Friday, 11 July 2008

Football Heroes No. 2 - Alfie Conn

Alfie Conn, the long-haired, dribbling, crowd pleaser, was Bill Nicholson's last ever signing in 1975 when Tottenham captured him from Glasgow Rangers. Despite being a Scottish international and one hell of a player he was only on £180 per week at Spurs. In the week when Christiano Ronaldo bemoans his £120,000 a week as "slavery" it's worth thinking of players like Conn who earned less in a week than Ronaldo does in the time it takes to do a stepover. Today Alfie Conn is a warehouseman and courier in Livingston, near Edinburgh.

So, a great player who played a massive part in keeping Spurs alive in '75, but what was his defining moment. It's April 1975, the last game of the season and Spurs are need to win to stay in the First Division. Up against them is the mighty Leeds United who are the best team in the land. They are dirty and ruthless with loads of skill matched by loads of underhand tactics. Basically they're not the sort of team to roll over to fancy-dan, southern softies like Spurs. Tottenham go 3-1 up with a couple from Cyril Knowles and one from Martin Chivers but those Yorkshire terriers are full of pride and keep battling away. Alfie Conn, eccentric wing-wizzard (on his day) goes on a mazy and beats three men before scoring, only to get the ball and sit on it taunting the fiery Scot Billy Bremner. What a man. The story goes that Bremner goes over to Steve Perryman and says, "Tell him, you're going to win the game, but he's not going to finish it." Alfie Conn - legend.

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