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
Place of birth Coupar Angus, Perthshire, Scotland
Date of death 8 July 2018(2018-07-08) (aged 79)
Place of death Enfield, London, England
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1964 Dundee 190 (169)
1959Aldershot (loan) 0 (0)
1964–1974 Tottenham Hotspur 343 (93)
1974–1975 Highlands Park
National team
1960–1964 Scottish League XI[2] 3 (1)
1961–1962 Scotland under-23 3 (0)
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 (/ɡɪlzn/;[3] 22 October 1938 – 8 July 2018) was a Scottish professional football player, active from 1955 to 1975. Gilzean played most prominently for Dundee and Tottenham Hotspur, and also appeared 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. He died on 8 July 2018 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Playing career[edit]


Gilzean began his career with local side Coupar Angus Juniors, before signing provisional forms with Dundee in January 1956 as a 17-year-old amateur.[4] He played once for their youth team Dundee Violet, but then played again for Coupar Angus while working as a despatch clerk for a carpet manufacturer in Perth.[4] He signed professional forms with Dundee in February 1957, but then had a spell in Hampshire while he underwent National Service in the Royal Army Service Corps.[4] Gilzean made his competitive debut for Dundee in August 1959, and then became a key part of a successful side.[4] He scored more than 150 goals in the Scottish top flight as Dundee won the Scottish league championship in 1961–62 and reached the semi-finals of the 1962–63 European Cup.[5] In 2009 Gilzean was one of the first inductees in the Dens Park club's Hall of fame.

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

Gilzean joined Tottenham Hotspur in December 1964, moving for a transfer fee of £72,500.[4] He made his first appearance for Tottenham a week later, in a home fixture against Everton.[4]

Gilzean enjoyed a glittering career as a Tottenham player, while he also changed his style of play from being the main goalscorer to being an intelligent and creative forward. He formed a partnership alongside crowd favourite Jimmy Greaves.[6] A member of the 1967 FA Cup Final winning team,[4] Gilzean continued to be a regular first-team player after the arrival of Martin Chivers in early 1968 from Southampton.[7]

After strike-partner Greaves moved to West Ham United in March 1970, Gilzean and Chivers formed a new and equally successful goalscoring partnership.[8] This contributed greatly to Tottenham's cup triumphs in the first half of the decade, winning the League Cup in 1971, an all-English 1972 UEFA Cup Final against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and a second League Cup victory in 1973.[4]

The 1973–74 season was Gilzean's last as a professional footballer as Spurs lost the UEFA Cup final to Dutch side Feyenoord Rotterdam. Tottenham awarded Gilzean with a testimonial match, played against Red Star Belgrade in November 1974, to recognise his ten years of service as a Tottenham player.[4]

Highlands Park[edit]

Following his retirement from Tottenham, Gilzean played in South Africa for three months with Highlands Park.[4]

International career[edit]

Gilzean made his debut for Scotland in November 1963, in a 6–1 win against Norway.[9] He had previously represented his country at Under-23 level[10] and the Scottish League XI.[2] He received four more international caps in the following twelve months while playing for Dundee. He also scored twice for a Scotland Select XI against Tottenham Hotspur in a November 1964 memorial match for Tottenham and Scotland player John White, who had died in tragic circumstances earlier that year.[11]

Gilzean represented Scotland seventeen times during his Spurs career.[9] In total he scored 12 goals in 22 full international appearances for Scotland, between November 1963 and April 1971.[12][9]

Management career[edit]

Gilzean returned to England after his spell in South Africa, to become manager of Stevenage Athletic for which he managed for one season from 1975 to 1976.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Gilzean stated, whilst playing, that he disliked football and had no intention of furthering his career after playing.[14] He later worked for a transport company in Enfield, only a short distance from White Hart Lane.[8]

When journalist Hunter Davies surveyed the Tottenham Hotspur squad in 1972, Gilzean said that he was supportive of the Conservative Party.[15] His son Ian also became a professional football player.[16] Gilzean died on 8 July 2018, having been diagnosed as suffering from a brain tumour a few weeks earlier.[4][5][8]

Career statistics[edit]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Source: Scottish Football Association[12]
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[4]

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


  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. ^ Morgan, James (17 October 2011). In Search of Alan Gilzean. BackPage Press. ISBN 9780956497116 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Obituary – Alan Gilzean". Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. 8 July 2018. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Alan Gilzean: Former Tottenham & Dundee striker dies aged 79". BBC Sport. 8 July 2018. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  6. ^ Greaves 2004, p. 323
  7. ^ "The life of Mr Tottenham Hotspur". BBC Sport. 23 October 2004. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Welsh, Julie (9 July 2018). "Alan Gilzean obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Alan John Gilzean". Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Scotland U23 player Alan Gilzean". FitbaStats. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Alan Gilzean takes a walk down memory Lane". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b Alan Gilzean at the Scottish Football Association
  13. ^ Google books-In Search of Alan Gilzean Retrieved 5 April 2013
  14. ^ Davies, Hunter (2 December 2010). "Prosies of fragile flowers". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  15. ^ Herbert, Ian (18 April 2015). "Sport and politics: how Twitter has changed the rules". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Alan Gilzean". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Eight more Scots greats enter Hall of Fame". The Scotsman. 16 November 2009. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Alan Gilzean 1938-2018". Dundee FC. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.

External links[edit]