A look back at Tottenham Hotspur’s landmark European success in Rotterdam in 1963
Last season’s Champions League final appearance is a landmark night in the history of Tottenham Hotspur. Some would argue the biggest night in the club’s history.
It is not the first time that the club have played in a European final. Spurs have won three continental competitions in our esteemed history. The first of which came in 1963 in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.
Today marks the 57th anniversary of that triumph which made us the first club to win a continental competition.
Spurs qualified for the tournament after they retained the FA Cup with a 3-1 win over Burnley. We started off our campaign with an emphatic 8-4 aggregate win over Scottish giants Rangers.
This was followed by a smashing comeback against Slovan Bratislava at White Hart Lane. Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, the Londoners channelled the power of the Lane to smash the Slovakians 6-0 on the night.
Spurs then qualified for the final by beating Yugoslavian side OFK Beograd 5-2 on aggregate, winning both legs.
The night in Rotterdam
As the current generation reminisces over the Lucas Moura heroics that night in Amsterdam, an older generation will never forget another night in the Netherlands 57 years prior.
Facing off against defending champions Atletico Madrid, Spurs handed them a footballing lesson. Jimmy opened the scoring before Scottish international John White doubled the lead. Atletico halved the deficit through an Enrique Collar penalty just after the interval. There would be no comeback as Dyson and Greaves scored their second of the night to ensure an emphatic 5-1 victory.
The 1960s was a magical time to be a Spurs fan. The club started off the decade by winning the league. That was followed by three FA Cups and three Charity Shields. However, it is that victory in Rotterdam that takes the cake.
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Today England is home to a number of European triumphs. But it is not to be forgotten that it was the mighty Spurs team of 1963 that first put the nation on the map.
It was the best gift the FA could receive on their centenary year. The victory would serve as an inspiration to others in the country. Truly on that night in Rotterdam, football came home.