As a youngster growing up in the town of Ashton-under-Lyne 8 miles from Manchester, you would have thought I would have supported either City or United. However, with a Spurs mad father there was only one team for me – the boys from White Hart Lane.
My earliest memory is the 1987 FA Cup Final. My dad had a ticket and I remember screaming the house down because I didn’t have one. I wanted to be at Wembley and didn’t see being only 6 years old a problem – unfortunately my dad did! I had to watch the game at home while he went to Wembley.
My first ‘live’ game was Spurs v Wimbledon at White Hart Lane in 1988. We lost 3-0. All I remember of the game was the bloke in front who never stopped swearing – I had never heard language like it! Thankfully, the defeat didn’t put me off and if anything made me more determined that Spurs were my team.
When I began secondary school, my support grew even stronger. Everybody supported City or United and I loved being the odd-one out.
At the time United were winning virtually everything and every day there seemed to be a new glory hunting fan jumping on the band wagon – it’s still the same now although there seems to be a lot more Arsenal and Chelsea shirts in the Manchester area. The blue half of Manchester suddenly seems to have grown very noisy as well – I wonder why that might be?
I always approached games with United full of hope but often ended up disappointed. However, the 3-1 win against United at White Hart Lane in the Worthington Cup in 1999 was well worth the wait. I spent the next three weeks gloating and winding up the reds.
Winning the trophy made life even better. I put the poster of the boys celebrating with the cup up in the common room at school. It lasted about ten minutes but I didn’t shut up for weeks.
As I have grown up, my love for the club is even stronger. The stick is never ending but the current team under Harry’s guidance means that I can smile a little bit more. The 3-0 win over City before Christmas also helped me to shut up a number of friends and family!
Wins and losses are felt with even more passion and defeats have been known to ruin weekends. Thankfully I have an understanding wife. She is a Manchester United fan (she can’t help it) and doesn’t understand what life as a true football fan is all about.
Winning every week must be boring. Life as a Spurs fan is never dull. The glorious hope and shattering defeats mean that life as a Spur is definitely an emotional rollercoaster.
Defeats at home to Wolves and Stoke have left me utterly dejected. However, the start to the season and the improved confidence and fluency in the team still fill me with hope.
Our first child was born last April – Teddy, named after Mr Sheringham – and he was enrolled as a club member before he was a month old. I hope that he follows me into the Spurs family.
My dad and I will be doing everything we can to make sure that it happens. If he does, life will not always be straightforward, we won’t always win but he will be part of the best away following in the country, the most passionate fans in the world and above all he will know what life is like to support a proper football team.
Living up North will be grim, it will be cold and the sun won’t shine but (hopefully) the mighty Spurs will bring him some joy. I know that they have for me.
Come on you Spurs!