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Black Cat magic for Micky

Posted on 15 January 2015  - 15:15

Everyone has a special game - for most Spurs fans it's Arsenal, perhaps Chelsea, even West Ham. But for legendary midfielder Micky Hazard, it's Sunderland all the way.

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Born in Sunderland, Micky joined our youth ranks in the mid-1970s, graduated into our senior side in 1980 and went on to earn legendary status here at a time in which we won back-to-back FA Cups in 1981 and 1982 in addition to the 1984 UEFA Cup. Following his departure in 1985, he returned for a second spell between 1993 and 1995 and went on to make 170 appearances for us in all competitions.

"Whenever Spurs play Sunderland, the fact that it's my home town makes it a magical fixture for me," he said. "It's the one game where I'm often asked the question 'who will you be cheering on?' and I always answer 'Spurs will always take precedence, they are my football club and I want them to win the game'.

"In fact, the first time I played for Spurs against Sunderland at the old Roker Park, I scored one and made one so it was an absolutely fantastic day - although I was a bit of an enemy in Sunderland! I wasn’t very popular up there but their fans did appreciate good football and our team was brilliant that day."

Micky signed schoolboy forms at 14 and at 16, made the huge decision to leave home and join Spurs full-time.

"I joined as a 12-year-old and you weren’t allowed to sign until you were 14 because of the distance involved," he explained. "At 12, I was scouted by Spurs and told them that I would sign, at 14 I signed schoolboy forms.

"When I first came down as a schoolboy I’d never been away from my family, my dad would always come down with me on the train, the club looked after us, put us in a lovely hotel and it never felt any different. A week later I’d go back home after playing a few games.

"At 16, when I came down full-time, the realisation that suddenly this was a change in my life that I was unprepared for, you always think that your parents will always be there by your side but they are not.

"For the first year to 18 months I was with a fantastic Irish family in Edmonton, they were wonderful to me, but I’ve got to admit it was the toughest period of my life.

"I’d often be seen climbing down the drainpipes and making my way to Kings Cross to get back home, then get the phone call the next day ‘where’s Micky?’.

"Spurs showed so much patience, obviously valued me and helped that homesickness to go away. Thankfully they did that, because it’s turned out to be the greatest decision of my life."