Chivers, Samways, Carr, Berbatov, Crouch, Keane and more discuss Lane Finale
17 May 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
A plethora of legends returned to White Hart Lane for our famous stadium’s official send-off after 118 years on Sunday.
Some of the greats from the 1960s, all the way through to the modern era, returned to N17 as we dispatched Manchester United 2-1 thanks to goals from Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane, before a poignant Farewell Ceremony on the pitch, with the former players introduced to the crowd to a fantastic reception.
In the video above, Spurs TV joined Ledley King, Teddy Sheringham, David Ginola and Edgar Davids – who had a special message for Christian Eriksen – as they took in the Lane's atmosphere one last time after the ceremony.
However, we also managed to get a few words with several other stars – former players and managers – at the game.
Here’s what they had to say about their final visit to White Hart Lane…
Phil Beal (defender, 1963-1975)
What are your feelings today?
“To tell you the truth, it’s not really sunk in at the moment because there’s so much going on. Obviously it will sink in because I came here when I was a 15-year-old, I remember going on that pitch for a trial at the end of April when the pitches weren’t like they are now, they were just completely dry with a bit of grass on the wings. That was my first trial for Tottenham in 1960. It’s a few years ago now. It’s a bit of a sad day today but it hasn’t really sunk in yet – it probably will do when I go home.”
On the stadium’s atmosphere
“It still feels the same. To tell you the truth, I’m hoping it doesn’t change when the new stadium gets here because we’re still going to be in the same place. It’s not as if it’s moving down the road, it’s going to be in the same place which is a good thing for us really. Obviously you’ve got to move on with the times, there’s so many people who want to come and watch Tottenham now and they’ve got to have a bigger stadium so you’ve got to move on. It’s going to be tremendous and I’m really looking forward to the new place because it’s going to be one of the best stadiums in the world.”
Terry Dyson (winger, 1955-1965)
On the Lane Finale
“Obviously I had some great moments in the 10 years I was here and it’s quite emotional really, to think that there will be no more games here. I’m sure I will remember the last day here, I’m bound to remember it. The memories of this stadium for us are immense. I remember the first time I played here, made my debut, I remember scoring a hat-trick against Arsenal which nobody has beaten and the first European Cup match, that was absolute magic, when we played Gornik – the atmosphere was absolutely electric, I can’t describe it. I think it was the expectations of the supporters, the anticipation and the hope I suppose. I remember we won by a lot, our supporters went home happy and that’s what Bill Nicholson used to say to us – that you are responsible for making those supporters, who’ve paid good money to come here, go home happy.”
Above: Terry Dyson with Joe Kinnear.
On catching up with some old faces
“It’s lovely to see them all again, hear their stories and what they’ve been doing. Some of them I keep in touch with anyway but others I haven’t seen for quite a long time. It’s lovely to see them and they don’t change, they’re good lads, funny as well, they come up with funny stories and what not. It’s magic to see them, absolutely superb.”
Martin Chivers (striker, 1968-1976)
How does it feel to be at the Lane for the last time?
“It’s not quite sunk in yet. We’ll think of the people who have gone before us. We’re missing a few of our players like Jimmy Neighbour, Cyril Knowles, Ralphy Coates – my old room-mate – and of course Martin Peters. It would have been lovely if he could have been here, but he’s not well enough. We’ll give them a thought as well. We were so successful and we’ll remember it always. We were a family, we had great times and there are so many great memories out there that I can’t pick one. I can, however, pick my proudest moment and that was walking Bill Nicholson out for his second testimonial (against Fiorentina in 2001). That was something else. He was such a great manager and a wonderful person.”
Mike England (defender, 1966-1975)
What are your memories of playing here at the Lane?
“What I remember most about White Hart Lane is the sheer joy of winning. We were very successful here and the main thing I think of is that the Club is going into another era. White Hart Lane has been a wonderful place to play but the future here looks so bright and that’s what we have to look forward to. I’m so excited about this squad. It’s a sad day in so many respects, we had so many great games here, so many great times here, wonderful players. I look back at the 10 years I was here and it was the supporters that we loved. Dave Mackay, our great captain, used to stand up before we went out to play and say ‘don’t forget who we’re doing this for, we’re doing it for these people’ and for me, that was great because the fans here are so fantastic. It’s exciting because the future is so bright.”
Above: Mike England.
Pat Jennings (goalkeeper, 1964-1977, 1985-1986)
On the Finale
“We can’t believe it’s the last day here. I’ve been here since 1964, so that’s 53 years. It was like home to us here. Myself and Cyril Knowles, our late, great left-back, we were in digs together just a few hundred yards from here for the first couple of years after we arrived at Tottenham so whatever time we passed the stadium, we always popped in to see the staff, Mrs Wallis in Bill Nick’s office, the physios, Cecil Poynton – we’d go in and have a craic with them in the afternoon. It was home for us, White Hart Lane, and still is.”
On the new stadium
“It’s progress. We always thought we had a fantastic training ground in Cheshunt, three little pitches and now we have an unbelievable training ground at Enfield which you need to see, you can’t believe how good it is. Now we’re moving from here to a fantastic new stadium. It’s progress and Mauricio has done a fantastic job with the team over the past three years and hopefully we’ll only get better. We’ve got a fantastic set-up now and all we need to do is start winning trophies – and we’re getting close to that now.”
Ray Clemence (goalkeeper, 1981-1988)
On the Finale
“It’s surreal really. I was driving up to the ground with Big Pat, Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa this morning and we were all talking to each other about it. It’s fantastic the new stadium is being built and it’s going to mean so much for this Club, but this stadium has so much history, so many great nights we’ve all been involved in and it’s going to be a good day because we know what’s coming in the future but also very emotional because when we’re coming to the game, sat watching the game or after the game – just like this lounge, we’re all here now – this is the last time we’ll be in here and it’s quite difficult to get your head around it all! It’s a mixture of elation and sadness, I suppose.”
Above: Tony Galvin and Ray Clemence.
Tony Galvin (winger, 1978-1987)
What’s your favourite memory of the Lane?
“It’s quite easy for me – the UEFA Cup Final (1984) and Tony Parks making that penalty save. What I remember most is walking around the pitch with the trophy and looking at the supporters – that was really special, looking at the joy in those people’s eyes. It meant so much to them to win a European trophy, but to win it at home… That was the biggest highlight of my career and I’ll never forget that night.”
Vinny Samways (midfielder, 1986-1994)
On White Hart Lane
“Obviously for me it’s the most special place because, being a Tottenham supporter and having grown up to come through, it was a dream come true to play here and seeing it today is very emotional and fantastic. The atmosphere when you play here is always red hot. It didn’t matter what game you played in, the supporters were fantastic and I’d imagine taking that across to the new stadium is going to be something special. I just think it’s an absolute privilege to be here on such a fantastic day.”
Above: Vinny Samways reunited with midfielder David Howells.
On what the stadium means
“It’s a special place, for sure. After 118 years, it’s something special and I’ve been hearing on television all week the memories people have got of the place because they’ve had some great players that have played in this stadium, for and against them, so it’s absolutely fantastic.”
Stephen Carr (full-back, 1993-2004)
On returning to the Lane
“It’s five years since I’ve been back – I got relegated here with Birmingham! I didn’t come back after that. It’s a bit strange. There have been some great games here, a great history. The club is moving forward and the new stadium looks amazing and that’s something needed to compete at the top.”
Above: Stephen Carr with Ledley King.
Simon Davies (midfielder, 2000-2005)
On being present for the Lane Finale
“It’s great to be back. The place has changed unbelievably and it’s a sad day but exciting times going forward. I left 12 years ago – I spent five years here in total, we were lucky that the Club came in and bought myself and Matthew (Etherington) from Peterborough in January, 2000, and I had a great couple of years here at the beginning, struggled later on with injuries but overall, it was a privilege to play for such a big club. It’s hard when you are actually playing but to be able to look back now and think ‘I played here for Tottenham Hotspur’, such a big club, that’s something I will always be proud of.”
Above: Simon Davies.
Allan Nielsen (midfielder, 1996-2000)
How does it feel to be back?
“It’s like being home again! You feel so welcome and of course you have great memories – the history that is made today at the last game against Manchester United and then White Hart Lane is being demolished… it’s a huge day and I’m pleased to be part of it.”
What’s been your favourite moment here?
“There’s been many of course – my debut game, the first goal you score but then again, every single time you go onto the pitch here at White Hart Lane is a special moment. You just enjoy every single minute when you go out there – the atmosphere, the crowd, the fans, the whole history because you’re part of that history. You look around and you see the amazing players that have been represented here and you just think back a little bit and see that you’re part of that, so it’s an amazing feeling.”
Ledley King (defender, 1999-2012)
What’s your favourite White Hart Lane memory?
“It’s difficult to pick one memory. There have been so many special days and special nights here. To beat Arsenal 5-1 in the League Cup semi-final here was special, to beat them in the league when I was finally able to do that was special as well, plus my testimonial. It’s difficult to pick one.”
Martin Jol (manager, 2004-2007)
On the Lane Finale
“It’s great to be back. I’ve been here a few times, watched a few games but to be here at the last game, such a historic day, it’s a real pleasure – more than that. Times have changed and things are going well. The only thing is that we have to pick up a few prizes now. We’re going in the right direction.”
Above: Martin Jol, flanked by fellow former Spurs bosses Harry Redknapp and David Pleat.
Memories of White Hart Lane career
“I’ve been at good clubs – Ajax, Hamburg – but Spurs… First of all, it was my favourite club when I came here. That helped. Of course, you know all the stories. I was here on my first day as manager, I went out on my own into the stadium and I had such a good feeling and in the end, everything was like a fairytale.”
Dimitar Berbatov (striker, 2006-2008)
How do you feel to be here today?
“I feel great – and sad as we say goodbye to the stadium that showcased my ability here in England. It’s a sad day but at the same time life is moving forward and something better is coming, a bigger stadium for more fans to come and watch. As well as a sad day, it’s a good day.”
Tell us about your Lane memories
“I played with great players and for me to share a pitch with them was a privilege. I will see some here today and we will share some memories and yes, it’s good that people still remember what I did and hopefully the current squad will continue to entertain the fans like we used to. I like this team and hopefully in the next couple of years we’ll see a medal, something that will crown all their hard work.”
Peter Crouch (striker, 1998-2000, 2009-2011)
On White Hart Lane
“I can’t believe it’s gone, the old Ball Court! Yes, myself and Ledley were there, Tuesday and Thursday nights, aged 14 or 15. It was a long time ago but it’s great to be back and I’m so pleased to be here for the last game.”
White Hart Lane memories
“The Champions League experience when we got in there for the first time was incredible. The hat-trick against Young Boys stands out to me and obviously the night against Inter Milan. I don’t think I’ve experienced an atmosphere at the Lane like that since I’ve been playing or even coming here. That was incredible, we deserved to win and to score just capped it all off.
Above: Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane.
Robbie Keane (striker, 2002-2008, 2009-2011) On the Finale
“It’s lovely to be back, great to see so many familiar faces, see lads I haven’t seen for a long time. One moment that stands out is the 5-1 win against Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final (2008) – a great game for obvious reasons. Even before I came to Spurs this was always a stadium I loved to play in. It’s so compact, the fans right on top of you. It’s a sad day to see it go.”