The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation have launched a unique book, Tottenham 'Til I Die, written by and for the fans as part of an innovative national sports and literacy project
coordinated by the National Literacy Trust, in which football followers have the chance to write about their experiences of passionate support.
The Tottenham 'Til I Die launch event at White Hart Lane hosted over 100 people, including many fans who had contributed to the book, as ex-players from across four decades of the Club's history took part in an entertaining question and answer session for all in attendance.
Representing the 1960s, Cliff Jones, a star of the Club's famous league and cup Double winning side of 1960-61, was joined by legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings (1964-77), record-breaking striker Clive Allen (1984-88), and the ever-popular Les Ferdinand (1997-2002).
Many contributors also got the chance to read the stories they had written for the book aloud to the audience at the special event.
Proceeds from the sales of Tottenham ‘Til I Die will go to the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
Cliff Jones said:
"The great Bill Nicholson would always tell us players that the most important people at the club were the fans. They are the ones who work hard all week to be able to come through the turnstiles on a Saturday and pay our wages. It made us all aware of the importance of what we did not only for the fans but for the community as a whole, because the club is such a big part of that. No doubt Bill would be delighted to see that a book like Tottenham ‘Til I Die has been produced."
Clive Allen said:
"I'm fortunate enough to have many fond memories as a supporter from when my father, Les, used to bring me to games. One that sticks in my mind from the age of about five or six was when I had the opportunity to go down into the dressing rooms and walk down the tunnel. It was inspiring for me, and Tottenham ‘Til I Die represents memories from supporters of all different ages that are just as special to them. It's a fantastic insight into the love and passion that Spurs fans have for their Club."
Tottenham 'Til I Die spans eight decades of living memory and was compiled with the help of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, who hosted a series of writing workshops for contributors to perfect their stories.
One such story comes from Danny Jarvis, a disability football coach at the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation:
"One of the greatest pleasures for a football coach is to witness the progression over the weeks, sometimes, with players starting virtually from nothing and gradually picking up the different skills. Seeing youngsters playing and knowing that I am part of helping them to experience such feelings is the real reward for the work I and the other coaches do."
Six hundred copies of the book will be distributed free of charge to local schools, where they will be a valuable tool to engage pupils in reading and learning about their community.
Dave Lane of Legends Publishing, who put the book together said:
"I am delighted to have received contributions from Spurs fans of every age and from every era - this is probably the most diverse collection of Tottenham Hotspur stories ever put together. Some stories will make you laugh, others will make you cry, but all will leave the reader understanding what a special football club Spurs is."
The Tottenham ‘Til I Die project has been funded by the Department for Children Schools and Families, the Football Foundation, the Professional Footballers' Association, and Arts Council England.
Tottenham 'Til I Die is one of eight books being produced nationally by the National Literacy Trust, designed to encourage fans to tell and produce their own football stories.
Tottenham 'Til I Die is now on sale in Tottenham Hotspur merchandise stores, priced £10.00, or...
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