You know, I was trying to work it out. I mean, I’m Tottenham yet I don’t really feel that much animosity toward Arsenal. Now look, I’m 44 years of age so it’s not like I should be able to rustle up too many Aunty Wengeresque excuses. They are our supposedly immediate idiot neighbours. And that whole Sol thing.
But I think I’ve nailed it.
My ‘irrational’ contempt comes from my very first Spurs game. Bill Nicholson’s Testimonial at The Lane and bless the old man, he bought us a pair of seats in the West Stand Lower. We were living at the time in a place Bruxie knows well, Rhinedahlen, BFPO 4o if you please!
This wasn’t my first time at a football match, or indeed my first time at a large public event. But the West Ham fans were fierce. I mean proper fierce. Every moment of the bloke announcing various elements of the day’s celebration were marred by West Ham booing and screaming. Jumping up and down like the unwashed mentalists they still are today.
‘Good job they can’t get out’ I remember nervously saying to dad. He replied, ‘Oh don’t worry about them. Most of the stewards normally work full time at London Zoo, we’ll be fine!”
Warren Mitchell was the master of ceremonies that day. On TV, Alf Garnett was a bigoted, racist West Ham fan. But that was acting. Mitchell was in real life, Tottenham of course. As he tried to speak, the Upton Park animals barked in earnest.
There was about 2 or 3 seconds of wonderful silence, then we – us – the Yids – the Tottenham laughed. The whole stadium laughed. Oh how I loved that moment. My tribe had scented it’s territory. I nearly cried with a mixture of pride and relief. How things never change, eh?
So I am writing in the morning to Peter Herbert asking him what he plans to do about today. Or does the plight of whitey not count?