WHEN I think about Gary Mabbutt, the first thing I think about is a very, very good friend.
As a player, he was a dedicated, whole-hearted footballer with a desire to play football, whatever the circumstances, all in the cause of pulling on that white shirt for Tottenham Hotspur. I saw Gary play, at times, when there would be numerous others who would not have turned out in the same situation.
I was at Spurs when Gary first arrived at the Club. He came here as a midfield player, a player who could get from box to box, and in his first season he scored a few goals. As his career progressed, he fell into that centre-half position as if he had always played there.
Almost the biggest compliment you could say about Gary is that he was Mr. Reliable. In the years that he played here, you could count the below-par performances on one hand and it was no surprise that during his peak he was able to perform and be part of the England squad.
Whether it was in midfield or at the back, if Gary was fit he played. Each manager that he played for recognised the quality and consistency that he brought to the team.
When Gary was subsequently appointed Club Captain, he had to follow somebody with immense respect - Steve Perryman who had captained the team for many years - and Gary was the natural player to take over that role.
Gary Mabbutt was inducted into our Hall of Fame last night - here is a tribute from one Lane legend to another, Gary's team-mate and current Spurs coach Chris Hughton.