Having been a proud shelfside season ticket holder from the tender age of six, dating back to the somewhat successful (for the Gerry Francis era) 1994-95 season, my first Spurs game must have been a 2-0 home win against Everton off the back of ‘that’ game away at Sheffield Wednesday.
‘That’ game saw the introduction of perhaps Spurs’ greatest ever player, and in turn the introduction of a goal celebration that had mum’s all over the country fuming and ‘Vanish’ and ‘Daz’ shareholders laughing all the way to the bank.
There was no better way to celebrate a goal in 1994 and you show me someone who says they’ve never done a Klinsmann dive and I’ll show you a liar. Being six years old I can’t remember a great deal about the day itself, which is a great shame because there are a number of things that probably happened that I would greatly appreciate now, almost 20 seasons on.
Having walked the phenomenally well trodden path between Seven Sisters and the ground potentially more times than numbers are able to calculate, I know I’m not alone in knowing that if Sol Campbell himself emerged from an alleyway and tried to sell me a diversion, I would take it, if it meant not having to walk the seemingly evergrowing distance down Tottenham High Road.
It must have flown by doing it for the first time. My only strong memory of that day is the sense of awe and feeling of euphoria that swept over me as I walked up the steps of gangway 29 for the first time, helped in part by some especially emotive music that seemed like it was being played specifically for that moment, like a perfectly composed score. In reality it was 1994, hardly a seminal year in music history, so whatever it was, was probably rubbish.
But the main reason I remember that moment, is because to differing extents, (depending on who we’re playing etc.) I get the same feeling every time I climb those stairs and the ground comes into view. To the untrained eye it’s a sea of concrete and plastic, but look closer and you’ll find a thing of unparalleled teleological beauty. There in that moment, 6 years old, almost like your future flashing before your eyes, you have the moment of realisation that you are entering into a lifelong relationship, a relationship that will be the main source and cause of all your emotions for the rest of your life.
More rewarding than a relationship with the woman of your dreams; an unbreakable bond that cannot be forced apart, not by the elation of ultimate highs and not by the depression of critical lows. It’s no wonder I can’t remember anything about the game itself, with this enormous tangle of emotions unravelling itself in my young naive mind.
In the end Klinsmann scored his 2nd and 3rd of the 30 he would score that season to give us a 2-0 win, but the day will always be in my memory, not for the game itself, but for it being a seminal point in my life, when I stepped onto the rollercoaster I’m still riding today 19 years on.