Meet the family of fans that links 1961 glory to current Champions League adventure…
02 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Everyone remembers their first trip to a Spurs game, but imagine what it’d be like to attend your first ever match as part of a Club record-breaking crowd at Wembley Stadium to see the players in Champions League action!
That’s what happened to Spurs-mad six-year-old Joshan Kumar and his big sister Ishika when mum Reena took them to the national stadium for our clash with Monaco back in September.
The result might not have gone in our favour – to the extent that Joshan welled up at the sight of Monaco’s second goal going in – but nevertheless the youngsters had a great time and are eagerly anticipating our return to Champions League action under the arch against Bayer Leverkusen tonight (Tuesday, November 2).
But this story doesn’t begin on September 14, 2016. In fact, you have to go back some 55 years to the achievements of Bill Nicholson’s all-conquering charges of 1960-61, who swept all before them on the way to winning the league and cup Double, to discover how Joshan and Ishika ended up making their Spurs ‘debuts’ in such overawing circumstances.
“My dad emigrated from India to England, he was living in the Wood Green area and he saw the parade when we won the Double in 1961 so he became a Spurs fan because of that. Then myself and my brother became Spurs fans because it was in the family and now my children have both fallen into the family way of life too!” explained Reena, who lives with her husband Manoj and their two children in St Albans.
“My son only saw his first Spurs match on television last season. It was the Manchester United game and that was it – he was completely hooked! He would always say that he supports Spurs but after that game he was living and breathing Tottenham.
“He’d been bugging me to take him to a game and after we got into the Champions League, I got the kids’ Spurs memberships sorted out and got our tickets for the Monaco game. My daughter was keen to come and we all had the most fantastic day! The kids were just so excited – they bought programmes, they got one of those massive flags and they watched it all intently. Everyone was just so friendly – the other fans on the train who gave up their seats for the kids, even the police on their horses. Obviously the kids were quite fascinated by that as it’s not something they’d see every day.
“It was very sweet because when the second goal for Monaco went in and we were losing, my little boy started crying. It was just the shock and the disappointment of it all but his sister, who is 10, was so good at consoling him. She hugged him and said ‘come on, there’s still lots of time left’ which was really nice. She was just being the big sister, although she made a funny comment herself when she said ‘it’s strange there’s no commentary!’
“Joshan is six but he knew every single player – he was pointing them all out during the game. It was a shame that we lost 2-1 but the kids came away saying they’d had the best day ever. That will be something for them to tell their own kids, that their first football match was at Wembley watching Spurs play in the Champions League.”
So will the Kumar family be back in the stands tonight? “Absolutely! The kids can’t wait. It’s been a busy week with the clocks going back, then we had a Hindu festival on Sunday so it was late, it was trick-or-treat time on Monday and they had a late night on Tuesday with after-school clubs so I actually asked them if they really wanted to go to the football. They both looked at me and said ‘we’ll give up everything else this week to be there!’”