i was there ...

we run a feature in which MEHSTG readers recall the tales of their favourite matches. 
Not a famous one or a historical one necessarily, but one that means a lot to you personally.
We would like as many of you to have a go (in about two hundred words max.) and send them to mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk 
Don't worry about whether or not you have written before, it's the passion that counts.

No. 1
Arsenal  v  Spurs  (First Division)
7th January 1967

This might not have been an outstanding game, but to me it was marvellous. It was my first local derby against the old enemy. I went on my own on a number 19 bus to Islington and as I was unfamiliar with the area being a South Londoner at the time, I even had to ask the conductor to tell me when to get off at Highbury.  I was further confused by the stadium itself and ended up watching the game from the North Bank, not realising it was for the Arsenal fans.

They were managed by former England captain Billy Wright at the time and Spurs went into the game off the back of a 4-0 home win over Newcastle the previous week.  The game seemed to fly by and Jimmy Robertson scored one of the Spurs goals in a 2-0 win.  The highlight of the game was a long run by Frank Saul in the second half that ended with his terrific long-range shot hitting the bar.

I can't remember too much about what else happened, but because we beat the old enemy 2-0 at their place, that was all that mattered.



No. 2
Nottingham Forest  v  Spurs  
(First Division)
15th November 1980

It was only my second away game outside London, but for 45 sublime minutes, I could have been watching Real Madrid from the late 50's or early 60's.  Spurs may never have played a better half of football than this and very few mention it as a high point in their time supporting the club.

Three up by half-time, with a goal from Ossie and two from Archibald, they knocked the ball around and made Forest look a barely competent side, which at the time was a considerable achievement.  Although Daines, McAllister and Lacy were in the team, they all played their part in a performance which looks light years away from how Spurs play away from the Lane these days.

I'm not sure if this was ever captured on video, but it would really be worth looking at if anyone does have it.  Football how it should be played.



No. 3
Spurs  v  West Ham United  
(First Division)
19th April 1969

My first ever Spurs match was one I will remember forever.  The smell of hots dogs and cheap panatelas will stay with me forever and walking up the steps inside the ground to see the green grass (what there was of it in those days) was so exciting.  A small nine-year old in the Paxton Road end crowd of huge blokes and West Ham fans.  Despite the local rivalry, in those days there was enough room for me to have a clear view and the mixed supporters around me took care to give me a bit of standing room.

The game itself was not as memorable, but two things stick out in my mind. 

It was the game when Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Moore jigged with arms linked during a quiet passage of play - a picture that is commonly found even today.  The other was the fact that Jimmy Greaves scored the only goal of the game by slotting the ball through Peter Grotier's legs right in front of me.  It is the only competitive goal I saw Greavsie score for Spurs and one that epitomised his skill as an ace goal-taker.



No. 4
Spurs   v  Chelsea (First Division)
22nd August 1987

The highs and lows of being a Spurs fan through the 90's are known to all.  We get a bad time from the Press because we are ambitious for our team.  We get a hard time from the Gooners because, let's be honest, they've been light years head for at least 10 years, probably more when you think they took the title (but not the double !!!) in 1991.

We've gone from betting on if we finish above Arsenal, to looking at West Ham and Charlton as our peers. We've also developed some strange bogey teams.  I go to Villa Park every year to meet some friends, when did we last win there ?  We've had two chances to send Coventry down (even pre Hartson this had to be a worthy endeavour) and missed out on both.

We've been stuffed by Newcastle letting in seven goals on two occasions, need I go on ?

And then there is Chelsea. Oh yes, then there is Chelsea......

In September or October 1987 (I think), we beat them at The Lane, I think for the last time in 20 odd attempts, other than a 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in the early 90's. Pleat was rebuilding after Hoddle and Gough had left.  Nico Claesen was playing, Johnny Metgod made a cameo appearance, Hazard was playing for them and Clemence was still pure class.

I was sitting in a Lower stand, I remember Claesen taking a diver after an altercation with a Chelsea player who was sent off.  I was wearing a distinctive red and white stripped shirt that day - and I found myself suddenly aware of the proximity of the Chelsea fans.  There was lots of abuse being hurled over - and remember my goal celebrations when the afore mentioned Claesen scored coming to an abrupt end when I realised that some of the Chelsea fans were pointed at me (at least in my direction) and making their displeasure known.

My brother was in the away section, and we were due to meet outside the game. The police let everybody out together, and I remember running down the High Road and hiding in a 'phone box until the away fans passed.

Why do I remember the day ??  I was ***** scared, it was about the last time I won a bet with my brother, Claesen scored and I always rated him and felt sorry for his forced midfield cameos when Clive Allen was on fire.

When I think of Chelsea now, remember this day, as well as the 60 odd year wait we had to win at Anfield.  I hate bogey teams, another legacy of the 90's is that we seem to have so many of them !

Our day will come, maybe next year, 2-0 home and away to us, and Poyet and Petit score the goals .............................!!



No. 5
Spurs  v  Leeds United (First Division)
28 April 1975

Spurs needed at least a draw to remain in the First Division. A full house for a memorable mid week match. Despite being only 8 years old at the time, I recall an outstanding performance (possibly one of few) from one Alfie Conn, who scored twice and threatened for 90 minutes to be a Spurs player adored forever.

Post match, my Father and I left the ground buzzing and walked the Tottenham back streets for two hours trying to find a lost car.



Wimbledon  v  Tottenham Hotspur  (Premier League)
2nd May 1998 (Selhurst Park)

We had been in and around the relegation dog fight all season; Changed managers, Jurgen had recovered from a broken jaw and now we faced the Wombles who had not scored in a game of football for ages. Which means that they are bound to score against us! 

The Arthur Wait Stand is aptly named, because it is the only place I know which has seats but the view is so poor means you have to stand. Terracing with seats.

We had to win this game to make sure that we stayed in the top flight. Ferdinand scores. One nil. We're safe! Then a player who I hadn't heard of scores two goals and we are losing two one. O my God!

Ginola had been tormenting Ben Thatcher, and early in the second half he was sent off! Spurs went into overdrive. Jurgen scores 4 goals and Saib bags one as well. What was I worrying about! Safe! The journey home was electric! Fans singing on the trains, strangers hugging each other it was such a relief to know that we had survived that roller coast of a season.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Arsenal  -  

As you know being a Spurs fan isn't easy; some great highs some bad lows, but I think to me it has to be my first ever game.  I was six years old when my brother in law (a huge Spurs fan) told me he was taking me to a game.  Spurs v Gooners at the Lane some 39 years ago.  Not that I can remember too much about the football its self (a 1-1 draw) but the atmosphere, the crowd, the noise, being taken in and put on the old Shelf.  

These are the things that get into your blood and this is why I LOVE being a Spurs man.   Although I have lived in the U.S.A. now for the last 17 years, I still get home regularly but always plan my trip to coincide with when the boys are at home.  Last trip Spurs 1 Gooners 1, my next trip home is in October 2001, so the game to watch is v Derby County.

Have a nice life from


Tottenham Hotspur  v  Olympiakos Pireaus (UEFA Cup Round 2 - 2nd Leg)
25th October 1972

I have a confession to make: The first game of football I saw was at Highbury. I’m not proud of it, but I had to tell someone. I was 7 years old and I remember nothing about the game or the opposition, but I do know the result – no prizes for guessing – it was 0-0.

I left with a heavy heart. Football was no fun, I thought, but happily I was wrong.  A short while later, on the night of Wednesday 25th of October 1972, Dad took me to the Lane. 2nd round 1st leg UEFA Cup-Tie v Olympiakos  Piraeus. I’m sure being a European Tie, the atmosphere would have been greater compared to the Gooners dreary league game. At the time, however, I just forgot my harrowing Highbury experience and got caught up in the match.

Memories fade of the actual game – I can remember four goals going in; two from Pearce and one each from Chivers and Coates. I do recall the players becoming legends in that 90 minutes – Peters, Knowles and Gilzean all stuck in the memory, but it was big Pat Jennings who attained instant hero status.

I also recall the away supporters coming into the North Stand and giving out peanuts to the young Spurs fans. Imagine that happening now. Sadly this treasured memento has long disappeared.

So, I was set for life. To be fair to Dad, he’d always been Spurs through and through and there was never any doubt as to who I would follow. As for him taking me to Arsenal, I can never forgive him.  



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Manchester City (FA Cup Final Replay)
25th May 1981

The most memorable match for me has to be the FA Cup Final replay of 1981, although memories are now vague.  A disadvantage of age I think.

I didn't manage to get tickets for the final itself, but I obtained two £10 tickets for £15 pounds each.  Not bad by today's standards.  All I can remember of the match is Garth crooks scoring the equaliser for 2-2 and then Ricky Villa's wonder goal.  It seems to have erased all my other memories of the game.  I couldn't speak, even my wife was jumping up and down and she doesn't like football.  

I seem to remember my wife standing (we had seats but nobody was using them) next to a young City supporter with his mum, he could only have been about 10 years old and when Ricky scored his face was a mass of tears.  It took the edge off the win a bit, but I was still on another planet.  Perhaps I'm too much of a softie. 

I also saw both the Final and the replay the following year, but it had nothing on this match.  

Finally on one of your other postings regarding the 4-2 win against Leeds to stay up.  I was there too.  Brilliant atmosphere both, but that's our Spurs for you. 



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Watford (Premier League)
26th December 1999

Not so much of a "classic" encounter in the footballing kind, this match was to me an eye opener into just what football means to the real fans of football. The game in question was against Watford in the Premiership on Boxing Day of '99. The result, a whopping 4-0 to the Spurs, but on that particular day I saw something that was a complete joy to watch, (and not on the pitch).

So often these days, cries of managers and Chairman out, abuse to players (especially those who are often in the public eye, one Mr. B. in particular) rain from the terraces around England. You could be forgiven for forgetting that most people had pay in excess of £25 to watch their teams for 90 minutes purely to moan and whine! All so called "fans" guilty of these charges were taught a lesson in how to really SUPPORT your club on this day (26.12.1999).

They were a club who always new that the dizzying heights of the top flight were not to last. From the supporters, to the players to the backroom staff.  They were there to give it their best efforts and to show the rest of us how to back a team, all whilst knowing that trophies and medals would more than likely not be in the cabinets at Vicarage Road come the end of the season. The fans were a sight and sound that I could never have believed and this was all from some 2000 travelling away fans. For a constant 90 minutes (and some) they pushed their team forward (metaphorically speaking at least). No heads dropped within either players nor fans, the chanting and the parties just got louder and more gigantic than they had begun. Even at 4-0 they all truly showed US exactly how we could really help the Spurs go on to better things. Apart from the goals the away fans had proved to be more value for money purely for the lesson they had taught not only us, but hopefully the rest of the Premiership. 

So lets take note and turn this pessimism that you sometimes feel all around the Lane, and turn it in to something worth while. 



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Southampton (Premier League)
7th February1993

Sunday 7th February 1993 saw our ever promising young  side with the likes of Nick Barmby, Shaggy, Andy Turner (remember him ) entertain Southampton at the Lane. To make this even more special the game was live on Sky for all the nation to see. Now I remember that the crowd was only in the twenty thousand mark that day and this was a real shame because whoever didn't make it to the match missed a real cracker.

Ian Dowie gave the Saints the lead, late in the first half, we had our fair amount of possession and clear cut chances but we just couldn't take them.  As usual, me and my friend were starting  to think that it was going to be  another bad day at the office, but little did we know. 

The second half got underway with the game spreading from one end to another. Then on 54 mins. something  happened  that, for me, was incredible, four goals in as many minutes.  A certain Mr. Sheringham scored a  far post header to level things up, then it was little Barmby chance to flourish and he did with great ease, 2-1  to Spurs and what a relief. Shaggy then got in on the action and scored his first Premiership goal; he took the goal very well with a delightful side-foot raising half volley.  By this time the fans were going crazy and who who could blame them ?  I was one of them. Sheringham then scored again to make it 4-1 to Spurs and I as well as everyone one else couldn't quite believe what was going on.  You see, for that four or five minutes, I had such an incredible feeling inside, one of sheer emotion that was so special to me.

I hope I get more of them feelings in the coming season.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Wolverhampton Wanderers  (First Division)
6th February 1982

The whole day couldn't have gone better for Spurs. Former FIFA president, Sir Stanley Rous, opened the new (as it was back then) West Stand to fireworks and the Spurs ground which had consisted of three sides while the building work had continued, was once again complete.

As for the match, it was a bit of a procession too. Spurs romped it with a whacking victory over Wolves, who played in the first League game at the Lane 74 years previous.

It will always be remembered for two things in the match. Firstly, it saw Ricky Villa's one and only hat trick for Spurs, where players were trying to set him up so obviously, when they could have increased the score even further. The other thing was Garth Crooks' bullet header which must have been one of the most powerful ever seen at the famous old ground.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Feyenoord (UEFA Cup Second Round 1st Leg)
19th October 1983

It’s a really difficult thing to define the most memorable match, there are so many triumphs, so much despair and so many hopes blown away in a swathe of dodgy left backs and carthorse centre halves. If it was any more of a roller coaster I’d be a sad Manc git in light blue (God bless you Ricky).

The most pleasure must surely be the 1981 FA Cup final replay against QPR. Just about to pay twice the odds for crap seats outside the stadium I hear an announcement that 3,000 tickets are still available at the ticket office, so we end up 30 yards from Perryman as he lifts the cup for the second year in a row. But what a dreadful game, apart from Roberts run for the penalty it was devoid of excitement. However things picked up later culminating in a celebration shag across the bonnet of my car. I wonder where Yvette Roberts is know? Probably across the bonnet of someone's Bentley.

Etched into the darker corners of my memory are the away trips to Ipswich in the mid eighties with a bunch of tractor loving, twelve toed relatives from Suffolk, getting abused by a policeman and finally watching us go down 3-0, I remember watching the Ipswich game last Christmas and thinking thank god they haven’t got Woods Mariner and Beattie or it could have been 8. Another nightmare was the trip to Highbury with a car load of goons, again only to see Crooks and Archibald look as though they had never met each other. 2-0 to the Arse wipe and so much stick on the way home only served to confirm my prejudice.

Taking my son James to see his first ever game at the Lane was something very special, even if we did lose again, this time to Villa 1-0 with Ugo scoring against the run of play. But the most memorable must be the 83 UEFA Cup home leg against Feyenoord. The previous history between the clubs made this a must see game fuelled by the bad mouthing from an ageing Johann Cryuff, telling everybody how he was going to keep Hoddle quiet.  You usually get nervous when we go 1-0 up early in a game, but this time things just got better. The football was brilliant 48,000 screaming the team on and a seat directly above Keith Burkenshaws bald spot.  4-0 up at half time and Burkensahws leaping in and out the dugout bellowing at Perryman to get closer to his player ‘F---ING GET HOLD OF HIM' was one of the more audible shouts.  I’m sure he could teach Georgie a thing or two about advice from the sideline.

You think 4-0 down as the whistle went for half time the away support would be silent, no way. As they trudged off about 5,000 Dutch supporters started singing and jumping around, they unfurled flags and banners, half the Park Lane end seemed alive with crazy heaving Dutchmen. They continued the singing (in English) to the final whistle and their team pulled two goals back. The whole experience was inspiring, you couldn’t help but be overcome by the noise, colour and shear vibrancy of the occasion. I felt honoured to have been there when my team defined ‘Glory Glory Nights'.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Middlesbrough (Premier League)
13th September 1998

This game will always stick in my mind. Its like a nightmare and still brings about a shudder every time we play these Northern minnows. 

The day started off terribly.  It was a Sunday game, my first as a season ticket holder and I'd decided to leave early to make sure of arriving on time.  Unfortunately, despite getting to the station an hour and a quarter before kick off, the next train turned up an hour later, stopped first at Tottenham Hale, leaving five minutes to leg it from the Hale to the Lane. As we all know its a fair way, especially in jeans and leather jacket!!

Anyway, to the game! No sooner had I taken my seat than 'Boro waltzed through the space which Vega was supposed to be filling and Ricard (I think) smashed the ball into the net sending their fans into delirium. With Pleat in interim charge as Gross had recently been sacked, hope was still there. However Ricard got another before half time and we were three down at the interval. Saib was substituted at half time in what turned out to be his last appearance for Spurs (at the Lane certainly) and the game gently meandered to its conclusion without further addition to the scoring. 

Stopping in the pub to drown my sorrows on the way home, I missed the only train back and didn't end up getting home until about 10.30. Considering the game ended before 6, that's pretty poor. 

Certainly a day to forget, if only I could!



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Arsenal (Division One)
4th April 1983

April 4th 1983 – Funnily enough it’s not a date every Spurs fan will instantly respond with the result, or more importantly, the opposition, if quizzed.

But I remember it very well. We just happened to defeat the Arse 5-0 that day !

I think it was an Easter Monday, but that’s not important. We still had the remains of some of the FA Cup final team from 81/82, but the Arse were extremely poor in those days – if only.......?

I remember taking my seat in the East stand and shortly before kick off, a Gooner took his seat behind us, with the comment ‘It’ll be one way traffic as usual’.  

We lead 3-0 at half time, with Chrissy Hughton scoring two great goals. But these were both eclipsed by a stunning goal from Mark Falco. It began right from the back with Clemence finding O’Reilly, a magnificent turn by Terry Gibson, leaving ‘Tubby’ Sansom trailing and a run down the wing, before crossing for Falco to score an absolute SCREAMER volley into the top corner.

The second half was spent taking the ‘p’ out of their keeper, George Wood, who seemed to miss everything coming his way.

I can still remember turning to the Gooner as I left, saying ‘You were right about it being one way !’ (Lowering to his level, but what the hell !!) 

I managed to get a copy of the match video and every now and again allow myself to indulge – what chance a Teddy volley this year ?



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Millwall (First Division)
10th December 1988

This was a magical day for me. I was 19 at the time and had been going to White Hart Lane, form Shrewsbury, as part of the now defunct Telford Supporters Branch, since I left school. (I now travel with a friend by car as season ticket holders in the North Stand Lower).

This particular game epitomized what Gazza stood for, an aspect of the game which now escapes us. That is, a true character who played with spirit, drive and a real love of pleasing the crowd. To begin with I was impressed by the huge Millwall following, packed into Park Lane.  The familiar chant "No-one likes us" bellowed angrily for much of the game - a real passion emanated form them, but with aggression too.

One player put paid to their hostility - Gazza. He was, as ever, at the crux of their anger, being constantly barracked for his alleged love of Mars Bars. His skill and endeavor had the Millwall fans swooning. But one moment had them won over - as no other player could or can. When poised to take a free kick, he took the ball, shovelled it under his shirt and begun to parade before the Millwall fans, wobbling as he walked. They loved it and the game went on as though there had never been a hostile visitor in the stadium. The fact that he went on to score a customary magical goal to cap it all is almost by the by. Oh and of course, Waddle's goal was special too. A body swerve to avoid the ref who stood right before him on the edge of the box, that was followed instantly with a curling drive. What a day. What a game. Another Gazza please? Never I fear. 



Liverpool  v  Tottenham Hotspur  (FA Cup 6th Round)
11th March 199

What a day arrived in Merseyside at 11.00 just in time for the pub to open.  Got chatting to a number of Liverpool supporters who all quoted we were going to get stuffed. Well I said we will wait and see.
We got to the ground and Spurs had the whole end. The game kicked off and after about 20 minutes, with no problem holding our own, then Fowler struck .  We thought "Oh no !!" were out, but I remember my dad saying "It's 90 minutes, we will come back" and I laughed.  

Then it happened - 44mins - Sheringham bent a wonderful shot past James for 1-1.  I was right behind that and the crowd went mad.

87min - Klinsmann scored.  I can remember it well; I was in row M and finished up in row C !! 

One Jurgen Klinsmann !!



Bournemouth  v  Tottenham Hotspur (Friendly)
25th July 1987

I haven't been to many Spurs games as living in Dorset and being skint aren't the best circumstances for being able to go.

However one game that I have seen does stand out.

This was a pre-season friendly at Dean Court, must have been 1987 or so, between AFC Bournemouth and the mighty Spurs. I went with a number of friends from school, and as I was the only Spurs fan going we had to sit in the Bournemouth end. As a naive schoolboy I still wore my Spurs bobble hat and scarf, fortunately as it was a friendly the Bournemouth fans around us were quite tolerant of me.

The game itself was magnificent. Spurs were clearly the better team but seemed intent on giving the crowd a close match rather than playing as tightly as they could, and Bournemouth were a credit to the (then) Third Division, with the result that the game ding-donged either way before ending up 4-4 at ninety minutes. 

The undisputed star of the show was Chris Waddle; he was at his mesmerising best, showing he could easily beat the Bournemouth defence, but occasionally taking it easier than necessary. I believe he scored twice, but the one single highlight of the game was when Waddle hit a volley from inside the centre-circle. Instead of arcing up and down as that sort of shot usually does, he hit it with such power that it was still rising slightly when it cannoned off the top of the crossbar. It was nearly the greatest goal I have ever seen and a moment that will always live with me.

West Moors, Dorset


Wolverhampton Wanderers  v  Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Cup Final 1st Leg)
3rd May 1972

I always smile when I see among the collage of goals shown before the games at WHL - the 30 yard drive by Martin Chivers that put us 2-1 up in the last minute at Molineux. I was standing right behind that goal and the stunned silence of the Wolves crowd followed by the jubilation among the Tottenham contingent is a moment I'll never forget.

Three of us teenagers drove up the motorway in an old Ford Austin and picked up a fourth exiled Londoner who was at Warwick University at the time. He jumped out of a bush and flagged us down on the hard-shoulder much to our amusement (highly illegal - don't recommend it).

Can't remember too much about the actual game now. I remember us all singing "Sha-la-la-la-Mullery" to the Small Faces hit tune when we defended a corner and Alan Mullery smiling up at us and waving his arms to encourage more volume. We duly obliged. I also recall that the popular song of the time was "Mouldy Old Dough" which was played before the game. Our interpretation of "Mouldy Old Wolves" was not well received.

The second leg was a bit of an anti-climax, but with Sha-la-la-la-Mullery scoring an all important goal we won the UEFA cup for the first time. Great days.



Millwall  v  Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup 3rd Round)
28th January 1967

This is how it started ...

My most memorable game was my first one.  It was Jan 1967, 3rd round of the FA cup away at Millwall. I was only 11 and I went with a mate who was a Millwall fan (at the time I was neither), but I came away from that match as a Spurs fan .  It was the first time I'd ever seen Jimmy Greaves play.  Just watching all the big stars like Jennings and England, Mackay, Beal, Robertson etc. was amazing.  I remember that there was a crowd of 49,000 and I was stood at the FRONT and the pitch was at my eye-level !!!!!!

It was a 0-0 draw, we won the replay and went on to win the cup that year,  but it was to be a few more years later before I could afford to go again.



Oxford United  v  Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup 3rd Round)
4th January 1986

Saturday January 4th, 1986: FA Cup Third Round, Oxford Utd 1, Spurs 1. 

Hardly the most exciting of fixtures; hardly the greatest of performances (far from it - we were pretty dreadful on the day) but this game still ranks one of the most important games for me as a Spurs fan.

The side of 1985-86 was stuck in a rut: after dazzling success at the beginning of the decade, Tottenham were struggling to live up to their potential despite considerable outlay in successive seasons. One of the signings was John Chiedozie, a pacy, tricky winger but one who had flattered to deceive for much of this particular campaign. By Christmas, we were out of the running for the League with the Cup (change the bleedin' record) providing our only hope of salvation. 

As per usual, Spurs fans turned out in force for the visit to the Manor Ground. It's due to close down and suffice to say, I won't be mourning its loss as it was dreadful stadium. That day, standing on a bank of crumbling terracing, we were exposed to everything the elements could throw at us ­ driving rain, sleet, snow; you name, we had it. Could it get any worse? Yes it did, as Oxford took the lead.

Midway through the second half with the players slipping and sliding all over the pitch and Tottenham showing no sign of making the breakthrough, a song began to stir from the massed ranks of freezing, soaked away fans. 'Spurs are on their way to Wembley' someone murmured, soon joined by another ­ and then another, and then more, until the whole end was singing in unison. This didn't happen with Tottenham fans ­ usually we moaned like crazy and only gave the team our support if we were doing well, but here we were offering unqualified, loud backing.

Suitably stunned by the vociferous singing, the players responded and actually raised their game, culminating in Chiedozie grabbing an unlikely equaliser to joyful acclaim from the visiting throng. It was like we'd actually won the Cup, let alone simply achieved a replay.

Predictably we won nothing that season, but some of us learned an important lesson: get behind the team and they may respond. Something many of us would do well to remember today.



Newcastle United  v  Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League)
5th May 1996

The Newcastle away fixture of season 95/96 presented Spurs with their most recent chance of qualifying for Europe through our league position.  A win and other results going our way meant we were in Europe, a win of three goals by the Toon and a Man Utd defeat meant they won the league.  All to play for on the final day of the season.

This game is particularly memorable for me as this has been the only time that I have queued overnight for a ticket.  I had heard stories of fans sleeping outside the ground to get a ticket during our glory years, but I never thought I would actually have to do this myself.  OK, it doesn’t really compare with these stories from yesteryear, but I still felt it was necessary to queue early, or late as it was, for a ticket for this massive game.  Also, Newcastle only allocated us no more than 1,000 tickets and this was never going to satisfy demand.  I started queuing at around 1 a.m. and there were around 20 people already in front of me.  By the time the tickets went on sale there were easily over 100 people in front of me!?!  I got my ticket at 10.30 a.m.

The game itself was a rollercoaster of emotions for both sets of fans.  Firstly, news reached us that Man Utd were winning, this silenced the home support.  We then took the lead more or less a minute later through a fine finish from Jason Dozzell of all people.  Bolton by now had scored against Arsenal.  We were in Europe.  Oh no we weren't !! Les Ferdinand equalised for the Toon and Arsenal scored two late goals, typical.  

Both sets of fans returned home disappointed, we just had a slightly longer journey though!  



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Everton (Premier League)
28th December 1998

My most memorable game was playing Everton at home in the 98/99 season (I forget the date). It was a bit of a nothing game for quite a while. We went down 1-0 to the Scousers, who all went silly and starting abusing us with their uninspiring chants and songs. 

I was finding it hard to take as I was seated quite close to the away section. However, we soon found our voice when we equalised and it remained 1-1 for quite a while. The lads were starting to impose themselves on the game and had Everton under the cosh - it was looking promising. And then came the moment that made this game special for me - Armo was subbed on. 

There was the collective, and usual, groan around the ground. Even I found myself thinking "Why? Why bring Chrissie on when we're doing well??" Armo, as ever in his fitful Tottenham career, had been going through a bad run of form. There were a few jeers and boos from that minority of our fans who feel it necessary and find it acceptable to lambast their own players. This made me furious as it always does, but I couldn't help but sympathise with their sentiments regarding Armo's recent form. But then, the magic happened. Ginola took his game to a higher level and just started to make more and more happen. 

The Scousers were all over the shop, their midfield and defence being torn apart and looking bewildered and disorganised. The result was a hat-trick for our man Armo - he probably should have got 4 or 5, but 3 would do, I concluded. He took each goal calmly and his finishing was exquisite. I was over the moon with a 4 -1 victory, of course, but I was more over the moon for Chris. He's been a long serving Tottenham player and though his form and his time at the Lane has been a mixture of brilliance and indifference, he has always given his all in the face of adversity, and downright hostility, from his own fans. He's put up with a lot of jeers and boos and sarcastic cheering when he completes a pass to a team-mate, but Armo has always persevered for our club in spite of this. It was a great feeling for me, after the game,  to see him so happy as he came to applaud and thank the fans who were all cheering with true sincerity. 

Though I was not there, my favourite Tottenham game was the UEFA Cup Final in 84. I was 11 and don't remember much of the game from the TV, except from Graham Roberts's last gasp goal which kept us in the game. I went completely daft at home in the living room - jumping up and down and screaming with sheer delight until my dad told me to calm down and shut up (he's not really a footie fan). Roll on those glory days again! 



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Arsenal.  (FA Cup semi final)
14th April 1991

Could there be a better game to make my debut at a live match !! 80,000 people half of them going home in abject depression (poor Gooners); the other half in raptures of joy.  

Gazza's free kick is a moment I will never forget and I still feel privileged to have seen him play at his peak.  By far the best player I have ever seen play. 

What is there that hasn't been said about this famous and historic match.  Well.  What makes it better was that I was in the Gooner end (it's what comes with being related to scum fans) and was right behind the free kick as flew on its path to destiny.  Then five minutes later it was 2-0.  A piece of magic from Gazza again down the right and a typical Lineker poacher finish.  

And despite a bit of pressure in the second half from those poor men in red what a way to end with Lineker waltzing around Donkey face and Seamen dropping the ball into the net.  I smiled all the way home in my Tottenham rosette and almost got attacked by some seriously pissed off Gooners.  

All in a day's life of an eight year old though!!!!



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Manchester United (Premier League)
12th December 1998

My allegiance to the blue and white army started at the age of 9, during an innocent conversation, sometime in 1991 (to my utter frustration I can't recall a thing about the Cup win, but it must have been the same time) with my best friend in primary school, a Turkish boy named Evren, who to this day is only a day younger than me. He told me of the great Spurs and since that day I have constantly defended and proclaimed their name to all the Arsenal, Man U and Liverpool glory hunter kids in the class.

My first proper (by proper I mean Spurs, having seen Palace and Wimbledon play numerous times with a friend of the family, who has since left us) match wasn't actually until 1996, a belated Christmas present from my parents. My dad took me to see Southampton, his childhood heroes, visit the Lane, incidentally on his birthday 2nd March. I recall waiting with baited breath on the journey up there what sights would prevail me, would I catch a glimpse of Sheri or Armstrong knocking one in? Would C#mpb#ll return from injury? Would Slade be given a starting berth?

Upon seeing the golden cockerel clock for the first time I had a special feeling, as if to say this was the club for me, I was here, I had arrived. 

As my Dad found the right gate to go through, I saw a face I thought I recognised. It was Clive Wilson! and there's Ronnie Rosenthal! the man who gave whose hat trick gave us a memorable 2-6 win at the Dell exactly a year previously. As luck would have it my Dad had managed to get us tickets, which meant we had to pass through the players entrance, so I begged him to try and get an autograph.  It became obvious that most of the players were already inside and Rocket Ronnie was being beckoned inside.  I was tiptoeing against the iron fences, my hand outstretched with a piece of paper gaping for Ronnie's scrawl.  I remember him passing us, walking directly in front of us, but strangely ignoring me in my bright purple change kit.  I was gutted.  Was this a sign?  Had I done something to the Israeli nation in a previous life?

Still, there was still a match to be played.  We cut under the cold grey stands, stopping momentarily to pick up a couple of cheese bagels with a slight hint of rubber, and then I saw it.  I was inside the stadium.  I was no more than 10 metres from the pitch.  The pitch I had seen countless times on Match of the Day.  I ran back to my Dad, who was walking at a normal pace, as compared to my gleeful gallop, with a big grin on my face.  He didn't seem to know what the big deal was but I was in heaven.  As we found our seats (mine being next to a Nigel Lythgoe look-alike, and we were on the edge of the West Stand coming into the South Stand, near the away supporters) I tried to identify the people warming up on the pitch.

I recall being impressed by the way Bruce Grobbelaar could bowl out the ball from behind his back (he would get the ball in one hand and kind of wrap it around his back and throw it through his other arm).  I watched him and Dave Beasant train for a long time before being slightly amused at the pixelatted pictures of the players on the scoreboard, taking pictures of Fox and Sheringham when they were announced.

I don't recall too much from the match, just the fact that I missed the goal, which turned out to be the winner, from that renowned journeyman Jason Dozzell.  We were concentrating on one of the Spurs midfielders, who had received a hefty whack from a Saints boot, when the ball must have hoofed into the area, and, as later viewed on MotD, was kneed in by Dozzy.

I remember the cheer at the end when our three points were confirmed, and wasn't that upset at the fact that it was widely viewed as one of the most boring matches that season, a view highlighted by Des that night and in the papers the following days. 

My next Spurs match was a routine 3-1 win at Selhurst Park against Palace, viewed with four school friends, which was secured by goals from Saib, Berti and Jurgen the German during his second spell.

Probably my most memorable and unforgettable match was the visit of Man U to the Lane in mid December 1998.  Having tried, and failed to negotiate the phone lines for tickets for the Liverpool match the previous week, my Scouser-wannabe friend and I had to settle for the visit of the eventual treble winners (Not a bad consolation!).  The booing of Teddy saddened me somewhat, having been a favourite of mine in his spell at the club.  We instantly felt at home in the throbbing mass that is the lower East Stand, almost directly opposite where I sat before.  As the match it became clear we weren't going to have it easy, as summer target, Ole gave the Reds a two-goal lead before half time.  There seemed to be no way past the nemesis that was Peter Schmeichel, on what was assumed to be one of his last appearances in London before he headed back to Denmark.  

But then, as darkness greeted the half past four lights on the scoreboards, something remarkable happened.  We  scored.  And then again, we equalised in the last minute.  We had taken a point of the Champions elect.  The place was buzzing and the atmosphere was electric.  The journey home, accompanied by a couple of big hot spittle-infested Burgers from  'Stavros's Place', was one I will never forget.

The scorer of the two Spurs goals ?  Some reject we couldn't get rid of fast enough, I forget his name, Saul CombBoll or something ... 

Don't know what's happened to him since, his career has just gone downhill ... 

James Mariner 
(19 year old Student, goes to about 5 games a season.)

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