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Memories of '91

Posted on 17 February 2005  - 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).

Paul Allen vividly remembers how he felt trudging off at half-time against Forest at Wembley in May 1991.


We trailed 1-0 and having lost Paul Gascoigne through injury, had a mountain to climb lift the FA Cup.


Of course, we scaled that mountain with Paul Stewart's equaliser and Des Walker's own goal securing the trophy.


"That's the underlying memory for me," said the midfielder who famously won the FA Cup with West Ham as a 17-year-old with West Ham in 1980. "Walking in at half-time and trying to be positive and upbeat.


"But then I thought about that first 45 minutes and we'd had a goal disallowed, missed a penalty, lost out most influential player in Paul Gascoigne and conceded a goal.


"At the back of my mind I'm thinking 'things haven't exactly gone well for us' and thinking back to 1987 as well, it was funny some of the things that go through your head.


"Having said all that, we got back into the dressing room, re-grouped, Terry Venables was very positive and those negative thoughts soon turned into positive.


"The game wasn't out of our reach and in that cup run there was more than one occasion, perhaps apart from Blackpool in the third round, where we turned things around. I think we were only in front against Blackpool and the semi-final against Arsenal."


Paul joined us in 1985 and played over 300 games for us in all competitions.


Having tasted success at Wembley at such a young age, he says the disappointment of 1987 against Coventry City drove him on when 1991 came around.


He added: "You see everything happen so quickly at 17. I was playing in the youth side and then reserves and the culmination was playing in the FA Cup Final in front of 100,000 fans.


"Getting back in 1987 and losing, you realise how precious those moments are and that they don't come along that often. You have to savour it.


"I was desperate to get back and taste that success again and in 1991, right from the start when it was a year with a one at the end, you try to pick up all these vibes. It was a fantastic experience.




"That year was like having two FA Cup Finals in eight weeks with the semi-final against Arsenal and the euphoria that went with winning that and then we had to get the mindset that that was the semi-final and make sure it didn't overshadow the final.


"There is no substitute or replacement for those memories. They live with you for ever. You taste it and it's like anything that tastes good - you want more of it and that's what you get into football for, those special moments.


"I was fortunate to get into three finals and win two but they don't come around that often. As you get older you take things in more, realise the importance of it and you are desperate to win that trophy.


"Very few players find anything to replace football. It's a fantastic life and you enjoy it."