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Norman visits the Training Centre

08 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur

As part of the Club’s support for The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, special guest Norman Roache will lay a wreath of poppies on the centre circle before kick-off on Sunday as a mark of respect to those who have lost their lives in Armed conflict.

Norman, a war veteran who used to visit White Hart Lane with his father when he was young, was invited to the Training Centre this week to watch the first-team train, meet with players and have a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities.

Norman, 88 and from Walthamstow, fought with the 2nd Battalion in Worcestershire from 1944–1947 during the conflict in Burma.

Norman’s father, Percy James Roache, was a life-long Spurs fan. As part of the Essex Regiment, he was called up to represent his country during the First World War and fought in one of the largest battles of World War One, the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Here, Norman recalls his time as a child visiting White Hart Lane with his father.

Norman said: “We used to call Saturdays a football special Saturday. This meant that every Saturday, people worked up until dinner time and then had the afternoon free for football.

“I’d wait for my father to finish work, then just the two of us would head to St James Street station to catch the train. We’d get off at Northumberland Park and walk to the Spurs ground.

"The first time we went, he carried me on his shoulders. We would do this every single Saturday until 1935 when we eventually moved house.

“I remember how cold it used to be when we went to watch the games – it was a lot colder in those days than it is now.

“My father always sat in the big stand, near enough in the centre. I’d be sitting right by his side.

“He was a very keen Saturday football fan and even though I was only a young boy at the time, I remember vividly how great it was to come and watch the games here at White Hart Lane.”

Below: Norman during his time serving in Burma