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From koalas and planes to Kane at the Lane!

Posted on 20 September 2016  - 11:00

Jack Ashby’s fascinating job as manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology at University College London (UCL) has had somewhat of  a knock-on effect on his sporting passion - following his beloved Spurs!


His work takes him to Australia twice a year and this time around, a trip to Tasmania coincided with the start of the football season - and that meant he missed out on being part of our new record home attendance for our first Champions League fixture at Wembley last week.

To compound matters, Season Ticket holder Jack also missed the squad’s 2016 tour Down Under by just a fortnight, and with it any slim chance of watching us take on Juventus and Atletico Madrid at the MCG!

So it’s no surprise that with his work in Australia done, he wasn’t planning to miss any more of the action - and that meant a 26-hour trip from Melbourne to the Lane, taking in Brunei and Dubai, just in time for Sunday’s win against Sunderland!

“I go to Australia twice a year,” explained Jack, the fourth generation of his family to follow Spurs. “This time I had six weeks in Tasmania, where I joined teams from wildlife charities and universities to track small mammals plus snakes, lizards and frogs.

“Australia is my area of interest, they have a wonderful, bizarre collection of mammals, plus the biggest extinction rate in world.

“Anyway, the trip meant I missed the start of the season and missed Wembley, gutted! I bought tickets before knowing the dates or the opposition and it was fingers crossed we’d be away first, but of course it was home!

“My sister had my ticket, so it didn’t go to waste, but it would have been nice to have been part of that 85,000!

Below: Jack with a Tasmanian Devil


“I was determined to get to the Sunderland game. I started in Tasmania, so it was Tasmania to Melbourne and then Brunei, Dubai and back home. It was 26 hours from Melbourne. I managed to get home, drop my bags, have a shower and I got to White Hart Lane for 3.30pm.

“So on the Thursday I’d been on a fun day out in Adelaide looking for koala bears and on Sunday, I was back at White Hart Lane watching us beat Sunderland!”

Jack was back to work at UCL on Monday. “I’m the museum manager, so I do a bit of everything and my job is to get university research out into the public by using our amazing collection of skeletons of animals from across the world via exhibitions and events.”

You can learn more about the Grant Museum at the UCL here...