The death of the former Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona and England manager Terry Venables brings back memories of the day he brought his near full strength Spurs team to play Glenavon at Mourneview Park.
It was on the afternoon of August 1st 1992 for a pre season friendly, part of the transfer agreement which had taken Gerard McMahon to the London club that summer. The game coincided with the official opening of the Crescent Stand which was performed by Venables, Spurs won 1-0. Their team lined out: Walker Turtle Edinburgh Gray Cundy Ruddock Nayim Durie Samways McMahon and Fenwick. Subs Austin, Howells, Allen and Anderton. Vinny Samways scored the goal.
Tottenham’s one day visit coincided with “the troubles” in Northern Ireland and the London club was at pains to spend as little time here as possible, their itinerary rather reluctantly including a stop for lunch at the White Gables Hotel in Hillsbrough., Our club chairman Adrian Teer vividly recalls a member of their coaching staff – the former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence – turning to him on the coach journey from Belfast International Airport to the hotel and enquiring “does this coach have bullet proof windows?”. Adrian says he assured him such a precaution was totally unnecessary.
The match programme listed the Glenavon squad for the game as: Beck Blackwood McKeown Byrne Scappaticci Quigley McMullan Kennedy Crowe Crawford McCoy Smith Ferguson Whelan McConville O”kane Lavery Percy and A McCann with Bobby Lutton named as referee.