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Steve Sedgley

Posted on 4 May 2001  - 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).

At a time when the mercurial talents of Paul Gascoigne were set to bloom at The Lane, Terry Venables felt he required the assistance of a midfield anchorman to counterbalance the forward forays of our maverick Geordie. Steve Sedgley returned to his boyhood roots to fulfil the role in 1989, but explained to Neale Harvey how things worked out differently.

When Steve Sedgley joined Spurs from Coventry City for £750,000 in 1989 it capped a remarkable turnaround for a man who, having been rejected by the club as a 16-year-old four years earlier, feared the chance of playing for the team he supported as a boy had passed him by.
"I used to stand in The Shelf with all my friends when John Pratt was still playing," said Enfield-born Steve, as we chatted in Brookmans Park, where he now lives after being forced to give up playing for Wolves last December through injury.
"Although I missed the Manchester City final in 1981 my best memory was the replay with QPR when we won the Cup in '82. It seems so long ago it's scary.
"It was my dream to play for Spurs and I'd signed schoolboy forms at 13. I was doing the Tuesday and Thursday training, like they do now, but when it came to decision time Spurs couldn't make their mind up and Coventry offered me an apprenticeship.
"My dad, Gordon, was clever. He'd been in a lot of non-league football and played for Wealdstone and Enfield in the 1966 and 1967 Amateur Cup finals at Wembley. He said going to Coventry was a blessing in disguise because of their emphasis on youth at the time. The rest is history."

Despite playing 40 matches during 1986-87, his first full season as a professional, Steve had to be content with a place as a non-playing substitute for the Sky Blues when they beat us in one of the most dramatic FA Cup finals in history in 1987.
Little did he realise that two years later he would achieve his dream of playing for Spurs, but he admits the pull of The Lane and the chance of working under Terry Venables was too good an opportunity to miss.
"I never dreamed I'd be going back to Tottenham and I had another year on my contract at Coventry when I got wind Arsenal or Spurs wanted me. To be honest, I got itchy feet straight away at the thought of Tottenham and I was a bit of a pest to the manager John Sillett.
forced issue so much that wanted here and thankfully it came off during the summer just after Gary Lineker joined. When signed Terry said I?d come to replace Chris Waddle. I thought: ?cheers, put pressure on me straight away!?
"It was more than I imagined it would be. I knew a lot of players, like Vinny Samways, who was here with me as a kid, but to actually go back and prove myself was great because all my friends were Tottenham supporters.
"Terry was a major lure for me and it was fantastic. People ask me what was so good about him? I don't think his training was much different from anybody else's but he had the utmost respect for all his players and when he said something, you listened.
"There are lots of managers and players whoÕve had something to say and they talk for ages, but you don't listen. But there was something about Terry and he had your attention.
"He'd say simple little things, which you'd try, and they worked. He was a nice bloke as well and it was a good time in my career."
Initially, Steve struggled as he tried to fill the role of midfield anchorman to the maverick skills of Paul Gascoigne. But following an injury to Guy Butters at Charlton in October, Steve dropped back and suddenly became a better prospect as a centre-half.

After starring in a 2-1 win over Arsenal at The Lane, his first match against the Gooners that saw Perry Groves inflict the scar below his right eye that he carries to this day. Steve went on to establish an effective centre-half pairing with Gary Mabbutt as we finished third in 1989-90.
In 1990-91 Steve again starred as we embarked on an FA Cup-winning run that will forever be remembered for Paul Gascoigne's heroics in taking us to the final as well as his ultimate recklessness during the game that almost finished his career.
Steve paid tribute to Gazza and Venables, who he credits for his handling of the team ahead of our Final victory over Nottingham Forest.
"It was just Gazza who got us there, really, and I remember him playing with this double-hernia. But he seemed to score in every game, didn't he?
"I roomed with him before the fifth round game at Portsmouth and he was hyperactive. It was mad that night and he got on my nerves because he couldn't sleep. I was starting to panic as we had a big game. But he got up, not a worry in the world, and scored two great goals in a tough game.
"There were some characters around the squad, like Paul Stewart, Paul Walsh and Mitchell Thomas and there were a lot of funny moments, probably all related to Gazza. He's an infectious character and, even though I hadn't seen him for four years, when I met him last year it was as if I'd only seen him the day before.

"Everyone says he was hyperactive before the final but I didn't notice anything different that day to what he'd done before. But his first two tackles were bad and did him a lot of damage, which is a shame because he was crying his eyes out.
"When you're playing, though, you have to get on with things and we didn't know the extent of his injury. At first you think 'how are we going to do without him? 'But then another side comes in and you say "no, we've got to try harder".
"I had thought you couldn't emulate the Arsenal game because beating them in the semi-final was the best ever. But to go back to Wembley and have a trophy to show at the end was something special.


"Terry Venables was shrewd and in the two weeks before the final he kept chopping and changing the side to keep everyone on their toes. Up to two days before he kept switching me and Terry Fenwick in training but fortunately I played and had a good game that day."
In truth, that was as good as it got for Steve. With Alan Sugar arriving as chairman and Venables moving upstairs, Peter Shreeve took over as league form slumped and we finished 15th in the old First Division in 1991-92.
Steve claims the players were unaffected by the boardroom machinations, but wonders what might have happened had Venables simply stuck to coaching.

"It wasn't a good idea Terry moving upstairs and didn't really work. There were a lot of problems and that season was a weird one. Players only read about things in papers and don't really hear about things going on internally so it doesn't really affect them.
"We still got to the Littlewoods Cup semi-final and only got beaten 1-0 by Feyenoord in the quarter-final of the Cup Winners' Cup. It wasn't a bad season in that respect, but it wasn't like the year before.
"You never know, if Terry had stayed as manager, whether we'd have got what we wanted but that year we won the Cup we had a good squad, with a good spirit and it was starting to come together."

"At Christmas, after Gary Mabbutt got elbowed (by Wimbledon's John Fashanu), I was captain and we were going quite well.
"I'd been offered a contract which wasn't far off what I wanted. But then in the summer, Alan Sugar only offered half what they'd offered before and I couldn't sign.
"They took the mickey out of me really and abused the situation before John Lyall came in and took me to Ipswich.
Ossie Ardiles had taken over as manager when, following two more steady seasons, Steve left the club amidst some acrimony in a £1m move to Ipswich Town in 1994.

Ossie Ardiles had taken over as manager when, following two more steady seasons, Steve left the club amidst some acrimony in a £1m move to Ipswich Town in 1994.
" wanted and to I don?t think Ossie thought was his kind of player, but ended up playing 56 games in 1993-94 stay.

After suffering relegation from the Premiership with the Tractor Boys in 1995, Steve spent another two seasons at Portman Road before joining the 'nearly men' of Wolves in 1997. Unfortunately, a persistent knee injury worsened and he was forced to call a halt to his professional career in December and has not kicked a ball since.
After completing his UEFA A coaching licence, Steve now has his eyes firmly set on a career in management and recently took a role as a coach with non-league Cup giant-killers, Kingstonian.
"I wanted to get back in the game as quick as possible and I've always wanted to get into management. My dad was a manager at Walthamstow and I'd go in the dressing room with him as a seven year-old so I'm used to the environment.
"You start at the bottom and learn your trade and with Kingstonian I've got a chance out of the blue to help them out.
"I hope to play again and I'm rehabilitating, but it's scary really because I was always a fit lad. Some days I'm in unbelievable pain, though.
"Looking back at Spurs, I had a great time there and I think the fans appreciated I always gave 110%. On the whole I had a good relationship with them and got a good reception when I went back with Ipswich after I left.
"I'm lucky to have played at Wembley in a Cup Final for Spurs, I've got loads of friends there and I will always support the club."