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Mabs: I'm a legend in the Midlands!

Posted on 4 January 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Gary Mabbutt scored one of the most famous goals in what many believe to be the last 'romantic' FA Cup Final - unfortunately, as we all know, it was at the wrong end.

Coventry City won an epic encounter at Wembley in 1987 after our legendary former captain deflected Lloyd McGrath's cross beyond Ray Clemence and into his own net.

Gary had earlier scored at the right end as we led twice only for Keith Houchen's diving header to take the game into extra time.

Thankfully, the inspirational England international was back at the Twin Towers four years later and, in what he describes as the greatest moment of his career, receiving the FA Cup from Princess Diana after our 2-1 win against Forest.

Looking back at 1987, Gary says with a smile: "I'm an absolute legend in the Midlands - I can go there and get free drinks for the rest of my life!

"It was a great final, my first FA Cup Final and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

"Unfortunately we had a squad that year which was one of the best squads we've ever assembled during my time here yet we ended up winning nothing.

"We finished third in the league, reached the final of the FA Cup and semi-final of the League Cup.

"We were perhaps below par in that final and Coventry played to the best of their ability. Unfortunately we couldn't win it and the way the game was won I ended up scoring at both ends of the field.

"Obviously we went back in 1991 and that has to be the greatest moment.

"Going up those steps I thought about those moments when I used to watch the FA Cup Final as a kid.

"Actually being handed the cup from Prince Charles and Princess Diana, turning and showing it to the supporters, the noise then and the smile on my face was probably the biggest I've ever had."

'Mabbsy' is now hopeful the class of 2002 can do the same - he's delighted with what he's seen so far in the club's new era under his old team-mate Glenn Hoddle.

Gary added: "I'm delighted to see Glenn in charge and he's doing a wonderful job at the moment.

"We've already seen a huge turn around in the way we're playing - everyone is confident, everyone wants the ball, the team is passing the ball.

"The re-introduction of Teddy Sheringham into the club, the purchase of Ziege, Poyet has introduced experience and youngsters like Ledley King, Anthony Gardner, Simon Davies, it's a nice mix of youth and experience.

"We are maybe one or two players short of Champions League qualification but a UEFA Cup spot is definitely within our grasp and I'm sure we can get that."

By Paul Miles

You can watch this interview in full - coming soon to our Video Lounge