Alan Gilzean

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Alan Gilzean
Personal information
Full name Alan John Gilzean[1]
Date of birth (1938-10-22) 22 October 1938 (age 78)
Place of birth Coupar Angus, Perthshire, Scotland
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1955–1957 Dundee Violet
1957–1964 Dundee 190 (169)
1959 Aldershot (loan) 0 (0)
1964–1974 Tottenham Hotspur 343 (93)
1974–1975 Highlands Park
National team
1960–1964 Scottish League XI[2] 3 (1)
1963–1971 Scotland 22 (12)
Teams managed
1975–1976 Stevenage Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Alan John Gilzean (born 22 October 1938) is a Scottish former professional football player, active in the 1960s and 1970s. Gilzean played most prominently for Dundee and Tottenham Hotspur, and also played in 22 international games for Scotland. He helped Dundee win the Scottish league championship in 1961–62 and Tottenham win the FA Cup in 1967, two League Cups (1971 and 1973) and the 1971–72 UEFA Cup.

Club career[edit]


Gilzean began his career with local sides Coupar Angus Juveniles and Dundee Violet before joining Dundee in January 1956 as a 17-year-old amateur. He finally signed professional forms at the beginning of the 1957–58 campaign and scored more than 100 goals in the Scottish top flight as an important part of the successful Dens Park side, winning the Scottish league championship in 1961–62, reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup the following season and the final of the Scottish Cup in 1964, losing 3–1 to Rangers.

In April 2009, Gilzean was inducted into Dundee's Hall of Fame.[3]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

Gilzean's performance in a match between an England XI and a Scotland XI in November 1964, which had been originally intended as a testimonial for John White, who had died in tragic circumstances in July that year, alerted the Spurs management who were still searching for a suitable replacement for 'Double' winner Bobby Smith. Gilzean joined the North London club in December 1964 for a fee of £72,500 despite Gilzean being offered better personal terms by Sunderland and the Italian club Torino were also interested in signing him. However, Gilzean was warned off playing in Italy by Denis Law after the difficulties Law had experienced playing there.[4] Gilzean made his debut in a home fixture against Everton.

Gilzean enjoyed a glittering career as a Tottenham player, quickly changing his style of play from a prolific striker to an intelligent and creative forward, forming a famed partnership alongside crowd favourite Jimmy Greaves. A member of the 1967 FA Cup Final winning team, Gilzean continued to be a regular first-team player despite the arrival of Martin Chivers in early 1968 from Southampton.

After strike-partner Greaves moved to West Ham United in March 1970, Gilzean and Chivers formed a new and equally successful goalscoring partnership, contributing greatly to Tottenham's cup triumphs in the first half of the decade, winning the League Cup in 1971, an all-English UEFA Cup final in 1972 against Wolverhampton Wanderers and a second League Cup victory in 1973.

The 1973–74 season was Gilzean's last as a professional footballer as Spurs lost the UEFA Cup final to Dutch giants Feyenoord Rotterdam. Announcing his retirement during the club tour to Mauritius he was awarded a testimonial in November 1974 to recognise his ten years of service as a Tottenham player.

South Africa[edit]

Following his retirement Gilzean played in South Africa for three months.

International career[edit]

Gilzean made his debut for Scotland in November 1963, against Norway. He had previously represented his country at Under-23 level and the Scottish League XI.[2] He received four more international caps in the following twelve months and scored twice at White Hart Lane for a Scotland Select XI against Spurs in a memorial match for fellow Scot John White, who died in tragic circumstances in July 1964.

Gilzean represented Scotland seventeen times during his Spurs career. In total he scored 12 goals in 22 full international appearances for Scotland between 1963 and 1971.


Gilzean returned to England after a spell in South Africa, as manager of Stevenage Athletic.[5]

Life after football[edit]

Gilzean stated, whilst playing, that he disliked football and had no intention of furthering his career after playing.[6] He has since worked for a transport company in Enfield, only a short distance from White Hart Lane.

His son Ian was also a professional player.

Tottenham Hotspur statistics[edit]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 April 1964 Hampden Park, Glasgow  England 1–0 1–0 BHC
2 12 May 1964 Niedersachsen Stadion, Hannover  West Germany 1–2 2–2 Friendly
3 12 May 1964 Niedersachsen Stadion, Hannover  West Germany 2–2 2–2 Friendly
4 25 November 1964 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Northern Ireland 2–1 3–2 BHC
5 2 October 1965 Windsor Park, Belfast  Northern Ireland 1–0 2–3 BHC
6 2 October 1965 Windsor Park, Belfast  Northern Ireland 2–2 2–3 BHC
7 22 November 1967 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Wales 1–0 3–2 BHC / ECQG8
8 22 November 1967 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Wales 2–2 3–2 BHC / ECQG8
9 17 December 1968 Lefkosia, Nicosia  Cyprus 1–0 5–0 WCQG7
10 17 December 1968 Lefkosia, Nicosia  Cyprus 3–0 5–0 WCQG7
11 3 May 1969 The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham  Wales 3–2 5–3 BHC
12 22 October 1969 Volksparkstadion, Hamburg  West Germany 2–2 2–3 WCQG7


Tottenham Hotspur


  1. ^ "Alan Gilzean". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Alan Gilzean". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Champions of Scotland - Gilzean". Dundee FC. Retrieved 10 August 2013. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Exclusive – part two: in an extract from his new book In Search of Alan Gilzean, James Morgan recalls the moment the striker clinched a deal at Tottenham Hotspur
  5. ^ Google books-In Search of Alan Gilzean Retrieved 5 April 2013
  6. ^ Davies, Hunter (2 December 2010). "Prosies of fragile flowers". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Eight more Scots greats enter Hall of Fame The Scotsman, 16 November 2009

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Morgan, James (September 2010). In Search of Alan Gilzean. ISBN 978-0-9564971-0-9. 

Ross, Kenny Dundee Champions of Scotland 1961/62 ISBN 978-1-874287-86-5