Video of the Day: West Bromwich Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur, January 1965
At White Hart Lane this evening, West Bromwich Albion could, if they haven’t already departed on their summer holidays, make the destination of this year’s Premier League trophy little more than a mathematical matter. Spurs need a win in order to cling onto the coat-tails of Leicester City at the top of the table, however remote that may already feel after their demolition of Swansea City yesterday. This morning, though, we’re gong back more than half a century to a match that was West Bromwich Albion’s first in front of the cameras of Match Of The Day.
Albion went into the match in seventeenth place in a twenty-two team table, three points one of the two relegation places. Spurs, meanwhile, had won the double in 1961, the FA Cup in 1962 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963, but the season before they’d failed to win anything and this year, without European football or the League Cup, which they weren’t entering at this time, the league title was starting to look a little beyond them. Although in fourth place in the table, they were six points behind third placed Manchester United – in an era of two points for a win, and having played a game more – and eight points off the top of the table, where sat Leeds United, the division’s surprise package, who’d only been promoted from the Second Division the previous season.
Spurs, then, needed a win and West Bromwich Albion needed one just as much, if no other reason than to stop them looking over their shoulders. Just for the record, Spurs finished that season in sixth place in the table, and West Bromwich Albion ended it in fourteenth place, comfortably clear of the relegation places. If this turned out to be a turning point in their season, though, it was certainly an eventful one, featuring things being chucked onto a pitch that looks like it’s doubling up as the set of All Quiet On The Western Front and a controversially allowed goal. Commentary comes from Walley Barnes.