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Wembley special: Home from home

Posted on 7 October 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

The home of football was like a second home to Chris Hughton and his Tottenham team-mates in the early 1980s.

We visited the Twin Towers on no less than seven occasions including two FA Cup Finals and replays in 1981 and 1982, a League Cup Final and two Charity Shields.

Of that golden period one memory stands out a mile.

Recently voted the second best goal in Wembley’s history behind Paul Gascoigne’s effort for England against Scotland in Euro96, Ricky Villa’s solo effort in the FA Cup Final replay against Manchester City is arguably the most famous goal in Spurs’ history.

Hughton had the best view in the house of that goal — barring the City defenders who fell in Villa’s wake — and our current reserve team manager reckons the Argentinian’s goal tops the lot.

“Certainly being biased but I would put it down, certainly with the significance of the game, as the most important goal at Wembley,” said Hughton.

“I can remember the move I suppose as most supporters can and I think one thing I didn’t see at the time that was highlighted afterwards was Garth Crooks’ reaction to the goal where from as till positron he almost looked to do the same movement as Ricky Villa.

“Right the way throughout the run you kept saying ‘go on, go on’ and obviously when it went in it was a wonderful moment.”

Hughton knows how much playing at Wembley meant to Ossie Ardiles and Villa and insists players from abroad will miss the stadium as much as us.

He added: “We’re the ones who have been around it all our lives and all our careers but I think probably the biggest responses are from the players from abroad.

“You might have your Bernabes and Maracana in Brazil but if you spoke to international players worldwide, the first stadium that comes to mind is Wembley Stadium.

“It will be missed by us here and those from abroad who have played there and know how magnificent it has been over the years.”