Spurs' Cult Heroes - Fans' Memories

Spurs’ Cult Heroes – Your Memories of Dave Mackay…

Dave Mackay – what a man. A vital component of our Double-winning team of ’61, he then recovered from two broken legs to captain us to victory in the ’67 Cup Final. AANP warmly invites you to share your memories of this true Spurs legend, the latest player to feature in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes. 

As ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the other featured players: Cliff Jones here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here

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18 replies on “Spurs’ Cult Heroes – Your Memories of Dave Mackay…”

Before my time but from what I hear and clips I’ve seen he was like Roy Keane and Steven Gerrard rolled into one.
Sadly he’s probably remembered best by most for the famous picture of him grabbing Billy Bremner rather than his playing career.

My memory is not from his playing days but from merely 2 or 3 years ago. I was in The Corner Pin in the corner of Park Lane and in walks Dave Mackay. A table was given up to him (ironically with THAT famous photo above it) and he held court, chatting to people, shaking hands and signing whatever came to hand. I manged to get him to sign my season ticket from that year.

A true gent with time for everyone. A Spurs legend

I was fortunate to see him play through most of his fabulous carrer at at Spurs.
To say he had a “never say die attitude” is an understatement, I always felt with him on the field we just couldn’t lose. His skill rivalled the legendary Blanchflower and I seem to remember Bill Nicholson saying he was the best player he ever saw, which considering the greats he managed ,and played with and against is some statement.
In any “all time Spurs team” he would be among the first three or four to be picked.

I was 16 when I watched my first live Spurs game.That was when I left Cyprus for London to study architecture.It was the first game of the 1965-66 season.It was also D.Mackay s comeback game after two broken legs.I knew nothing about him.What a reception he got from the crowd.I will never forget it.I have supported Spurs ever since,and I am absolutely certain that Dave is the best player that we ever had.

Away to Leeds on a cold November afternoon and on a near frozen pitch. The fancy footwork and pretty passing of the Lilleywhites promised little against steely northern Yorkshire grit. Forget points, all you were assured of were bruises and pain. But then, one look at Dave Mackay striding onto the pitch with sleeves rolled up, nostrils flaring looking for a home shirt to eat for lunch and suddenly anything seemed possible. A colossus!

I met him at a friend’s wedding in Edinburgh last year. He’s a legend for Hearts fans as well as for the Lillywhites, and he had time to talk to everone, pose for photos and sign autographs. An absolute gentleman with a great sense of humour.

Cheers guys, some top memories here of the man rated by Bill Nick himself as his greatest ever signing.

I have loved our great club for over fifty years, I have seen many great players pull on the white shirt of Tottenham but without doubt the most important of them all was, in my opinion, the one and only David Craig Mackay. When he joined Spurs they were already a very good team, when he had settled in they became a truly great one. He was the catalyst that laid the foundation for all the glory that was to follow, he was the very soul of Tottenham, he was the heartbeat. The memory that summed it up for me was after the 1963 European Cup Winners Cup Final against Athletico Madrid, a match Mackay missed due to injury, the headline in the Express I think it was read, SPURS NIGHT OF GLORY, Danny’s boys fought like ten mad Mackay’s, even in absence his soul touched the eleven that played that night. Thank’s Dave for everything you did for our club and for all the memories you gave us, a TRUE Spurs legend.

Simply the best player that we have ever had without doubt and Nicholson’s admitted biggest mistake was letting him go when he did.
I watched the team from 1956 onwards and i saw what his arrival did for us and what his loss also did. We had for a time, graham roberts who for all of his trying was a poor copy of Mackay and we had Mullery who also was a poor copy. Aprt from these two and the lesser Pratt we have been waiting for the “second coming” of Mackay for decades. Wilson Palacios is at the level where he is slightly better than Roberts but still far off mackay although he may yet improve and so we are still waiting, hopefully not for too long as I have heard great things about Sandro.

Away to Leicester who were in the top four then and a rainy day and a very muddy pitch: a leicester player breaks through and has a shot.
GK is stranded as he has ?slipped in the mud. The ball trickles towards the open goal and is about to enter the net. Out of nowhere comes a sliding body, sliding 20 yds across the mud in front of goal. the ball strikes rthe body and bounces out of play. Mackay saves the day again and we draw 2-2. That is how I remember mackay. Not picking up that little sh*t Bremner as he did his best to try and deliberately rebreak mackay’s leg(mackay had only just returned from the fracture). Am I exaggerrating here? Watch that Leeds side in action or ask Mackay himself. It was the fourth time in that match that Bremner had hit him there in the tackle. They couldn’t handle him and so crippling him was the desired option.
The joke was that he didn’t hit Bremner. he didn’t have to. Little Billy was so scared he never went near Mackay ever again in a match and this certainly helped Derby win their two championships vs Leeds.

I’m a Spurs supporter, but, as a boy, living on the island of Guernsey, I remember vividly Dave Mackay, then player/manager with Derby County, in a friendly game against our island side, and he was really the reason I wanted to be there, being a hero from his Spurs days.

I’ll never forget him at this game, backing up a young player down the right of the pitch, reassuring him that he was there and it was safe to go into a challenge with one of our local players.

The old ‘Track’ football stadium had a stand which echoed, and Dave was running down the wing side behind this player shouting, “Don’t panic!”, which resonated across the ground, and really summed up his presence and reassuring defensive abilities.

I still remember this shout often when facing difficult situations. “Don’t panic!” Great player, great manager, great man!

Dave Mackay was a true legend at Hearts, Spurs, and Derby County and still is ! He was the first player to be inaugurated into the Hearts hall of fame and is also in Spurs and Derby County’s hall’s of fame and not forgetting the Scottish and English F.A. hall’s of fame also! As a player he was colossal.He could play anywhere on the park and he inspired confidence to the rest of the team.What a sight when he led the team on to the pitch! A true braveheart ! As a manager he was also successful winning the 1st. division championship with Derby County where he wasn’t given enough credit after what he had to face and go through,and he was successful and revered in the Middle East before retiring. Dave Mackay I take my hat off to you! You are true football legend and a gentleman.Thanks for the memories Dave!

As the great late Bill Nicholson said Dave Mackay was his best signing, so Mr.Levy and fellow directors do something positive and honour this truly great footballer and man.

I can remember back in 1967 as a 15 year old at Cheshunt watching Spurs and after training along with many other eager fans surrounding Dave Mackay to get my hero’s autograph. He would tell us all to line up in a orderly queue which we did and then he would sign his autograph for everyone,no problem.What a difference from today’s players ! Dave you are true legend and still my hero. Oh for another Dave Mackay and those glory glory days !

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