ON JULY 21, 1964, footballer John Anderson White was killed by a lightning strike at Enfield in London while he sheltered during a thunderstorm under an oak tree while playing golf at Crews Hill golf course. He was 27 years old.

During his illustrious but short career, White played for Alloa Athletic.

Born at Musselburgh on April 28, 1937, he became interested in football at a young age, playing for Bonnyrigg Rose as an amateur, and often ran cross country, something he did until he died.

He trialled for Alloa in a match against Montrose on September 12, 1956 and was taken on by the team in the 1956-57 season when it was under the management of Jerry Kerr.

In his short career at Alloa he appeared at 68 league matches and scored 26 goals. During that first match at Recreation Park, he impressed the journalists with how well he had played. Alloa won that day.

White had a pale complexion, and this led to his nickname The Ghost, although he was skilful and seemed to appear from nowhere.

Often, he would seem to know where the ball was heading before the player had even kicked it. He was an instinctive player who was difficult to mark.

In August, 1958, White was bought by Falkirk for £3300 and moved to the club that October. Alloa could not financially compete to keep him.

He played 30 games for Falkirk and scored eleven goals but was only there for a short time before moving to England early in his second season with them.

He made his first international debut in a match against West Germany on May 6, 1959, when Scotland won 3-2 and in all played 22 times for his country.

Having seen him play, he was signed for Tottenham Hotspur on October 5, 1959, by Bill Nicholson at a cost of around £22,000. However, Nicholson played him in a position that he was unfamiliar with, resulting in him not playing as well as he had at Falkirk and Alloa.

Nicholson gave the situation some thought and moved him to inside right, or centre forward. This proved more successful.

Thanks to him, the club won their first 11 games of the season and were undefeated in five more. Spurs won the FA Cup in both the 1960-61 and 1961-62 seasons.

White was part of the team which won the "Battle of Britain" European Cup Winners’ Cup tie in the 1962, when Spurs defeated Rangers 5-2 then 3-2, scoring two of the goals in the first leg win.

JOHN WHITE missed 15 games at Spurs and they only won once without him on the team. In the 183 games he played in the league, he scored 40 goals.

That fateful July day was the first day of pre-season training at Spurs. Team photos were taken, and one of the players Dave Mackay was exercising his broken leg.

White went on to have a game of tennis with Terry Medwin, who was also trying to get back to full fitness. As it happened, his friend Cliff Jones drove off with his trousers, so he went home to pick up a new pair and planned a game of golf, even though no-one else was available to go with him to the course.

White was on a high as Nicholson had told him he was about to build Spurs around him. He was playing his best football at the time, plus Danny Blanchflower was about to retire from the game.

White died instantly when the lightning struck.

Following his death, Nicholson spoke of the "tremendous blow" at the loss of such a great player. He was survived by his 22-year-old wife Sandra and their two children, Mandy, aged 2, and six-month-old Rob.

The funeral was a large affair, with many people paying their respects. White was cremated but it is unknown what happened to his ashes, although there were rumours at the time they were scattered at White Hart Lane.

The John White Lounge at Alloa Athletic’s re-named Indodrill Stadium is dedicated to him and his portrait hangs at the entrance of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.

At the Crews Hill golf course where he died, the Whites arranged a memorial plaque to be unveiled. It reads "In Memory of The Ghost of White Hart Lane John Anderson White 1937-1964. Struck by lightning while playing this hole. Spurs and Scotland. All glory comes from daring to begin."

Rob, John’s son, occasionally visits Alloa Athletic, the place where his father’s career took off. It seems to be a special place him, knowing the grounds have not really changed since White played there in the 1950s.

White, whose brothers Eddie and Tom were also professional footballers, was described as a modest, dedicated, generous, funny, and mischievous man. He and Cliff Jones often pranked other players when he played for Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur – describing him as their "highly-rated midfield wizard" – still hold John White in high regard, as does the club where his professional career began at Alloa.