Claim to Fame - Teddy on tour
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).
This experience was quite recent and it happened at the Lane, but it was an absolute life changer!
I'd just been away for a year travelling and as a parting gift a friend of mine called Andy bought me a miniature Teddy Sheringham figure to bring me luck and remind me that there really was no place like home!
As I travelled around I decided to take 'Teddy-On-Tour' pictures at various famous landmarks; 'Teddy at the Maracana Stadium, Rio'; 'Teddy At Ayr's Rock', etc. The best of the bunch was 'Teddy At Sydney Harbour Bridge' - Not being the most gifted photographer I managed to fluke it so that the figure and the bridge both came out perfectly in focus!
When I got back home I had one mission, to get that picture signed by the man himself. Andy had sorted out a pair of tickets to Spurs Vs. Birmingham, and this was to be my day of reckoning.
We normally take the train to the games, but on this occasion we had decided to drive in and get there a bit earlier. There was a certain magic about the day from the off, because we actually drove the final 3 miles just in front of Pat Jennings!
Buoyed by this we parked up at around midday and headed for the gates to the VIP section. Andy was a little hesitant, but I had Del Boy's "He who dares wins!" motto ringing in my ears and was not going to be deterred. We approached the security guard, the initial plan to leave my photograph with him and collect it after the game.
However, the security guard seemed to be in great spirits, and was certainly tickled with our story. He told us to come back at around 1, when the players would be arriving, and he would let us through into the VIP area for about 20 minutes.
Cometh the hour we approached the gate again, but our friendly guard wasn't anywhere around. As we turned on our heel to make the long, dejected walk to one of the charming establishments on Seven Sisters Road, he suddenly appeared from the crowd and beckoned us over and through into the promised land.
We were like kids on Christmas Eve. Teddy was one of the last players to arrive. By then we had shaken hands with Keano, wished Gus 'good luck' for the game (he went on to score the winner!) and got Simon to sign our programmes. Oh, we were on first name terms and loving every second of it!
Still, the promised signature eluded me and, when he turned up, Teddy was absolutely swamped by autograph hunters.
However, somehow, over the many arms and programmes, I managed to position my photo into just within his reach. It caught his eye, and he looked at it for a second and then up at me. There was no time to explain the little story, so I just said, "Teddy, can you sign my picture?!" He just chuckled, obliged and made my whole season with one squiggle of ink.
We won 2-1 that day and it was fantastic. The picture is now framed and on my wall - pride of place. Teddy may think I'm a bit weird, but one day my grandchildren will ask about it, and I will be able to say, "Kids, that was the day that I met Teddy Sheringham."
By James Weait