Danny Blanchflower

God of the Glory Game

Player Biography
Full name: Robert Dennis Blanchflower
Date of birth: February 10, 1926
Date of death: December 9, 1993
Clubs played for: Barnsley, Aston Villa, Tottenham
Clubs managed: Chelsea
Danny Blanchflower
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Danny Blanchflower Danny Blanchflower and Len Duquemin Tottenham 2-0 Leicester, FA Cup Final, May 6 1961 Danny Blanchflower, Tottenham 2-0 Leicester, FA Cup Final, May 6 1961 Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Leicester City, FA Cup Final, May 6 1961 Jimmy Greaves Bobby Shearer and Danny Blanchflower Danny Blanchflower Prince Philip is introduced to Tottenham's players by Danny Blanchflower before the 1962 FA Cup final against Burnley Tottenham's captain Danny Blanchflower shakes hands with Burnley captain Jimmy Adamson before the 1962 FA Cup final Danny Blanchflower scores from the penalty spot to give Tottenham a 3-1 lead in the 1962 FA Cup final against Burnley Danny Blanchflower Tottenham's captain Danny Blanchflower shakes hands with the Queen before receiving the FA Cup in 1962 Tottenham manager Bill Nicholson (left) watches captain Danny Blanchflower show off the FA Cup to thousands of fans at their homecoming, May 1962 Danny Blanchflower
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Club Career

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.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1949-51 Barnsley 68 2
1951-54 Aston Villa 148 10
1954-64 Tottenham 337 15

International Career

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

Years Clubs App Goals
1949-63 Northern Ireland 56 2

Managerial Career

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.

Key Games

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.

Honours

Club Competition Year
Tottenham League Championship 1961
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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From the back pages

Northern Ireland 0-4 France Published: June 20, 1958

World Cup quarter-final match report

Tottenham 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday Published: April 18, 1961

First Division match report

Tottenham 4-3 Arsenal Published: August 28, 1961

First Division match report

Tottenham 1-3 Ipswich Published: March 15, 1962

First Division match report

Tottenham v Burnley Published: May 5, 1962

FA Cup final preview

Tottenham v Burnley Published: May 5, 1962

FA Cup final preview

Can Danny Boy hold on to the Cup today? Published: May 5, 1962

FA Cup final preview

Tottenham 3-1 Burnley Published: May 7, 1962

FA Cup final back page

Tottenham 3-1 Burnley Published: May 7, 1962

FA Cup final match report

Tottenham 5-1 Atletico Madrid Published: May 16, 1963

European Cup-Winners' Cup final match report

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