I Was There ...

Nos. 1 - 25 
Nos. 26-50


Tottenham Hotspur  v  Norwich City  (FA Cup 5th Round)
14th February 1959  

Spurs were in a transitional stage early in 1958 - Billy Nicholson had taken over as manager from Jimmy Anderson some four to five months earlier and despite an impressive thrashing of Everton 10-4 on his first day in charge early in October, Billy was struggling to find the right balance in the side.  

By Christmas, Spurs were only one point off the bottom of the table with just Portsmouth and Aston Villa below them.  On Boxing Day, to further rub salt into the wound, West Ham United turned up at the 'Lane' and thrashed us 4 - 1. 

Billy Nicholson responded by dropping Danny Blanchflower for the home game against Blackburn Rovers in early January - Danny being relegated to the reserves and played at inside-forward.  Apparently Billy Nic wanted a defensive wing-half when Danny was clearly very much an attacking wing-half and in Billy's words 'an expensive luxury in a poor side'.  Spurs started to turn their season round and by February had made it the the 5th Round of the F.A. Cup where they had a plum tie against Third Division minnows, Norwich City - the season's Giant-Killers.  The tie had created immense interest in the media, but it was not declared "all ticket" as would certainly be the case today. 

My father said he would take me and my two mates, Mick Davey and Kenny Gifford to the match and anticipating a large crowd we made an early start by car from our home in Cambridge 45 miles away, driving along the A10 passing coach after coach of Canaries' fans decked out in the green and yellow colours of their favourites and it was clear that there would be a bumper crowd for this fixture.  It was at this stage whilst in heavy traffic that Kenny started to turn green on account of his rather large breakfast that his mother had insisted he eat before leaving.  My father was unable to stop the the car due to the traffic and you can no doubt guess what happened next.  

When  eventually my dad could stop he had to clean out the hood of his duffle coat before we could proceed on our way!  We parked our car about a 10-15 minute walk to the ground and after each buying the obligatory rosette, a  programme sheet (tuppence in old money - now that's value) and Percy Dalton's roast peanuts - Kenny was feeling rather hungry now, we made our way into the ground with a little over two hours to wait before kick-off and grabbed our usual spot in the East terracing - at the front of the upper tier.  By kick - off nearly 70,000 had been allowed in the ground! 

The gang-ways were full and people had climbed up the four floodlight pylons, 30 feet off the ground, in each corner to get a better view.  Youngsters were being passed over the heads of the crowd and allowed to sit on the cinder track in front of the wall wall close to the pitch.  A number of lads had climbed on the outside of the boarding in front of us to avoid the crush below and by half-time one of them who had a massive wooden rattle could hold it no longer and gave it to Kenny to keep.  The place was buzzing.  

The match was a typical hard fought-out Cup-tie played out on a very muddy pitch as was the norm in those days with little Norwich taking an early lead and proving difficult to break down.  A last minute goal from our saviour, Cliff Jones earned Spurs a fortunate draw and a replay at Carrow Road the following Wednesday, where they were finally undone by a goal from Terry Bly who was having a purple patch.  Danny Blanchflower was drafted into the side for the replay at inside-forward before being restored to his rightful place, not only as right-half but as captain by Nicholson - the rest is as they say history! 

It is difficult for fans nowadays to imagine the atmosphere created then with mostly terraced crowds approaching 70,000  when the majority of current Premiership clubs have all-seater stadiums with restricted away support and a maximum crowd of around 40,000.  The atmosphere against Norwich was electric and when the 'Lane' was used for the Semi-Final match that season between Norwich City and Luton Town the police restricted the attendance to a mere 65,000 ! 



Port Vale  v   Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup 4th Round)
30th January 1988  

After successfully negotiating a potentially tricky FA Cup Third Round tie on the plastic pitch at Oldham, the reward for our 4-2 win at Boundary Park was a visit to Third Division Port Vale in Round Four. 

The day had got off to a bad start even before we’d left London as chaos reigned at Euston station.  Two supporters club trains (at adjacent platforms) had been hired to convey us North, but British Rail were unable to confirm which was train one and which was train two, leading to hundreds of Spurs fans milling about on the platform trying to find out which train they should be boarding and not getting any assistance from the BR staff.  Both trains were eventually filled (I don’t think they ever decided which train was which) and we set off.

Longport was the nearest station to Port Vale.  There was still plenty of time before kick-off when the train arrived.  Our options were to take a special bus to the ground or walk.  Most of us chose the latter, not knowing that the ground was miles away, nor that our Police escort was intent on the journey taking as long as possible by making us stop at regular intervals so that the stragglers could catch up.  

A crowd of over 20,000 were inside Vale Park, including a large contingent of away fans packed on to the open Hamil Road end of the ground.  The Match of the Day cameras were also at the game and extended highlights were shown on that evening’s programme.  With the pitch in bad shape, very muddy and cut up, Tottenham Manager Terry Venables decided not to play Ossie Ardiles, feeling that his silky skills would not be suited to such a surface. It was a move which probably inspired the home side, knowing that they would not be facing a brilliant player who had appeared in a World Cup Final.

By half time we were in a state of shock, 0-2 down to a team a couple of divisions lower than ourselves.  Neil Ruddock pulled one back in the second half, but an equaliser was elusive.  At the final whistle the Vale fans invaded the pitch to celebrate their team’s 2-1 victory.  Those that gathered in front of the away end to taunt us were foolish as the Spurs fans began to react.  However, the hint of trouble was soon quelled.  Back eventually at Longport, we were not allowed on to the trains for ages and were instead kept herded in a holding area outside the station.  Tempers became frayed, we just wanted to get home.  The Staffordshire Police had treated us with nothing but contempt all day.  On the train back came the news that Arsenal had been knocked out of the Cup at Brighton, which was some consolation, until we arrived back into London to find out that it wasn’t true.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  
Derby County (Premier League)
15th October 2001 

Now, this fixture will not carry as much prestige for fans compared to the Gooners, Man. U., Liverpool ... even Villa!!

But that night, I saw a change in Spurs that really inspires confidence for the future.  That change was reverting to the old spurs passing game, wing backs (with Ziege to the fore) taking the opponents full backs to the cleaners, and some fantastic link up play between midfield and attack ...

The night started for me in perfect fashion.  Coming from Oxfordshire down the M40, the trip took me less time than usual, even negotiating the North Circular seemed relatively straightforward.  Having secured my parking place in the school opposite the Megastore ( the name of the school fails me), I started towards the brightly lit stadium.

As usual, I took my place in the North Lower as soon as the turnstiles opened, directly behind the goal, five rows back.  I like to sample the pre-match atmosphere and watch the players warm up.  Anyhow, the goalkeepers and Hans Segers came out to warm applause and were soon going through the routines.  I took the opportunity to browse through the match programme, when I heard a whistle and looked up too see Neil Sullivan hurling his anti-racism shirt, autographed and all, straight at me.   After it landed in my lap, he gave me a nod and went back to his training.  I was thrilled, and tucked the shirt under my armpit for safekeeping (believe me it was safe there!).

Anyway to the game itself.......

We had just come off the back of a win at Tranmere in the League Cup and an unrepeatable result against Man U at home, which I observed from the West Upper with United fans only 25 feet away.

But this adverse result, coupled with the win at Tranmere, seemed to bring the best out in Spurs, with slick passing moves and neat interplay that had Derby looking bewildered.  After 9 mins., what looked like a perfect move led to Teddy sticking one away, only for a harsh referees assistant to rule it offside.  No matter.  After a scramble in the box, the ball was flicked wide to Ziege and his pinpoint cross was hammered home by Sir Les. 

And then came one of the most empty feelings I have experienced in football.  We should have been 5 goals to the good at this stage, when an innocuous looking ball over the top had Ravanelli charging after it, but with Ledley King marshalling, it looked in control.  From nowhere however, Fab stuck out a leg, and slid the ball across Sully and into the corner. 

It wasn't so much the fact that the goal was a fluke, more the fact they had scored at all.  Derby were very ordinary and yet we were level. 

But, this night was all about our passing game clicking  into gear and after a sublime flick from Teddy to the overlapping Ziege, we were 2-1 up at half time.

It was all one way traffic in the second half, as Spurs fans crooned over the way we passed the ball about with a swaggering arrogance that must have impressed the neutral viewers on Sky.

But we were to be continually denied a cricket score by good goalkeeping, bad luck (where have we heard that one before?) and lackadaisical finishing. 

But, in the last minute, Mawene receiving the ball in central defence slipped and fell over on the ball.  Gus Poyet, largely ineffectual to this point, looked up, and spotted 6'7" Ian Feuer off his line, and delivered an inch perfect lob over him from around 40 yards, and into the net right behind the goal where I was situated. 

I exploded with delirium.  The goal was just fantastic and actually gave the scoreline what can only be described as respectability.  It was one of the best goals I have witnessed at the Lane, but this was helped by the fact that we had played some fantastic football, scored some terrific goals, and the mutual consensus that at last, Spurs were back Glenn Hoddle style. 

As for that shirt, its still waiting to be framed ...



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Manchester City  (First Division)
16th April 1960  

Spurs had developed into a very entertaining side since Billy Nicholson had taken over as manager about 18 months earlier and by April they were within a couple of points off the top of the league, with expectations high that they could win the title.  Although they had been knocked out of the Cup in the fifth round at home by the eventual finalists, Blackburn Rovers, after putting Crewe Alexandra to "the sword" 13-2 in a replay, they approached the Easter Saturday meeting with Manchester City hopeful that they could narrow the gap on current leaders Wolverhampton Wanders.

A crowd just a few hundred less than 50,000 was very confident that fourth from bottom City would not pose much of a threat despite their recent high profile signing of a young Denis Law from Huddersfield Town.  In goal for City was the legendary German born Bert Trautmann, who had played in the 1956 Cup Final against Birmingham City and was badly injured making a typically heroic save at Peter Murphy's feet.  He played the last 15 minutes in great pain and later examination revealed a broken neck.  

The first half was drawing to a close when Spurs were awarded a penalty and Cliff Jones stepped forward to take the spot kick.  I was close to the goalmouth in the East Terracing and expected Cliff to ram the ball home, which he did on the second attempt after Trautmann had guessed correctly and had saved the kick, but he could only parry the ball back to Jones.  However there was total confusion amongst the crowd as the players left the pitch for the interval.  The goal apparently didn't stand as referee Mr. Pullin had blown for half-time just as Trautmann saved Cliff's first effort after allowing only sufficient time for the original kick to be taken.  Spurs failed to make the decisive breakthrough in the second half and were undone by a late goal from City's leading scorer, Bill McAdams to lose 1-0 and with only three matches remaining this proved to be to the end of our title challenge. 

Wolves were expected to win both the League and Cup "Double".  However a late challenge by Burnley saw them beat Man. City in the last game of the season and Wolves were left with the consolation of beating Blackburn Rovers in the F.A. Cup Final 3-1 at Wembley.

The following season, 1960-61, we achieved what Wolves failed to accomplish - the first "Double" for over 60 years in magnificent fashion playing a style of football that you can still only dream about. 

In my opinion the best-ever "Double" achieved. 



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Wolverhampton Wanderers  (First Division)
16th October 1971  

I have been going to the Lane since October 1971 and over the years have attended many a memorable game.  Each important in it’s own way, you could choose a number as the most memorable.  Would it be one of the epic European nights ?  Glenn majestic against Cruyff and Feyenoord, 1984 UEFA Cup Final v Anderlecht with Robbo's late equalizer and the penalty shoot out heroics of Tony Parks.  Beating the Scum 5-0 one Easter.  Of course, the 1991 FA Cup Semi and realizing the importance of winning the Final as we were in danger of going out of business altogether.  Never again do I want the feeling of being so close to losing something I love.

I think the memory with the most impact for me was my very first game way back in October '71.  Spurs were at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers who boasted a certain Derek Dougan in their ranks.  My friends uttered those fateful words “Do you want to go to the Spurs game Saturday ?”  I could not believe my luck and I was set on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs that I could never have imagined.

We arrived early and we decided that as it was my first game, we would watch the game from the safety of the enclosure in the old west stand.  We paid our money and entered the first set of turnstiles my first programme clutched in my hands.  To gain entry to the enclosure you had to pay a bit extra and go through a second set of turnstiles or you could in those days walk right round all four stands and choose your place.

When you had negotiated the second turnstile you were faced with about 5 or 6 steps upon climbing these I had my first “live” view of White Hart Lane.  I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and that was it, hooked for life, no matter what.  Not for me the trend of following a team only because they were top of the league.  I knew that day I would be Tottenham till I die.

The game finished 4-1 to Spurs and I remember Big Chiv netting a couple and I think Alan Gilzean and possibly Jimmy Neighbour with the others.



Tottenham Hotspur Ladies  v    Wembley Mill Hill 3rd XI  (Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy Final) played at Leyton Pennant FC
May 1995  

On 19th April 1994 our Ladies team was rocked by the tragic news of the death of our co-founder and Secretary Sue Sharples.  Sue had been involved with the Greater London Women's League for a number of years and it was decided that the cup competition for teams in the lower divisions and reserve teams would be renamed the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy, a collection was made from friends, colleagues and other clubs and a magnificent trophy not unlike her favourite FA Cup was purchased.

The first final was to be played in May 1995.  It was deemed that Tottenham Hotspur Reserves would reach the final and took on Wembley Mill Hill 3rds at Leyton Pennant FC in Walthamstow.

I had spent a good part of the season out with an injured ankle and really should not have played at all. It was decided that I would play the second half ... luckily as goalkeeper I was a member of the “good, I don’t have to run too much in goal” school of thought.  The score at half time was 0-0 and our first half keeper Tracy Clay had made some good saves, so it was a tough act to follow.  I remember making a couple of saves including a one on one with Rachel Yankey who is now a professional with Fulham and an England international.  I think it was in the last 15 minutes or so when our strikers Julie Maile and Lucy Pinnock scored to give us a 2-0 win.

The elation at the final whistle was immense and I just ran towards the centre circle and the rest of the team, as I got about ¾ of the way I just stopped in my tracks as the enormity of the occasion hit me. I collapsed in heap and cried.  My pride being completed when I was invited to collect the trophy alongside skipper Allyson Browne.  



Portsmouth    v   Tottenham Hotspur  (FA Cup 5th Round)
16th February 1991  

I was a twelve year old lad, season ticket holder and regular at WHL from the age of 6, but this was my first REAL away game (outside of London) - Fratton Park, Portsmouth in the FA Cup 1991.  

The coach got to the ground late - the players were already out onto the pitch, me and the old man made our way down to the front of the terraces, with an evil cup of tea that was better used for warming your hands than drinking !  We then heard Terry Fenwick had broken his ankle in the warm-up - YEEES, he was cak! 

The game was one of those old romantic FA Cup ties, plenty of passion and a great atmosphere, which always seems better when its bloody freezing ?  Pompey took the lead through Chamberlain in the first half, the Pompey fans were baiting us and the atmosphere started to get a bit nasty. 

Second half came - I can't remember anything other than Paul Gascoigne !  A headed goal that lifted the away end - it was our turn to do some baiting, which infuriated the home fans.  

Then it happened, Gascoigne again, a mazy run through the heart of the defence finished with style in the bottom corner, ecstasy - Spurs fans made it onto the pitch in celebration, followed by angry Pompey fans, which prompted more Spurs out of the terraces where fighting broke out at the side of the pitch !   

All very exciting, but, for a 12 year old, a bit intimidating seeing Pompey fans gesturing what they will do to us once we got outside after the final whistle.  The atmosphere was so hostile from then we were made to stay behind for half hour afterwards - when we left the streets had been cleared and there wasn't a Pompey fan in sight, although I was expecting them to pop out at any time during the walk back to the coaches. 

A fantastic day with all the emotions possible, made better when I spotted myself on Match of the Day that evening!



Blackburn Rovers  v  Tottenham Hotspur (Worthington Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
24th February 2002 

With my birthday celebrations still fresh from the night before, we blearily set upon our journey to Cardiff at 6.30am in  full anticipation of continuing the party atmosphere and, hopefully, culminating in the best birthday present possible from Glenn and the lads.

Without a hitch, we arrived at our destination around 10am. We had looked forward to soaking up some of the famous Cardiff hospitality. Unfortunately, instead of that, we just got soaked as the heavens opened and a gale ensued.

After finding sanctuary in the Hilton Hotel for a pre midday drink, we headed back to the centre of town and found that the "Edwards" had become a home from home for the boys from the Lane. A couple of hours later, and in cheerful spirit, we headed off  to the impressive Millennium Stadium.

Wonderful surroundings, great seat, except for the leak in the roof that dripped on the poor bloke two away from me for the whole match. This collected in a pool of water for those just ahead in the front row. £60 well spent there lads!.

Yes I, and 29,999 loyal and expectant Tottenham supporters were there, however, after 90 minutes, it became apparent that the team were not.

Mr. Ferdinand, and the majority of you, hold your heads in shame.

17 hours after setting off, we arrived home. We had to listen to Hammers, Gooners and Blues gleefully gloating on radio phone ins whilst crawling in traffic.

If more of you showed just an ounce of the effort that we all made to get to, and from, Cardiff, things may have been different.

Still, we will all be back for more on Saturday. 
That is what makes us Spurs !



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Liverpool  (F.A. Cup Sixth Round)
11th March 1995  

Being a Spurs fan is a bit like being Siphis the Greek who was condemned by the gods to roll a bloody great big rock to the top of a mountain, only for it to roll down to the bottom again and be dammed for all eternity to start pushing it back up again.

But along this journey we have sure had some great times and memorable matches.  Trying to come up with one is like comparing lovers ... they all have a special quality that the others do not, but in the end we are looking for another (yes I am currently single).


There are games such as the Worthington Cup semi at Wimbledon which was great due to the fact we won, more Yids in the ground than Wimbledon Fans and the whole build up to the match in the Pub outside Norwood station which was turned into a rocking and rolling cavalcade of Spurs anthems for hours.  And there are many many more.  But for me one of the greatest days out was at Liverpool in the 6th round of the Cup in 1995.


It was the season of Klinsmann and Teddy up front; a then fit Shaggy in one of his seasons before the year in year out; Ian Walker in goal and that Football genius David Howells (I say that with affection as well as tongue in cheek).  The trip up to Anfield can be quite slow, I went on a club coach with a group of friends and being 6ft 2ins these bloody things are uncomfortable.


But to the game itself, I remember it was a dry day, if not a little chilly and I was a couple of rows to from the front with one of my mates and the others sitting else where in the full end that we had for this visit (what is it about Cup games that make us travel rather than league matches ….. oh, tradition … sorry).  We started well, knocking the ball about not with great style, but it was good for a Gerry Francis side (how I wished for the glory football of GF having suffered GG).  But once again Liverpool got behind our back four and for the first time in the match put a decent cross in, Robbie Fowler rose and put the ball in the back of the onion bag.  Ian Walker did a back flip once the ball had gone past, for which the Picture editor of the News of the World would have been most grateful.


Here we go again, although we had broke our hoodoo at Anfield, how many times had we come back from a goal down in Hubcap City to win.


The next piece of action will live with me for ever; it is one of the most beautiful goals I have ever seen (there have been better goals but this had a majesty to it).  David Howells won the ball in midfield, slightly to our left hand side.  He played a low hard ball to Jurgen who had made space between the to Liverpool centre halves, he controlled the ball in an instant and laid in back into Teddy’s path.  Teddy hit a high curling shot that clipped the inside of the post and was so sweet a sight, he then came running up to virtually where I was sitting and the joy in his face was only measured by the ecstatic reaction of all of us. 


Half time 1-1 and back in it.


The rest of the game is much of a blur, time and many matches later, I cherry pick the great moments and disasters in our fortunes.


I remember we rode our luck a little, like any away team in a cup tie, but towards the end a couple of minutes to go we had held our own was going to bring them back to WHL. 

As a ball was laid in towards Teddy, he was on the right hand side of the Liverpool 18 yard line ... a back flick went straight into the path of Jurgen who showed all his class and placed the ball in the right hand corner.  A second of time passed with silence from the ground (that slight delay you get being an away fan ... you know what I mean) and the complete and utter bedlam in our end people going mad hugging and some cases kissing each other (a common bond).  The whole team went bananas as well, I remember looking back on the video and Dean Austin (there's only one Dean Austin….well perhaps not) going mad and trying to celebrate with Gerry and being told to calm down and concentrate on the job.  Which he did.


I remember the ball coming back towards our goal and Justin Edinburgh smashing it half way up the stand.  I think that was his biggest cheer he had as a Spurs player.  And then the final whistle we all went mad.  Players, staff and supporters of Tottenham Hotspur.  Cheering, staying in the stadium for 10 minutes or so singing "There's only one Jurgen Klinsmann, only one" ... And so, on Gerry Francis coming across to celebrate with us and Klinsmann claiming that the Kop gave him a standing ovation as well.  Maybe rose coloured glasses from our ace goal scorer, but what do I know ... he won the World cup. 


The celebrations after with my mates - the hugging, standing on those red plastic seats and not noticing that one of us had fallen and some how was trapped by his backside in the gap of the back of the seat and calling for help and we were all ignoring him.  The only thing we noticed was our own happiness (we did pull him out in the end and took the Mickey ever since).


We came out of Anfield and were singing songs along the road and around Stanley Park as well as on the coach home.  Seeing a coach load of Southern Liverpool fans on the way home in their hire coach also made for some fun entertainment.


The lack of legroom now did not matter.  Great day, great result, great party, great atmosphere.  Then onto the semi final against Everton … and that bloody rock started to roll back down the hill.


We may have rolled a little down hill this weekend (after the Worthington Cup Final 2002), but we have caught it and we are on the right road with the King of WHL.

Keep the Faith.




Tottenham Hotspur  v  Chelsea  (League Cup Semi-Final  -  2nd Leg)
23rd January 2002  

This is a game I will never forget. 

Having been to the first leg and left Stamford bridge to chants of "You'll never beat the Chelsea," I was so desperate to get a result.  

On the night of the 23rd, I left school with the Chelsea fans assuming they would turn us over, I just hoped our football would do the talking and oh how it did.  I told my friend quite rightly on the way to the match that were we to score early, the Paxton Road end would come down it nearly did. 

White Hart Lane was shaking before kick off, so you can imagine when Iversen scored in 2 minutes it began to rock.  Everyone went ballistic. Then we were treated to some of the best football I have ever seen
Spurs play (I am 16 so I've missed out on the Glory Glory days) it went 2-0, 3-0. Then justice came about Hasselbaink, who has tried so hard to annoy Spurs fans especially after diving against us to gain a penalty, was sent off for an incident he was innocent in.  Oh, I love football so much. 

We went 4-0 through and it was then I realised we had definitely ended the hoodoo.  I was totally unable to sing by then and was in an utter state of shock as I jumped forward 10 rows hugging and jumping on everyone in sight. 

The score ended up 5-1 and one moment I will never forget was seeing White Hart Lane full to the rafters once the game had ended apart from the section for the Chelsea fans which was totally empty.  The hoodoo was well and truly hammered and it was the best night of my life.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Arsenal  (First Division)
29 March 1983  

In the good old days before political correctness etc, as a buyer for a large company, I had to fight off invitations to sporting events and the like from companies with whom we dealt. This was usually easy when it involved helicopter trips to Silverstone or royal box seats at Wimbledon, Americas Cup in Perth, etc. But when I learnt that a certain chemical giant (no names, but here in France) had an executive box in the recently completed West Stand, I just couldn't say no, especially as the Arse were the opposition that night.

Anyway usual story: wisecracks from the assembled company who, to a man, would have been more at home at Twickers or Badminton as "their" boys in red took the mandatory two goal lead. Thinking the Spurs were in for a demolition job, my attention strayed to the cocktail cabinet and I downed maybe one or two more than I should have.

So when Chrissie Hughton poked in a reply, my natural terrace reaction was to shoot my hands up over my head.  When the architects designed that stand, they must have designed it for dwarves rather than a strapping physique such as myself.  My right fist went straight through the suspended ceiling.

"Oh dear, oh dear !  What will Sir John say about that?" was the general reaction from my hosts.  Needless to say, a few minutes later when Steve Archibald crashed in a face saving equaliser, my left fist crashed in a face-reddening second ceiling tile.  Shit and debris showered us all.  Oh, how we laughed ... (not).

Not the greatest game I ever saw the Spurs play, but almost as memorable as the time I was negatively breathalysed peeing up against a bottle bank outside Ealing High Street cop shop after eleven pints of N17 ale at a Spurs-Hadjuk Split home tie.  Ah, but that's another tale ...



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Arsenal  (
FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley)
14th April 1991 (St Hotspurs Day)
I used to do a bit of stewarding at Wembley, did a few cup finals and England games, basically I picked my fixtures. When I heard we had drawn the shits in the Semi-Final I got straight on the phone and assured my mate that I was available for this one! Now, my mate is a Gooner and he had a right good belly laugh at the look on my face when he positioned me in the Gooner end ............
Anyway, I did my bit to better relations between our two clubs. I lost count of the amount of Gooners I sent to the wrong seats and was almost religious in my zeal to ensure that nobody without a ticket stub passed me by. I was a bag of nerves as the game got underway and I really don't know how I managed to keep still, although my Cheshire cat like grin almost gave the game away.
You all know what these games are like, your a bag of nerves from first minute to last and when Gazza beat Spunky from 100 yards out I leapt up and down like a lunatic, prompting complaints from assorted sickly faced Gooners, whereupon I was given a severe ticking off by a cozzer (who hated the Gooners) and my mate who told me that any other displays like that would see me ejected from the ground.
Now, I'm a good boy really and I honestly didn't mean to bounce down 20 or 30 steps when our third goal went in. My mate the supervisor came running down after me. I think he wanted to throw me out, but when he turned and saw loads of Gooners after my blood he must have thought discretion to be the better part of valour (Gooners often do that) and opened the gate to the pitch, threw me through it and after questioning my parentage told me that any future visits to Wembley would be as a paying patron.
Now like I said, I'm a really good boy and I can assure you right here and now that I did not once turn and look at the rapidly diminishing rows of Scum, savouring the horror on their sick faces. I really didn't wink and grin at any unfortunate that happened to make eye contact with me. Is "f**k off you yid" a friendly greeting?
Once I had my fill of Gooner baiting I realised that here was I, all dressed up as an official employee of Wembley stadium and I could go almost where I pleased, so at the final whistle, I turned once more to the remaining Scum, gave them a friendly hand gesture and walked around to "our" end to join in the celebrations!



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Newcastle United  (Premier League)
2nd January 2001

Ever since I began going to WHL, in the days when the turnstile operators would let me squeeze through with Dad to stand on the shelf, I never seemed to see Tottenham win.  It got to the point that Dad almost refused to take me, believing I was jinxed.  Now being a student and away at University I get very little chance to see the Lilywhites in action but when I get the chance I take it, even if it means the odds of a win are stacked against Tottenham. 

The game that will always remain in my memory was versus Newcastle United (Tuesday 2nd January 2001).  For me just being at WHL is occasion enough and with my past record of victorious outings, that’s a good thing.  But that all changed at this match when along with 34,324 other fans, I saw a game that had everything a match could ever offer.  

On 23minutes Newcastle went ahead and I settled down, expecting the worse until only 5minutes later Doherty rose high and headed a perfect goal.  1-1.  Three minutes later and Anderton is brought down in the penalty area, and scores from the penalty.  Couple of minutes on and Solano palmed a corner kick off the line and was instantly red carded – “OFF, OFF, OFF” I chanted until I was hoarse.  The penalty that followed was saved.  Next was one of Rebrov’s best ever goals.  The cross came in and he hit the ball smoothly with the outside of his foot and it crashed into the back of the net.  

Only four minutes in and the action is flowing again.  Some bloke called Dyer cheered on by a herd of zebras in the away supporters stand is making a run for it and Sullivan dives at his feet.  The little boy trips over a blade of grass and rolls around.  The referee though holds a red card up (to a great volume of booing) and points to the spot.  Dyer was confident and the ball went in – Tottenham 3 Newcastle 2.  That Dyer bloke again was pushing forward before Perry tackled him and Dyer again went to the floor.  A glance at the linesman told the referee that Perry had taken the ball so he waved play on, to Dyers disgust who went manic at the linesman.  The linesman did the right thing and flagged this to the referees attention who, urged on by myself and many other supporters again chanting “OFF, OFF, OFF” showed Dyer the red card off he went.  Completely overcome by the emotion of the match I found myself unable to sit down, feeling sick and throwing insults at the zebra herd (much to my Dad’s amazement).   Then in the 77th minute it was all over as Ferdinand headed in an Anderton free kick and as I thought I would burst ... the final whistle went and I went wild.

Not only had I seen Tottenham win, they had played reasonably amidst a real commotion but I had seen a lot of action, more than in all the previous games put together.  For a game most predicted as a 1-1 draw, it produced: 6 goals, 3 red cards (one of which was a goalie – and you don’t see that everyday!), three penalties (one missed) and a level of vocal support that I have never heard repeated!  

And just for those of you concerned about a jinx that I may be bringing on the club – I was at WHL for a similarly entertaining match when Tottenham beat Leeds United 2-1 on April Fools Day 2002.  Still that might just have been two jinxes repelling……..


Tottenham Hotspur  v  Manchester City  (F.A. Cup Final )
14th May 1981  

I have to say the most memorable Spurs game was the final when Ricky Villa ran rings round those defenders and scored. It was so brilliant. 

Two others I must mention quickly are when Nayim scored from the half way line (Real Zaragoza v Arsenal - Cup Winners Cup Final) and also I will always remember when Rocket Ronnie scored a hat trick against Southampton, I loved old Rocket !! 

Oh and one more I went to see Margate v Spurs I think in the 70's in a FA Cup match when I was about 11.  Always a strong and fond memory seeing my heroes Gilzean, Chivers and Ralph Coates ... I will shut up now !!



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Derby County  (Division One)
8th September 1990  

Well I remember myself trotting into the Spurs shop per-match and grabbing myself the full kit and a few birthday presents for my Spurs supporting nephew (gosh it makes one proud) who was started on the WHL road at the 1991 FA Cup final with me on his 7th anniversary.
Actually, truth be told, a good friend who is a Derby county supporter got the tickets and so I had to stand in the away end with him. As you may imagine, 6.500 Derby fans breathing down my neck gave for an uncomfortable feeling and the first goal (a free kick from Gazza) slotted neatly into the top corner and my elation at this was heard by the disenchanted throng and the resultant stares received hushed me slightly and gained the attention of one police officer who proceeded to ask me if I could keep my jubilation to the minimum. Thankfully, my friend explained the reasons as to why I was among the opposition crowd.
The second goal matched the first in quality and again, my mouth leapt in before my brain and similarly, the crowd surrounding me, observed in muted silence, my excitement. Said same police officer asked me to refrain from my celebrations for fear of causing a riot. Well, that would have been impossible due to my pacifist attitude and outward cowardice in the face of several thousand Derby fans.
Once the third goal went in I figured that it best to seek the approval of the Derby fans before proffering another celebratory dance and once the applause of those fans was received graciously by Gazza himself I thought it more than reasonable to dance the merry mile. The surprise on my face when a few fans gathered within my vicinity patted me on the back and congratulated Mr. Gascoigne's display as being worthy of the loss was a sight to see and the post match comments were well received.
I had the great pleasure of working with Gazza and Gary Lineker on a commercial for Walkers several years later and brought up this match as one of the greatest moments of Gazza with the Spurs faithful and was amazed to hear that he too recalled this as one of his favourite matches as it settled scores with him and Shilton.
On an additional note, one of the most forgettable matches I witnessed at WHL was the infamous Vinnie Jones hacking on Gary Stevens at which I was meters away from the incident and heard the horrendous cracking of bone as Stevens went down to a Jones crime beyond all reason. It does surprise me to see that he actually is a Spurs supporter but as it happens, Vinnie hasn't turned out all that bad, eh?



Tottenham Hotspur   v  Norwich City (First Division)
6th February 1983  

Everyone remembers the glorious 5-0 drubbing of the Arse at Easter 1983, of course, but who recalls the rehearsal at the Lane v Norwich just over a month before on a wet, overcast afternoon. 

Match stats: 
Spurs team - Clemence; Hughton; Lacy; Price; Hazard; Perryman; Galvin; Mabbutt; Gibson; Villa; Crooks. Sub was Roberts for Hazard. 
Norwich City included Chris Woods; Greg ("Spam-'ead") Downs and John Deehan.
Attendance: 23,342. 
Final score 0-0. (I forgot to note the half time)

As far as the football goes that's it.  Not my favourite match, 'cos I think it was the most tedious involving Spurs I've seen.  But 20 years later it sticks in the memory. 


'Cos at half time we had a celebrity to draw the lucky winner in the Spurs tombola.  


Well the hexagonal, light-blue box was carried out, numerous suits appeared and from the East Stand opposite the tunnel, we craned our necks and stood on tiptoe, eager to glimpse the celeb. at the first opportunity.  

Then he was announced. 

It was ... Michael Fish, weatherman.  He stepped out onto the turf - and the heavens opened, producing the loudest cheer of the afternoon and widespread hilarity.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Coventry City  (Premier League)
28th March 1992  

My very first visit to White Hart Lane was, I think, vs Man City, sometime in October/November 1991 (I lived in Barbados until 1991, and I am back there now). The game itself was not so monumental - it was more of a symbolic pilgrimage to "Mecca".

However, my best game would have been in 1992 (same season) - Gordon Durie hadn't scored for ages (he was always helping Gary L. score!), and was under some pressure.  Then we played Coventry at the Lane and he came away with a hat-trick!

One goal in particular, I remember.  He picked the ball up just outside our own penalty area on the far side (dug-out side) and ran the entire length of the field to smash in one of the goals.  Brilliant!

I went back in May last year and had my first tour of the ground. Held my breath sometimes.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Leicester City  (Worthington Cup Final) at Wembley
21st March 1999  

I took my seat in the Stadium, nervously watching the game with great trepidation and a loudly beating heart.  

This certainly wasn't the greatest of games - it droned on relentlessly with a workmanlike performance being displayed by both teams - not at all exciting . 

When Justin Edinburgh got sent off, I still didn't know who was going to win it.   Then, just when I was beginning to fear we would have to play for extra time, -  four minutes from the end of normal time, Allan Nielsen delivered a great unstoppable header.   I will never forget the roar in the stadium that greeted the goal.

Full time came, and we had won !  Absolutely fantastic !  I will never ever forget the atmosphere in the Stadium.  It was pure magic.  I know it wasn't the FA Cup, but we had fought hard, not given up and we had won some silverware.  

When the team went up to receive the Cup, what a great moment, I won't ever forget it, and I was there.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Manchester City  (Premier League)
th April 2003  


The day was never really about the result for me. I know, hard to believe, but I'm telling the truth. Y'see, my son Zak (11 in May) had been chosen as a mascot in November for Leeds home, I'd been able to take him due to his school here in the US, thus the club had allowed us to pick any match we could attend. Fantastic. Good Friday, Easter holidays, perfect. My wife and Mum came along too, the former to offer support and be 'photographer', the latter just to be there, and that left he and I ... I don't know who was more excited.

It was 75 degrees, blue sky, sunny. We were taken for lunch in the player's lounge at 1.15 (Zak and I have often been in the lounge via a friendship with a former player), so nice though it was, this was never about that) before he was taken down to the dressing room for chats and autographs. He was so excited (and this continued after the game when, despite the dismal performance, Teddy, Keano and Simon all took portraits with him). I chatted with Chirpy the cockerel while he was away, suggesting that Chirpy push the board for new boots. On his return, Zak was given his kit ... and it started to sink in. At 2.40 he was taken to the tunnel and we were taken to our lower West Stand seats (the club give three freebies per mascot) ...

... the sunshine was so glorious, the crowd in good voice, the pitch carpet perfect. And then they came out. My wife stood on ther touchline snap snap snapping away...and this allowed me to just watch. There he was, my Zak, running to the Paxton, receiving passes from Teddy and ... shooting from the edge of the box! 'Go on son, run it in there!' I remember thinking, but he was determined to keep on cracking them from the edge of the box. One, top corner, saved by Keller. Two, low, saved by Keller. Three, just wide of the far left post. Four, same ... five, he got hold of it and it whizzed low and hard into the bottom left corner (I always tell him, aim low, hard and for the corners) ... I was ecstatic. He'd done it. He'd scored at White Hart Lane. He then found time to do a quick bit of skill stuff (cocky sod!) and then the ref whistled the captains and mascots to the centre-circle ... Zak, however, hung around the box a few more seconds, got one more pass from Teddy and took one more shot before turning and trotting up. Incredible. He later said that Teddy had told him to take 'one more mate' ... as he ran off, last to leave the field before kick-off, Chirpy appeared on the touchline and Zak grabbed a quick snap with the crafty cockerel as the kick-off ensued.

By the time I'd realized the game was on we were one down. But nothing could wipe the smile from my face (honestly) and I kept looking at him beside me, in his kit, boots still on, grinning grinning grinning, replaying the 'goal' he scored...I didn't well up with tears then but I'll tell you what, I am now.

I pick up the photos tonight...I feel chills!



Sheffield Wednesday   v  Tottenham Hotspur  (First Division)
12th May 1969  

Sheffield Wednesday v Spurs May 1969

This was to be my very first game watching the Spurs I was only 12 years old.  After seeing Spurs win on TV at Wembley beating Chelsea 2-1 in 1967, I have followed Spurs ever since.   It was all down to my dad as hegave me some great advice (Thanks Dad).

After the first game was called off for snow, if my memory serves me right, me and my dad set off with a coach load of rugby players to the ground.  We got tickets for what looked like a new stand, high up in the left hand side opposite their clock. Perfect.  We could see all the pitch.

I watched the game with great interest, cheering them on.  End to end play it went, but what I really remember about the game and the player who for me outshone everybody was Big Pat  Jennings.  He had an unbelievable game for the Spurs.  He stopped everything and some and without him we would not have come away with a nil nil draw.  Pat was the hero of the day and I left the ground with a smile.  

I saw my team and we had not lost .The rugby players called at the pub and sang their rugby songs !!!!!!! and everybody was happy.                                                          Come on u Spurs !! 



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Manchester United  (Premier League)
1st January 1996  

Its the 4-1 win over Man Utd on 1st Jan 1996.

It was a cold New Year's night and Spurs had been on a great run in the league.  If I remember rightly we were about third in the table at the time, challenging for the title.  Only four defeats all year and one defeat in 11, a disappointing defeat at Blackburn two days earlier didn't really give me much hope at home to their runners up Manchester United, especially since they always seemed to get the better of us since the Premiership started.

Gerry Francis to his credit had built a good team and we played some good football.  Good things seemed to be on the horizon, but as we know we weren't.  However the result was great.  Teddy and Chris Armstrong were really clicking which was satisfying considering the stick when we signed Armstrong in the summer for a then club record £4.5 million.  I can't honestly remember too much about the game as I was hung over and still a little drunk, but what I remember was that we dominated and won 4-1 thanks to goals from Sheringham, Armstrong and Sol Campbell.  It was a great night and the best hang over cure.  

Shame we finished eighth that season, well joint sixth if you look at it that way sharing 61 points with Everton and Blackburn.  Good times, which I hope some day will come back...I wont hold my breath.



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Anderlecht  (UEFA Cup Final - Second Leg)
23rd May 1984  

Predictable game, I know, but one that had a special meaning.  I could talk about the experience about being 12 and going to the game with my dad and how we went mental when Parks saved the penalty and what a great bonding experience. 

I could talk about the one and only time I have felt a sense of destiny in a Spurs team.  I knew they were going to win, but I prefer to remember about two weeks after the game, I was speaking to a new kid at school.   
"Who do you support ?" he asked. 
"Spurs" I replied. 
"Bet you only support them because they win cups all the time," he said. 

A phrase I have only ever heard once in my life ... I might have to wait till I am 112 to hear it again.



Tottenham Hotspur  v  Middlesbrough  (First Division)
11th October 1980  

The early 80s saw a Spurs revival.  This coincided with a purple patch for Steve Perryman culminating in him winning the Footballer of the Year award in 1982.

The 11th October 1980 saw the visit of Middlesbrough to White Hart Lane. I still have a press cutting in a scrapbook. It was hardly a fixture to make the mouth water with anticipation. The paper talk a few weeks earlier had been about the loss of form of Crooks and Archibald and the pressure on manager Keith Burkinshaw. This game marked an upturn in form that was to raise confidence and set the scene for success in the FA Cup.

All that seemed a long way off as the players took to the field. As we have come to realise as Spurs fans, certain star names fail to "turn up" for this type of fixture. This day was no exception and Spurs were a goal down within two minutes. Perryman battled away trying to inspire a lack lustre team. Middlesbrough retained control until Ricky Villa equalised just after half time with a good individual goal. Perryman continued to drive the team forward and Crooks put Spurs ahead in the 72nd minute. Typically with Spurs we relaxed and Middlesbrough equalised three minutes later. I remember looking across at Perryman and just seeing that look of determination on his face as if to say "I'm not going to be on the losing side today" and I knew the game wasn't over. He continued to drag the team forward by the scruff of the neck. In the 88th minute he characteristically bulldozed his way into the opposing penalty area played a one-two with Hoddle and crossed (as he was clattered to the floor) for Archibald to score from close range.

Burkinshaw was full of praise for his Captain after recommending him to England manager Ron Greenwood. What a shame he never took his advice.

The News of The World gave Steve a 9 for his performance that day. Apart from Crooks 8, and Villa, Hughton and (Sub) Taylor with 7's the rest of the team could only manage 6's.

I'll never forget the pride and passion in Perryman's performance that day and in countless games before and after. You could see it in his face too on the night he lifted the FA Cup the following May.



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Crystal Palace  (First Division)
24 April 1971.  

The first time I went to White Hart Lane was in April 1971. 

We were playing Crystal Palace, and Steve Perryman had put us one up with a close range shot. 

The final score was 2-0. I was hoping to see Big Chiv add to his illustrious tally for that season, but 32 years later the second goal is as treasured as that would have been, even though I didn't see it ! My mates weren't sure what had happened either.

They were trying to push me surreptitiously into two pretty lasses stood near us and I was trying not to be pushed - such things are so hilariously entertaining to 14 year olds !  Anyway after the second goal was given, amid much confusion, I saw Alan Gilzean laughing his head off about something.  

What had amused Gilly so much became clear in the following few days (this was long before TV highlights of all matches).  Palace were sure they'd won a free kick and Spurs were equally adamant that it was THEIR ball.  Mel Blyth kicked the ball into his own net in frustration. 

The ref ruled, though, that there had been NO infringement either way and gave a goal!



Tottenham Hotspur  v   Newcastle United   (First Division)
18 November 1950  

How much space have you got!!  I first saw Spurs play Birmingham in the old Second Division in 1948, and have been an ardent fan ever since.

My favourite memory, probably because it was the first that was memorable, was seeing Spurs beat Newcastle 7-0 when United were in the middle of a fantastic period, and Tottenham had just won the Second Division title - the old push and run team with such outstanding players as Ronnie Burgess, Eddie Baily and, of course, Bill Nicholson.  I was 12 at the time, went by bus from Barnet by myself  - not something recommended nowadays for one so young - and managed to get to the front at the Paxton Road end, and the gates were closed long before kick off with over 70,000 in the ground.

I saw most of the home games during the Double season.  What a team !

Other visits stand out - a magnificent 4-4 draw at Highbury in 1963 with goals from Bobby Smith (2), Greaves and Mackay -  and a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in 1970 an attendance in excess of 60,000.   It had been raining for hours, and the referee wanted to postpone the match but captains Mullery and Harris convinced him that with so big a crowd the game must go ahead, in fairness to the fans, and although Spurs winning with late goals from Mullery and Pearce obviously lifted my spirits,  I can remember that this was one of the most exciting games I have ever seen, and I'm sure even Chelsea fans there would agree with that assessment.

Five other memories - I hope you are not getting bored !  Firstly, being there to see Spurs become the first English club to lift an European trophy, the European Cup Winners Cup at Rotterdam.  The return air fare from Gatwick was £10 !  Secondly, being blinded by snow on the old open Kop at Hillsborough as Spurs beat Manchester United in the Cup Semi-Final in 1962.  Thirdly, at Anfield to see Spurs beat Liverpool for the first time for about 60 years (may have been longer than that).  Fourthly, seeing mounted policemen with bundles of tickets for anyone who wanted them, given by touts who couldn't sell them before the Cup tie at Millwall in 1967.

Finally, and some of the best football I have seen at White Hart Lane, the League Cup victory over West Ham by 5-1 with that superb team managed by David Pleat that had Clive Allen alone up front, supported by the likes of Hoddle and Ardiles.   And West Ham played well !

Memories, such memories, and that's only some of them.  Up you Spurs


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