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Legend Micky recalls debut vs Everton

Posted on 8 February 2014  - 09:09

Everton will always have a special place in Micky Hazard's heart.

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The Toffees provided the opposition when the gifted midfielder made his debut as a raw 20-year-old back in April, 1980.

And while fans’ favourite Micky remembers everything about the day – including running to the nearest phone to tell his parents that he was playing – he admits he can barely recall anything about the game itself, even though he was voted Man of the Match!

Micky even set-up one of the goals for Ossie Ardiles, who was joined on the scoresheet by Paul Miller and Tony Galvin in front of 25,245 at the Lane on April 19, 1980.

“I was told on the Friday and remember running down the High Road to phone my mum and dad to tell them,” reflected Micky.

“I remember all the build-up, the excitement. John Pratt, whose place I actually took, came up to me before the game and spoke to me, gave me words of advice, that was fantastic. He’s someone I hold in such high esteem, a great professional.

“I did manage to create a goal, I think it was for Ossie and I must have done okay. After the match, Johnny (Pratt) came back into the dressing room and praised me to the hilt, ‘different class, Micky’, he said. I can remember it now.

“It’s funny, all the things that you think you wouldn’t remember, I do, but the game itself, I can barely remember a thing!”

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It was pointed out that he lined-up with Tony Galvin, Glenn Hoddle and Ossie in midfield that day. “Wow, what a midfield!

“Glenn was my hero, Ossie became my hero. I remember aged 14 seeing Glenn in training, going back home to Sunderland and telling people ‘I’ve just seen the best player in the world’.

“Strangely enough, the week before we played United and I was supposed to be playing, but I burst a blister on my big toe and it turned poisonous. I couldn’t play and we lost 4-1. I was then selected again the next week, we won 3-0 and it’s a fantastic memory, but the game’s a bit of a blur.”

Micky, a regular at the Lane on matchdays, said you couldn’t underestimate the importance of a footballer’s debut – he went on to make 170 appearances for us in two spells, 1980-85 and 1993-95, as well as playing for Chelsea, Portsmouth and then under the management of Ossie and Glenn at Swindon.

“Your debut is the biggest moment of your football career,” he added. “For one, you’ve reached where you’ve been striving to reach for all those years as a younger player coming through the ranks.

“There is a pressure that goes with it, but you are so overwhelmed by the fact that you are playing that it goes out of the window. You don’t have time to think ‘I’m under pressure to perform here, I must do well’, you are so excited, you don’t think like that.

“I was putting my kit on and looking around the dressing room and there was Hoddle, Perryman, Ardiles, Galvin and there is excitement, but you are also re-assured, because you think ‘if I have a ‘mare, Glenn will cover for me, or Ossie will do that’, they would carry me through.

“Somehow I felt I was fated to be a Spurs player. That chemistry of what the club stands for and what I stand for, my beliefs, the club’s motto, it all went hand in hand and means so much to me every time I come back to White Hart Lane.”