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Michael Dawson: "This is a club I will love for as long as I live..."

Posted on 9 May 2017  - 17:45

The days, hours and minutes are ticking away to 'The Lane, The Finale' and the final match at our famous old stadium against Manchester United on Sunday. To mark the occasion, we've spoken to a number of legends for their memories of White Hart Lane. Next up, Michael Dawson...

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MICHAEL DAWSON

- 324 appearances in all competitions, 2005-2014
- 236 appearances in Premier League is in our top 10
- Led team out v AC Milan in San Siro, Champions League, 2010
- Also played for Forest and now captain of Hull, over 500 career appearances
- Capped four times by England, member of 2010 World Cup squad

Emotions caught up with Michael Dawson when he returned to the Lane as a Hull player in 2015.

It's a day he'll never forget, a day where he'd done exactly the opposite of what he'd done hundreds of times previously for almost 10 years - this time he walked down the left side of the tunnel into the away dressing room, walked out of the tunnel and turned right and, you'd normally say applaud the fans in the right corner of Park Lane, but this was our 'Daws' back at the Lane, and all four sides of the stadium let him know it.

Below: Daws celebrates a goal against Stoke with Roman Pavlyuchenko, Vedran Corluka, Jonathan Woodgate, Luka Modric and Didier Zokora - January, 2009

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It was a difficult day for Michael. He gave his all for the cause as always but goals from Danny Rose and Nacer Chadli saw us home 2-0 and his Hull side were relegated, and as he trudged off to more applause, it finally got to him.

"White Hart Lane means so much to me, I've so many special memories and it was an emotional time when I left," he said. "I remember when I came back to play (for Hull, May 2015) and I got a bit of stick for having a few tears on the pitch.

"I’d gone through tough times under AVB where I didn’t play for months and then got back into the team and had another two and a half amazing years.

"I then went to Hull and relegation was hanging over us, it was our last away game and basically, that defeat sent us down. At that moment, it all came back to me, my family were there as well...it was a tough afternoon, that one.

"I have so many friends at Spurs, I love the place and it was an emotional time, probably because I got such a great reception from the fans. That meant a lot. I've got to say, coming back the second time (this season) was much easier than coming back the first time! I’m settled now and proud to be captain at Hull.

"White Hart Lane is a special place and Spurs is a club I will love for as long as I live."

Below: With old partner Ledley King after a crucial win against Arsenal at the Lane - April, 2010

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Nine-and-a-half years, 324 games, so many memories. What are Michael's favourites?

"The first one was the first time I visited White Hart Lane and a game against Portsmouth just after I signed (3-1 win, February 5, 2005) and watching Ledley King play, wow," he recalled.

"Then my debut (Liverpool away, then West Brom home, April, 2005) and of course, when we beat Arsenal 5-1 in the semi-final of the League Cup (January, 2008) and went on to win the final, and the Champions League nights.

"As I said, the Lane is a special place for so many people and we’ll all be sad to let it go, but I was down for the FA Cup tie against Millwall (in March) and to see what the new facilities will be like, wow, amazing, especially with all those Spurs fans in the new stadium!"

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