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‘Spurs Were My First Love’

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The hugely popular Martin Cloake and Adam Powley book, ‘The Boys From White Hart Lane’ has just been republished in paperback form. It’s a fascinating chapter by chapter account of the Tottenham players of the Burkinshaw era.

These were the sides I grew up with. My first game was Bill Nick’s testimonial at home to West Ham. I thought I was obsessed by Spurs until I went to that game. It was my initiation ceremony. I’d thought I’d never care about anything like I cared about this from that day on. Spurs were my first love.

‘The Boys From White Hart Lane is the only book you’ll need to recapture the unique mood of the time. ‘

Harry Hotspur – 2010.

‘There is a time in a football fan’s life when one team comes to symbolise all that is best about his or her club. For a large number of Tottenham supporters now comfortably settled into middle age, that side was the one managed to cup winning glory by Keith Burkinshaw.

Burkinshaw’s Spurs were appreciated by  a wider audience too. While football fans, more than fans of any other sport, tend to follow teams rather than the sport itself, a side occasionally comes along that commands respect or admiration across the partisan lines of the football tribes.

Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest were one such team, their rise from second tier also rans to double European Champions in in four consecutive seasons is still fondly remembered because it kept alive the very essence of sport – that everyone has a chance of winning.

“If every team played like Spurs, football’s only problem would be pacifying the herds of supporters being able to get into packed grounds. They bring beauty to the game and people like that.”

Patrick Barclay – 1982.

The games themselves naturally stands out. 1984’s epic UEFA Cup Final and the vocal support for Danny Thomas following his missed penalty. The first half demolition of Feyenoord in tha same campaign; the fans’ takeover of Highbury for the 1981 semi final replay. Ricky Villa’s FA Cup final goal in 1981 became our ‘JFK moment’ : we all remember where we were when it happened.’

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31 comments

  • Wearefukednowarry says:

    Got to get me one

  • hairy roadmap says:

    >The fans’ takeover of Highbury for the 1981 semi final replay.
    We had the Northbank for every encounter going back to 1976, including Pat Rices testimonial as I recall.
    We’re the Northbank , We’re the Northbank , We’re the Northbank Tottenham.

    • melcyid says:

      I remember it well and the years before as we gradually took it over each year until it was ours for good. he he

    • munso says:

      Would love to find the video of that game, or the hillsboro 1st match.
      Someone put a link on here before, I can’t find it anywhere after searching youtube etc

    • Moondog says:

      Hi Hairy,

      Remind me was it 1982 Spurs fans got a real pasting on the right hand side of the North bank by the new upcoming Arsenal firm then calling themselves the gooners to the point they never really showed their faces en masse again in the North Bank?

    • Moondog says:

      Yeagh but we took your ground in the late sixties so I guess you were just trying to get even.

      We`re North Bank, We`re the North bank, we`re the North Bank White hart lane.

  • Glendahoddle says:

    Ah yes fantastic times, i was at Wembley for both replays 81 82.
    Remember when we beat the Arse 5.0 at the lane, unsung hero Mark falco what a striker.

  • Next bus to Woolwich! says:

    Yes I remember the derby at Highbury in August 1980,I was only a kid at the time and hardly saw the game due to the violence and the Police escorting/arresting people out of the ground via the touchline,as were level with the pitch..Was there any gooners in the North bank that day??

  • Steveo1987 says:

    It would be interesting to hear of everyone’s first Spurs match. Mine was 1974 or maybe 1975. Stood in the North Bank with my chum who supported the other lot. A pretty frightening initiation really. I was only 11 and my mate and I got on the coach from Essex. It’s hard to imagine many kids being allowed to do that on their own these days. Oh, we won 0-2 a certain JD scored both. You know, a JD who scored goals. John Duncan it was.

    • bruce castle says:

      Mine was October 1977. Spurs thrashed Bristol Rovers 9-0 at the Lane. Still the best game i’ve ever seen. I was only 8 years old and my mate’s dad took us there by car (from Billericay). I went to every game I could after that often, like you, on a coach or by train with no adult supervision. Here’s a link of the highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHazMyKZmRs

      • Steveo1987 says:

        I was at that game. Paxton Road end. I think 6 of the goals came our way.

        • Steveo1987 says:

          Top video. I’ll have to freeze frame it to see if I can spot myself right behind the goal. Awe sh*t , suddenly feel very old……………

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