Jimmy Anderson (footballer)
Jimmy Anderson had been a lifelong member of the ground staff at Tottenham Hotspur having joined the club in 1908 when he took over as manager from Arthur Rowe who retired on 18 April 1955. In fact, during the latter period of Rowe’s reign he had been appointed as acting manager due to his predecessor’s ill-health.
Spurs reached a FA Cup semi-final in 1956 and after a poor season in 1955 finished in successive years second and then third in the Football League First Division Champions. However, under Anderson the team’s overall performance (played 153, won 72 drew 32 and lost 49) was not considered good enough for the ambitious directors and supporters of the club who were wanting nothing short of a First Division Championship Title.
This expectation put considerable pressure on Jimmy who was already in his mid-sixties and also suffering ill-health by then. Added to this a very public falling out with his captain, Danny Blanchflower who had not always seen eye-to-eye with each other, led ultimately led to his retirement on 11 October 1958.
In truth, many associated with the club saw Anderson as a ‘stop-gap’ manager to give time for Bill Nicholson who had always been seen as Rowe’s chosen successor to progress from player to manager. Indeed during most of the time Anderson was a manager, Nicholson had been developing his skills in the capacity of first team coach and in many contemporaries eyes was the main influence both on and off the field.