kevin and myself went up to the Spurs training ground at Cheshunt. Bearing in mind we were 13 year old schoolboys bunking off to see our heroes. At the end of training Kevin and myself started to collect the balls up and were passing them to Sir Bill when he called us over. He asked If we wanted to be footballers of course we replied we did. He went on to say how simple the game was and proceeded to demonstrate.|
He held a ball up and asked how many sides it had. We guessed at 8, 16, 32, being the number of panels balls had in those days. After a few wrong guesses he then said, "It has 2 sides lads, inside and outside. Never forget football is a simple game - don't make it complicated unnecessarily." I still remember this story to this day and myself and Kevin who has a season ticket beside me reminisce from time to time about Bill and the Glory days that we had as lads.
I met Bill when he held a book signing in the City of London following the publication of his ghosted autobiography. I thanked him for the pleasure his teams had given me during his stewardship. That was the only time I met him. He was very shy when he was thanked.|
Not a great story.....
But I used to see Sir Bill walking to the lane every week and eventually thought I'd say hello and not try and bother the gent.
I did this one week and you couldn't have met a nicer more polite person. He had time for me and the 100's of other people with the same plan.|
This memory may seem small but it will live on.
The 'Real' Uncle Bill|
My name is Gill Nicholson and I have been married to Paul Nicholson (Bill's nephew) for nearly 30 years. We thought you may like to share just one of our special memories of Uncle Bill.
When we got married on 7th June 1975, Bill and 'Darkie' came to our wedding. We had a fabulous day and after the reception we all returned to my parents house in Pickering, North Yorkshire before returning to Scarborough for an evening reception. It was a lovely sunny day and we suddenly realised that a lot of the children who had attended the wedding had disappeared, along with Uncle Bill. We found them on the front lawn where Bill was teaching them the correct way to do a handstand! He was 55 at the time!
Then all the men disappeared - they had all gone into a field at the back of my parents house and Bill was organizing them into teams for a cricket match! We still have guests from the wedding coming up to us and saying "do you remember that game of cricket?"
Paul, myself and our three children, Karen, Jim and Mike have met Bill and 'Darkie' on very many occasions and were extremely sad when we received the telephone call from Bill's daughter, Jean, that Saturday morning.
Our two and a half year old grandson is named Daniel William after his great-great-uncle and loves playing football - who knows, maybe one day there will be another Nicholson playing for Spurs!
I must have been about 15 years old when I met Bill Nicholson after a game a White Hart Lane in the mid 70's. I had been standing around for autographs where the players left the ground and Bill Nicholson came up to me and asked me what I thought of the game. I was dumbstruck - there was my absolute hero asking me what I thought. I felt what could I know about the game that he didn't - and being a female! - but he wouldn't accept my silence and asked me again and managed to get a stumbled answer from me. He told me that my view was important and I was struck by how much my answer did mean to him. It was like talking to your Grandad - you respected and revered him but loved him at the same time. Once you got talking to him, the respect and love seemed like a two way thing. It certainly left a mark on me even all these years later. I cannot see a Manager nowadays doing that.|
I went out with a girl in the late 60's who lived a couple of doors from Bill and met him a few times though her Mum and Dad. I think I only went out with her so I might bump into Bill some nights after taking her home.|
One day I was talking to Bill and had a bit of a limp from playing myself on a Sunday morning team. Bill asked me what was wrong and I told him I had hurt my ankle playing on the Sunday and I would miss our cup final on the next Sunday. Bill said to come to the ground the next day and he would get it sorted for me. I had treatment three days running and I played in the final on that Sunday. I'd like to dedicate that cup win to Bill all those years later.
Being a fan for 60 years I met Bill a few times, and he always had time to talk about THFC. Next to his lovely wife it was the love of his life. The last time I met Bill was last season 2004, in the car park inside the ground. I had the 1961 replica shirt, with most of the double winning teams autographs on it. Although Bill had difficulty writing, he wrote his name on the shirt, it took him about 10 minutes, but god bless him he finished it. I have collected many autographs over the years, but that is my most treasured one, which will stay in my family for ever. |
I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Nick on a tour of the ground. I was escorting Virgin radio DJ Russ Williams when we were looking at the FA Cup (1991). We were having our picture taken with the great trophy when the even greater man walked in. He greeted us warmly and thanked US for supporting the team and wished us well and we in turn thanked him for all the pleasure he and his teams had given us. It was a great moment in my life. He was a truly great man in the world of sport and not just football.|
I met Bill in a very unusual circumstance. It was a long time ago and I couldn’t tell you in what year or who Spurs had just played. But anyway, I’d left Paxton Road with two friends and we were heading for Northumberland Park School as a short cut to where the car was parked.|
The entrance to the school was just wide enough for one or two people at a time. I let this old man and a younger lady go in front of me. Within seconds the old man had toppled down a kerb. I immediately bent down to help him up and ask him if he was ok. I’ll never forget this day, as this old man was wearing a long navy Spurs coat and as he got up his broad northern accent seemed out of place. It was then that I realised it was Sir Bill that I was helping up and I have to say I was ashamed that all I could blurt out was "F*ck me, Billy Nic." He smiled then laughed and said "alright son, thanks very much."
I told him it was my pleasure and then kissed his hand a number of times and thanked him for everything he had done to the club I love. He was so humble and said that that was his pleasure, as he also loved them. I’ll never forget his smile and how warm it made me feel. My friends and I still talk about that evening and how lucky I was in helping him up and how lucky we all were to be in his presence for those very few short moments.
I met Bill and Eddie Bailey reguarily at the back of White Hart Lane,where the college now stands,playing for Haringay Borough in the sixties. He used to speak to my father about getting me down the Lane to train with the other schoolboys. He used to speak to my dad about Jimmy Greaves. He'd say "he's so lazy,he doesn't work hard enough" and my dad would reply "but he scores you so many goals Bill!" Good on ya Bill.|
I used to walk to the ground from my home past ‘Peasholm’, and my dad used to say hello to his wife every time, they had a large cockerel statue visible on display in the front room.|
I first saw Bill at the old Cheshunt training ground in 1967, and was allowed to mingle amongst gods in the old stand that was there. He was always polite and a wonderful person, writing this is bringing a tear to the eye.
The last time I saw Bill was at a pre season friendly, he was stood in the West stand concourse as I was going to the loo, he was stood by a 1936 picture of himself, as I passed I said what a fine man he was and he acknowledged with the same polite dignity as always.
I will miss him greatly and will always be proud of him as a major influence on everything the club stands for.
I had the great privilege to met Bill Nicholson, I was fourteen years old and I was training as a
schoolboy at Tottenham in 1972. I was in my kit, running upstairs in the ground to one of the
indoor ball courts and Bill was walking downstairs. He stopped me and ask if I was enjoying the
training session ? I replied that I was enjoying it very much and being a Spurs supporter made it even
more enjoyable. He said, that's good, now on your way and keep up the good work.|
I couldn't wait to tell my brothers( more Spurs supporters) at home, It was awesome that the great Bill Nicholson thought to stop and ask me if everything was ok, I'll never forget that wonderful moment.
Thanks for the memories.
Most of us know Bill parked his car behind the east stand on match days and ten mins before kick off he would walk to the ground with all us mortals. I said: "Hello Mr Nicholson", he stopped, looked at me and said: "Call me Bill, I'm Bill to you", and walked off with a nice smile on his face. A sadly missed fantastic bloke, thanks for all my great nights.|
It was in the mid to late 50's. I was a student at Leeds University. I exchanged pleasantries with Bill ouside the ground at Elland Road before a game against Leeds United. He was in conversation with Jimmy Anderson, the then manager and Bill was first team coach. He of course succeeded J.A.in Oct 1958 - remember his first match, home against Everton--10-4! |
Back in 1972 i think it was, I won a contest in the Weekly Herald for writing a story on my favourite player. As part of the prize I had to go to White Hart Lane and get presented with a signed ball from Pat Jennings. As the paper wanted some photos we proceeded to the Park Lane end of the pitch where I had to simulate taking a penalty against mighty Pat. In the group was Bill Nicholson and as I went to thump one past Pat Jennings there was a bellow from behind, it was Bill telling me to "bend your knee son".
Tremendous, i can remember absolutely freezing on the spot but hey this will always be a great memory for me.|
I was born in Tottenham and was an avid autograph hunter in the 1960s and was often at the Lane and also went to Cheshunt during school holidays, so I saw Bill often and he was always happy to say hello and give an autograph. I also saw and chatted to his daughters, Linda and Jean, quite often around the Lane as we all became teenagers. I got to know a lot of the players and babysat for several of them in the 1960s. |
When John White died and there were testimonials held for him at the Lyceum in the Strand, Bill and his family gave me a lift home on one of those evenings. He was very concerned that I got home safely and I got dropped off right outside my front door. He was a real gentleman.
I last saw Bill at Cliff Jones's 60th birthday bash, over 14 years ago. Cliff pulled me forward from among the guests to say hello to him and I gave him a kiss on the cheek and told him there would never be another manager at Tottenham to equal him or his achievements. He said a very humble thank you. I meant it. He should have been knighted.