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Celebrity Fan - Peter Forsberg

Posted on 19 August 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Such is his standing in NHL, Peter Forsberg could be described as the David Beckham of Ice Hockey. But, unlike the England captain, it is a London club that is closest to the Swedish superstar's heart - and that's Spurs.

The 29-year-old from Ornskoldsvik is about to begin his eighth season in NHL, in which he is a prolific goal-getter for Colorado Avalanche, after missing much of the last campaign through injury.

Peter was in attendance at White Hart Lane for our opening home encounter against Aston Villa and returned on Saturday for the visit of Southampton that saw us top the Premiership.

He now heads Stateside again to prepare for a new campaign with Colorado but, if it wasn't for seasons colliding, Peter would be a far more frequent visitor to the Lane.

"I've been here a few times and try to come as often as I can but, unfortunately, they have the season when we have the season and I can't see too many games," he explained. "I try and see as many as I can.

"We start in the middle of September in training camp and the season starts in the middle of October until June," he said before adding that it is a case of great expectations for both Spurs and Colorado in his opinion.

"I missed most of last season and we had a great team. I'm really looking forward to this year and I think we're going to do fine.

"We've been in the semi-finals for seven out of eight years and I think we're going to do well this year too.

"I was here last year when Spurs played Villa again in the opening home game, it was tied 0-0 unfortunately, but this is a great stadium and a great team."

So how does a Swedish ice hockey export come to be a devout supporter of Tottenham?

"I don't know really," he smiled. "I always liked Spurs since the Gary Lineker time and Gazza. I've followed them since and soccer is really huge in Sweden - they show a couple of English games every week. Nowadays they show them in the States too so I try to follow Spurs as much as I can from over there."

He admits that he is pretty much alone in his love of the game among his team mates.

"My team mates don't really know what soccer is, not following it as I do. I think it's getting bigger in the US, all the kids are playing it and we saw the team do well in the World Cup."

Being largely responsible for Colorado's goals output, it is understandable that Peter sways towards strikers when it comes to selecting his preferred players. His personal favourite has swapped the penalty area for the presenter's chair, but compensation comes in the way of a returning hero.

"Like I said, Lineker was my biggest hero as I was growing up. Nowadays Teddy is a great player and sees the game very, very well.

"England has a few great strikers like Owen, but I think Lineker was the best player ever."

Peter was pitchside before the Villa game and, within seconds, a Swedish gathering was in full swing as Olof Mellberg and Marcus Allback spotted their countryman.

"I met them a couple of times back in Sweden and they play for Villa nowadays. They are good players who played well for Sweden in the World Cup and hopefully they do well - after they start off with a loss!"