Terry Dyson was born on 29th November 1934 in Malton, North Yorkshire. Dyson’s first club was Scarborough, but the diminutive winger was posted to Woolwich in London during his national service with the Royal Artillery, and stayed in London thereafter. Tottenham spotted Dyson during a forces match against the guards in 1954.
Dyson scored 5 goals, and was offered a trial at White Hart Lane. Ironically, Dyson signed for Tottenham at a cafe in Woolwich-the home of Arsenal, a club that Dyson would haunt over the coming years.
Despite not becoming an instant starter at White Hart Lane, during Tottenham’s famous double-winning season, Terry Dyson made the left-wing position his own, and was an integral part of the Tottenham Hotspur Double Winning side in the 1960/61 season.
Dyson made his home debut for Tottenham against Sheffield United in 1955, with Spurs cruising to a 5-0 victory on 19 March 1955. However, the 19 year old left winger would have to wait until the 1959/60 season before he earned a regular spot in the first team.
Dyson was 24 when he began to play regularly in the Tottenham first eleven, and after years of playing in the Football Combination league for Spurs, Dyson had developed into a busy, goal scoring winger with great delivery. Affectionately labeled a ‘hyperactive beaver’, Dyson’s all action style was a catalyst in Tottenham’s success in the early 1960s.
During the famous double-winning season, Dyson made 40 league appearances and scored 12 goals, whilst also appearing in all 7 cup matches, netting 5 times. In the FA Cup Final in 1961, Dyson also netted Tottenham’s second goal in a 2-0 victory over Leicester City at Wembley. However, despite the euphoria of scoring at an FA Cup final, Dyson’s recollection of Nicholson’s post match comments provides an interesting insight into how Nicholson thought.
“In the ’61 Cup final I missed a sitter when I nodded over the bar from six yards when it was nil-nil.
“We were over the moon because we’d got the double and Bill was congratulating everyone. But as I’m coming off the first words he said to me were: “What about the goal you missed?””
“What about the one I scored, though?” Dyson quipped. “Yes, all right, well done then””.
For Dyson, disappointment lay ahead as he was replaced with Terry Medwin during the second half of the 1961/62 season, missing the semi-final of the European Cup with Benfica, and the FA Cup Final victory over Burnley. However, Dyson’s finest moment in a Tottenham jersey came the following season in the 1963 European Cup Winners Cup final against Athletico Madrid in Rotterdam. Dyson played the game of his life, scoring twice and laying on one of two goals for his room-mate, Jimmy Greaves.
Dyson would make a total of 209 appearances and score 55 goals for the Lilywhites between 1955 and 1965, before moving to Fulham for £5,000. Dyson remains the only Tottenham player to have scored a hat trick against Arsenal in a North London derby, with Tottenham overcoming their rivals 4-3 on 26 August 1961 at White Hart Lane.
Today, Terry Dyson would probably be considered too small to be a professional footballer, standing at just 5ft 3in. However, despite his height, he was a snappy winger, with great delivery, and was unfortunate never to win an international cap.
However, despite being overlooked for the international side, Dyson is fully recognised as being an integral part of the Tottenham double winning side, and his goals against Leicester City, Athletico Madird and Arsenal, has secured Dyson’s place amongst his fellow Tottenham Hotspur legends.
The Lane of Dreams author, Norman Giller is busy compiling a new Tottenham book, celebrating the glorious Double Winning side. If you would be interested in sharing any memories you might have that era, please fee free to contact Norman by email by clicking on the banner just above.
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