Oct 5, 2020
Danny Blanchflower was a footballer from Belfast who’s most well-known for captaining the Tottenham Hotspurs team that won the double in 1961 and 1962.
(The first team to win the FA Cup twice in the 20th Century).
He also led the Northern Irish team to the World Cup twice as team captain in 1958 and in his role as manager in 1976.
Off the pitch, he was highly respected as one of the greatest football writers in the world, a true scholar of the game and someone with incredibly witty intellect.
But to many people’s surprise, I had never heard of Danny Blanchflower, despite growing up in Northern Ireland and even visiting Blanchflower Park as a teen.
When I discovered more about his story and the incredible legacy he left behind, I decided to set out on a journey to find out more about the man, the myth and the legend — but more importantly, to uncover why Northern Ireland is running the risk of forgetting about one of our greatest players.
Today’s episode documents that journey and features interviews with former team-mates like legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings, representatives from Tottenham Hotspurs like Club Historian John Fennelly and Danny’s only son Richard Blanchflower.
We also do a deep-dive into Danny’s childhood neighbourhood on Grace Avenue in East Belfast to find out more about why red bricks and old buildings have such an important role to play for the people of Belfast today.
Check it out.
To see photos of all the voices featured in this episode please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/danny-blanchflower-footballer
This episode is part of The Streets Where They Lived: a new documentary collaboration between Successful Belfast, Belfast Buildings Trust, and Best of Belfast. The Streets Where They Lived will feature the stories of six incredible but sometimes overlooked men and women from Belfast and some of the buildings and places in the City with which they’re connected.
The project is a collaboration with Successful Belfast, a project of Belfast Buildings Trust. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Belfast Buildings Trust is a charity founded in 1996 to regenerate Belfast’s landmark buildings. The Trust works to ensure that the City’s authentic heritage is made relevant for people today. One of its projects is Successful Belfast, which champions new and creative ways of involving people in Belfast’s future development.