Goalkeeper — Pat Jennings
Watford, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal & Northern Ireland

A brilliant 6-ft tall custodian with the largest hands in football, Jennings started out with Newry Town He joined Watford in 1963, but within a year had been transferred to Tottenham Hotspur, where he collected an FA Cup winners medal in 1967, when Spurs defeated Chelsea. Pat was rated as one of the world's outstanding 'keepers.

Jennings surprised the football world when, in August 1977, he was allowed to join the Gunners from neighbours Spurs. Holder of the Irish appearance record, Pat went on to collect an FA Cup winners medal in a sensational game against Manchester United, when the game was won in the dying seconds.

He was honoured as Player of the Year in 1973.

Right Back — George Cohen
Fulham & England

A cool, though thoughtful full-back, a star of the England World Cup-winning side of 1966, Cohen played over 400 League games for Fulham before injuries ended his career.

From nearby Kensington, he joined the club straight from school, and developed into one of the finest defenders. He played for England 37 times and but for injuries he would have played many more.

Cohen was highly thought of as an outstanding sportsman, a model of consistency and an object lesson for any youngster to imitate. George never sought the glare of publicity.

Left Back — Mick Mills
Ipswich Town, Southampton, Stoke City & England

Mick Mills settled down in the Ipswich Town defence as a stocky naturally left-sided full-back, having originally played in midfield, and being released by Portsmouth in February 1966 when Pompey abandoned their youth policy.

Mick went on to captain both Ipswich & England, always likely to score the occasional goal in forward surges, and a good safe tackler. Seldom ruffled, he captained Ipswich in gaining a UEFA Cup Final medal, and highlighted his career when he led Ipswich to victory in the 1978 FA Cup Final.

He was allowed to sign for Southampton in November 1982 and later joined Stoke City.

Right Half — Billy Bremner
Leeds United, Hull City, Doncaster Rovers & Scotland

A small red-haired, veritable human dynamo, with a fiery temperament to match. Bremner made his debut for Leeds United alongside Don Revie at Stamford Bridge as a 17-year-old winger in 1960, eventually becoming a key player in his club's great successes under the Management of his former partner.

Numerous honours include two Championships, an FA Cup winners medal, as well as two European Inter-City Fairs Cup triumphs in 1968 and 1971.

He had many setbacks in his career, notably losing in three FA Cup Finals, from four played, but he had the satisfaction of appearing for Scotland on 54 occasions. He was voted Player of the Year in 1970.

He may however be best remembered for the photograph of Dave Mackay gripping his shirt in a Spurs - Leeds confrontation.

Centre Half — Roy McFarland
Tranmere Rovers, Derby County, Bradford City and England

A classic centre half, McFarland was likened to Neil Franklin of early post-war fame, and were it not for injuries he would have played for England on many more occasions, adding to his total of 28 caps.

He started out with Tranmere Rovers, spending just one season there before Brian Clough saw in him, a great future with Derby County, who were struggling to achieve First Division status.

In his second season at the Baseball Ground, a Second Division championship medal was attained and, in 1971-72, the first of two League Championships were won.

Left Half — Dave Mackay
Tottenham Hotspur, Derby County, Swindon Town & Scotland

One of the great swashbuckling heroes of modern football, indomitably surmounting serious injuries which threatened his future, Mackay showed tremendous character throughout, finally being recognised as Player of the Year after joining Derby County.

Really a player of several careers, his first was the one with Heart of Midlothian, where he first played for Scotland.

Transferred to Spurs for a giveaway fee, he became the finest hard-tackling wing half in Britain, picking up three FA Cup winning medals, a Championship from the Double Year, and a European Cup-Winners Cup winning medal for the destruction of Atletico Madrid in 1963.

His third career was with Derby County when Brian Clough signed him to lead the Rams back to the First Division, that being achieved. He later managed Derby County to the First Division title in 1974-75. He too may be best remembered (by some) for the Billy Bremner photo.

Reader Comments (12)

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Kevin Latham
1 Posted 25/01/2020 at 20:38:47
John, always such a pleasure reading your posts, thank you. Some great names up there, and what competitors! Dave Mackay was a particular favourite of mine, and he was a friend of my dear old dad. But dad was in the minority defending him after he crocked Jimmy Husband!

Mackay broke his leg in a comeback game - when he was coming back from an earlier leg break! Hard as nails.

My dad asked him what was the first thing he looked for in a player, and Mackay tapped his chest. ‘Heart' he said. ‘Can be the greatest ball player in the world, but if he won't go in where it hurts he's no good to me.'

I was going to say how times have changed, but ‘heart' won't matter soon because football will be a non-contact sport.

Len Hawkins
2 Posted 25/01/2020 at 21:39:20
Kevin you are 100% correct, I often think if todays cheats were transported back 50 years they'd last no more than 5 minutes before running crying from the pitch. It makes me sick to my stomach watching supposedly grown supposedly men throwing themselves on the floor as soon as anyone comes near them.

I had a mate who only played amateur football but he played in the early rounds of the FA Cup. He could do anything with a ball, in his sixties he was on a course for his job at Mere Golf Club and one of the other blokes was going on about George Best coming onto the pitch doing keepyuppy and running down to one end. My mate asked him if he or anyone had a football someone went to their car and brought a plastic ball he spent the rest of the dinner hour going round and round the car park and the ball never once touched the floor. He played a charity match with a Southport player called Eric Redrobe a giant built like a prop forward he said to my mate If I had your skill and you had my heart we'd both be playing for England.

Great choice John I saw them all, one player I remember keeping Kendall out of the England team was a yard dog of a player Peter Storey. Alan Ball in his book told the tale of playing Arsenal in the FA Cup on a Saturday and getting a draw with the replay being Tuesday night. He said Storey did him and he had to have stitches in a large gash on his shin, the physio told him he'd miss the replay whereupon Bally told him no way was he not playing and the first time Storey got the ball Bally went straight through him. Ahhh the good old days.

Peter Mills
3 Posted 25/01/2020 at 22:08:39
John, that is one hell of half a football team.

Not many forwards would get past those 5 defensive players, but if they did they would have to confront the 6th, the great Pat. Just think, at one stage in our history we had Neville Southall and Pat Jennings on our books - has any club ever had two such goalies at the same time?

Looking forward to the attack.

David Pearl
4 Posted 26/01/2020 at 16:20:52
It's funny how certain players stay in your head from when you were a kid. I remember Pat Jennings for his one-handed saves and Mick Mills for his 'tash.

The others are slightly before my time but thanks, John, l will keep an eye out for the next parts.

Don Alexander
5 Posted 26/01/2020 at 17:04:46
Bremner, like Revie, was bent. Gary Sprake went public in the 70s by saying Revie used Bremner to offer cash to opponents to throw matches against Leeds. Other players of the time agreed. Neither of the two sued for defamation so, to me, Bremner is not fit to lace any other players' boots.
Andy Crooks
6 Posted 28/01/2020 at 18:46:09
Absolutely brilliant, John. Bold choice with Mills. He was, in my view a fine and vastly underrated player. You did big Pat justice. A great player and a great man. I have been honoured to meet him and he is the most unassuming sportsman who seems genuinely surprised that making saves in a game has any importance in the scheme of things.
Christine Foster
7 Posted 02/02/2020 at 19:59:10
Kevin, I was at Goodison when he took out Jimmy Husband, I was about 20 yards away and it was one of the most disgraceful tackles I have ever witnessed, a deliberate assault with the only intent to maim it incensed me then and still does. It was not a tackle it was assault.
David Peate
8 Posted 18/02/2020 at 08:19:31
I am a little tired of looking at Talking Points and seeing Everton vs Leeds Utd, 29 September 1958, week-in & week out. For a little variety, I refer further back in time to the match between Everton and Albion Rovers in late 1946, shortly before my birthday.

It was a cracking match 6-3. I think that Wally Fielding scored two of them. What was remarkable about the match is that the Albion Rovers goalkeeper had a Number 1 on his shirt. Never seen before and never seen again.

The game had been arranged on the transfer of the right-winger John McIlhaton to Everton. We always called him Jimmy McIlhaton and he never seemed to score any goals in his couple of years at the club.

Alan McGuffog
9 Posted 18/02/2020 at 08:41:16
Len... I had a mate, long deceased, who was one of the Ultras at Haig Avenue in the 60s. Talking of Eric Redrobe:

Aye Aye Aye Aye
Reeves is better than Yashin
Redrobe is better than Eusebio
And Tranmere are in for a thrashing

I think the lyrics were by Noel Coward.

Alan McGuffog
10 Posted 18/02/2020 at 09:11:59
Never really minded dirty games, we had some right battles with Man Utd in the late sixties. Chelsea could also be brutal. But both sides could play.

Leeds Utd were just unpleasant. I still dislike them with a passion, they epitomised all that was wrong with footie both off and on the pitch.

Derek Thomas
11 Posted 18/02/2020 at 09:36:45
Good players all, John.

I remember watching Roy McFarland as a swashbuckling centre-forward playing on Garston Park every other Sunday morning for The Mount.

Jimmy Husband notwithstanding, I have a lot of time for Dave MacKay, very good old-style wing-half, skilful and a proper hardman, not a snidey little shite like Bremner, (who was also skilful) but all too easily bought into Revie's 'frightened his team wasn't really good enough, coward's approach', which was at the bottom of his Dirty Leeds ethos.

John McFarlane Snr
12 Posted 20/02/2020 at 20:59:43
Hi all, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my article 'Treasured Memories of a Bygone Age' [part 7] had been published, [23/01/2020] I can't believe that it passed under my radar. It must have been tucked away in one of the small print columns. I wasn't sure that I would submit part 8 but I certainly will now.

Apologies for not responding to the complimentary posts. Many thanks to Lyndon for providing me with a link to the article.

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