Spurs Miscellany

Competition winner for best anecdote/quote goes to Tom Mitchell for this gem:

Christmas 1992 - when I was ten I won a Junior Spurs competition to go to the old Chase Lodge training ground and attend a first team training session. Weeing myself with excitement for days in advance, I was horrified to wake up on the big day to find myself covered in chicken pox and being told by my Mum that I couldn't go. Dad said 'course he's going' and proceeded to wrap me in the biggest coat he could find, along with a Spurs baseball cap and three Spurs scarves carefully placed to cover just about every individual chicken pock on my bonce.

We went along as planned and had a great day - the adrenaline of meeting the players overtook the wretchedly ill feeling I'd been suffering in the morning. I found out that Paul Allen did indeed really have a squeaky voice, it was confirmed that Gary Mabbutt was indeed the nicest man in the world, I had my photo taken with Teddy, Erik Thorstvedt, Nayim, Neil Ruddock, Ray Clemence and loads more, while Dad had a good chat with Vinny Samways about his rather sexy black Shogun that we'd parked next to. At the end of the sesh, a very young Nick Barmby, then one of the hottest properties in the game, came along and took my cap off, rubbed my head and said 'see you again mate, hope you enjoyed the day' and then disappeared.

I still have the newspaper clippings ruling him out of the following match with a sudden case of chicken pox.

Thanks to everyone that got involved. Some proper gems posted and sent in via email.

If you missed all the action, here's the original review for The Spurs Miscellany.


Reading through the 2012 revised and updated edition of the Spurs Miscellany - newly released this month - I realised something that about the old enemy from down the road (aside from the fact they were called Woolwich and played their football in Plumstead and attempted to merge with Fulham). Before they made their journey to North London, the local residents objected about the prospective move. Yet people turned up for their home matches. That's the same people probably bitching about the move, the same people living in North London, some of which probably frequented White Hart Lane before Highbury.

So the old enemy is not only a football club with nomadic tendencies and no true identity but also one whose new founded fanbase just down the road on the Seven Sisters is made up of turncoats and deserters. The ilk of fan that turns their back on their own. They're fundamentally Tottenham rejects. Their original North London fanbase is made up of football fans that turned their back on their local club and pledged allegiance to one uprooted from elsewhere and dumped in our back yard. That and the fact they are the only club in history not to be promoted on footballing merit. History is what defines you right? Even history that takes you back several decades.

I knew all this already of course. I've read the Spurs Miscellany before. But now the prolific Martin Cloake and Adam Powley have updated their labour of love with new wonderful gems of facts, feats, records, anecdotes, classic matches, quotes, quirky info and trivia along with essential historical timelines that serve to remind all why we are a club bestowed with such rich colourful history. There's also biographical sections on club heroes like Paul Gascoigne, Danny Blanchflower, Steve Perryman, Gary Lineker and Chris Waddle as well as detailed season-by-season records for the geeks that wish to overdose on stats. There's also stories on some of our other famous Lilywhite legends and players you might not know (Walter Tull, Vivian Woodward) but you really should.

There's also a chapter dedicated to Mr Tottenham Hotspur, Bill Nicholson. And yes, Harry Redknapp and Gareth Bale are also included - as cited, it's revised and up to date (to the end of last season with the stats correct up until the start of the 2012/13 season).

The brilliant thing about this book is that you can literally pick it up, turn to any page and either read something you didn't know about Spurs or be reminded about something utterly irreverent yet funny or just down right glorious about our N17 haven. Love the entry on our crest (Badge of honour, page 31) along with our origin story and yes, even though I throw a cheap shot or two at Dial Square their own origins play such a big part in what is surely one of the most bitter rivalries in football (because love them or hate them, our rivalry is about football...rather than politics or religion or class wars). The story of our first ever game against them is also ironically funny.

Look, it's Spurs. You're Spurs. The book is jam-packed with quick-fire brilliance on Spurs. Ossie Ardiles foreword. Get on it.

The Tottenham Miscellany is published by Vision Sports Publishing RRP £9.99


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