Farewell To White Hart Lane

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of my first visit to White Hart Lane. Spurs beat Sheffield United 2-0 with goals from Greaves and Saul. It’s kind of the club to lay on a celebration for me. Join me why don’t you.

My second match was nearly the FA Cup Final. This was the final home game before the FA Cup Final. At the turnstile, we were all given a ballot card with a bold letter in the top right hand corner. I was E. At half-time they called out the letters that would be allocated a precious ticket. I remember the cheers from different parts of the ground. I was relieved in a way to be unsuccessful because even as a kid of 11 I had absorbed enough of supporter sensibility to know it wasn’t fair for a ticket to go to a newcomer. Other fans had paid their dues, supported the club home and way, gone to every game. I had never been to a game but I knew what being a proper fan was about.

I discovered by chance recently that my friend Bernie Kingsley, he of fanzine Cock A Doodle Do and the Shelf protests, made his debut at the same game, probably sitting only a few yards from me in the shadows at the back of the East Upper.  So many pleasant coincidences and connections when you talk to fellow Spurs fans. He remembered the scorers but I couldn’t. Can’t recall anything about the match at all. What I will never forget is how it felt. To this day that’s what White Hart Lane means to me. Being there, being part of something.

My dad and I caught the tube from Ealing Broadway, change at Ealing Common for the Piccadilly Line all the way to Manor House, in those days the closest tube to the Lane. From there you jumped on the football special bus non-stop to the ground. Lines of red Routemasters waiting. You got a special bus. Everybody was cheerful, the excitement building, navy blue and white. Long-term fans, confident, knew where they were going, how to behave as a fan. And I was one of them now.

I didn’t realise at the time but it was a big deal for dad to take his precious only child to football. He had a little tobacconist and confectioners in West Ealing, a half shop, two narrow shops partitioned from one, R M Band the optician next door. To make a living he was open all hours, 7am to 7.30pm six and a half days a week. So to get me to football, he arranged for mum to take over the shop with an assistant, all to get his only son to a game. My parents weren’t at all interested in sport, and after all this time it has just occurred to me as I write this that this must have been the first time he had ever been to any football match. No matter how often you write about Spurs, there’s always something new.

People's History Cover

A People’s History of Tottenham Hotspur by Martin Cloake and me tells the story of the Lane and the supporters

Being there. Choosing a rosette from the various traders selling their homemade souvenirs pinned to boards nailed to a pole. Wear your colours! It was so important to get the right one. Mine had a plastic cockerel on the ball, a bit more expensive but that symbol was significant, what made the Hotspur stand out from the rest. The rusty ratchet of the turnstiles, and in. How I will miss that sound, surely the same stiles that I will go through on Sunday for the last time. How I will mourn the loss of that sound in years to come. Wembley’s electronic beep offers neither welcome or reassurance.

The climb to the top of the East Upper, endless stone steps to the very summit, then bursting out through the entrance the first and timeless glimpse of the pitch far below, bathed in sunlight, verdant green fit for my heroes. In reality a mudheap by that stage in the season but not to me. The chatter among the punters, knowing, informed, the easy banter of familiar faces. The racket of wooden seats clacking stridently against the uprights whenever we rose, in unison to acclaim a goal or rippling as the we craned to glimpse every last piece of action in the corner.

Over the next year or so, going to the Lane was a treat rather than routine. Home to Leeds with a snow-covered pitch, the only game on in London that day, calling the box office frantically before a voice said, “It’s on” before slamming the phone down. Mum took me to that one, must have been complete hell for her. Then I travelled across town for every match. No safety issues for a 13-year-old travelling alone even though hooliganism was becoming a presence, because I felt secure in the crowd.

These were the days of heroes and wonder. Greaves, still the finest I have seen, gliding over the turf with the ball a yard from his toe, relaxed, untouchable. The scorer of my greatest ever goal, turning on the halfway line against Newcastle and weaving through the entire defence before stroking it into the corner. Mackay, towards the end of his career but a driven, formidable presence. A rock, a leader. See him play and somehow no other midfielder since quite matches up to him.

Jennings, who saved everything without turning a hair. Gilzean, I thought every centre forward could head the ball as he did, but none have. Chivers, roundly abused by sections of the fans when he first arrived, so I learned patience alongside a whole new colourful vocabulary. I’m patient still.

Reflecting on those fifty years 48 hours before the lights will be turned off for the final time, it’s almost as if the football was the backdrop for the atmosphere rather than the other way round. We all have our team, and I guess this early seventies side was mine. The UEFA Cup win of 1972 tends to be forgotten because it was against Wolves but that was another great night. Mullery looked to be knackered and on his way out. A few weeks before the final, I saw him in the reserves at QPR, playing his way back into the side for one last hurrah, a hurling header to win it a tie we so nearly let slip away.

So to the best of the best. The greatest occasion in my life on the terraces was the UEFA Cup victory in 1984 against Anderlecht. The chance to win a European trophy at your own ground is something special. The scene was set – second leg so it would be decided on the night, under lights, glory awaited. It felt too that this superb Tottenham side of the early 80s was running out of momentum. Burkinshaw had had enough for reasons that weren’t entirely obvious at the time, the star players were getting older and change was in in the air. On top of this, we had to come from behind.

This game produced not one but two of the outstanding moments in my Tottenham history. Not Parks’ save and mad dash around the pitch but the goal. We forget now how close Spurs came to losing this match. The tension in the stands was unbearable as the thought that this night would end not in glory but in ignominy. I remain convinced that Graham Roberts’ late equaliser was scored through sheer will-power. He wanted that scruffy ball into the box more than anything or anybody. It was so packed that night, I couldn’t make my usual spot on the Shelf. When that went in, the only comparable moment is Villa’s Wembley goal. It was bedlam. The terraces shook and rumbled as we roared.

The other moment was Danny Thomas’s missed penalty. As he trudged back to the centre circle, we sang our hearts out: ‘One Danny Thomas.” Recently during his half-time interview at the Lane, Steve Perryman named this as one of the two best moments of his career and he wasn’t even on the field that night. That shows the respect he feels for the supporters, always reciprocated Steve, the embodiment of proper Spurs.

Others – 5-0 against the Arsenal, Falco volley, or the first half versus Feyenoord in 1983, four goals, a young Guillit and an aging Cruyff, the best 45 minutes I have ever seen Spurs play. Hoddle in his pomp eclipsing the master. European semi-finals in all white under the lights.

I saw both the 9 goalers, Bristol Rovers and Wigan, fun but there was no tension and all great games have an edge to them, a context, meaning. Which is why the disappointments stick in the mind too. Losing 5-0 to a Brady-inspired Arsenal, seeing them win their Double in 71 when the crush outside propelled me into the turnstile ahead of thousands in the queue to be one of the first in the ground. Ardilles and Villa, the transfer coup of a decade, a ticker-tape welcome and we lose 4-1 to Villa. Spursy before the word existed.

The modern game too. Recent wins against the Arsenal have matched anything the old days could come up with. Kane’s looping headed winner, Bale and Lennon in a couple of shattering minutes, or 5-1 in the League Cup when I saw their experienced internationals refuse to take a throw because of the intimidation in the stands.

Relegation – when the fans invaded the pitch and took over the directors’ box not to cause trouble but to say, we’ll support you evermore.

The most touching moment didn’t involve a Spurs player at all. I was about twenty yards from Fabrice Muamba when he sunk to the turf. Twenty yards from twitching limbs then stillness. But the fans did what they do. They sang his name. Then on the Shelf it just started up, that particular urgent noise when things are going badly and you want to lift your team. Not a song, not coherent, just come on, come on! I rang home to say I would be back early and I had seen a man die.

I say we all have one team but I have two. I adore Pochettino’s Spurs. They play the Spurs Way, the right way, with the same intensity as any fan. They’re young, we saw them grow up before our eyes and we have one of our own as a leader. They are as good a Spurs side we’ve seen since the eighties. This season the City, Chelsea and Arsenal games have been right up there, while the first half against West Brom was a classic.

To be honest, while the stars burn bright, the games meld into a blur. What stays with me is being there. My spot was just to the left of the centre Shelf. The noise rolled around under the stand before emerging into the atmosphere, vibrant, compelling, ours. Journalist Tony Evans once told me that in those days he travelled all over the country to watch Liverpool. They feared no one, but the Shelf was the only place that was intimidating, not for violence but the sheer size and volume. It broke my heart to see it ripped apart and replaced with boxes, the antithesis of vibrant, creative terrace support.

Football is a place to let off steam, to express emotion and shed the cares of the working week. But it’s much more than that. Being a supporter is about identity. It delves deep into the heart and soul and on the Shelf I learned to be part of something. An only child, happy at home and school, loved by my parents, I lost myself in the crowd and grew up.

I learned the right values. Loyalty and commitment. Doing my bit by getting behind the team to help them overcome opponents. Solidarity. Acceptance – as a Jew I took the abuse from rival fans personally, but my own didn’t turn on me, they took it on as a badge of fidelity. One of us, you are welcome here. I learned philosophy. Enjoy the good times, roll with the bad. Camaraderie, friendship and humour. We forget football is supposed to be fun and football fans are among the funniest people I know. Writer Patrick Marber called football “the dreaming game”, and I came to the Lane to dream of glory.

These days I sit on the Shelf about 10 yards from my old spot. I hope it isn’t sacrilegious to borrow Billy Nick’s words: “It’s been my life Tottenham Hotspur and I love the club.” Through everything that has happened in my life, White Hart Lane has always been there and I will be unsteady when it goes. I have no contact with schoolfriends and moved away from west London long ago. Relationships have come and gone, sometimes because I put football before this party or that wedding, and I’m really sorry. Not the right decision but that was the choice I made. Through good times and times I wouldn’t wish on any of you, through loss and bereavement, in times when it felt like I was hanging on by the finest of threads, I’ve lost myself in the crowd and felt content. The turnstiles speak to me. Come in, this way, steady now, you’re fine, welcome. Be yourself.

Home is arguably the most powerful and potent concept in human culture. It means security, love, care, safety, nourishment, togetherness. We use the word to describe where we play every other week. We’re not in town or back at base, we’re at home. White Hart Lane has a spiritual power that touches us profoundly, more so now than ever before. Once the Flower of the South and the team of the suburbs, Spurs fans are now spread far and wide, first the diaspora from the inner city to the Home Counties and Essex, then further afield. Spurs have a worldwide fanbase now. We come from different backgrounds with diverse histories, interests and jobs but one thing unites us – home. Where Spurs have played since 1899, 100 yards from where a group of enterprising schoolboys founded the club and within 500 yards of where Tottenham have played every one of their home matches, ever. Every fan who has ever seen them play has walked the same streets, felt the same emotions, worn the colours and got behind the team.

Consumerism and commodification blight the modern game. Once in the Lane, however, it’s ours. Nothing gets in the way. Football is just the same as it ever was. This isn’t nostalgia, it’s real life. The Lane is tired, showing her age and ready to slip away, but she’s not going quietly. Right up to the end, no ground in the land rocks like she does. Under lights this is our world. You can’t see out, and nothing exists outside the shimmering floodlight glare. There have been times when I could not hear myself think. The stands vibrating with noise, deafening, all-encompassing, a rumble beneath our feet, shaking the rust from the girders and moving us to the very core.

I am so proud to spend the last few years at the Lane with my son and daughter, and now my granddaughter. She gets it. It’s not about entitlement, win at all costs or moving to the next level. It’s loyalty, passion, joy, despair. Life itself.

I’ll be at Wembley and the new place but it won’t ever be the same. But the fans will be there because we know there’s going to be a show and Tottenham Hotspur will be there. Wear your colours! Come on you Lilywhites! Peanuts! When it’s time to go, take me one last time, then at the final whistle scatter my ashes under scuffling feet and I’ll lose myself in the crowd one last time. It’s where I belong.

The Lane by Martin Cloake and Adam Powley is the indispensable, beautiful history of the ground. Every Spurs home should have one.

30 thoughts on “Farewell To White Hart Lane

  1. Nothing to say except this is beautifully written. Like the best writers, Al, you have a knack of saying exactly what I’m feeling.

    Come on you Spurs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alan
    Great read which struck so many chords with me. Your first game was at the end of 1966-67, mine at the end of 1965 when I was, like you, just a nipper. The endless trek up from Manor House, the noise, the swearing, the crush were all things I hadn’t fully expected. Neither was thruppence for the programme and just 1/3d to get in, IIRC. But what really haunts me still was the smell – cigar smoke – talk about la Recherche du Temps perdu!

    Unlike you, life took me away from London and since 1971 I’ve probably attended fewer than fifty times, but the old girl still retained a certain creaky charm, even as the surrounding neighbourhoods became distinctly more threatening.

    In a way I’m glad that my attachment to the Lane is weaker than yours and the many others I’ve read in the past few days. As it is, I’m sorry to see the place go, but trust that the new arena will develop very quickly the atmosphere, aura and, in time, history to match its predecessor.

    Have a great day on Sunday!


  3. Thanks Alan – lovely!! First visit 1949 (age six) and a lifetime of memories, like you ……. COYS!!!


  4. Lovely piece. My last game was the Millwall fa cup tie, at the end stayed on in the west stand picturing my first game in 1962 when it was the old wooden west stand. All 4 sides of whl have been re-developed since my early days. It’s the pitch that had all the games ,retains the memories. And the new retractable pitch will slide to roughly where the existing pitch is. So the ghosts will still be able to play in the old place on non match days.


  5. Hi Alan
    So eloquently put. Like you,I have been going to the Lane since the mid 1960’s (I think it was 1/6d to get in and 6d for the programme) Get to the ground at 1 pm to get in early and get our spot at the front of the shelf. So many wonderful memories along with the regular disappointments, but one thing has always remained the same, the fans !!!. We may have our own favourite moment, or match, or player and we may disagree on team selection, tactics etc And we will certainly disagree with almost all refereeing decisions, but, we ALL agree, that the place to be, on a Saturday afternoon (or Sunday,Monday etc) is at The Lane !!!
    Will it be the same at Wembley, definitely not. Will it be the same at the new ground, only time will tell. But I for one will be sorry to see the old place go. For all of its faults, its been a place of lots of happy memories for both me and my kids, and now grandchildren and I feel lucky to have been able to share some of these times with the fabulous people who sit around us
    I am pleased that the club have, in my opinion, taken the correct decision to allow us to sit with the same people when we move next season
    Will be a tearful day on Sunday, but I suppose that progress for you
    Up the Spurs


  6. All of this is so good, Alan, so much emotional truth in it. I loved the story about your parents. Coincidentally, my dad wasn’t a sports fan and also owned a shop – he took me to my first Spurs game, at Norwich in 1976, the only game he went to other than as a policeman in his earlier life. My mum took me on my first visit to the Lane on a day trip to London (no game was on at the time!) when I imagine she would have much rather been visiting the traditional tourist sights. I doubt either of them thought I would still be recalling and appreciating the significance of those events 40 years later.


  7. Absolutely sums up mine and I would believe everyone who I have had the pleasure and privilege to stand and cheer / fight alongside at White Hart Lane. Beautiful piece.


  8. I’ve been fairly good about Sunday until I read this. I was OK for the first half but lost it in the second, which is a bit Spursy when you think about it. Well until the Poch era, anyway.
    I’m hopeful for the future. A 60k stadium can be soulless but with the right fans (and we are) it can be a new cathedral. We’ll see. That’s down the road and Sunday is all that matters. If it matches this writing, it will be quite some occasion. Thank you, Alan.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you Alan,

    So many echoes. That first game, taken by Grandpa, age 7. September 1971. The vast number of people, the smells. Fag smoke, fried onions, mud and grass at that first sight of the pitch. The chanting. “Who’s the wanker in the black” from the Paxton. “What’s a wanker Grandpa?” “Er, not a very nice man, son”. And we beat Liverpool 2-0. Not allowed to stay up to watch MOTD.

    And crushed onto the Shelf for the Anderlecht game. When all we had to do was get to the Lane at 5pm and just join the queue. Fearing for our lives when Robbo stuck it in.

    And who was the bloke on the Shelf who hated Gary Bailey? Denim jacket, tall. Waiting for it to be quiet before shouting incredibly loudly “Bailey. Bailey. I hate you Bailey”. Not the greatest heckle, but you knew he heard it.

    And now the pride as our kids get it. Just as we are proud of our team now. Haven’t been this proud for years.

    Thanks again.


  10. Alan,

    I tip my hat to you, a beautifully written piece that really does bring the memories flooding back. So much to be proud of and never more so than today with the team that Poch has put together.
    We fight on………


  11. Truly outstanding writing Alan, and I’m humbled to get a name check. I remember the Cup,Final ballot cards at our first game, they also read out the letters before the game and I my ‘C’ was a winner. Or so I thought, until half time when it was qualified as red C, given at the previous game, not my blue C. Dad was relieved he didn’t have to tell mum we were off to Wembley next week.
    I remember every game you mention, even the night Arsenal won the Double (I was one of the last to sneak in and spent the night hanging off the front of the shelf with one arm) and the day they won 5-0. I was in hospital with pneumonia but the gooner in the next bed kept telling me the score. My uni mate Danny Kelly’s (yes, that one) 21st birthday and the only competitive NLD I missed home or away for nearly 30 years (the only one at WHL from 1969 to date).
    My personal favourite is probably still the 1972 UEFA semi v Milan with Stevie P’s two crackers. But so many more remain etched across time and thank you for capturing what we all feel so well.
    Physically all that’s left of the stadium our dads took us to 50 years ago (mine was a regular and we drove up from Hitchin, first seeing the floodlight pylons from across the cemetery when we parked up) is the outside wall and some of the concrete steps of the East Stand, but emotionally it’s still the same WHL. Until Sunday night. I’ll be in bits at the end, something my wife will never understand but you and all your readers will.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My first visit was also in 67…4-2 v Fulham. You articulate what I cannot say….through circumstances and geography I have missed more than I have seen,but my love for the old place we call “home” remains intact,untouchable and implacable. Yes,we must move on….to stay in touch with a game that values us less. I understand,but I shed more than one tear.
    Come on you Spurs…..for ever and always…wherever and always.


  13. Memories at the Lane? ‘Memories’ doesn’t do it justice. Greaves and Gilzean scoring in the last 5 minutes in Sept 1966 to overturn a 1-0 imminent league defeat against a great Man U team featuring Law (scorer), Best, Styles and Charlton. Mayhem and joy in abundance! Then, even better, there was the 3rd round FA Cup replay between us and them, following a 2-2 draw at their Old Trafford fortress. 60,000 at the Lane on a cold night (with school in South Harrow the following morning) in January 1968. We were FA Cup holders, they were League Champions (we’d shared the Charity Shield 3-3 at Old Trafford in August, and they were just months away from being the first English team to win the European Cup, at Wembley). What a game and occasion that January night in 1968 was!
    Out of the countless trips I made to the Lane from the mid 60s on, I can still see it, feel it, hear it, smell it and sense that night’s game more than any others. Even more than my first ever trip to the Lane at Easter 1964, when we lost 3-1 to Liverpool (funnily enough the result that day didn’t seem to matter as I was truly captured and awe struck forever as a 12 year old by the occasion and atmosphere, and the ghosts in white before me, including the only time I ever saw ‘live’ the great John White, who was to die tragically some months later). But back to January ’68 ..two fully committed wonderful sides at each other’s throats for 90 minutes with no goals yet no quarter given either (meaning the dismissals, for genuine punch-up reasons, of Kinnear and Kidd could almost be forgiven). Then, in extra time, how delirious we all were as Jimmy Robertson nicked the winner. Then back, still exhausted, the following Saturday to see them at the Lane again, where they got revenge 2-1 ..dammit. Oh the agony and ecstasy ..especially of the Man U Tottenham games. They were the games that mattered. Not the ones against Arsenal or others back then. The whole country looked on in expectation when these 2 super heavyweights clashed, and the very headline ..Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United ..was the stuff of magical things for ALL football lovers in England. I never saw ‘live’ that Greaves’ goal against Man U in the 5-1 demolition at the Lane in 1965, although I did see an even better one against Leicester a few years later (never recorded by TV for posterity). Older fans may know the one I mean.
    Anyway, it is fitting that Manchester United are the final visitors to the Lane,
    given the profile and history of our great clashes (firmly in their favour for the last 25 years, but with signs of that again changing in recent years). Whatever the result …thank you for the memories WHL (no, like I said, memories doesn’t do it justice) and Alan, on Saturday? ..give my regards to White Hart Lane, remember me to the High Road, West Stand and Bill Nicholson Way too; tell all the gang at the Park Lane End that I will see them soon: and tell all of how I’m yearning for the Paxton Road and old East Stand; give my regards to White Hart Lane and say that I’ll be there ‘ere long. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great memories – I remember travelling from Brum with my schoolmate on the train and in particular the cup winning run of 1981, ‘Peanuts 20p a bag’ and bag of peanuts being passed up the stand followed by some coins being thrown bag the other way. The the Anderlect game with a girlfriend I dragged along, she fainted in the Paxton and I had to accompany her around the pitch to a first aid station at the back of the shelf, I left her there for an hour and had one the greatest night of my life while worrying if we would miss the train home! – My favourite game was v Luton (I think It was a League cup game when Pat Van den Hauwe & Nayim got sent off, and a goal down Gazza had a blinder & Paul Stewart scored a brace. It was how the atmosphere changed when we went from easy favourites to total underdogs inside half an hour. Great memories but the ground has totally changed since I first visited and had a season ticket for 5 years (before Shreeves followed Venables). Will travel down (ticketless) with my 10 yr old son if only to feel the vibe from the old lady one last time, but that new Stadium will be the best place for any player to play as the supporters will make it that way, so we are lucky to have a Manager, Players & Chairman to make the move bearable – Enjoy the Ride COYMS


  15. Circumstance and geography have made me an irregular at WHL so I feel a bit of a fraud reading your beautifully written piece and the comments above. Still, I was at the Anderlecht game and enough others to feel the emotions so well described. I too remember the smells, including a few others not mentioned in the comments! For those of you who’re going have the day you deserve and for those of us watching at home we’ll cheer the lads and you on and give thenold girl the send of she deserves. The new ground will create its own history over time but will be filled with passion and 60k plus Spurs fans from day 1, located in the heart of Tottenham. It’ll be a fortress. COYS!


  16. I thought this was a great piece that summed up many of my thoughts. The comment that really resonated with me was the first glimpse of the pitch. I can still remember that 48 years on. My first game was against Sunderland in September 1969. We lost 1-0 with Mike England scoring an own goal but it was much more noteworthy as Steve Perryman’s debut. My father said to me that he would play for England and that I would always be able to say I saw his first match.
    I couldn’t agree more with what you say about fathers taking their sons to games and now that my father is dead it is at White Hart Lane that I feel closest to him. The most memorable match I’ve seen was, I think, the game vs Hull in the second division, the atmosphere that night will never be beaten.
    I’m looking forward to the new stadium but we all know it will never be the same again.


  17. A wonderful, wonderful piece, Alan.
    You write so eloquently about the emotion of supporting Spurs, Alan. I fondly remember our dinner and chat together when you were researching your book. Like many who have commented here, of a similar age, those memories of times past are reaching an end tomorrow, one final match at the place that is our ‘home’.

    Like ships in the mist, we share some of the same moments, but have others of our own. One of mine was a 3-0 trouncing of Manchester City, Mark Hughes last game in charge. It was the first time I took all three of my children to the Lane. And a 4-1 licking of Anzhi, when my kids and I got moved to the Directors Box and sat almost next to Levy to see Soldado score his only Spurs hat-trick, in about AVB’s last game in charge. The time I took my wife to the Lane for the first time, and Ossie’s madcap team lost 1-4 at home to Forest after starting the season so well.

    But it was those visits as a kid that evoke the strongest emotions; the night we won the UEFA Cup in 1972 (described in my own new blog) and, even earlier, the 1961 Charity Shield, taken – like others – by my own father to my first game, holding his hand, sniffing that distinctive combination of maleness and tobacco smoke, fried onions and stale piss. The noise, the colours, the green turf, blue and white scarves.

    As others have said, Spurs v Manchester United was always the big one. The glamour tie. Two behemoths full of the best players of the era. Liverpool became more successful for a while, Arsenal were always the NLD, Milan and Madrid the Glory Nights, but it was United that stirred the passions like no other opposition. The 2017 PL schedule got this one right.

    I’m a realist and an optimist. Perhaps a lifetime supporting Spurs makes that combination essential. I’m glad that Spurs fans have not succumbed to the ‘entitlement’ of other sets of supporters. Heck, in a way I’m even glad that the 1990s and 2000s haven’t given us cause to feel so entitled. Yes, trophies soon would be nice. Glorious. But like you, I adore Pochettino’s young Spurs regardless. We are building the right way. On solid foundations. I’m sad about WHL but, realistically, her time had come. And I’m optimistic about the new stadium. I love that she’s being built on the same footprint, in the same N17 atmosphere, so we can all soon return to our same routes and rituals, combining the old and the new.

    And if our team continues to play as beautifully as you write, Alan, the trophies will come and the future’s bright.

    Charlie (‘minesadouble’)


  18. Went with my dad first in 69. 1-1 with Chelsea. Hooked ever since, 1971 left school got the 144 bus. The other lot won the league. Gutted but next 3 years were glorious. Chivers the complete centre forward my hero. Been home and away 80% of the games for over 40 years. Met my wife and best friends at spurs. I love this club so much, outsiders would not understand. I take exception to outsiders talking about our club, the same as if they were talking about your immediate family. I will miss the old lane, park lane, shelf, enclosure and Paxton. I have stood in them all. All proper fans will understand, there is only one THFC.


  19. I loved your comments I watched my first game on 1947/8 season watching Nicholson,Burgess and many of the greats,for me it will be a sad day and I will remember my dear old dad who used tell me about the players before the war.I had the good fortune to see the wonderful double side to me this was the greatest double team of all time incredible football some of this seasons football reminded me of this .I hope they will leave this great old ground with a win tomorrow


  20. arfa the yid my first game at the lane as a 10 year old apr 30 1949 1- 1 draw with fulham spurs team ditchburn tickridge not many fans know him c withers bill nichelson h clarke r burgess s walters e baily l duquemin l bennett l medley first cup final 1967 spurs 2 chelsea 1 last couple of weeks ago cannot make tomorrow not well enough will watch on the box hope we get the right result if on greavsey could play we could look forward to one of his special man u goalssss were he left 5 or 6 of defenders on their Arse nal hope all goese well i could tell a lot more about cup finals etc etc it would take to long




  22. A very nostalgic article Alan – my first match at the Lane was the same season, but a bit earlier – in January 1967. My first actual live Spurs match was before that at Highbury – we arrived at 3.00pm and being young, were ushered right down to the front – those were the days…….. I think the “Newcastle” goal you describe was in fact against Leicester – Jimmy controlled the ball while it was still in the air from Pat on the half way line, turned and beat one man before the ball had touched the ground, then ran on through the defence before slotting it past Banks – an amazing goal.


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