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Posted on 9 July 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).

To describe a player by the name of Ronnie Henry as an 'up & comer' could spark a degree of confusion in Spurs fans of many years standing. But our latest subject is not the legendary double-winning Spur of the same name, but his 18-year-old grandson.

Ronnie Mark 1 was an uncompromising left-back who made 287 appearances for the club over a period of 12 years and was ever-present in the double side. He added another FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup medal to his collection in 1963 and was capped by England in the same year. He now helps out at our Academy.

Young Ronnie is a similarly uncompromising central defender of great promise and has just completed his second year at senior Academy level. Such is his progress, and that of 11 of his team-mates, he is now taking the step up to Colin Calderwood's reserve squad next season.

You will not be surprised to learn that Ronnie is Spurs through and through or that it was his grandfather who brought him up to the club for a trial when he was old enough.

"I've been at the club since I was about ten," explained Ronnie. "I was at at a coaching school in Redwall with my Grandad and when I was old enough he brought me up here for a trial.

"So I started from there and I've been in all the different age groups."

Ronnie was actually into his teens before discovering the full extent of his grandfather's achievements and status at the club. He says it only serves to further fuel his own determination to succeed in the same profession.

"I was about 14 when I really started to realise," he pondered. "He started to show me his medals and all that - a couple of videos.

"Basically I just wanted to follow him then.

"I didn't really read much about it, it was just when I went round there he used to show me things and say 'if you want it enough it could be you one day."

Ronnie, who hails from Hemel Hempstead and whose father Steve was on Watford's books, says there is no doubt where the loyalties of his family lies.

"My Dad used to play for Watford, but it didn't really kick off for him, he used to play for the reserves and moved on.

"My family are all Spurs. Everyone is Tottenham, there's not one person who supports anyone else," he states proudly before reflecting that his shared name with a famous grandparent did not attract much comment at school, but has sparked some interest since.

"They realised at school but never used to say too much about it. I used to get people come up to me and ask sometimes.

"A lot of people that meet me now and find out my name then ask if I have a Grandfather who used to play.

"It's quite good that I've got the same name really.

"He's proud of me but he doesn't show it too much because he knows I've got a long way to go. He is quite tough on me sometimes.

"He tries to help me out and tells me things to do when I'm playing against forwards who've got pace. He points a lot of things out when we watch games on TV, but the game has changed a lot since he used to play."

Ronnie was recently awarded his first professional contract and is was a proud moment for the Henry family.

"They were really pleased - especially my Grandad.

"I signed it the other week, it was a big relief. I was pretty confident, but you never know what is going to happen."

Ronnie has certainly enjoyed the season he has just completed, one which he ended captaining the under-19 side.

"It couldn't have gone much better for me really. I got called up for England under-18s, signed my contract - I couldn't really I ask for much more.

"There are about ten of us going up to the reserves who have been playing together for a few years now. We're all used to each other and should do quite well.

"We are quite close. I think it's better that we're all going up because it will make us feel more comfortable than if there was just a couple of us going."

He has already featured at reserve team level and is fully prepared for the challenge that awaits. He is also looking forward to trying out whatever new systems Colin implements, in Ronnie's case most likely playing in a central defensive three.

"I noticed quite a big difference when I came up to the reserves, the standard of football is a lot higher and I'm starting to get used to it a bit more now and enjoy it.

"I'm pleased. It will be quite a big step moving up and training alongside the first team every day. I think I'm going to enjoy it a bit more up there as well.

"I actually like it a lot more playing in a three. I prefer playing in the centre, where two two players mark and I sweep and pass the ball out or drop off.

So what are his hopes and dreams for the new season?

"I hope to play for the reserves as much as I can, hopefully nearly every week. If it goes okay I'll maybe be thinking of getting a chance of impressing the manager."

By Richard Hubbard