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Once Upon - Joseph Azzopardi

Posted on 20 May 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).

Here in Malta football is a national sport and a famous British football writer Scott Hall once dubbed Malta " a football mad island". Besides supporting our local team most of us follow either an English or an Italian team. I was about five when I started supporting Spurs - late in 1960 when I used to have a look at my late father (an Arsenal supporter!)'s paper and seeing Spurs always on top of the table. I distincly remember him telling me that Spurs clinched the title in April or May 1961 and seeing the 1961 FA Cup Final on television.

Since then I have remained loyal and was one of the founder members of the Spurs Supporters Club in Malta and since I became a lawyer in 1979 have always been the club's legal adviser. My best memory is winning the UEFA Cup in 1984 and beating AC Milan in the 1972 UEFA Cup Semi final (probably because of the local rivalry with Maltese supporters of Italian teams).

I have been to White Hart Lane many times and the best team I saw was the 1981 one. I am happy to say that I have always seen Spurs win on the occasions when I have been to see them. My favourite players were Jimmy Greaves (my first footballing hero), Pat Jennings (my nickname at school because I played in goal), Glenn Hoddle, Osvaldo Ardiles and Paul Gascoigne. Of the present time I rate Ledley King and Simon Davies very highly and although the veterans in the side are still good players I feel their best years have passed and in some matches we have needed fresher legs.

We see plenty of English football on Satellite now and despite what I said above, I am pleased with the vast improvement by our team this season and how enjoyed that thrashing of Chelsea!

I am now almost 47 years old and my only wish is to see Spurs win the Championship before I am too old (and still alive!) to enjoy it. And since I have always believed we should have been the first English team to win the European Cup to put that right as well!

Joseph Azzopardi