Rumour, gossip and speculation continue to dominate the press this week and while we do try to steer clear of the more spurious links, we do bring you a fair percentage of the stories because the individual players concerned are usually worth commenting on.

In amongst all of this, the worst reports of all are the ITK’s – supposedly ‘In the Know’ deals that rarely, if ever, come to anything. It’s almost worth following the purveyors of this nonsense on social media because the names mentioned get more outrageous – the only trouble is that these accounts could all be spoof but it’s just so hard to tell.

Over the years I personally must have heard around a hundred ITKs and being old enough to remember the days before the internet, most of these were by word of mouth. Out of that hundred, one was correct.

In June 1989 a bloke in a pub – specifically the landlord of the Railway Tavern in new Barnet told me that representatives from France (no club name at this stage) were in London to discuss the sale of Chris Waddle. For those that remember the deal it came from nowhere in a way that just wouldn’t be possible today.

I was obviously impressed but everything else that came from my source from that point onwards was pure fantasy and was added to the nonsense pile. However, from the collection of complete rubbish, my best ever ITK came one July – almost certainly 1984.

I was lining up for an annual cricket match and the local photographer came down. He normally lingered for some lunchtime liquid refreshment but this time he took one shot and scarpered.

‘Sorry boys,’ he announced, ‘I’m off to the Spurs training ground – Mario Kempes is signing today.’

Just imagine – you could have seen the man pictured above in a Lilywhite shirt.

Have you any ridiculous ITKs of your own from days gone by – we’d like to hear them



  1. I was on a tour around WHL in the summer of ’84 (had a photo taken holding the UEFA Cup and got to meet Bill Nick).

    The security guard showing us round confirmed Mario Kempes had been on a summer tour with the club, (it was either that summer or perhaps the summer before ) it was a long time ago !. Anyway Kempes by this time was past his vintage of Argentina ’78, and Spurs declined the chance to sign him !


    • thanks – I always wondered if there was something in that story – it definitely wasn’t 1983 so I’m agreed with you it must have been 84

      • Your welcome Matthew, if only we could have signed him with Ossie and Ricky in ’78 !.

        His demise may have been down to injury, but I can confirm that we came close to signing him, he did go on tour, sadly by ’84 he was not the player he had been !.

        From what the security guard said, I got the impression the club had already decided not to make his tour appearances a permanent move.

        A day I will never forget, myself and a friend only went to the Lane to get tickets and go to the club shop. A party of about four Spurs fans had arranged a tour as a birthday surprise and asked us if we would to join them !.


  2. Matthew, you may already know these two!.

    Terry Neil was interviewed on talksport by the ex Sky Sports duo a few months ago. Terry gave the impression he never got on with some of the board members, which may explain his short tenure and his move back to the Woolwich Wanderers.

    He claimed that the lack of confidence the board had in him, blocked the transfer of Johan Cruyff to the Lane!.

    In the early ninety’s we apparently signed Matt Le Tissier. Within the contract (it may have been a pre-contract) there was something like a two week, if you like “cooling off” period for all parties to “take stock”.

    Within this period Matt apparently had a change of heart and decided to stay at Southampton, being closer to his Channel Island home.


    • I hadn’t heard the Le Tissier story but now you mention it I do remember the Cruyff one – imagine that!

  3. In the summer of 94 one of my school friends’ family worked at WHL (no idea what they did). He told me about spurs trying to sign Ryan Giggs. Man U were having a clear out and we supposed to be looking at Andy Cole & needed funds. Spurs put in a £5m offer. Fergie was having none of it apparently. He said there was a plan b up their sleeve, someone big who they could get cheap if no Giggs and they would be a great signing. I didn’t believe him until a month later.

    Plan b happened, his name was Klinsmann.

    My friend back then never ever said anything else about any other signings, and when we signed Klinsmann I started to wonder if the Giggs story was true. He swore there was truth behind it!


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