Tottenham Hotspur legend Dave Mackay passed away yesterday at the age of 81. When you list the former Tottenham Hotspur players who are in the pantheon of all-time greats, Dave Mackay should be at the very top, alongside, if not atop, the likes of Danny Blanchflower, Jimmy Greaves, John White, and Glen Hoddle.
The barrel-chested Scot was a member of the 1961 Spurs team that won the double (English first division and FA Cup), plus two additional FA Cups and a Cup-Winners' Cup in 1962 (though he missed the latter through injury). He was also capped 22 times for Scotland.
He was a force of nature for Spurs in the midfield and earned a reputation for being a tough, but not thuggish, footballer. He was a classic box-to-box midfielder, not only able to dispossess opponents but also move into attack. Moreover, he was known as a kind and generous man, despite his huge on-pitch reputation.
I'm a relatively new Tottenham Hotspur fan. I wasn't there to witness Mackay's time as a Tottenham player, and here's no way anything I can write can do justice to how important Dave Mackay was to Tottenham Hotspur. But in my research into Tottenham's history and the legends who played the game, I came to respect him and his contributions massively. He represents everything that was good about Tottenham during the glory era of the 1960s, and he rightfully deserves all the plaudits and honors that he is receiving after his death. Instead, I can only refer you to his obituary on Tottenham's website and the numerous other celebrations of his life and career. The club will have a minute's applause for Mackay before kick-off of the Swansea match on Wednesday.
Rest in peace, Dave Mackay.