I Was There ...

         Nos. 1 - 25

West Ham United  v  Tottenham Hotspur  (First Division) 20th December 1969 or 17th October 1970

January 6th 1969 onwards....

OK, so it's a cheat because that was my 4th birthday and my Mum and Dad bought me the Classic Spurs strip (that never changed every 10 mins. in those days!).    We used to play in the back garden in Basildon and some days I'd be Spurs and other days Tottenham - I thought they were different clubs.  

One day my Dad (having had a row with my mum), threw down his golf clubs, grabbed me by the wrist, dumped me in the car and whisked me off to Upton Park to see the Spurs play the Hammers.  It was like having a cloud lifted from my vision.  Such sweet poetry. I know some Spurs fans might think it sacrilege but I have to say that the Hammers were brilliant as well.   

On the field that day were Greaves, Moore, Peters, England, Gilzean, Hurst, Jennings, Redknapp (well he was ok). I can't remember who was playing for who (Peters and Greaves switching clubs before or after that time).

My parents divorced in 1972 and my Mum married a miserable Leicester City fan.  Despite my enforced exile to Loughborough, I will never  forget the moment of pure bliss when I lay in bed with the radio tight against my ear, volume low, and heard that beautiful music that started European Football Night on what was then Radio 2 .... "Da da da da dada"... and then the voice of  a young Des Lynam ...."welcome to European Football Special live from White Hart Lane"...the superb commentary from Peter Jones and Bryan Butler (god rest em both).   That was the year that culminated in the disappointment of defeat in Feyenoord and the shameful behaviour of a few mindless maggots led to us being banned from Europe (not that it mattered as we went into decline).   Nevertheless, even though I wasn't physically 'there', the imagination of an 8 year old boy is powerful and I lived every victory on our way to the final - my mother could never understand why I so willingly went to bed on Wednesday nights. 

Other great memories when I was there........

1. Clough's first game in charge of Forest at the City Ground when we held them in the cup through a Chivers penalty (although we lost the replay at the Lane).

2. The wondrous atmosphere of hope at the Lane when we were beat Villa on the day we were relegated (let's see us singing like that again!). 

3. Doing the scum 3-1 at Highbury in 1982 when I stood in rapture in the Clock End as Crooks and Archie went on the rampage.

4. Almost every game that Hod played in - pure genius (and why weren't he and Burkinshaw in MEHSTG's 10 most important men in the Club's history?).  

It's sad that the last few years have produced so few classic Spurs performances.  The past ten years have been limited to a dire League Cup win and numerous relegation related victories at Barnsley and Wimbledon et al.  Desperate victories that bring me little feeling of joy - just relief.

But fear not.   Hod is back and will be walking on water within 2 years.  Just mark my words.  He was the greatest  passer of the ball in English History (second only to Platini in the world) and the unluckiest England manager.  Be loud and be proud and be there to see the Spurs at last give us something to cheer about.



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

GAME 1 :

Well...what a day, what a game!!!

My first visit to Anfield. This is the season, our name is definitely on the Cup. After all the crap the FA threw at us early in the season, we were definitely(!!) on our way the the hallowed Twin Towers, Jurgen and all !!!! 

After possibly the worst journey into Scouse land (six hours on a Spurs coach, major diversions at Warrington and having to run half a mile in two minutes to make the kick off), I hardly had time to savour my first visit to Liverpool and Anfield (no time to see one tight curly hair-do and moustache ala Harry Enfield). 

The game kicked off and although I knew Tottenham Hotspur had already been engraved on the Cup (!!), seeing the Kop for the first time in front of me, even though it was now all seated, was a completely daunting experience.  This got more daunting as the Scouse went one up. S***, it felt like I had only been in here two minutes and the team of kleptomaniacs were winning already!! One nil down and I was starting to plan my way back to London as our coach had probably been hot-wired and driven half way to Manchester by now!! 

Then, from out of absolutely nowhere, the ball was passed cross-field to Teddy and possibly the sweetest right foot curler flew into the net right in front of me. We've equalised!!  The rest of the game was a complete blur, my voice packed up and went to look for the coach at half time!! 

Looking forward to a replay and being well happy with getting a result for a replay, Jurgen the German struck!!! Only three goals have ever been celebrated as much as this one (all in the semi in 91 against AR-SOL-NEL) I have never sang so much in my life "Spurs are on their way to Wembley".  Never have I seen home supporters applaud us of the pitch like Liverpool did that day!!! 

That was it, Everton next round... No problem!!! Little did we know that Stuart Nethercott would be in "DEFENCE" for us in our next cup game!! And that Everton would have three of the four Elland road stands. etc... F******* F.A.!!!

NAYIM FROM THE HALF WAY LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Tottenham Hotspur  v  Leicester City  (First Division)
5th October 1968

It is always difficult to pick one game. I could mention my struggle to get in the ground for the Gooner's 1-0 win in '71, or my family's memorable trip to Anfield in '95, but I choose to recall Spurs v Leicester 5th October, 1968, when the greatest goalscorer the world has ever seen scored a hat-trick past a very young Peter Shilton. 

The goal to remember (and no camera was there to record it) started on the half-way line on the right of the field, when Greaves jinked his way past at least 6 defenders including the goalie, who (like so many others before and after) was left floundering as the little man breezed the ball around his flailing arms and into the net, after such a marvellous run. 

These days you would expect a shirt waving, fancy celebration, but with a handshake or two, J.P returned to the centre circle to resume battle, seeking the fourth. 

The result finished 3-2. Spurs won nothing that season, but when you saw the maestro at work, you were happy.

Spurs Odyssey - http://www.spursodyssey.co.uk


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

After beating Southampton 6-2, the Cup draw was made for us to travel to Liverpool. According to every newspaper and TV pundit Spurs were not going to win this game and it was going to be a complete annihilation and LIVERPOOL would be progressing into the next round.

I left after work to get my ticket and on arrival at the ground found my friends in possession of a ticket while I still had to get mine.  The queue went along Paxton Road and down Worcester Avenue.  I queued up for only a short while for an announcement over the Tannoy telling fans that tickets were now sold old!!  Initially I was well disappointed, but headed up to the ticket office anyway while many fans vacated the area. As I approached the office I could see 20 or so tickets left and I had to get my hands on just one of them.  While I had a blazing row with a policeman who wanted me to leave the area and threatened me with 'arrest', I just had to get my hands on one of the last tickets.  I was lucky that a nice old steward arranged another short queue for the remaining tickets and I managed to get one!! :-) 

On the day of the match, the 4,000 or so Spurs fans created an atmosphere I will never forget.  Remember we were here to get thrashed!  We sang for the entire 90 minutes plus injury time at the top of our voices.  When Fowler gave the Reds the lead, it made no difference to the fans as we still continued to sing and support the team.  As you know on the stroke of half time Teddy scored - in my opinion the best goal he's ever scored for Spurs - curling a brilliant shot from outside the area around James and just skimming off the inside of the post and in.

The match was a good one and Spurs continued to give as good as they got battling on and on.  I was convinced it was going to end 1-1 and we'd have a replay a few weeks later.  How things changed when Jurgen then received the ball in the dying seconds and lifted the ball over James and into the net.  I'll never forget the look on everyone's faces as this stand just erupted with people hugging complete strangers, tears of joy could be seen on some fans faces and a few fans fell over and ended up rolling down the gangway.  To say we were ecstatic is an understatement.  Liverpool fans soon left the ground, while the few stayed to applaud Tottenham at the final whistle for such a good display.  The party soon started and as the players came over to the fans to show their appreciation, we started to sing "Wember-lee, Wember-lee, We're the famous Tottenham Hotspur and we're going to Wember-lee." 

I was convinced that this was now our Cup and we would go on to win it.  Unfortunately Everton and a trip to Elland Road totally shattered my dream!



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Arsenal (Premier League)
12th December 1992

"Do you want to come to the derby tomorrow, my old man can t make it so I've got a spare ticket?"

It is possible that there is a greater question to be asked, but that was 9 years ago, and I'm still waiting.

It was a Friday night, and, being 16, I was in a terrible club high on snakebite black and very badly rolled joints.  Already in good spirits, I was now ecstatic.  My first derby, and this back in a time when we fully expected to win every one.  Friday got more and more messy, and before I knew it, it was Saturday and I was meeting up with Pete at Potters Bar station.  

I can' t remember much about getting to the ground, all I do remember is taking our seats in the Paxton upper and seeing that the Scum were massed in the Park Lane.  

The atmosphere was amazing enough, but suddenly, early on in the game, Paul Allen broke clear and slotted home in front of the Gooners. Cue bedlam.  

Ian W*nk lost his cool (no surprise there) and chinned David Howells.  Howellsy, lege that he was, just stood there.  

The Arse had chances, but we should have wrapped it up when Nicky Barmby broke clear in the second half, only to crash an effort against the bar.  

I still thought that the Scum would snatch an ill deserved equaliser, but then it was over.  My first derby and a win!  

We waved goodbye to the distraught Gooners and then left the ground, nearly getting crushed in a charge of police horses.  I thought after that match that I' d get tickets to every derby, but Pete' s dad never missed one again and the next time I managed to get tickets was the FA Cup semi in Manchester.  Ah well, at least I've got the memories of little Paulie Allen.



v  Tottenham Hotspur (First Division)

This was a particularly memorable game as it was my first North London derby away from the Lane. 

Standing at the Clock End, one part remains clear in my mind.  Spurs went close to scoring at the North Bank and there was a little kerfuffle;  next thing we were seeing a bunch of fans being “escorted” from the North Bank towards our end.  At about the halfway line one of them opened his jacket to show his Spurs shirt, as you can imagine the cheer that went up from our end was drowned out by 40,000 thousand Gooners screaming at them.  Whoever those lads were -- fair play.

Anyway to the game, Tony Adams scored with a volley and Gary Lineker was denied by the North Bank blowing the ball away from the goal.  A superb counter attack ended with Gary connecting perfectly with a low cross from the left.  The ball fizzed past the goalie, YESSSSS, no it hit the inside of the post, it has to go in, NO, it rolls along the line, past the other post and, if my memory serves me correctly, out for a goal kick.  One of those days I suppose.  Apart from that it was your typical derby, combative and edgy, with the Donkey having the last laugh – sounds more like a panto the last bit actually.

Anyway standing there really made me appreciate being a Spur, the  result wasn’t good, but being at Wembley for in 1991 was made all  the sweeter by days like that day at Highbury.   



Tottenham Hotspur   v   Leicester City  (First Division)

This was the first Spurs match I ever attended. I was 9 years old and went with my father. Dad being an Arsenal supporter had for the previous 3 years, by way of a special Christmas treat (?), taken me to watch the mob from Finsbury Park (the N.S.P.C.C not being the force it is today). A workmate of his would take us in his car.

As a 9-year-old inside forward (striker, for those under 35) in the school team, my hero was, not unsurprisingly, the peerless Jimmy Greaves.  So when dad informed me that as Arse were playing away that Christmas and did I want to go and see another game, there was only ever going to be one answer…Tottenham.

Owing to logistics and circumstance (the Arse driver not wishing to go to WHL) we had to choose a game where the public transport was not restricted and the pick of the fixtures around that time was the game against Leicester City (a re-run of the previous years FA Cup final).  Although we won 4-0 and, if my memory (such that it is now) serves me correctly, Jim got two that day, what sealed my fate as a Tottenham supporter was the tune that they then ran out to “Macnamara’s Band”. I was told that this tune was selected as a tribute to the late great Danny Blanchflower after he had led Tottenham to the Double (Macnamara’s Band being the best Irish song of the day).

Now what you have to understand is that as a 9-year-old lad whose surname is Macnamara, every adult that I met, on learning my name would start to sing the song.  The effect was that I came to regard it as my own, and any football team who adopted it as their anthem was going to have me as a fan for life.  My father, who is now 81 years old, retired back to Ireland to contemplate where he went wrong!! 



Mansfield Town
   v  Tottenham Hotspur (Second Division)
25 March 1977.
An astonishing match !! We should have walked this Division in our one season in the then Second Division - with 83 goals (20 more than anyone else - but letting in 49), a last game 0-0 draw at Southampton only saw us go up in third place on goal difference.
Remarkably Mansfield Town reached the Second Division that season and had never had such exulted guests for a league game. It was even covered on ITV on the Midlands Sunday highlights show - Star Soccer (with Hugh Johns).
Before the game a massive thunder storm flooded the pitch then suddenly it stopped, the sun came out and the game went ahead (this was the day there was a sinking in the boat race).
Goals went in at either end and Barry Daines saved a penalty (2-2). Spurs were pressing for a winner when the ball went back to Daines to hoof upfield, but it held up in a puddle of water, Barry missed it (somewhat comically) and Mansfield scored with a tap in (3-2).
It was well into injury time and a fluffy bearded, young Glenn Hoddle hit a purling free kick in from the edge of the box leaving the goalie standing (3-3). A taste of what was to come - best seen when beating Paul Bradshaw against Wolves in the 1981 FA Cup semi.
Ask any Mansfield Fan and it is perhaps considered to be the most memorable game of football ever seen at Field Mill.



Tottenham Hotspur   v  Anderlecht  (UEFA Cup Final 2nd Leg)
23 May 1984


As a Shelf season-ticket holder already hog-fat on cup finals and European glory nights for the previous four years, I probably didn't appreciate the match as much as I should have. The memories are spotty ... Dick, crossbars, Robbo steaming through the entire Anderlecht team to steamroll an equalizer, Ossie off the bench beforehand, no Stevie P, but a bouffanted Gary O'Reilly ... all vague yet strong at the same time. I do remember when Robbo did his funky stuff, we all jumped, my glasses were knocked off my head in the surging relief and by the time I found them they were missing one lens.  Thus I watched extra-time with one hand over my eye.

Tony Parkes' save was, of course, an extraordinary moment in Tottenham Hotspur history, but so too was Danny Thomas' miss and the ensuing bellows of support for the great full-back.

But you know the moment from that night which really stands out in retrospect? Keith Burkinshaw's restraint and subsequent comment that 'there used to be a football club over there' or words to that effect.  It is why this match remains my most significant, over all the Cup Finals, that filthy semi final versus Barcelona, the reply against Wolves at Scumbury, the 3-1 at Highbury in '82, the 5-0 in '83 at the Lane, the West Ham wallopings in '81 and '82, the superlative quarter-final display against Chelsea in '82, the crappy trips to Villa Park in the league ... you get what I'm saying: this was a fulcrum point for all that, a pinnacle, a landmark.

It's arguable we never recovered from the Burky era. I certainly find myself drifting into nostalgic recollections over it at least once a week ...



Liverpool  v    Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup 6th Round)
11 March 1995

My marriage was over, yet we still lived in the same house. I was depressed, hanging onto any smidgen of happiness I could, looking for a light to enter my life (even temporarily) and offer me a moment of respite. Could this be the one?

I flew into England for my birthday on the 15th. In my bag was the very replica shirt I had worn to the '81 Cup Finals. Good luck I thought, and what's more, I'd promised my former season-ticket mate Terry that were we to win at Anfield, I'd whip off my sweater and stand there in it happily, five times too small though it was.  

I was shaking with excitement on the way up, and on my CD player I kept on listening to Oasis' 'Columbia' off 'Definitely Maybe' by the time I got off the train at Lime Street, I was convinced we would win.

In the ground, after Fowler scored, some Scousers kept on looking over from the right-hand touchline stand and flicking us off, laughing.  When Teddy scored that BRILLIANT goal before half-time, 55% of my marital stresses and emotions spilled out: I remained on my feet flicking them off through the half-time break ! And when Klinsmann scored the winner, I went so mental I actually shed tears. Tottenham had done it, they had come to aid me in my darkest hours of need once again, as they had so many times before.  I stood at the final whistle, repli-shirt a good few metres from navel and bucket, literally overwhelmed with emotion.

As we left the ground to met some of our Liverpool supporting mates, we were reluctant to cheer.  When those lads saw us, they extended hands, gave us a 'well done', offered us a pint and gave me full clearance to let out a massive, guttural 'YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!'

Goose-bumps as I'm writing ?  You bet.  And my personal life turned out for the best too.  Thank you Teddy.  Thank you Jurgen.  Thank you Tottenham.



West Ham United   v   Tottenham Hotspur (First Division)
12 September 1964.
After many memorable home games during the Glory years, this was my first Spurs away game.  As a 13-year old I ventured into uncharted waters getting to Upton Park by way of Liverpool Street and the District/Metropoiltan line.

 It was a boiling hot day, the small ground was packed and the atmosphere wonderful.  West Ham had won the FA Cup a few months earlier and their fans were in great voice on the North Bank with their famous "Bubbles" anthem.  I climbed on to a roof support at the back of that stand and had a great view.  

It was Johnny Byrne 3 v Jimmy Greaves 2.  

What I do remember is that Alan Mullery and Byrne seemed to hate each other.  Perhaps it went back to Mullery's Fulham days as he had only joined Spurs towards the end of the 63-4 season. 

Not a memorable result for Spurs of course, but then that
season they won nearly every home game and lost nearly every away game. The news got worse as we left Upton Park; at White Hart Lane Dave MacKay had broken his leg again on his comeback match against Shrewsbury Reserves !

The return at White Hart Lane was a cracker too, 3-2 to Spurs this time in wet and muddy conditions.  West Ham were a great team to watch then.  Just like Spurs they played attractive, skilful, attacking football.  Upton Park was a memorable place for me to make my away debut.




Tottenham Hotspur  v   Leeds United  (First Division)
28 April 1975

I can remember arriving by train from Liverpool Street and getting into the ground 1.5 hrs before kick off, with one hour to go it was packed with 50,000 and the ground was a cauldron.  I can recall one of the players commenting afterwards that they couldn't believe the level of noise from the dressing room before kick off.  The tension was something else - I have never yet experienced any worse.
Leeds had just lost their European Cup Final a few days early, so I suppose they didn't have much to play for, but we went at them from the start and I believe it was Chivers, Knowles twice and Conn  who scored our four.
At the end of the game the ground remained full for about half an hour until the team came back out onto the pitch and afterwards along the High Street and back to Liverpool Street Station was one long party atmosphere.  The relief was just incredible.
We retained our status in Div. 1, but alas the rot had set in and two years later we were unable to avoid the dreaded drop.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Nottingham Forest  - Hillsborough  (FA Cup Semi-Final)
29 April 1967

We go back to April 1967, when at the age of 14, I was now in full stride as a Spurs fan.  No longer relying on Dad to take me to matches, I was addicted to the club, still high on the achievements of the great side of the early 60s, attending every home game and travelling with friends to many of the away ones.

No one had really noticed the slight dip in fortunes during 1964-66 as we were still regarded as a great club (one of the so called big five) and there had also been another historic event to occupy our minds - 1966 and all that!

A great cup run had seen us overcome Millwall 1-0 at WHL (after the original tie had been a hard fought 0-0 draw at the old Den), followed by wins at home to Portsmouth (3-1) and Bristol City (2-0).  The sixth round saw us draw 0-0 away to Birmingham (I was there) and a memorable 6-0 win in the replay (I could write a whole separate article on how good we were that night).

The semi-final was to be the biggest 'away' game I'd ever been to.  The atmosphere in the days leading up to it was electric.  Queuing from 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning for tickets was a regular occurrence in those days and I can still remember the excitement as I held my first ever cup semi-final tickets in my hands.  They sat proudly on the sideboard as a reminder of what was to come and when the great day finally arrived I had to be up at dawn to walk to the ground and get the coach.

As we entered Sheffield at 1200 o'clock we were surprised at how soon we'd got there (fewer motorways in those days).  Our thoughts were just turning to finding somewhere for lunch and a TV set in order to watch the lunchtime football previews, when we hit what must have been the biggest traffic jam of all time.

Minutes turned to quarter hours and then to half hours as time slowly slipped away.  The coach was hot and our nerves in shreds.  We couldn't come all that way and miss the match could we?   

There was one light-hearted moment though, when some locals outside their pub took our money through the window and went off and brought drinks for us.  Can you imagine being able to be so trusting today?! 

Finally, and with all ten fingernails in shreds, we crept towards the ground and spilled off the coach in search of our turnstile.   Once through we seemed to climb for ever as our seats were in the very back row - at the Leppings Lane end, sadly to be the sight of such a terrible tragedy all those years later.

I can still remember the noise and the excitement as we finally got to the top and had our first view of the pitch.  The players were just coming out of the tunnel and as the massive crowd roared its appreciation, every hair stood on end. 

Almost inevitably, it was Jimmy Greaves who broke the deadlock in the first half, our position high up behind the goal giving us a perfect view.  However, it wasn't until later in the second half that we at last allowed ourselves to start thinking of Wembley and the twin towers, as Frank Saul fired home from long range.   A late Nottingham Forest goal brought us back to reality and there was a nerve jangling last 10 minutes but our heroes survived and a mixture of joy and relief greeted the final whistle.

We sang all the way home and eventually, way past midnight, climbed into bed and re-lived it all again in our dreams.  A wonderful, never to be forgotten, day.

As any Spurs fan will know, we went on to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the first ever all-London Cup final, fielding a team full of Tottenham legends - Jennings, Kinnear, Knowles, Mullery, England, Mackay, Robertson, Greaves, Gilzean, Venables and Saul.



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Aston Villa  (Premier League)
21November 1992

After working for a few months in a bitumen laboratory, I used the money I saved to finance a trip to Europe (from New Zealand).  One of my first stops was White Hart Lane for the Spurs v Aston Villa, Premier League match of 21 November 1992. 

It was a goal-less draw, but full of attacking opportunities.  Teddy Sheringham had recently signed for Spurs but had gone five games without scoring apart from penalties.  He hit the crossbar.  Late on in the game, Spurs substitute, a young Nick Barmby missed a sitter!  

The pre-match 'entertainment' was surreal for me as it comprised of Bucks Fizz who I had thought were all dead.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Newcastle United  (Premier League)
25 March 1998

Spurs 2 – 0 Newcastle

OK.  At first glance you may think to yourself “what the hell is he writing about this game for”, but to me this game in my opinion typified Spurs and why I have such love and affection for them.

As you may remember the 97/98 season was not one that will go down in history as anything special – 3rd round FA Cup humiliation to Barnsley, countless crap results, the exit of Gerry “the Fox” Francis and the appointment of Christian Gross……….

The club was in pretty bad way and to cap it all of, we were stuck in a relegation tussle with the likes of Barnsley, Palace and Newcastle. The week prior to the game in question we had nicked a point up at Barnsley but that wasn’t enough to get us out of the dreaded bottom three, leaving the Newcastle game a must win game.

For the first time that season it seemed we had a fully fit team to choose from for the game, with the likes of Klinsmann (who had returned on loan), Ginola and Cu**ball all starting.

You could have cut the pre match tension with a knife – a funny eerie sort off feeling around the Lane before kick off – the fans knowing to well that a win was imperative if we were to have a chance of saving ourselves, but as kick off approached the Lane began to buzz, the tension seemed to disappear and suddenly we were all up singing our hearts out for the team – a noise that I have barely experienced since unfortunately.

The game wasn’t a classic by any means – but was brought to life by a Frenchman, who created both goals for firstly Klinsmann mid way through the first half and then Ferdinand just after the hour mark to give us vital three points that would go along way to securing our Premiership survival that season.

The feeling outside the ground after was brilliant – fans hugging each other and cheering almost as if we had won something, a feeling of relief and happiness, proud to be a Yid!



Tottenham Hotspur  v   West Bromwich Albion (First Division)
27 December 1966.  

Spurs v W.B.A      0-0         Dec 27th 1966

The most memorable 'coz it was the first. 

I can remember more of that day than almost any of those of the GGG era, but I suppose the alcohol induced haze of those games didn't help a lot. However as a sober, bright eyed 11 year old, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when my much admired older cousin offered to take me to WHL for the (then) traditional return Christmas fixture. 

We travelled in from my cousin's Brentwood home and parked up  close to what I now know was the Northumberland Arms and approached the ground at the junction of the East and North (then the Paxton Rd) Stands. I was a country lad attending a C of E Primary school in rural  Buckinghamshire with about 60 pupils, so you can guess how impressed I was with the huge exterior of the East stand and the number of people milling around outside. 

We entered the ground and I was settled down on top of a crush barrier looking out from the East Lower Terrace along the 18 yard box facing the hugely impressive main stand. It was a very gloomy afternoon and the light were on from the very start. The lights pierced the misty gloom and picked out the lilywhite shirts in a sort of halo effect that virtually mesmerised me.  I can clearly remember the banner that always hung over the players tunnel.  Not so clear in my memory was the footballing action.  It was my first ever sighting of the legendary Greaves, Gilzean, Jennings, England et al ...... and at the time the 0-0 result was neither here or there.  Just being there and listening to the banter and chanting was incredible.  I promised myself that one day I'd be back ..........................

Thanks, Barry, for a memorable day. 




  v   Tottenham Hotspur (First Division)
25 August 1964 ??  

My most abiding memory, of many years following Spurs, is not of an individual or superb team performance but of a man for whom a knighthood is both richly deserved and long overdue.

I cannot recall the details of an early season, midweek, first division encounter with Burnley at Turf Moor in 1963 or 1964.  I suspect that Spurs lost, because Burnley were a strong side at the time and Spurs were in the process of change – a process that appears to have lasted until the present day!  The wonderful Double winning team were growing older and the newer guys not yet up to the mark.

At the time I had been seconded to work at Halewood, the new Ford factory on Merseyside, where as a young unmarried man I tried to impress in my bench seated, column change, white wall tyred, two tone Ford Cortina.   A trip across Lancashire to visit Turf Moor for the first time was well within my compass.  My travelling companion was a work colleague for whom the first division game was to be his first experience of professional football.

The journey seemed endless and fearing a full house I stopped at a phone box – mobiles had not been invented – to obtain the Burnley FC phone number from directory enquiries. 

“May I speak to Bill Nicholson please,” I requested of the switchboard operator. 

“Hello this is Bill Nicholson” the soft Yorkshire accent music to my ears. 

“ Hello Mr. Nicholson my name is…..” and I then explained that I was travelling to the game and running late and enquired whether there was any chance that he could organise for a couple of tickets to be made available. 

“Hold the line I will enquire” he replied and then moments later “There will be two tickets at the main entrance. Goodbye” and he was gone.  I was in a state of intoxication and doubt that he heard my profuse thanks.  Not only had I secured tickets but I had spoken to the man himself.  Mr. Nicholson had found time to take a phone call and secure tickets for a complete unknown – me!  Wow could it be true.  It was – the tickets were at the main entrance as promised.

The seats were in the main stand and I found myself sitting next to John Connelly, the Burnley winger who that week had been transferred to Manchester United and who later went on to play for England.  Next to him was Ray Pointer – also of Burnley and England fame.   I felt like the cat that had secured a lifetime supply of cream and for my colleague it was a memorable, never to be repeated, experience of professional football.

Thank you Mr. Nicholson.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Manchester United  (Premier League)
29 September 2001  

I was there  …………  15 minutes before kick-off, an electric atmosphere already building round the Lane.  The air of excitement, the buzz of anticipation around the ground was palpable.  “Glenn Hoddle’s Blue and White Army” we sung, even before the team came out.  This was the day when our team wouldn’t let us down.

And they didn’t.  We had barely caught our breath when Dean headed home.  What a fairytale new signing .  “You can stick Sol Campbell up yer ****”, “Deano Deano” echoed round the Lane.  A new hero was born.

And so it continued : passes seamless, work-rate faultless. Even Big Les couldn’t miss!  We outplayed, out-thought and out-fought the champions.  The opposition, fans and players alike, were stunned.  Sully had hardly a save to make.  “Can we play you every week?!” we chorused.  And when Ziege slotted home in injury time (normally what others do to us) we were in heaven.

As the players trooped off at half time I was exhilarated, amazed, but above all, proud.  Proud to witness the arrival of the new Spurs that we would come to love over the next few years.  We all pinched ourselves – it couldn’t get any better than this!

And it didn’t ………………… 



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Aston Villa (First Division)
19 March 1966  

It may not be my "most memorable match", but the 3-5 defeat by Man U. at the week-end caused me to recall the 1965/66 season when we lost a four goal lead at home!

The match was against Aston Villa and Tottenham were 4-1 up by half-time through goals from Alan Gilzean, Jimmy Greaves, Frank Saul and Laurie Brown (a rubbish centre-half we had bought from Arsenal - but more of him later).  Villa's goal had come from their centre-forward, Tony Hateley (Mark's dad) with a header, the significance of which had not been noted in the excitement of Tottenham's magnificent first-half attacking display.

As with the recent Man U. game, a goal was scored immediately after the break, but this was from Jimmy Robertson putting Tottenham 5-1 ahead.  Excuse us for thinking that the match was won!

It was then that the defensive failings of Laurie Brown in particular were fully exposed.  Hateley headed two more goals, added to one from Deakin, all in a five minute spell and the score was now 5-4.  Yes, you've guessed it, Hateley headed his fourth and Spurs had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.  At least we got a point that day!

The Spurs' team was (and note some of the greats who were playing) Pat Jennings, Alan Mullery (playing out of position at right-back) Cyril Knowles, Eddie Clayton, Laurie Brown, Dave Mackay, Jimmy Robertson, Jimmy Greaves, Frank Saul, Alan Gilzean and Derek Posse.  Spurs only won two more of their remaining ten league games that season and finished 8th.



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Blackpool   (First Division)
27 April 1957  

Family folklore has it that in about 1955 I announced that I was going to support Tottenham Hotspur.  Having previously "supported" Newcastle, presumably because of their FA Cup success in the early 50s, I'm not sure why I chose Tottenham.  It may have been because of their name, not simply a United, City, Town or Rovers but Hotspur.

Anyway, two years later on the day of my 10th birthday, as a special treat, my Mum (Dad worked on a Saturday) took me to WHL to see my first game.  (N.B. I had actually seen a Tottenham side play before then but is was their "A" team against my local team's reserve side in the Eastern Counties League.  I remember then being impressed with the large proud cockerel on the Spurs' shirts.  I digress)

The local bus company ran excursions to WHL to most  Spurs home games departing at noon and we were on board with sandwiches, cakes and a flask for the big day out.  It had been agreed that for safety we would sit to watch the match - "sit in the stands!" I recall my mum, who had never been to a match before, or since, at the East Stand turnstile asking for "one and a half please" and being told to squeeze through together.  It was about 1.30 p.m. so we were able to get a front row seat and I was completely overawed at the sheer size of the ground, the height we were at and all the activity.  Sandwiches were consumed (but leaving "some for half-time").  I remember being struck by the colour of the teams shirts in the sunlight.  Tottenham in brilliant white and Blackpool (who were a good team in those days) in dazzling tangerine.  I cannot recall anything about the match other than Spurs won 2-1.  I think Stanley Matthews was playing but I was only interested in the Tottenham team.  Records show that Tommy Harmer scored both the Spurs' goals (one pen.) in front of a 49,878 crowd.

Outside the ground afterwards I was allowed to spend some birthday money on small plastic star shaped lapel badges which contained a round photo of a player.  I still have the badges and sometimes see some of those players, Tommy Harmer, Mel Hopkins, Maurice Norman in the Legends seating enclosure next to me on match days. 

It was a great day out which I will always remember.  I knew at the end of that day that I would return ........ Thanks Mum.



Tottenham Hotspur Open Day
20 August 1978  

Oh the memories!  This isn't actually a game but it certainly was memorable and I think a few clubs could learn from it by way of getting the fans involved and feeling part of the club.  

'Twas on Sunday, 20th August 1978 and Keith Burkinshaw had just bought Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa and the training ground was still at Brookfield Lane, Cheshunt just off the A10.  For the admission price of 50p I was able to spend an entire, awe-struck afternoon there with the whole of the Spurs squad and coaching staff. 

We were able to talk to the players, get their autographs and have pictures taken with them. I particularly remember Terry Yorath and Terry Naylor talking to me.  There were skills competitions and a match that featured ex-Spurs and, according to my programme, Don Howe and John Motson!

I also had my picture taken with the entire first team and reserves, a picture that my Nan still has on her wall.  The faces and names are so familiar, John Duncan, Peter Taylor, Gerry Armstrong and of course a couple of players called Glenn Hoddle and John Gorman.

It was so enjoyable for me as ten-year-old to get close to the players that my Granddad and I used to watch from the West Stand on a Saturday afternoon or a Wednesday evening (none of this Sunday lunchtime / Monday night malarkey back then).

Perhaps we should suggest that ENIC and Glenn arrange something similar for next summer, though they must of course still only charge 50p even though they'll be able to display the F.A. and League Cups (well, we can dream). 



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Arsenal (First Division)
18 October 1989  

It was around 1989, I was about 6 years old and my parents decided to let me go to my first night match.  The reason for this was that they were tired of me falling asleep listening to the radio. 

At that age it was all live, sleep and eat football.  Funnily enough my first ever night game was against Arsenal, although I don't remember that much as I was quite young, but I remember the important bits.  We took a 2-0 lead through Paul Walsh (super-sub) and Vinny Samways.  It could of been the other way round, but I'm not sure. Then Arsenal pulled a goal back in the second half, but we held onto win the match. 

It was a great feeling to start with such a good result, it was just a start of many memorable matches I was going to see as a Spurs fan.



Basingstoke Town   v  Tottenham Hotspur (Friendly)
1992 ?

Basingstoke I hear you say ?

A Spurs representative team came down, mostly youth players, but it included Big Erik in goal, Steve Sedgley, Pat Van Den Hauwe, Scott Houghton.

It sticks with me for a number of reasons, it was the day that my Ex moved out (Deborah Salisbury, will you ever read this ?), and because Spurs looked like a pub team when they arrived !   One coach, but Van Den Hauwe, Sedgley and at least one other followed in a car, and all got out with leather jackets and adidas bags !

Spurs won 3-1 I think.  One Basingstoke player tried to assault Van Den Hauwe ... and paid the price ! 

Best of all, after the game, kids flooded onto the pitch, and Big Erik stayed out alone, for ages signing autographs.  He was a true gentleman, the other players were all showered and waiting on the coach, while he stayed out there. 

We went home, she moved out, then back, then out again !!  I remember it all so well !!



Manchester City   v   Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup Sixth Round)
7 March 1993

An away day at Manchester City for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup may not seem too tricky a tie on paper - neither now or even then - but there were circumstances which are largely forgotten now, but I will never forget. 

While largely dominant at home, Spurs, as usual, were fragile away from The Lane.  The game before we had lost very, very embarrassingly away to Sheffield United 6-1, so confidence of neither travelling support nor the team itself was remotely high.  Added to this, the rising star of the team Nicky Barmby had been ruled out of the tie with shin splints and his place was to be taken by the skillful, but inconsistent Nayim.  Within 15 minutes of the game starting, we were 1-0 down to a Mike Sheron header, and memories of the 6-1 drubbing were worryingly restored.  

The rest is history.  Nayim's deflected skidder through Gary Mabbutt's legs pulled us all square and then an angled drive from Steve Sedgley, after some tidy football down the left, put us 2-1 up going into the break.  

The second half was fantastic.  Nayim completed an unlikely hat-trick in superb style, cooly curling a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner after great work down the right by Paul Allen.  City's fans found this all too much to bear and disgracefully invaded the pitch looking to cause the match to be abandoned.  The Spurs faithful, to their credit, remained unprovoked and watched as the opposing fans were escorted from the pitch.  

Within minutes of order being restored, Tottenham were rightly given a penalty for a foul on Andy Turner.  After a lengthy conversation with the City goalkeeper, Teddy Sheringham blazed high, wide and handsome - one suspects so as not to enrage the home support further in a game they had already lost convincingly.  Still feeling sorry for our weary opponents, the Spurs defence proceeded to gift City's Terry Phelan with one of the best goals you'll ever see - running the length of the pitch from left back for a consolation goal. 

4-2 and absolutely brilliant !



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Portsmouth  (First Division)
4 September 1957  

My first visit to the 'Lane' as a 10 year old was in September 1957 and I was hooked despite Spurs losing 5-3 to a Portsmouth side who were still a force to be reckoned with in the old First Division - how times have changed.

Living in Cambridge, my father occasionally watched the Spurs and he invited my Grandfather along and I was believed to be old enough to join them.  The game was held under lights on a Wednesday evening and I seemed to recall that the match started late due to Portsmouth being delayed in the traffic and they ended up changing on the coach !!  My lasting memory of the occasion, whilst sitting on my Grandfather's shoulders, was the sight of Portsmouth 's Red Socks buzzing around the pitch - a contrast to their Blue Shirts and White Shorts and they were so much on top that they appeared to have 15 players. 

My second visit was at Christmas when Spurs drew with Newcastle United 3-3 with dear old Tommy Harmer scoring a rather debatable penalty, when he had two or three passes at the ball before finally burying the spot-kick in the net with the poor Newcastle goalie lying on the ground after diving before Tommy kicked the ball.  I bet it wouldn't be allowed nowadays ! 

My final visit that season was an end of season match against Aston Villa which Spurs won 6-2.  So in three matches I saw 22 goals with Spurs scoring 12 of them and it's not hard to see why I was hooked.

Don't forget that this was before the heady days of the "Double" side but that's another story.


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