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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
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
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 1995
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
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.!!!
ARSENAL 1 REAL ZARAGOZA 2
NAYIM FROM THE HALF WAY
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
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
Spurs Odyssey - http://www.spursodyssey.co.uk
Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup 6th Round)
11th March 1995
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."
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
It is possible that there is a
greater question to be asked, but that was 9 years ago, and I'm still
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
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
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.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
was a particularly memorable game as it was my first North London
derby away from the Lane.
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.
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
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
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!!
v Tottenham Hotspur (Second Division)
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.
v Anderlecht (UEFA Cup Final 2nd Leg)
SPURS V ANDERLECHT, WHITE
HART LANE, A STORMY SUMMER NIGHT...
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 ...
Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup 6th Round)
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
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.
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)
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
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
Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United (First Division)
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
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)
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
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
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)
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
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United (Premier League)
Spurs 2 – 0
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
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)
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
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.
I WAS THERE !
v Tottenham Hotspur
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
“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)
I was there
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
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)
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)
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
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
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
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
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
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal (First Division)
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.
v Tottenham Hotspur (Friendly)
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
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 !!
THE MAN WITH NO NAME
Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup Sixth
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
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)
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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