On Monday 12th September 1994, my brother Kyle took me to my first game at White Hart Lane. Sadly, we lost 1-2 but I got to see Teddy Sheringham, Jürgen Klinsmann and others. Also, I saw the stadium to which most of my footballing hopes and dreams would normally be trampled on and laughed at by neighbours from across north London.
And for that reason, among many others, I love that place. It’s not the biggest nor the most modern, the toilets we’re never great, but it felt like a proper stadium. I remember during my first few visits to the lane I was hypnotised by the pitch. It looked perfect, the different shades of green, the pattern of criss-cross squares was something I’d only seen on TV.
Chanting was also something I loved. Laughing at the funny ones, and learning words (some very rude) that my ears had never heard before. To me White Hart Lane was perfect. Fast forward 5 years and I went to my first and sadly only north London derby. We won 2-1 and for the next 48 hours I could barely speak as my throat was to sore from shouting and saying those rude words at arsenal fans.
Below is a pic of how I dressed that day. Sadly the jester hat is lost.
That evening will stay with me forever.
I don’t get to really these days, a young family is my excuse, though my wife says I’m free to go. So, to get a more updated version of memories I asked friends and family to give me their memories of visits to the lane.
Kyle (my brother): ‘My first game was home to Man Utd in 89. I was 15 and couldn’t wait to Gazza. Typically, he got sent off and we lost. The ref that day was Vic Callow, and I’ll never forgive him. I sat in the east stand upper and sang my heart out. Years later mum said I had to take you and that took the fun out it, ha-ha’.
Nick: ‘My first game,23rd October 1982. A rite of passage, a birthday treat. A day out before my dad started chemotherapy for his first battle with the C. East Upper with the wooden seats & surrounded by skinheads who kindly sang 'happy birthday' to me when my visit was announced on the tannoy. The train journey, the small club shop, chips & the shivers. The awe. The walk to the ground, the climb up the steps, the first sighting of the pitch. Celebrating goals from Crooks, Mabbutt & Brookes. My dads on his 3rd battle with cancer, little chance he'll go again. Will be weird without him. Through the years we've had many battles & ills but we've always had one conversation breaker, one mutual love, Tottenham Hotspur, White Hart Lane’.
Shelley: ‘Remember being sat in the shelf upper when Teddy got sent off against Ipswich is my earliest memory. Favourite memories are: The 5-1 against arsenal, 2-1 win against
Chelsea in 2006, 4-4 vs Chelsea, 9-1 vs Wigan, the first Champions League game against FC Twente, the 3-1 over Inter in the same competition and of course Ledley’s testimonial. Also, Chris Gunter waved at me. An odd game I always remember, a league cup game against Arsenal in 2010, it was 1-1 at the end of normal time and by the end of it we had lost 1-4. About 90% of the fans had gone, but some of us stayed till the end, rolling out chant after chant after chant. Crap result, but a nice moment’.
Amanda: ‘All I can say about that place is ... it still gives me Goosebumps when I see the pitch plus I've made some of the best friends there! I'm so proud to call myself a Tottenham Hotspur supporter’.
Steve: ‘My mum worked there from the 80's. Family club. Gazza used to superglue her phone to the cradle then ring it she worked there 33 years. I got to meet many players. Gazza stabbed a biro in my back when he signed my shirt when I was 11 at a spurs party for winning the FA Cup in 1991.
My first game was when I was 6 months old, apparently, we drew 1-1 with City.’
Lee (Arsenal fan): ‘Memories as an Arsenal fan obviously when we won the league was one that sticks in the memory. From a football point of view some amazing players have graced the pitch, Hoddle was a great player but always liked Gascoigne wow he was class and even from an Arsenal fan watching him perform at white hart lane was something else’.
After the final whistle against Manchester United the bulldozers come in and knock the old stadium down. But ask any of these fans, probably not the Arsenal fan ha, and the memories of watching their heroes in the flesh. The cheesy thing now would to do some
‘Greatest ever 11’ but I’d need another 3-4 months to come up with a team built around Gazza.
I want to thank the people above who gave me their stories and shared pictures. And leave the last bit to Steve, who sent me this:
About the stadium. It doesn't matter who you’re sitting next to during a game. Race religion country, if you're spurs you're Spurs. When you score: miss. Whatever. He's feeling the same as you. And you end up hugging and celebrating together. We are more than just a club