Date: 24th November 2011 at 12:53pm
Written by:

People’s reading habits are changing all the time, advancing.

“The great fallacy is that the game is first and foremost about winning. It’s nothing of the kind. The game is about glory. It’s about doing things in style, with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”

I occasionally see a fan on the bus. Yesterday he was positively breezing through his latest summons for shoplifting with just a finger tracing along as he silently mouthed the words. Not once did I see him ask anyone for assistance.

That Blanchflower quote has become almost an unofficial club motto at Spurs. And it has also proved something of a millstone for every team that has followed in the footsteps of the Double winners. It is taken as evidence that the way the team plays is more valued than the results it gets. But this, I would argue strongly, is to misunderstand the point Blanchflower was making. It’s the “first and foremost” bit that gets overlooked. Blanchflower never dismissed the importance of winning. He was a professional footballer with enormous ambition, after all.

The section that talks of “going out and beating the other lot” is a pretty clear indication that winning was foremost in his mind. The point is that for Blanchflower, winning was a given.

Of course you were there to win, because that is the nature of sport. But how you win is what distinguishes mere success from glory and, as he said, the game is about glory.

Mde De Hotspur has a kindle apparently. I only know this as it one of the things with a sticker on it and I’m not allowed to play with anything that has a red sticker.

He was, in the words of sports journalist and long-time admirer Julie Welch “football’s stylish song-and-dance man, playing the game the way Gene Kelly danced”.

And let’s not forget that point, because for all that can justifiably be said about Blanchflower the thinker and personality, he was without a doubt one of the finest footballers to grace the turf.

and are quite rightly among other things highly respected authors. This is another reason to appreciate their literary efforts. The pair have teamed up yet again to produce a series of ebooks called Sports Shots.

The Sports Shot is 12 chapters of all you need to know about a revered legend. After all, aside from that Connor MacCleod bloke and Cliff Richard, non of us are immortal. This is the stuff that keeps the new blood in our tribe well and truly in touch with the past and how important that it is kept alive.

Blanchflower was a clever man, but he recognised the simple pleasures of football and much of his intellectual application was dedicated to debunking the efforts of those who would make it overcomplicated.

At just £2.99 this includes VAT & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet. HERE

Make someone’s Christmas and watch them get merrily stuck in to a great slice of Tottenham’s past (readers purchasing for themselves will have to use a mirror to achieve this).