As Tottenham begin another campaign, we look back at their victory in the inaugural UEFA Cup of 1972 with the man that scored two goals in the first leg of the final, Martin Chivers.
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No team has secured more UEFA Europa League group points than, or scored as many goals as, Tottenham Hotspur, and as they begin another campaign it is worth remembering they made their first impact in the competition at the very start.
In 1971/72, the inaugural UEFA Cup final was between Tottenham and English rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. England forward Martin Chivers got two goals for Spurs in the away first leg to earn a 2-1 lead, which they converted into a trophy thanks to a 1-1 draw back at White Hart Lane.
Chivers spoke to UEFA.com about his memories of the final, which came after a run that took in the more exotic climes of Iceland, France, Romania and Milan before the shorter trip to the English Midlands. We have highlights of that groundbreaking final in the video player above as well as Chivers' memories below – from the wives' disappointments to the drunken return from the first leg.
On their final opponents ...
"It was strange for our wives because our wives were promised an all-expenses-paid away trip to the final if we ever reached it. So they started dreaming of Madrid, Paris and Rome; and where did we finish? They weren't enamoured to go to Wolverhampton, no."
On the first leg ...
"I had a good record at Wolverhampton, at Molineux – I'd scored in the three previous trips there. So it was a happy hunting ground for me. And could I do it again, I kept thinking. Yes, I was confident I could do something."
On the first goal ...
"I never thought I might be making history for Tottenham, I didn't realise it was the first UEFA Cup final goal. But that was a good goal. The first one was a header, from a free-kick, maybe a little bit against the run of play, they obviously had more of the ball going forward. I remember having a few headers just before that in the first half which didn't go on target; I hit the post, I think, with a free-kick, that was about our only attempt at their goal. Then in the second half, lo and behold I rose up and headed that first goal, and I thought: 'I've done it again – at least I've got my record going.'"
On the second goal ...
"I remember it so well. First of all, they had come back to 1-1. They had mugged us, you know, they caught us very cold, and [manager] Bill Nicholson would have been fuming on the line ... A couple of minutes from the end I picked the ball up around the halfway line, played a couple of passes, eventually got running with it towards their defence. Alan Mullery was screaming on my left for me to play it wide to him, because he had gone on an overlap, but I just kept going, and they didn't come towards me and I thought: well, to hell with it, there's only a couple of minutes left.
"I just unleashed the hardest shot I ever hit in my life. And I thought: if that's anywhere near the goal, that's going to trouble the goalkeeper. And it just flew in the back of the net. I don't think he had a chance. When you hit those old balls, you know the balls we used to play with, and it was wet on that evening, if you hit it hard it was like a missile. It was just fantastic."
After the first leg ...
"We got the bus to the station and then we got on the train. Bill Nicholson was just wonderful after the games – I remember in Milan we were at the training centre and he laid on a couple of cases of champagne when we got through. And with this game he couldn't stop us having a drink afterwards. We took the train back and we were sat in the station for half an hour or 20 minutes before John Pratt came on and said: 'Come on fellows, aren't you going to get off?' We all looked up and said: where are we? He said: 'We've been sat in the station for 20 minutes.' So we did celebrate on the train on the way home ..."
Second leg ...
"I thought, 'We have a very good chance now because Tottenham are so strong at home, especially in European games.' European games at Tottenham, the atmosphere out there was just electric. And we wore the all-white strip, which we always made a point of wearing in European games. And with that crowd behind us, I think it was the most exciting football we played in the early 70s. I think when you win 2-1 away you feel you have a very good chance. And once Alan Mullery popped up with that header and we had a two-goal cushion, we felt we had a great chance that we were going to win this cup.
"But then up pops David Wagstaffe, who hit a fantastic shot just before half-time. Yet we didn't start to worry, we were still pushing for another goal. We never went on the defensive, Tottenham, we were an attacking team, though we never did get that extra goal again to win 2-1. So it was close in the end."