Tributes paid to ‘King of White Hart Lane’ Gilzean after death at the age of 79

Alan Gilzean during his time at Tottenham Hotspur (pic: PA Images).

Alan Gilzean during his time at Tottenham Hotspur (pic: PA Images). - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Various former Spurs players have sent well wishes to Gilzean’s family after he passed away on Sunday morning

Tributes have been made to former Tottenham and Scotland striker Alan Gilzean, who has died at the age of 79.

Gilzean, capped 22 times by Scotland and a terrace favourite for a decade at White Hart Lane, died on Sunday morning.

His first club Dundee wrote on their official Twitter account that Gilzean had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Gilzean spent 10 years at Tottenham during the sixties and seventies and formed a formidable strike partnership with Jimmy Greaves and then another former England forward, Martin Chivers.

During his Tottenham days he was known as the ‘King of White Hart Lane’, while Greaves and Gilzean were often referred to as Spurs’ ‘G-men’.

Greaves said in his tribute on Twitter that Gilzean had been his ‘best strike partner’ throughout his own career.

Born in Coupar Angus, Perthshire, in October 1938, Gilzean joined first club Dundee aged 17 and won the Scottish league title with them in 1962.

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He helped Dundee reach the European Cup semi-finals the following season, scoring in a 1-0 home win over AC Milan, although the Italians went through 5-2 on aggregate.

Gilzean scored over 150 goals in 190 appearances for Dundee and also appeared in a Scottish Cup final defeat to Rangers in 1964.

Later that year, Tottenham won the race for his signature - both Sunderland and Italian club Torino had wanted to sign the striker - and he headed south after the Londoners paid a reported fee of £72,500.

During his 10 years at White Hart Lane Gilzean helped the club win the 1967 FA Cup, two League Cups (1971 and 1973) and the 1972 UEFA Cup.

He made his Scotland debut aged 25 against Norway in 1963 and represented his country on 22 occasions, scoring 12 goals between 1963 and 1971.

Gilzean scored 133 goals in 439 appearances for Tottenham. Spurs tweeted: “Everyone at the club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our legendary former striker Alan Gilzean. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

The Scottish Football Association said Gilzean was up with the best of Scottish football’s all-time “entertainers”, while former Tottenham midfielder Micky Hazard also paid tribute on Twitter.

“Very, very sad to hear of the passing of the legendary Alan Gilzean, a lovely gentler man you cannot find, Gilly go make the Spurs team in Heaven an even better team, you will be sorely missed, thoughts and prayers with your family and friends RIP my friend X,” Hazard said.

Former Spurs favourite Ossie Ardiles tweeted: “Very, very sad news. What a player. Much more important. What a man. Privileged to have met you. Gilly. Rest in peace my friend. Our thoughts with his family and friends.”

Another Tottenham great, Cliff Jones, posted on Twitter: “So sad to hear of the passing of @SpursOfficial legend Alan Gilzean. A great player and friend who will be sadly missed. Sending our love and condolences to the Gilzean clan. R.I.P “Scottish Soldier”.

Tottenham reached the UEFA Cup final, losing to Feyenoord, in Gilzean’s last season with the club in 1973/4 and after leaving the London club he spent three months playing in South Africa.

He returned to England and had a brief spell in charge of Stevenage Athletic before working for a transport company close to White Hart Lane.