Welcome to Jurgen’s Dive Bar. This man will need two forms of ID if you’re getting in here. My credentials?
Not born in Tottenham. Relatively speaking, not many people were. Not even born in London; instead, a couple of Andros Townsend shots from Carrow Road; Dad a lapsed Norwich fan, not truly devoted, a flicker of interest during that unreal UEFA Cup run.
So, nothing foisted upon me, no great family tradition. I was free to find my way. When very young, I dabbled with Liverpool, simply because everyone else did and a goofy kid with big ears needs all the help he can get, but then came a birthday – around 10 or 11 – and a Subbuteo set.
Inside were two teams, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
What strange majesty is this?
A name to spark dreams.
In a world of Uniteds, Citys and Rovers’, there’s only One Hotspur. Someone said that once didn’t they? Even Mum’s team, the luxuriously named Queens Park Rangers, succumbed to the Rangers moniker, but Hotspur? Truly unique. Also, I liked T’s and the name had lots of T’s. Then there was the kit. Clean, blue and white. Virtuous. These were obviously the good guys.
Fast-forward 30 years and son has become father of two boys in London. The eldest came home from school three years ago asking for a Chelsea lunch box, just like his stupid friends. He’s lucky he wasn’t grounded. His loyalty was bought at Spurs Store for £150. It’s so much easier when the team is good though and the three-year-old is already on board.
2017 is going to be pivotal. The end of White Hart Lane as we know it. Wembley as a home. Beyond that, the new stadium, some tasty NFL action; so much to look forward to and yet before all of that, a title challenge?
Hold on to your hats. Onwards.