11 – Flair Football - The Magician – Glenn Hoddle
Arguably the most gifted player of his generation, Glenn Hoddle is special at White Hart Lane not just because of his mesmerising skills, but because he is Spurs to his roots.
How were you first linked with Spurs?
Glenn Hoddle: “When I was 11, and playing in the Harlow Recreational League, I got spotted by two referees in Harlow who used to do a bit of scouting for Tottenham. They put my name forward to the club. I remember being as excited as anything. As I supported Spurs, I couldn’t wait for them to phone up and contact me. About six months went by and I didn’t hear a thing and I was devastated – I thought my dream had gone. Then I played in a cup final for Spinney Dynamos and Martin Chivers and Ray Evans, who were playing at Spurs at the time, came to give out the trophies. We won 4-2 and I had a particularly good game. Martin and Ray went back and told Spurs about this skinny little kid called Hoddle; it’s not a usual name, so I think they thought, ‘Well, we’ve heard of him, let’s look him up’. And then the two referees came knocking on the door...”
How did it feel when they turned up at your home?
GH: “It was like a dream come true to get that second chance. For me it was extra special because I thought they had forgotten me. The two referees had said, ‘We’ll contact you’, and then nothing had happened. Perhaps if I’d had a bad day in that cup final and not played so well, who knows what would have happened? But that’s life. I just wanted to do one thing from a very early age – for as long as I can remember – and that was to play football. When a club comes along, and they are the one that you have supported as well, it’s an opportunity you have to take and grasp, and that’s what I did.”
Glenn Hoddle is featured over four pages in the ‘Flair Football’ section of the Opus.
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Continuing our series featuring some of the many highlights of the epic Tottenham Hotspur Opus - the biggest and best book ever written and produced about the Club.