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Guy goes full circle

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).

Guy Butters will go full circle when he returns to the Lane with Brighton in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The former Spurs trainee made 39 appearances for us between 1988-1990 before leaving for Portsmouth.

He spent six years at Pompey, another six years at Gillingham and has been at Brighton since August 2002.

So having kicked-off his career at Spurs he returns, age 35, for the first time for the third round clash.

"It will be a special day for me," said the Hillingdon-born defender. "A couple of years ago I wouldn't have thought that I would play at the Millennium Stadium or still be playing when I was 35 and now I'm going back to the place where I started my career.

"I'm looking forward to it. The last time I went to White Hart Lane was to watch about 11 years ago and Ronnie Rosenthal was playing up front, so that's how long ago it was!"

Guy came through the ranks in the Waddle, Gascoigne, Lineker, Venables era at the Lane but departed before the FA Cup win of 1991.

"It was a brilliant time to be at Spurs," he recalled. "I remember Gazza coming back from the World Cup and he had all the press following him around, just being involved at that time with all those great players was a real honour.

"Not only that but with Terry Venables as manager, I was learning my trade under one of the best coaches in the country.

"Gazza was unbelievable with the things he used to get up to.

"If anyone dropped off, they'd get a bucket of cold water over them. I remember him getting one of the lads to keep the cook occupied at the training ground while he poured a whole vat of salt into one of the saucepans full of spaghetti bolognese. Everyone came in and you can imagine their faces when they tried this food! He played football with a smile on his face. He's been ill recently so here's wishing him a quick recovery."

There came a time when Guy knew he had to move on. "No-one wants to leave a club like Tottenham," he reflected. "I had three yeats left on my contract but was in the reserves and it didn't look like I was going to work my way back into the first team. It was a wrench to leave but sometimes you have to move on."

He went on to enjoy six years at Portsmouth before another six-year stint at Gillingham before moving to Brighton in August 2002.

He enjoyed that Millennium Stadium success in May, when Brighton beat Bristol City 1-0 in front of 65,000 fans at Cardiff to clinch promotion to the Coca-Cola Championship.

Now 35, he returns to the Lane to play first the first time since departing almost 15 years ago. "I've not even played there for a reserve team since, nothing at all," he revealed.

Guy has played 23 of Brighton's 28 games in the Championship this season and the Seagulls arrive at the Lane in form with two wins and two draws over the festive period.

He added: "We've had some decent results over Christmas so we're confident, although Tottenham have been on a great run, scoring five goals at home twice and everyone has written us off. No-one gives us a chance.

"We're hoping Spurs might under-estimate us a bit, rest a few of the big guns, put in a few youngsters and if we get any sort of result, it will be a real bonus.

"We've got a good mix at the moment, a lot of youngsters who have come through the ranks and the future looks bright here. Obviously this draw and any success we might have at Spurs will only help."