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Excl: Thorpedo wins his Spurs

Posted on 22 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

When Olympic man of the moment Ian Thorpe has finally done with gold mining at the Sydney Aquatic Centre, there is another sporting arena that he has a longing to visit.

Yes, the Australian superstar who made the biggest splash of all at the Games is a Spurs fan and is eager to visit White Hart Lane - a hankering he inherited from his father who is a dedicated follower of Spurs’ fortunes.

Thanks to reader Philip Barber, the official Spurs website discovered that Spurs hold a place in the ‘Thorpedo’s’ affections. We exclusively contacted the 17-year-old triple Olympic gold medallist in Sydney to find out the extent of his devotion.

"Yes, I follow the English League whenever I can and Tottenham are my team," confirmed the swimming sensation who struck gold in the 400 metres freestyle, 100m freestyle relay, 200m freestyle relay and silver in the 200m freestyle.

The Sydneysider with size 17 feet has been keeping track on events at the Lane from afar for some considerable time.

"They have been my team since I was about six because my Dad has followed them all his life. Even though he is Australian-born he never stops talking about them.

"I wouldn't say I'm a really dedicated fan because I am so busy with my swimming but I look out for their result every week.

"Whenever they are on the television here, which isn't very often, I try and catch the game. I don't know the individual players that well because it is the club itself that interests me.

"I find English football exciting to watch and Spurs are quite stylish. My ambition is to see them in a live match and I'd love to go to White Hart Lane when I am next in England."

Thorpe might soon realise that ambition, as he is set for a European tour in November.

Whoever sits behind the 6ft 5in golden boy might not see much of the game, but White Hart Lane is sure to reserve a big welcome for the latest Wizard of Oz.