Fans mourn death of a football legend

A LEGENDARY Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper and England international who lived in Wickham Market has died at the age of 84.Ted Ditchburn will be remembered as one of the north London club's greatest goalkeepers, for his string of outstanding performances in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

A LEGENDARY Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper and England international who lived in Wickham Market has died at the age of 84.

Ted Ditchburn will be remembered as one of the north London club's greatest goalkeepers, for his string of outstanding performances in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The Spurs legend spent the last five years of his life in Wickham Market, where he lived with his wife Joan.

The club's fans remember Mr Ditchburn, of Churchill Crescent, for his amazing stamina - he was the first Tottenham player to play for the club 400 times.

In total, he made 453 appearances during his 22 years with the club and a record 247 consecutive league appearances between April 1948 and March 1954, helping the club win the first and second division titles back-to-back in 1949/50 and 1950/51.

While he was at White Hart Lane he played with football greats like Ipswich Town legend Sir Alf Ramsey.

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Mr Ditchburn was born in Gillingham, Kent, in 1921, and was the son of a professional boxer.

As a teenager he tried his hand at boxing but his passion for football led him to join the youth team at White Hart Lane.

After a brief spell at Northfleet he signed to Spurs professionally in May 1939.

During the war years his football career was interrupted when he was posted to Burma with the RAF.

He won six international caps during his time at the top of the game - the most notable being England's 6-0 win over Switzerland at Highbury in 1948.

He was released from the club in 1959 and moved to non-league Romford, where he was a player-manager for six years. He later played for Brentwood Town.

After his retirement he opened a sports shop in Romford and then ran a newsagents close to White Hart Lane.

Mr Ditchburn is survived by his wife Joan and son Robin.

His cremation was due to take place at Ipswich crematorium today.

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