By Jeremy Jacobs
January 13th marks the 50th anniversary of Margate FC’s FA Cup third round tie with Tottenham Hotspur.
The North London side were the then UEFA Cup holders and had a string of stars including England internationals Martin Chivers, Steve Perryman and Martin Peters.
This was only the second time Margate had reached the 3rd round proper, the previous time was in 1936 where they eventually went down 3-1 at Third Division Blackpool after having beaten Wimbledon (away), QPR and most famously Crystal Palace by three goals to one at Hartsdown Park. The latter result would have had more publicity had Ted Drake not scored seven goals for Arsenal at Aston Villa in League Division 1 on the same day.
The Margate side in the 1972-73 season were riding high in the Southern League Premier Division and had advanced in the FA Cup after famous wins against Swansea and the top amateur side, Walton & Hersham.
For 25 minutes, Margate kept the North London side at bay before Martin Chivers scored from a free-kick. After the break, the floodgates opened with Spurs scoring a further five goals. One of the scorers was the Spurs left-back Cyril Knowles. It is claimed that the well-known “Nice one Cyril” chant was sung for the first time at Hartsdown Park by the some of the Spurs faithful.
The match attracted 14,169 spectators (including my late father and I), a ground record for Hartsdown Park and remains to this day the largest ever crowd to watch a football match in East Kent.
Final score Margate 0 Spurs 6
For more details, newspaper cuttings and photos from the match, visit the Margate FC History Site http://www.margatefootballclubhistory.com/spurs73.shtml