|Full name:||Robert Dennis Blanchflower|
|Date of birth:||February 10, 1926|
|Date of death:||December 9, 1993|
|Clubs played for:||Barnsley, Aston Villa, Tottenham|
If Bill Nicholson was the architect of Tottenham's glory game, then Danny Blanchflower was its master builder. The Belfast midfielder brought guile and passing ability to the Spurs engine room as they won the Double, FA Cup and European Cup-Winners' Cup in three successive seasons.
He started his career at Glentoran after the Second World War, before crossing the Irish Sea to sign for Barnsley. In 1951, he joined Aston Villa, but rapidly grew disenchanted at the club's training regime, believing footballers should practise with a ball rather than run laps of the pitch.
He joined Tottenham in 1954 for the then-massive fee of £30,000, but it wasn't until Nicholson arrived as manager in 1958 that he began to taste success. The two initially clashed but, with Blanchflower at their heart, the Super Spurs would sweep all before them. He retired in 1964, and died in December 1993.
The high point of Blanchflower's long international career with Northern Ireland was the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, where he captained the unfancied Irish team into the last eight. He made his debut against Scotland in 1949, and wore the green shirt for 14 years, making his final appearance against Poland in 1962.
International Career Stats
Blanchflower had a disastrous nine-month spell as manager of Chelsea in 1979, winning just five of his 32 matches in charge as they were relegated from the top flight. He also spent three years as manager of Northern Ireland in the late '70s.
Northern Ireland 0-4 France (1958 World Cup quarter-final, June 19, 1958)
Northern Ireland had battled through to the quarter-finals of their first World Cup finals, but not even their inspirational captain could prevent a rampant French team beating a tired Irish side 4-0 in Norrkoping, two of the goals coming from the prolific Just Fontaine.
Tottenham 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday (First Division, April 17, 1961)
Tottenham clinched the first half of the Double on an electric night at White Hart Lane which ended with hordes of supporters on the pitch chanting "We want Danny!" in honour of their captain. In a hard-fought and sometimes bad-tempered game, Spurs beat their nearest league rivals 2-1 to seal the title with goals from Bobby Smith and Les Allen.
Tottenham 3-1 Burnley (FA Cup final, May 5, 1962)
Blanchflower lifted the FA Cup for the second season running after leading his side to victory over Burnley. The captain had scored Tottenham's third from the penalty spot, after goals from Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Smith had put them in front. Now 36, Blanchflower scotched all talk of retirement after the game, going on to play for another two seasons.
|FA Cup||1961, 1962|
|European Cup-Winners' Cup||1963|
Did You Know...?
During the Second World War, Blanchflower lied about his age to join the RAF. He also worked as an air raid warden.
In 1961, he became the first person to walk off This Is Your Life. "I consider this programme to be an invasion of privacy," he later explained. "Nobody is going to press-gang me into anything."
He appeared in TV commercials for Shredded Wheat during the early 1960s. His catchphrase was "pass the hot milk, please!"
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