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Marina Sirtis' Spurs v Sir Patrick Stewart's Huddersfield - 'the Star Trek derby!'

Fri 02 March 2018, 12:03|Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs and Huddersfield might have only just renewed rivalries in the top flight of English football this season following the Terriers’ promotion but, as we discover exclusively in Saturday’s official matchday programme, the two clubs have been doing battle on an intergalactic level over the last three decades thanks to two celebrity fans.

On the set of one of the world’s most popular sci-fi series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, passionate Spurs supporter Marina Sirtis and Huddersfield Town devotee Sir Patrick Stewart quickly discovered a mutual appreciation of the beautiful game.

Cast as Counselor Deanna Troi and Captain Jean-Luc Picard respectively in the hit television show and related big screen films, Marina and Sir Patrick have often championed their two teams’ causes to each other over the years – and to anyone else who’ll listen!

“As the only two Brits on the ‘Bridge’ of the Enterprise, football came up very early in our relationship,” explained north London-born Marina, who is based in the United States these days but has been a Spurs fan since her childhood. “I’d been to a Tottenham-Huddersfield game back in the early 1970s when they had a couple of seasons in the First Division. I remember it succinctly because it was a night-time game and when I mentioned to Sir Patrick that I was impressed with two of the Huddersfield players, Trevor Cherry and Frank Worthington, I think he fell out of the captain’s chair! From that moment on, he realised that I knew my stuff.

“Since Huddersfield got promoted last year we’ve been texting each other because unfortunately we’re not in the same city. I was very nice about Huddersfield at the beginning of the season because they were doing really well, however, as we all know, they lost a bit of momentum apart from a good run in the FA Cup, so my recent texts perhaps haven’t been as kind as they could be and Sir Patrick is ignoring them at the moment!

“I really am rooting for them to stay in the Premier League, though, purely because I love my friend Sir Patrick and I want him to be happy – it’s as simple as that!”

With the two clubs set for a Premier League showdown at Wembley this weekend in what, because of Marina and Sir Patrick, can be dubbed ‘the Star Trek derby’, we speak exclusively to the two stars in Saturday’s programme about the game, how they first came to support their respective clubs and how they’d combine football with Star Trek. Check out some of their answers below and be sure to pick up your copy of the programme on Saturday – on sale around Wembley for £3.50 or online here – to read more…


Counselor Deanna Troi
Spurs fan

How did you come to support Spurs?
“It was a confluence of two seemingly unrelated events. England won the World Cup in 1966 so football was on everybody’s minds and I went to Tottenham High School for Girls in September of the same year. We decided to find the nearest boys and they were at Tottenham Hotspur FC, so an interest in boys and football sort of went hand in hand! Jimmy Greaves’ testimonial was the first match I ever went to and I used to go every week to White Hart Lane. I’d go and watch the reserves when the first team were away and sometimes if we got up early enough on a Saturday morning we’d head off to Cheshunt where the training ground was to watch the youth team play. Football at that point, from probably the age of 13 or 14, was the main passion in my life. I did all the statistics and everything.”


How do you assess the match between Huddersfield and Spurs earlier this season, when Spurs won 4-0?
“I was a little upset that we beat Huddersfield 4-0… well actually that’s not true! I felt sorry for my friend Sir Patrick who had such high hopes that somehow his team would beat the mighty Tottenham Hotspur. It wasn’t to be.”

What are your predictions for Spurs v Huddersfield at Wembley this weekend?
“I hope for my dear friend Sir Patrick’s sake that we don’t get more than four goals. I think that’s about as charitable as I can get!”

Which Spurs players would you recruit for duty on the bridge of the USS Enterprise and why?
“This is a great question! I think the captain would have to be Hugo Lloris. Not only is he the captain of Spurs, but he’s also French and as we all know, Jean-Luc Picard was supposed to be French. I think our security chief should be Jan Vertonghen because he keeps us safe at the back, Number One would be Harry Kane because he is the number one – as simple as that – and then the driver of the ship, I think that would have to be Christian Eriksen because he’s like the beating heart of our team.”


Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Huddersfield Town fan

How did you come to support Huddersfield Town?
“I grew up in Mirfield, a few miles down the Calder Valley from Huddersfield. My Uncle Arnold took me to my first match one Saturday afternoon when I was seven. It was packed and he sat me on a crush barrier. I remember nothing of the game except the sea of flat caps topped by cigarette smoke... and the singing.”


How do you assess the match between Huddersfield and Spurs earlier this season, when Spurs won 4-0?
“Tottenham was our first serious defeat in the Premier League. Before that game, we’d won two, drawn three and lost only one. Tottenham outclassed us in every way and showed us how far we still had to go, but in a sense we did progress because two matches later we beat Manchester United 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium. I think, for many of us, that win was the highlight of many, many seasons of football.”

What are your predictions for Spurs v Huddersfield at Wembley this weekend?
“I predict it will be a very tough game but, to be positive about it, Spurs’ style will allow us plenty of opportunities for counter-attacking. I don't want to antagonise my much-loved friend and colleague, Marina, but I would like us to keep a clean sheet and maybe even find the back of the net a couple of times!”

Who from Huddersfield’s squad would you cast as a Star Trek villain and why?
“There are no villains on the Enterprise and none among The Terriers either. Up the Town!”

Read the full ‘Star Trek derby’ interview with Marina and Sir Patrick in Saturday’s official matchday programme!