Spurs legend Garth Crooks pays emotional tribute to Chas Hodges


Garth Crooks on Top of the Pops singing Ossie’s Dream

“They were wonderful people and Chas was a wonderful man. He’ll be sorely missed.”

Spurs legend Garth Crooks pays emotional tribute to Chas Hodges

Former Tottenham forward Garth Crooks was an unlikely star on Top of the Pops in the 1980s. Always politically eloquent, the Stoke-born forward was an active member of the Professional Footballers’ Association during his career and was elected the first black chairman of the union. On the field, he formed a talented and memorable forward line with Steve Archibald at White Hart Lane. Music however was not part of his various talents.

But when Rockney Duo Chas ‘N Dave released the song “Ossie’s Dream” to commemorate Spur’s’ appearance in the 1981 Cup Final, he found himself on the show. The title of the song referred to Argentine World Cup winner and Spurs midfielder Osvaldo Ardiles who had a dream to play at Wembley Stadium in the English Cup final.

Chas Hodges, who died this week, and his partner Dave Peacock released several songs for the North London club who appeared in FA Cup Finals in 1981, 1982 1987 and 1991. Crooks scored in a memorable 3-2 win for Tottenham in the replay after Manchester City’s Tommy Hutchison had created his own little piece of history by scoring for both sides in a 1-1 draw in the 1981 Final.

He returned to both the Top of the Pops studio and Wembley the next year when Spurs beat QPR in the 1982 final, for which Chas ‘N Dave wrote Tottenham Tottenham.

Crooks is now working as a football analyst for the BBC. Speaking exclusively to Prost International, he paid a generous tribute to Chas Hodges.

“I met Chas Hodges in 1981, in the summer of, when we did the record. We got to Wembley (with) Ossie’s Dream. I’d heard of the guys but never really appreciated just what great guys they were and excellent professionals.

“Chas in particular was just a crazy Tottenham fan and just loved being around the players. He affectionately called me Garthy and it brings a smile to my face. And whenever I saw him he was always (raises voice) “Garthy”.

“He was just so welcoming and warm. And then, so utterly professional. He took us into the studio, and he showed us how it worked, and created this song. All the players, I mean all the players took to him and Dave.

“And of course it was an enormous success. That success formed a relationship with the players for five years. Frankly it was even longer than that. Because even when some of us moved on, we retained that wonderful relationship.”

Garth Crooks (back row between Dave Peacock and Chas Hodges) appeared on two hits with the duo

Crooks recalled that the opportunity afforded to appear on the iconic music show impressed his family far more than his footballing acumen.

“For me to find myself in the Top of the Pops studio as we did made me very popular with my children later in in life. They were far more interested in me being on Top of the Pops than they were with me being on the football field.

They were wonderful people and Chas was a wonderful man. He’ll be sorely missed.”

Chas Hodges RIP


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