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The Perryman Years

Posted on 18 June 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).

First of a five-part video special where former skipper Steve Perryman reflects on his White Hart Lane service.<BR><BR>Steve Perryman answered the door dripping wet, wearing just a towel. &ldquo&#59;Just got out of the shower chaps,&rdquo&#59; he explained. &ldquo&#59;Fancy a cup of tea?&rdquo&#59; <P class=MsoNormal>It was just the sort of reception one expected from a man who is not just seen as one of the legends of the game but also one of the genuine nice guys. &ldquo&#59;Set up where you want,&rdquo&#59; he added as he brought out the tea. &ldquo&#59;I won&rsquo&#59;t be a minute.&rdquo&#59; <P class=MsoNormal>You certainly need more than a minute to talk through Steve&rsquo&#59;s career. Few could argue that he is the most loyal Spurs man ever with over 1,000 appearances spanning 19 years. Then there&rsquo&#59;s his spell as Ossie Ardiles&rsquo&#59; assistant manager and you haven&rsquo&#59;t even touched his successful time in Japan. <P class=MsoNormal>So where do you start? What about turning to the nature of this feature - Where Are They Now? What was he up to now? He had, after all, swapped Japan for Exeter City at the turn of the year. <P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;I came back to England after my club, Shimizu S-Pulse, played a Saudi team in the Asia Super Cup,&rdquo&#59; he explained. &ldquo&#59;When I came back I was contacted by a good friend of mine Joe Gadston, who is a director at Exeter City. <P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;He said &lsquo&#59;Steve, we&rsquo&#59;re bottom of the Football League, if you are not doing anything can you come and help us out?&rsquo&#59; My first game was against Torquay. I walked into that changing room and that told me I was back in England. I&rsquo&#59;d just played for the Asian Super Cup in front of 50,000 in Riyadh. The contrast was amazing.&rdquo&#59; <P class=MsoNormal>Steve hinted that he might be returning to Japan and, within days of us talking to him, news broke that he was on his way back to the J-League and Kashiwa Reysol. <P class=MsoNormal>Japan must seem a million miles away to the day in 1967 when he joined us as an apprentice. <P class=MsoNormal>What about those early days? He smiled when I used the term &lsquo&#59;Mr Spurs&rsquo&#59; early in the feature. &ldquo&#59;There are a lot of terms I don&rsquo&#59;t really like but that one I do,&rdquo&#59; he said. &ldquo&#59;I grew up watching Brentford and QPR and I wanted to play for QPR, it was closest to home. <P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;But when I came to Spurs I felt right. I won&rsquo&#59;t say I felt at home, I just felt at ease.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp&#59; </SPAN>I liked the feel of the club and Bill Nicholson&rsquo&#59;s attitude. <P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;I was invited to train at Arsenal as well but when I went to Highbury, with the marble halls, I didn&rsquo&#59;t feel right. I felt right at Spurs.&rdquo&#59;<BR><BR><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'&#59; FONT-SIZE: 12pt&#59; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'&#59; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB&#59; mso-fareast-language: EN-US&#59; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">Umpteen years later and it&rsquo&#59;s fair to say that early feeling was justified.</SPAN> <P><SPAN years later and it&rsquo&#59;s fair to say that early feeling was justified.< SPAN></SPAN>