Joe Kinnear was born in Dublin but lived in Watford from the age
of seven years. After playing for St. Albans City, he joined Spurs
as an amateur in August 1963 and became a professional in February
1965. Joe was a right-back and he made his debut for the first
team in April 1966 against West Ham and he soon achieved his first full
cap for Eire against Turkey in 1966-67.
Kinnear soon became a very popular figure
in the Spurs' team and he was a real joker off the field. On it,
Joe had a cool, unruffled style. At 5 feet 8 and a half inches
tall, quite quick and a neat tackler, his game was built on
timing. Joe knew when to go in for a tackle and he seemed to win
the ball effortlessly. In addition, he was a good distributor of
the ball aiming to start an attack quickly after making a tackle.
He made good use of the right flank by often making himself play as an
extra attacker by overlapping on the wing and looking for the ball in
order to provide a telling cross for the central strikers. Joe was
so calm and cool in his play and he soon formed a good full-back
partnership with Cyril Knowles, who was the regular left-back in the
Apart from breaking his leg, all seemed
well for Joe to be the regular right-back for many years, as he made 74
appearances between 1967-68 and 1968-69 including winning an FA Cup
winner's medal in 1967, playing in the 2-1 win over Chelsea in the
final. Then in 1971, Joe twisted his ankle against Nottingham
Forest and Ray Evans deputised. Ray played solidly and carefully
and soon established himself in the team making it a difficult choice
for Bill Nicholson who to pick when Joe was fully fit again. Evans
was very strong, fast and could even pose a threat in attack while Joe
was very classy, skilful; very polished and precise. Initially,
Bill continued with Ray in the side, yet he still wanted Joe as a vital
part of his squad and Kinnear found himself back in favour. The
Irishman was in the team in time for the vital European games and he won
a UEFA Cup winner's medal appearing in both legs of the final against
In 1972-3, he was in the team that won
the Football League Cup final against Norwich City; his second winners
medal in the same competition as he was in the team that won the final
2-0 against Aston Villa in 1970-71.
Joe continued to be the regular Tottenham
right-back, although Ray Evans continued to be in contention. In
1971-72, Joe had made 21 League starts and Ray made 22, while they both
made 24 starts each in 1972-73. By the time Kinnear left Spurs in
1975, he had made 251 League starts for Spurs, scoring two goals.
He would have made considerably more starts had it not been for the
quality of Ray Evans who also left Spurs in the same season.
Kinnear had been exciting to watch and a
true Spurs' type of player - full of skill and flair. He always
seemed in control and his game developed with the eighteen appearances
in European games he made for Spurs. Joe always seemed to play
with a smile on his face and he was an integral part of Spurs'
successful trophy winning sides of the era.
After leaving Tottenham, Joe played one
season for Brighton before coaching in Malaysia and United Arab Emirates
from 1975-87. He coached Doncaster before moving on to manage
Wimbledon. He developed a strong side there before suffering a
heart attack in 1999. He has a love for horse racing and this is
where he spent much of his time during recuperation. It is good to
see Joe Cool doing well again now he is manager of Luton Town.