report of ..."/> report of ..."/>

Long Awaited Homecoming To Tottenham For Norwich Game – A Personal Story


Tottenham 2 Norwich 0 – A Personal Story

HotspurHQ at the Lane [Photo: Logan Holmes]You will have already seen Logan’s factual report of the Norwich game on Saturday. As usual, I have a personal tale to tell to supplement his article. Regular readers will know that this was a red letter day for me. My first visit to the Lane as a season ticket holder and my first visit at all in recent years, due to the serious health problems that nearly took me out altogether.
I had the idea of getting a Spurs polo shirt customised with our Hotspur HQ logo for the occasion of my return. Thanks to Paul of Star Soccer Supplies in Winton, Bournemouth for doing a great job on it at short notice. You need a design putting on a T-shirt? He’s your man at

Alan in HotspurHQ t-shirt [Photo: Alan Hill]Like so many visits in the distant past, the journey to the Norwich game and the incidents when I arrived will give me enough talking points to dine out on for many years to come. Here are just the main details of my day…

My mate Steve (watch out for my Cardiff preview later in the week) collected me from home in Bournemouth at 9am and we drove up early in the hope that we might get one of the disabled spaces in the front car park behind the Bill Nicholson gates. Our luck held and we were waved into the last visitor’s disabled space after my credentials were checked. Steve asked the steward where he should go to pick up the ticket for my wife’s seat next to mine that he had purchased from Stub Hub. The steward directed him round to the Stub Hub window and he went to collect it, leaving me to get my head down in the car for 45 minutess or so before meeting up with friends prior to kick-off.

Then things started to go wrong. Steve returned to say we had a bit of a problem. He had realised on the way back to the car that Stub Hub had supplied a ticket 6 rows back, not my wife’s seat at all. I said not to worry and sent him back to get it changed for the right one.

He came back 20 minutes later sporting a really glum expression and told me that when the person at the Stub Hub window had double-checked, she was told that neither my season ticket, nor my wife’s had been enabled  until the Chelsea game and I would not be allowed in to see the Norwich match after all! He was told that we would have to take it up with the main ticket office at the other end of the ground.

Alan with Steve at WHL. [Photo: Alan Hill]The walk to the ticket office and back to the car was at the limits of my stamina but I had come so far and got so close that I could not give up without trying to sort something out. I take a combined walking stick/seat wherever I go to help me through these situations, so I could sit down for a break on the way there and on the way back.

I explained the whole story to a young man behind the counter who looks uncannily like Gareth Bale. (If the situation hadn’t been so serious I would have asked him what he thought he was playing at, doing a Saturday job after an £85 million transfer but I thought better of it). He said he would have to discuss it with the manager, took my season ticket and I sat down against the wall to wait.

When he returned, the Spurs customer service team had played a blinder to help me out. He offered us two other seats next to each other six rows from the touchline, still in the lower West stand.  I had to pay for another £55.00 for the seat, which I was delighted to do in the circumstances. At that point I think I would have sold my soul to get into the game. As an alternative to being driven back home without getting into the ground or meeting my friends, it was a brilliant option. All the Spurs staff were friendly and helpful, including the stewards and security officers.

HotspurHQ at the Lane [Photo: Alan Hill]In the end, it all worked out OK. I was able to meet up with our editor Logan, after the game. It was the first time we had met. It was great to see him. He gave me the opportunity to write for HotspurHQ. It is the first time I have actually made friends with somebody, purely through internet contact. He had flown over from N. Ireland for the match and had been to see an U-18 game in the morning. We had a snap taken in front of the cockerel at the main entrance to commemorate our meeting.

I also got to see my nephew, a fellow season ticket holder and just back from three months in LA including encounters with brown bears and catwalk models. Don’t ask.

Soldado and Eriksen v Norwich [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]The icing on the cake was that new look Spurs put in a good performance and we won. Danny Rose has come on in leaps and bounds and Christian Eriksen seems to be a real prospect, even close to the finished article already. Amazing for one so young. Please read Logan’s match report for the details.

For me this one was all about the emotions of the day. When I eventually got in to the ground, yes I did have a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. I was exhausted but happy when we got back home but have recovered well, so the wife says I can go again if my big Welsh minder is up for it. So for now, I will spare Steve’s embarrassment and will refrain from telling the tale of the Carry on at Your Convenience moments that occurred at South Mimms services where we stopped for a fry up. Some other time perhaps, eh Steve? I’ll hold on to it for now.

Despite all the problems, I would not have missed out on the experience for all the tea in China. It felt like coming home.