The good old days
Happy 130th birthday Tottenham. Old but still sexy.
Inspired to reminisce, I found and dusted off some old issues of classic fanzines, The Spur and Cock-a-Doddle-Doo and scanned some of the covers and articles (in the slideshow below). The content is mostly from 1989 to the mid-90s. If you don't remember the fanzines, best way to sum them up is you had written pieces/match reports/creative stuff in their purest form without the bullsh*t hysterics that can drown out and consume the content, which these days you find pillaging its way across social media and blog comments.
Also, looking through them, it really gave me a flashback to some truly troubling days as a Spurs fan, both on and off the pitch, punctured with iconic players and moments. Wish I had the time to scan every single page of these and share them online. Maybe there's someone out there that collected them and has them in decent nick, if so, get in touch. If you fancy doing some hard graft.
There's one particular article in issue 6 of Cock-a-Doodle-doo (1995) written by Ivan Cohen and Jacqui Cawley that cites the internet. I hope both don't mind me sharing it here. Makes fascinating reading when comparing it to the present day and the wealth of information and discussion we have available to us which has gone beyond taking for granted but is actually part of the way we live and support the club. Ignore the link and email addy included in the body of the text, unless you have a time machine.
It's in the Net
Fancy travelling the super highway for more information on Spurs? Ivan Cohen and Jacqui Cawley show you how.
For the uninitiated the Internet remains a mystery, in much the same way as team selection by England managers. There is a view among the ignorant that those who communicate via the Internet and surf its waves of information are a bunch of anorak-wearing couch potatoes with no real life to call their own. Whilte this may be true in some quarters, for the elite there is a Tottenham-style of surfing the 'Net, with flair, adventure and a cavalier attitude. This elite are primarily Spurs supporters whose access to a computer, modem and telephone line enable them to participate in discussions and events pertaining to the Spurs via this new medium of communication.
The core of Spurs fans on the Internet belong to an e-mail service commonly known as the 'Spurs-List'. Started by Bruce Munro in 1993, this enables Spurs fans in the UK and abroad to air their views, engage in debate (and occasionally heated argument) and other snippets of news and gossip. The latter is a particular godsend to overseas Spurs fans, who are deprived of that which we take for granted. Recent 'postings' have led to 'threads' discussing the Barmby 'homesick' situation, the injuries to Teddy and Chris Armstrong, predictions for the coming season and transfer speculation. The Spurs-List offers a chance for 'subscribers' to post their own reports on matches, including the senior teams as well as youth and reserve games. Indeed, match reports by Bruce Lewis have become such a feature that they've taken on almost legendary status and are eagerly awaited by all. The List also offers a means for Spurs fans to get together and arrange transport etc, for various matches, both home and away.
In addition to the List there is a graphic interface to the Internet known as the World Wide Wide (www or web). The Spurs supporters pages are run by Jacqui Cawley. Started in 1994, they are 'visited' several thousand times a month, not only by Spurs fans, and from all over the planet. Some of the web pages are given over to providing a central home for information provided originally on the Spurs-List, such as match reports. The graphical interface means that photos can also be seen.
One result of the List and web site has been to bring together Spurs fans both digitally and in reality. Many of us meet before (and after) home matches for a drink and a discussion, with not an anorak in sight! For the past six months or so we have had monthly 'List dinners', where we meet at a chosen restaurant for food, drink and discussion of those issues not yet resolved via the digital medium. This has offered us the chance to make new friends with whom we have an abiding passion in common - Tottenham Hotspur FC. We have also started up a football team which trains every Sunday. The Internet Hotspurs recently had its first match in Nottingham against the Leeds United List team (Internet Lard FC) and although the result was disappointing the event was a lot of fun, with both teams getting together socially after the match - a truly supporting occasion.
The Internet offers Spurs fans an additional means of communication. Those who participate have two main factors in common - a basic sense of computer literacy and an incredible passion for THFC. There are no other barriers! Join us by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and type 'subscribe spurs-list' in the body of the message, or check out the web site at http://www.sys.uea.ac.uk/recreation/sport/thfc/thfc.html
Now that's proper old skool. The birth of the online communities. I think my first online experience of Spurs was using the Usenet (Newsgroups) and alt.sports.spurs back in the days before it imploded with commercialism and copyright. Probably edging towards the late 90s. Although to be fair to history, the real reason I first got connected to the internet was to find pictures of Jenna Jameson. Football was an after thought. Shame that, I could have spent years writing about Spurs before I actually did instead of...well, you know. We're all guilty of it. Probably still are. But let's not get side-tracked. Back on topic...
Here's 32 scans for you to enjoy (the first few are 'fan posters' created during the El Tel v Sugar era as ye olde propaganda for meetings and demonstrations which I attended). I sadly don't have any photos from the days I stood outside the High Court shouting expletives. Probably for the best.