Today marks my 49th anniversary of supporting Tottenham. As my uncle would have said to greatly annoy my mother, “You’re in your 50th year now!” Supporting Spurs through highs and lows makes a lasting impression on your life. A personal diary of following Tottenham through thick and thin with many memorable moments and some you’d prefer to forget.
Tottenham On This Day
28th December, 1964
Tottenham Hotspur 4 Nottingham Forest 0
Scorers: Robertson, Greaves, Dyson, Gilzean
Team: Jennings;Knowles, Henry; Mullery, Norman, Marchi; Robertson, Greaves, Gilzean, Jones, Dyson
I saw the goals from the Spurs game against Forest on the BBC evening news bulletin and from that moment Tottenham Hotspur was my team. At twelve years of age, I was late coming to football and had no reason for following Spurs as I lived in Northern Ireland and my family had no sporting connections.
Since that day in 1964 I have followed Spurs although obviously it would be a number of years before I would make that journey across the Irish Sea to White Hart Lane, and even longer before I would have the opportunity to go to a first team game. In those days reporting on the Football League was limited to brief pieces in the papers so it was difficult to get a real feeling of how things were going at the Lane.
A mate at school who had a collection of football programmes introduced me to the idea of sending for the Spurs programmes for each home game which could be obtained for free if you sent a stamp-addressed envelope. From those programmes, I gleaned as much information as I could about Tottenham – the team, the young players coming through and the glorious history of this great club.
Little did I realise that day how following Spurs would affect my life. The highs after a win and the despondency after a loss. Following Spurs certainly teaches you to take nothing for granted, something I discovered early when the following season, Spurs were 5 – 1 up against Villa at the Lane but required a late goal-line clearance to secure a draw and avoid an even more embarrassing 6 – 5 defeat. Even last season, if a reminder was needed, it came at Goodison Park where Spurs looked certain of 3 points going into added time. Two Everton goals in 88 seconds saw Spurs grab defeat from the jaws of victory.
Current Situation At Spurs
How a month has made a difference at White Hart Lane. A heavy defeat at Manchester City was a very poor showing but could be put down to a ‘bad day at the office’. Spurs started badly that day and never improved but responded with two encouraging away wins in the Premier League and against Sunderland in the second half they played some of the best football that we’ve seen all season, creating the chances to have recorded a much more emphatic win.
After the poor display at City, the game against Liverpool was an opportunity for Andre Villas-Boas’ team to make a point against one of the teams who like Spurs would be hoping for top-4 finish. There was no response, Spurs never got started and they were outplayed by Liverpool and through the game, as I said in the match report, I was left asking the question, why do I devote so much time and effort to supporting Spurs? There’s been disappointing times before but rarely have I questioned myself like that.
The sacking of AVB was inevitable and understandable but in mid-season with no plan in place it was going to be very difficult to find a suitable, experienced replacement. In such circumstances, Tim Sherwood held a very strong hand against Daniel Levy who to my thinking had no option but to appoint the Technical Director.
After starting the season with such optimism, things have turned around and going in to 2014, there’s no great sense of anticipation of good times to come to White Hart Lane. As a Spurs supporter of long-standing, however, I’ll continue to get behind the team and Tim Sherwood and hope that the new manager can surprise us in the next few games but with visits to Old Trafford and the Emirates in the next ten days, following tomorrow’s game against a Stoke team who will be determined to make amends for a heavy defeat at Newcastle, it won’t be easy.
COME ON YOU SPURS!
Make this your personal diary: What was your introduction to Tottenham?