Spurs, Salford and ABU

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They say you should always support your home town team. I do, and it’s Salford Red Devils, the local  professional rugby league team.

However, when it comes to supporting my local football team, I decided to take a road less-travelled for northerners and began supporting the mighty Spurs instead of Manchester United, who were situated no more than three miles down the road from where I was born and raised.

As an 8-year old in the pre-mass sports media age, I admit to having no knowledge of any other football team than Man Utd before the FA Cup 4th round results were read out on the radio one Saturday tea-time in February 1967. Utd were beaten surprisingly 2-1 at home by second division Norwich City that day and I now needed a new team to follow for the rest of the cup competition.

My dad suggested Tottenham Hotspur to me, apparently for no other reason than he’d been impressed by a certain Alf Ramsey, who he’d seen playing fullback for Spurs at Bolton Wanderers some years earlier.  By the time Spurs beat Chelsea 2-1 a few months later in the ‘67 Cup Final, I was a committed fan who spent hour upon hour scribbling the cockerel and ball logo on any available scrap paper or notebook, in the same way that I later tried perfecting my signature for my very first  cheque book.

My interest in football generally, and Spurs in particular, began when  there was no such thing as Sky Sports, social media, bloeugs, or even regular TV football for that matter! Consequently, I rarely saw Spurs on the telly and only got to read match reports when they played local teams. Things were so bad  I was often found scouring the ‘Manchester Football Pink’ on Saturday evenings for any random reference to my beloved club in obscure sections of the paper, such as readers’ questions, etc.

My actual first live football game was Manchester United versus Manchester City at Old Trafford in 1969. I remember City won 1-0, but my abiding memory is of standing next to some City fans who were discussing beating Spurs in the Cup Q/Final the previous weekend. As a Spurs-starved youngster, I hung on every word they had to say about the match and, more importantly, what they had to say about my team!

I can’t quite recall the first time I saw Spurs play, although it would have been at Old Trafford, and most probably we would have lost. I know for a fact, however, I was sitting in the Stretford End seats when George Best produced that sublime chip over Pat Jennings – in my direct line of vision – to record yet another win against us back in ‘71. For anyone not old enough to remember seeing it live, or on the Match of the Day opening sequences over the years, it can be viewed still on YouTube.

I do have vivid memories of my very first game at White Lane, which came in 1972, and once again involved my personal nemesis, Manchester United.

An older family friend booked us on the Inter-City Football Special, an innovative way of entertaining football fans going on big away games in the early ‘70s. In reality, it comprised no more than a cattle-truck added to the normal rolling stock, which meant that the travelling hooligans could enjoy drinking beer while being thrown about a designer-graffitied wagon with every twist and turn of the track, and every braking motion of the train. Great fun for some, I guess, but where on earth was the elf-n-safety??

The official pre-match entertainment was either forgettable or non-existent, but us Park Laners had a great laugh when a tall, gangly Utd fan dressed in denim jacket, half-mast denim jeans and obligatory bovver boots escaped from the Paxton Road and ran full-pelt towards our end. There was no way he could have got at us owing to the metal fence between us and the pitch, so instead he dived full-length, feet-first into the line of police waiting to apprehend him. How we all laughed. I bet the police had the last laugh, too, when they got him under the stand out of our view.

The match ended 1-1, with George Graham scoring for Utd and Martin Peters for us.

We bought fish and chips in a chippy in a small parade of shops near the ground after the game, and nearly missed the coach back to Euston station. I’ve often wondered where exactly the chippy was situated and I wonder if any of you guys can suggest where it might be. I very much doubt it was on the High Road, so maybe it was down a nearby side street.

As a teenager, my dad bought season tickets for my older brother and I at – yes, you’ve guessed it – Old Trafford.  I was a closet ABU fan, politely applauded ‘home’ goals while secretly willing on every visiting team. I can recall only one occasion when my mask slipped and, naturally, it occurred when Spurs came to town.  How could anyone be expected to sit on their hands as Martin Peters scored 1, then 2, then 3, and then a glorious 4th in a 4-1 demolition of the home team. The fans I sat with every second Saturday must have thought I’d taken leave of my senses, but I just couldn’t help myself.

My worst Man Utd related experience occurred on my younger brother’s stag day at Haydock races in 2001. As his best man, I was in charge of 27 Utd (and 1 City) fans on a day we were playing them at WHL.  As many of you will know, it started really well as we took a deserved 3-0 half-time lead. The 5 goal collapse in the second half turned the afternoon away from a focus on the horses to how can the life of the only available spurs fan be made as miserable as possible. To great cheers and merriment, the number of our hired corporation bus was changed to read ‘35’ for the return journey to Salford, and the misery continued well into the evening when even more Utd fans joined the stag party at a local pub. As a rabid Utd fan himself, my brother was more than happy to find more people seeking to speak to me rather than him at his special event!

I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough to convey how Manchester United are for me the mortal enemy, even more so than the Arse, the Chavs and the Spammers. As despicable as these London teams may be, they can never haunt me in the same way that Utd have done over the years.

Attending the 3-0 win at OT on the weekend of my 60th birthday in August provided some relief from regular family taunting, but we need another statement win on Sunday to continue putting their ‘bogey team’ status fully to bed.

In closing, they say that most people who switch football teams are nothing more than glory hunters.  Well, as all we Spurs fans know, the “Game is about Glory” and so I’m happy to admit to being guilty as charged!!

NWHL is here!

My spirits are raised. Our best players are back in the fold and we’re playing some great football again. And the morning after last week’s glorious demolition of Chelsea I took a stroll around our spectacular new home. Since my last gallery here a lot has changed, all of it beautiful to echo the beautiful football. The attention to detail around the ground is exceptional and I think any of you lucky enough to get down here when we play will be well pleased. It was grey day so the shots aren’t as vibrant as I would have liked, but enjoy the slideshow!

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I normally only buy the home shirts but I love this one so much that I made an exception and strolled into the new mahoosive shop and snaffled one for a mere £xx.xx.

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COYS!

Oh, and before I go, get a load of this!
Fan Familiarisation Event

It’s close, so close…

Levy Does The Right Thing

No drip feeding of refunds. Daniel Levy has done the right thing by arranging a full refund process for season ticket holders in relation to the matches moved to Wembley.

Full communication below


Hi ,

We are writing to you to confirm the process for refunding the pro rata cost of your 2018/19 Season Ticket for the forthcoming matches with Liverpool and Cardiff City, which have now been switched to Wembley Stadium.

As announced earlier this week the Club received a report from the construction team which highlighted the extent of issues with critical safety systems. As a result a decision was taken at a Board meeting to defer the opening of the stadium and to move these two games to Wembley. Whilst we would have been able to mitigate other areas, we simply cannot compromise safety and, as such, this decision was unavoidable.

We should like to apologise to supporters for both the delay and the change of venue for these matches. The full statement can be read here.

For each match, 1/19th of the cost of your Season Ticket will be credited to your eTicketing account. For the matches against Liverpool and Cardiff, these credits will be placed in to your account in one transaction. To find out how much 1/19th of your Season Ticket equates to please click here.

This credit will be visible in your account from 10am tomorrow morning (16 Aug). You can access your credit by withdrawing the funds into your nominated bank account (the system will prompt you for this if you have not already provided these details). The funds will then be transferred to your bank account by means of a BACS payment (Bankers Automated Clearance Service) and available to use in 48 hours.

How to access your refund

From 10am tomorrow morning (16 Aug):

1 Sign into your eTicketing account using you client reference number and password
2 In the top right corner of the screen, click My Account.
3 On the drop down menu below Account Management click Account Cashback.
4 Enter your bank account details

If you wish for the refund to have cleared in your bank account before the planned on sale date for the Liverpool fixture (to be confirmed), you will need to have submitted your bank details by 12noon, Friday 17 August.

To ensure that there is no delay in receiving your refund, before submitting, please carefully check all details are accurate for a valid UK bank account. You will be able to access these funds from your bank account from Friday 24 August.

The credit for the Fulham match, or any remaining amount if you purchased a ticket for the Fulham match with these funds, will also be placed in your eTicketing account and will also be available to draw on in the same manner.

Once again we sincerely apologise for the delay and will keep all supporters updated with information on further progress over the coming weeks.

Thank you for your support and patience. It is appreciated.


 

11 Minutes To Go

Oi, Gareth, you’ve got eleven minutes to prevent ME looking like a prat.

bale

Final call for the relaunch of the much lauded (by me) “Nutty Spurs” Fantasy Football League before the first game tonight.

You can join simply by using the following link. You’ll be added automatically after you’ve created your squad and entered the game:
https://fantasy.premierleague.com/?autojoin-code=1342423-303942.

PS – There is one rule to rule them all – NO GOONERS. Failure to comply will result in a summary dismissal from my league.

PPS – In addition to the one rule there is another rule henceforth to be known as the second one rule – NO JACK FACKIN’ WHEELCHAIR. See above for punishment.

Feel free to invite others to join in the fun.

LEAGUE CODE > 1342423-303942

FFL is baaaaack! 1342423-303942

fflMorning gents and gentesses. It is with great pleasure that I can now officially announce the relaunch of the much lauded (by me) “Nutty Spurs” Fantasy Football League.

You can join simply by using the following link. You’ll be added automatically after you’ve created your squad and entered the game:
https://fantasy.premierleague.com/?autojoin-code=1342423-303942.

PS – There is one rule to rule them all – NO GOONERS. Failure to comply will result in a summary dismissal from my league.

PPS – In addition to the one rule there is another rule henceforth to be known as the second one rule – NO JACK FACKIN’ WHEELCHAIR. See above for punishment.

Feel free to invite others to join in the fun.

LEAGUE CODE > 1342423-303942

COYFS!

Time for a Breather!

In about 1972 or so I must have finally decided that my twin brother, Paul, needed some competition, so I declared that I was a spurs fan. He was a Gooner, but a great one and he lived and died as the biggest Arsenal fanatic I’ve ever known. Despite my new found allegiance the first game I went to was with Paul and it was at Highbury to see a feisty match against Everton which culminated in an on-pitch bust-up 9as I recall. As a weeny teeny I winced at the big players laying into each other less than 20 feet away and didn’t fancy this any more. I never went to another Arsenal game that didn’t involve Spurs. The first time I remember going to a Spurs match was a couple of years later with my dad on 28th August 1976. I was 15 years young. Middlesbrough were as dull then as they always have been since and we were treated to a two steps forward, three steps back masterclass in anti-football, ending nil-nil. boro-76

That was the first and last game that my dad went to. As a grown-up neutral non-footy fan he must have thought he didn’t fancy this any more. Me, I was hooked. I went to a few more games during that fateful season with my older brother, Andy, who was a SpursNut too. Getting relegated was unpleasant but we had some good games on the way, particularly at the end of the season when we beat Villa and Leicester.

I went to most games in division two the following season, home and away. My trusty silver Sanyo transistor radio was my loyal companion and was clamped to my ear regularly, waiting to hear the results and cup draws. The last game at the Dell was the best match experience I had until 25th May 1984. This despite not being able to see sod all, stuck at the back as a teeny 17 year old in streams of piss. The atmosphere was unbelievable and the relief at the final whistle was indescribable. This was a nil-nil to die for. The great Burkinshaw squeezed us through by the skin of our teeth and we were back in the promised land.

Then the Argentines came and we were now the focus of attention. Trophies followed and I even went to Wembley with my sister, Angela, to see us retain the FA Cup. Thirty six years later and I’m still here, more hard-core Spurs than ever. Sadly, Paul, Andy, Angela and my dad aren’t. I love them all and I love you all here and many of those still on the other blog. I just can’t help myself!

COYFS!

Can’t fookin’ wait!

While England were thrashing the mighty Panama two days ago, Nutty’s Nikon D700 with its Nikkor 35-200mm zoom lens was busy around the new White Hart Lane in…

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A good hour long walk on a blazing hot day garnered almost 100 beauty shots, a selection of which I present to you here.

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I can’t wait to meet you all here in this fabulous stadium next season.