Happy Birthday Pat Jennings [VIDEO]

Happy 69th birthday to the best goalkeeper we have ever had in my opinion, Pat Jennings OBE.

Happy Birthday Pat Jennings


He grew up playing Gaelic football in an area, Newry, County Down where there was no organised football. He played in the streets as a tiny lad and on the only patch of grass when they could.

From those humble beginnings he went on to make 119 caps for Northern Ireland, an Irish record and at the time a world record, in a 22 year international career.

Bill Nicholson signed him after one season at Watford for £27,000 in June 1964 and what a shrewd signing it turned out to be. In 13 years at White Hart Lane he made:

472 League appearances
43 FA Cup appearances
39 League Cup appearances
36 European appearances

In addition he scored in the 1967 Charity Shield match at Wembley against Manchester United. He cleared the ball from his own penalty area and it bounced over Alex Stepney at the other end into the goal.

In 1973 he won the Football Writers Player of the Year and in 1976 became the first ever goalkeeper to win the PFA Player of the Year Award.

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He has the unusual distinction of playing in a World Cup (1986) after having retired from club football (1985). He was 41 at the time and his final game was fittingly against Brazil. At the time he was the oldest ever World Cup player.

Ossie Ardiles brought him back into Spurs employment in 1993 as a goalkeeping coach, a role he continued to help out in as well as scouting and he still works at the club today. He hosts corporate hospitality in the Pat Jennings Lounge.

With Tottenham he domestically won the 1967 FA Cup followed by the League Cup in 1971 and 1973. In Europe he won the UEFA Cup with us in 1972 beating Wolves in the two-legged final.

Pat Jennings, Joe Kinnear, Cyril Knowles, Alan Mullery (c), Mike England, Phil Beal, Alan Gilzean, Steve Perryman, Martin Chivers, Martin Peters, Ralph Coates played in both games while John Pratt made a substitute appearance in the first leg.

1974 wasn't to be such a happy affair as we lost the UEFA Cup that year to Feyenoord 4-2.

Our 2 victories and one runner-up spot make us the 6th most successful side in the competition, 4 sides have won it 3 times and Borussia Dortmund have been runners-up twice.

Pat was renown for having big hands and would frequently pluck the ball out of the air one handed. He regularly used his feet to make saves or any other part of his body. For those younger readers, Hugo Lloris isn't a patch on Jennings and Lloris is good.

The Guardian wrote after one game: "If Jennings had been available on that memorable occasion when the Romans met the Etruscans, Horatius surely would have had to be satisfied with a seat on the substitutes bench."

Liverpool legend Steve Heighway said of Pat after one of his amazing saves against the best side around at the time:

"Pat's save left me wondering how he had got to the ball. I burst through with half a dozen Spurs players behind me and I had to shoot quickly. I really caught the shot just right and it was going over Pat's right shoulder as he came out. I could hear the crowd behind the goal, stretching right up into the Kop, shouting 'goal' but there was the ball in Pat's hands. It was amazing. One of the finest saves I've seen in my life."

There is a brilliant example of his famous one handed catching in the video that still makes you gasp.



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