Even though my first game is now a whopping 29 years ago, which doesn’t seem possible in itself, the memories are still very vivid.
I was approaching my twelfth birthday and being that age for my first Spurs game, it appears so clear and fresh in the memory. Your first Tottenham match is something I’m sure that nearly all will recall fondly, as nothing is more important to you back then.
Back in March 1982, we were pretty much in the middle of a golden era, which started back in the May of 1981 with the replay win over Man City and finished in May ’84, with the penalties win over Anderlecht. We had a great team and looking back, maybe we should have achieved even more.
Back in the pre-Sky days, the League Cup Final was played on the Saturday afternoon and was not televised, so I felt so privileged that I was going to attend – and we managed to get tickets!
I attended with my great Uncle, who was just a football fan in general and didn’t support a particular team, but his best mate at the time worked at White Hart Lane as a security guard – hence the tickets and a signed ball that I still possess in mint condition, signed by the 1st team squad of 82-83.
On the Friday evening before the game, I had Gazza-esque excitement flowing through me and I didn’t get a wink of sleep, but I really didn’t care as I was finally going to see my heroes play at Wembley of all places, against the team of the era, Liverpool.
The day started with the tube journey into London, and as soon as we reached London, the excitement just rose further and the butterflies flew harder in the stomach as soon as your saw anyone in a blue and white hat of scarf – the segmented football hat were pretty fashionable back then, and I donned my blue, white and yellow hat with pride.
Arriving at Wembley, as a twelve year old at your first game was just so overpowering. It was the dark days of football hooliganism, but as a twelve year old with a fifty year old uncle, you were hardly a target. I don’t remember seeing any trouble, just the anticipation in everyone’s eyes, the singing and the camaraderie amongst the fans, which made it feel so special.
Once inside the stadium, walking up a small flight of stairs to reach our seats, I will never forget looking up through to the open stadium, in hazy sunshine, the mass ranks of blue and white to my left, and the red and white to my right. It was just a sea of heads everywhere you looked, with all the bobbing and swaying you got with packed standing terraces back then. it’s an image I still have to this day. I just sat and watched the crowd sing; seeing the hordes of my fellow men, our ‘Spurs Army’, captivated this twelve year old all afternoon. I watched them as much as I did the game.
It seemed that when the game kicked off, my prayers of a Spurs win would be answered, Archibald scored early on, though I saw nothing of it, as everyone stood up around me when he went through and the next thing I know, we’re jumping around like lunatics!
Liverpool would go on to win the match in extra time, but I have nothing but fantastic memories of that game, my first Spurs game and the game that led me into the 30-year love affair with this great club we call Tottenham Hotspur.