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White Hart World - Steve Millington

Posted on 1 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).

Our latest contributor to White Hart World is a dedicated follower of Spurs from far-flung New Zealand…

PERSONAL

Name: Steve Millington

Age: 52

Lives: Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand

ABOUT SPURS

I emigrated with my family to New Zealand in 1987, but before then was a regular home and away follower since 1958.

My earliest Tottenham recollections were as a very young boy. The White Hart was run by some relations of Mum and she worked behind the bar on match days while Dad went to the games. I wasn't allowed to join him until I was old enough so I had to stay with Mum at the pub.

Fortunately, I had just started going during those wonderful days of the "Double", European Cups and the like. In those days we used to be on "The Shelf", but in the late 60s and 70s we sat in the ‘unreserved’ sections of the Paxton Road and Park Lane Stands. Then in the 80's Dad and I had Season Tickets in the 'lower tier' of the West Stand until he died in 1985. We have a family grave in Tottenham Cemetery and, when it happens, I will be having my ashes scattered there.

MY FAVOURITE MEMORIES

So many of course, but one is very recent. For the first time since 1987 I was able to go to a Spurs match. It was the 3-0 win against Coventry City in March 2001. I was over in the UK on business and there was no way I would miss that opportunity. It wasn't so much the match that was memorable, but just watching the Spurs again, and being inside White Hart Lane after so many years.

During the period between 1958 and 1985 it is difficult to pick out my most favourite memories, but the "Glory Glory" European nights of the 60's certainly take some beating, followed by the later European finals and the win against RSC Anderlecht in 1984. That penalty shoot out was just amazing, and so tense.

On the domestic scene, apart from the obvious, I always remember the 1968 Third Round replay at home to Manchester United. We were the FA Cup holders, and two goals by Chivers had earned us a draw at Old Trafford.

57,000 were at White Hart Lane to see Jimmy Robertson score the only goal of the game in extra-time. Jennings, Kinnear, Knowles, Mullery, England, Mackay, Robertson, Gilzean, Chivers, Greaves and Beal. What a team! And United weren't a bad team either with the likes of Crerand, Best, Kidd and Charlton.

At that time too, you really felt that this was just about the best football being played in the world, with Spurs at the forefront. England were World Cup Holders, and British Clubs were all doing well in Europe.

KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH SPURS

Sky Television, BBC World Radio, International Newspapers and the Internet keep me in touch with what's going on now, but I never feel very far away from Spurs. I have a "football room" at home (that's where the photo is taken) absolutely full of memorabilia. My oldest programme featuring Spurs is away to Everton in an English (FA Cup) tie in 1908. It is actually a combined, but "official", Everton and Liverpool programme. Liverpool, incidentally, were playing Derby.

Spurs lost 1-0 that day, but there's another favourite memory I have of another FA Cup Tie away to Everton that we won 2-0. It was in the 5<sup>th</sup> round in 1972 with goals from Alan Gilzean and Martin Peters. Again though it wasn't just the match that was memorable. I was suffering from enteritis and shouldn't really have gone. But we drove up anyway, leaving sufficient time to stop off at every Motorway Service Station for you can imagine what.

I often read my old Spurs programmes, going back to 1946, and so many books which include one real treasure, "The History of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club 1882-1946"

FAVOURITE CURRENT PLAYER

Stephen Carr and Les Ferdinand, but as soon as any player puts on a Spurs shirt they're a favourite with me.

FORMER FAVOURITE

(Sorry its such a long list, I have been a supporter for a long time)

Glenn Hoddle, John White, Graham Roberts, Steve Perryman, Chris Hughton, Jimmy Greaves, Alan Gilzean, Pat Jennings, Ray Clemence, Gary Mabbutt, Ossie Ardiles, Martin Chivers, Martin Peters, Paul Gascoigne and Cliff Jones all rank high in my list, but "Of All Time", it has to be Dave Mackay: Three FA Cup wins, the "Double", European Cup Winners Cup etc etc, and with two broken legs in between!!

THE FUTURE

With Glenn back "home" it just has to be good, but it is going to take time and I hope everyone is patient.

White Hart Lane is a magnificent venue and I like the way the Club is operating. I was extremely impressed with everything on my recent visit, from being able to book a particular seat on the phone from New Zealand, the friendly but professional manner of stewards and all staff, to the way you look after the interests of children and families, and keep everybody up-to-date with the superb web-site.

By the way, in this century, it will be a "special year" for Spurs when the year ends in "2". Last century it was when it started and ended with "1". This century it will be when it starts and ends with "2".

I'm proud to be a long-term Spurs supporter, and albeit that I live on the other side of the world, I will always continue to be.

If anyone would like to contact me I would love to hear from them (stevem@infomace.co.nz)