Nephew of Scarborough football star Bill Nicholson says uncle 'would have admired Tottenham's fighting spirit' in the Champions League semi-final

Tottenham's manager Mauricio Pochettino celebrates victory with his team.
Tottenham's manager Mauricio Pochettino celebrates victory with his team.

Scarborough football legend Bill Nicholson "would have admired the fighting spirit" of Tottenham – that's according to Bill's nephew Paul.

The former Spurs manager would have been as amazed as the rest of the country at the team's incredible comeback in the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

Former Spurs manager Bill Nicholson from Scarborough.

Former Spurs manager Bill Nicholson from Scarborough.

Spurs snatched victory against Dutch side Ajax – going into the second leg 1-0 down and conceding two goals before a stunning second half saw them score three goals including the winner in the 96th minute.

In their first Champions League final they will meet Liverpool – who themselves staged a remarkable comeback to beat Barcelona 4-3 on Tuesday night – in Madrid on 1 June.

Among the millions of TV watchers glued to the screen to see Tottenham's stunning comeback was Paul Nicholson, the nephew of former Spurs manager Bill.

Bill was born in Scarborough in 1919 and led Spurs in their glory years. He died in 2004.

Spurs' Lucas Moura moments before scoring his hat-trick.

Spurs' Lucas Moura moments before scoring his hat-trick.

Paul, of Springfield, Scarborough, said: "It was a fantastic game. I think the players gave everything they had.

"In the first half when we were 1-0 down I was still confident, then at 2-0 at half time I was a bit dubious but Pochettino must have given them a pep talk and I think no-one could complain about their performance in the second half. I would expect us to win now!"

Speaking about what his uncle would have made of the match, Paul added: "He would have admired the fighting spirit. He never accepted diving as part of his thinking, he didn't like cheats and there was none of that. Everyone stood up and put the effort in.

"Today I've had Arsenal supporters ring me to wish us good luck, United supporters, even Liverpool supporters rang to congratulate on the result. Obviously they said we're not going to win but we'll see. It'll be a fantastic game if Spurs do a similar task."

On 1 June Paul might watch the final from the Spurs' new ground.