Spurs Player Gets A Testimonial – And Loses Money!

george armstrong testimonial reportThis is the funniest thing I have seen in ages. This newspaper report, found by Arsenal historian Mark Andrews (@RoyalArsenalMRA), is from 1974, shortly after George Armstrong got a testimonial from Arsenal for his 12 years of service to that point, and having just passed the landmark of 500 first team matches.

George made a good profit from his testimonial, at a time when players could not afford to sit on their backsides for the rest of their lives when their careers on the pitch finished.

His organising committee persuaded Barcelona, with Johan Cruyff, probably the best player in the world at that time, to come to Arsenal for expenses only, leaving the vast majority of the gate money for George. Arsenal paid for a reception for the visitors, and though Armstrong had to fork out for policing, gatemen and printing programmes, a crowd of over 36,000 and a programme at 10p, twice the usual price, probably meant he didn’t mind that too much. Regular seat prices at Arsenal were 90p to £1.90, while it was 45p to stand on the terraces.

Compare that with the unfortunate Phil Beal of Tottenham. Beal’s career spanned almost the same years as Armstrong’s. He’d also done 12 years, though 100 games fewer than Geordie, when he got his testimonial in December 1973. His organisers got Bayern Munich over to Tottenham, but agreed to pay the Germans a guaranteed £11,500. Big mistake. Unfortunately only 19,000 turned up to watch, and because of power shortages they needed to pay £500 for a generator, which equates to the gross entrance money for over 1,000 people.

Spurs of course knew afterwards that Beal wasn’t going to profit from the event, but this didn’t stop them charging him a few extras just to add insult to injury. I feel slightly sorry for him, but this really does make me laugh. His own club, knowing he’d lost £1,500 on a testimonial after playing for them for 12 years, charged him £5 for use of the PA system during the game. What were the announcements? “Where are the rest of you?” “This announcement is costing 25p.” Then they charged £41 for Securicor to take the gate money to the bank! Could they really have rubbed that one in any more? He’s lost a few months wages, but they blithely charge him more to carry money around for him. Utterly brilliant. Bravo, Tottenham Hotspur. Alanis Morrisette really should have included this incident in that song of hers.

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And for Arsenal history: @RoyalArsenalMRA

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53 thoughts on “Spurs Player Gets A Testimonial – And Loses Money!

    • I guess this is in response to the comment about someone an “Arsenal historian”. You guys really should get out more and lead less sad live; I’d suggest a bit of train spotting or even basket weaving.

    • I guess the laughter is in response to the comment about someone being an “Arsenal historian”! I guess this is even less useful than being a pot hole in the road.

      You guys really should get out more and lead less sad live; I’d suggest a bit of train spotting, or even basket weaving.

  1. And that’s funny why? Hopefully one day you’ll lose all your money and possessions and end up in the gutter. See who’ll be laughing then.

  2. Phil we need to move on from those clowns and there history of idiocy , I don’t care about them .We have bigger fish to fry. Big time games coming up. We are top of the league and at the business end of the CL . They play in the losers league because that’s what they do best , so just concentrate on us OK .

  3. and you even think the player was expected to pay for the oposition fee for a testimonial even back then? Were you born stupid or did being an Arsenal fan make you that way?

  4. The obsession continues: your players, your board members, your manager even and even the junior players: all obsessed with THFC. Yet scarcely a peep from our players, club and board.
    Do you see a pattern here?
    Overriding guilt for past felonies and no proven RIGHT to play PL football has so eroded your minds that you have to continually obsess as you do.
    My god you lot are pathetic although TBH the THFC board in the above example give you a fair run for the money on this occasion.

  5. As a Spurs fan I’m embarrassed by this, I wasn’t a fan of Phil’s but he certainly deserved better. The truth is that Arsenal have been better run than us in the past but not anymore. Both clubs now have good boards that will see long term stability become a given. The next few years will be very interesting and I think the rivalry will get even more intense as we’re both going to be top six for a very long time. How Chelski fare when Ambramovich gets bored and takes his money away is another thing.

    • That is possibly the wittiest comment a Spurs fan has left on this blog, though as you can probably see the competition is not particularly fierce.

  6. The frequency with which your posts appear on the Spurs Newsnow page demonstrates an unhealthy obsession.

    It’s as though you are so unsure of your choice of club you have to constantly come up with reasons why Spurs are inferior in some way.

    Me, I hardly ever think about your lot unless we are playing them, or I see an amusing result like last Tuesday.

  7. I went to Beal’s testimonial and it was a good game (2-2), but the attendance was affected by terrible weather, hence Phil’s reported loss on the night. It’s funny for Arsenal fans to be going back forty years for reasons to gloat though; Spurs were the League Cup holders at the time (their third trophy in consecutive years), while Arsenal’s tally over the previous twenty was the Fairs Cup and the ’71 Double (watched by an average home crowd of 42,000 – such a big club. Spurs ’61 average was 55,000). The difference between Arsenal and Spurs for the last twenty-odd years (when even I wouldn’t deny Arsenal’s supremacy) is Wenger on one side and Levy on the other, but all things, good and bad, must end sometime, surely?

    • Wouldn’t you think a ‘big club’ like Spurs would show a little more generosity to one of their longstanding employees?

      Wouldn’t you think a big club would’ve won the league more than twice in its history?

    • Wow most of the comments here are from spurs fans. Does Phil collect you guys, pay you or both? It’s mildly humorous how many comments this piece got. Clearly it bothers you.

      • Dr Goon, what bothers us is odious little grunts like this page trying to prove why their band of merry pikey camp revellers are somehow special (other than in the needs department) you WERE a half decent team when the PL had little competition outside the top 3-4 teams you had a good spell in a weaker league, WERE being the operative word, NOW you must face the music and dance. You guys are pathetic, and you may need to wind your necks in a bit, the red is starting to show!

    • Hey its Harry Hotspur, the same bitter chump that runs a Spud forum and deletes all Gooners comments while calling them all “trolls”, they like to slag us off in peace and cant stand the truth being served up by a gooner.

      I love the way they claim we’re obsessed with them…no Harold, we’re obsessed with laughing at you, and you clowns make it so easy for us as well, cheers fatty. LOL

      Those poor little spuds. PMSL.

  8. This piece must come from the Ivan Gazidis scrapbook of comedy. Real Madrid’s rivals sure spend an awful long time looking back on the history of “non-rivals” like Tottenham.

    Next time you research into anything, try actually doing research. “though Armstrong had to fork out for policing, gatemen and printing programmes, a crowd of over 36,000 and a programme at 10p, twice the usual price, probably meant he didn’t mind that too much”

    “Probably”. Very assumptive. Kind of ruins the comparative doesn’t it? Shame you have such knowledge of THFC finances but not of your own club.

    • Alan, try not to be a dimwit, you’ll give Spurs fans a bad name. It says in the original report that Armstrong made £12,000 from the night. It also makes it clear that the only thing Spurs gave was the players’ time, while Arsenal accommodated the guest team with a reception and food, etc etc. Do try and keep up, there’s a good chap.

      • Easy to do when you’re still reaping the benefits from back handers to get you band of Woolwich pikeys into the top league and have public transport station changed in your name!

  9. poor article, poor journo, poor gooners. SHUT UP and get on with your regular thing of not winning ANYTHING!! its nearly a decade since you won a bit of silver!! TOO FUNNY
    Calm down, enjoy your team and keep that expectation low

  10. Unfortunately, Spurs chairman at time, Sidney Wale, was a renowned skinflint.

    However that was 40 odd years ago and we have had three owners since then.

    You should look a little closer to home and a little more up to date if you want to look at owners who take the piss.

    Your owners after all, are the ones who increased category A matches at the Emirates by 25 percent in one year. Treating both your gormless home supporters and the loyal away supporters with nothing but contempt.

    • Get it right mate, there was never an increase of 25% for Category A matches because previously they didn’t exist – all matches were the same category. If the club then decide to introduce categories it is only natural that Category A is going to cost more than Categories B and C, that’s really the essence of how it works. Overall there was no rise – the reduction for Category C cancelled out the rise for Category A.
      If people treat you with contempt after that kind of logic I really have to say you’ve rather brought it on yourself.

  11. The most pathetic article ever? Probably. Laughing at someone’s misfortune from 39 years ago just demonstrates what a pathetic human being you are even if you are an Arsenal fan. Frankly I hope that many other Arsenal fans are embarrassed by your behaviour. There is nothing like a bit of banter and this is nothing like a bit of banter. To say it is one of the funniest things you have seen in ages just demonstrates what a pathetic little person you are and how sad your life must have been. Shame on you as a Gooner and I hope that other decent Arsenal fans will tell you the same. (And it gives Tottenham fans the opportunity to say how obsessed we are about them.)

    • You’re an idiot. I’m quite clearly not laughing at his misfortune, I’m laughing at Spurs’ handling of it. I even said in the post “I feel slightly sorry for him [Beal].” Are you just pretending to be an Arsenal fan? You must be, surely.

      • Having read the “article” it woulda ppear that your grandfather was probably born about 1974 but as it is unlikely that you know your father’s name we’ll never know. Perhaps your mother might seek professional help-it’s usually free for such sad cases.

      • You’re the idiot. This has got nothing to do with who you support and you are embarrassing yourself and Arsenal fans with this pathetic excuse of an article. It was 39 years ago. As I said you have a seriously sad life posting this. It’s not funny; it’s got nothing to do with today (apparently in 1936 Tottenham refused to play one of their players 1d because he was late for training, but Arsenal did pay their player because the bus was late). Whatever you say about feeling sorry for a decent pro you are taking the piss out of someone’s misfortune. As an earlier poster says, you deserve the same to happen to you. I am an Arsenal fan and I have the right to point out that you are a sad little man.

    • Actually Morrow carried on playing for Arsenal until 1997 and his professional career lasted until 2004. Still, don’t let the facts get in the way of your fantasy life, eh?

  12. well Woolwich are used to paying that little bit more for services rendered, Norris was a prime example with his mate from Bin dipper F.C….until he got caught.

  13. Can’t honestly believe what I’ve just read! The massive giants of North London (well South!) And that’s all the Woolwich Wanderer can come up with…. Phil Beal’s 1974 testimonial? More pathetic than I ever thought you lot were, bit sad and I actually feel bit sorry for you!
    Noel Conway the Arsenal genius learn the difference between “there” and “their” before slagging off Spurs makes you look a mug!

    • I know Nick, I couldn’t believe it either. Who’d have thought a club like Spurs who once won the League Championship – what am I saying, TWICE I mean – would be so petty and small-minded to someone who’d played 400 games for them. Unbelievable. More pathetic than you could ever have thought. Glad you liked the piece, thanks for reading!

      • Dear Phil you seem to have a lot of time on your hands (I guess you’ve run out of the rafia you need for basket weaving?). Anyway to save a busy man like you time I’ll reply to your earlier comment about “generosity? I remember being told that when ‘big club’ Arsenal were asked for some financial help from a homeless charity located near their former ground (*) they gave them enough money to buy ….. some Geraniums. Nice eh?

        (*) That’ll be Highbury and not the one in Woolwich.

      • You leave three comments on someone else’s blog on a subject you don’t even like, but you think I’m the one with time on my hands?

        I heard Arsenal actually gave £10,000 to that charity. Nice, eh?

      • Odd because that figure never appeared in the organisiation’s accounts; still never let facts get in the way etc. I guess I just find you guys need a reality check. Enjoy the train spotting; I hear they are now running in the Wollwich area!

    • Nick, always a good rule of thumb whilst acting as the grammar police is to make sure you punctuate correctly or you’ll look like a mug, you mug.

  14. Pingback: Arsenal and testimonial games | The Arsenal History

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