Spurs in Mauritius: Day 2
A MEET and greet kind of day today as the main party landed in Mauritius just before 12.30pm local time, 9.30am UK. It was garlands all round in arrivals before the lads were engulfed by fans and media alike on their way to the coach. It was the quiet before the storm as such with a busy day expected on Thursday including a visit to a local school, an open training session and an Under-17 tournament at the Anjalay Stadium for Frank Arnesen to run the rule over.
AS THE lads settled into the hotel, Frank, Martin Jol, Ledley King and Jermain Defoe were joined at a press conference by various officials including Dunathlalall Persunnoo, President of the Mauritius FA and tour promoter Suresh Taurah of Imbel Travel. Mr Persunnoo described it as ‘a pleasure’ to welcome the tour party while Mr Taurah added: “Football is in the heart of soul of many people in Mauritius and the interest in the visit here has been overwhelming.”
FRANK and Martin underlined how delighted the club is to be here. “It is something special, we know how important it is to everyone in Mauritius and we know we have a lot of fans here,” said Frank before Martin typically stole the show. “Yesterday we left London Heathrow and met Chelsea,” he said, smile beaming across his face. “Jose Mourinho asked me ‘where are you going?’ I said ‘where are you going?’ and he replied ‘Korea’. I told him we were going to Mauritius and he said ‘can we swap?’” The room fell about in collective laughter. “Then we knew coming to Mauritius was a big bonus for us.”
YOU MEET all kinds of people on these trips abroad and Mauritius is proving no different. I was introduced to Jacques Nauvel after the press conference and he was delighted to show me a copy of the 1921-22 official club handbook and a share certificate. “I lived in England for 18 years and when my son Christian was born the handbook was given to him as a present from a man we knew called Mr Wilson,” explained Jacques, flipping the handbook over to show me ‘Mr Wilson’ written on the back. “As far as the share certificate is concerned, I knew I would return to Mauritius one day, the people of Mauritius love football and I wanted to show them that I was part of Tottenham Hotspur. I had some wonderful times supporting Spurs, I particularly remember the 1984 UEFA Cup Final and I bought the shares because I wanted to be part of the club.” As I’ve said in previous tour diaries from the likes of South Africa, USA and Sweden, there are people who love Spurs in every corner of the world. It never ceases to amaze me.
OUR marketing manager Fran Jones has missed the boat. He could have been a film star. I think it was Robert Downey Jnr who took the role of Charlie Chaplin for the film depicting the actor’s life a few years ago. They got the wrong man. Darting around here, there and everywhere as he does on these tours, Fran grabbed an umbrella to keep off a heavy shower and, lo and behold, turned into the silent star before our eyes. If only he was silentÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦