Spurs v Wycombe - media view with Sky Sports commentator and former Wycombe director Alan Parry
27 January 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Alan Parry commentated on one of the most famous goals in our history. On Saturday, he'll swap the commentary box for the away end at White Hart Lane.
A commentator at the very highest level of football with the likes of BBC, ITV and Sky Sports for over 40 years, Alan is also a former director at Wycombe who played his part in the club's rise from non-league football into the Football League and the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 2001.
A regular behind the microphone at White Hart Lane and for countless Spurs games - he provided the words for Glenn Hoddle's masterful chip at Watford back in 1983 - Alan will now arrive at our famous old stadium for the first time as a Wycombe fan for this FA Cup fourth round tie.
Below: Alan pictured at Wycombe's Adams Park - photo courtesy of the Daily Mail
Commentator, Sky Sports
Former Wycombe director
What can you tell us about Wycombe's form leading up to this weekend?
Alan: "We’re on a long unbeaten run, 16 games including cup ties. This week we reached the semi-final of the Checkatrade (EFL) Trophy and our form in League Two has been outstanding, a sharp contrast to the beginning of the season where Gareth Ainsworth (manager) had put together a relatively new squad over the summer but a lot of the players brought in were injured and at one stage, results were poor and we were in the bottom three, around September time. But then it all changed fairly dramatically once the injured players came back and Gareth was able to field the team he wanted to field. So we’ve launched off on this unbeaten run, we’re in the top five, which is a play-off place in League Two, made progress in the Checkatrade Trophy and a good run in the FA Cup - Portsmouth away, which is a great result for any team and then an outstanding 5-0 win at Chesterfield, who are in League One. The toughest game of all was Stourbridge in the third round. Now, on Saturday, we’re in the Stourbridge role for this tie and if we can do half as well as Stourbridge did against us we’d be very happy! That’s where we find ourselves at the moment. We’ve sold all our tickets for White Hart Lane - could have sold them twice over - and there is a great deal of excitement about the place as we visit a world-famous club who are in particularly good form."
Below: Gareth Ainsworth celebrates Wycombe's win at Portsmouth
This is the first time we'll play competitively, although Wycombe have enjoyed some fantastic times in cup competitions of late...
Alan: "For many years, Wycombe were a famous non-league club, won the Amateur Trophy at Wembley in the old days, then the Isthmian League, as it was called, then the Conference and then Martin O’Neill came along and everything changed. That was the catalyst for everything we’ve achieved. We’ve had some famous managers, Martin, Lawrie Sanchez, Paul Lambert, Gary Waddock, Peter Taylor. We’ve had two great cup runs. In 2001 we reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup having beaten Leicester at Filbert Street. They were quite high in the Premier League at the time and we beat them on their ground in the quarter-final. It was a famous goal. There had been a lot of injuries to strikers at the time and someone had the bright idea of putting an appeal (for an available striker) on teletext as it was then - the forerunner to social media - and Roy Essandoh signed and scored a very late winner at Filbert Street. Paul Lambert then took us to the League Cup semi-final over two legs against Chelsea, we drew with Chelsea at home and then we were in it after an hour at Stamford Bridge but it ended up being comfortable for them (5-1 on aggregate). We managed to get a draw at home to Villa in the third round of the FA Cup last season when they were still in the Premier League before losing narrowly away. It’s fantastic for us to now play Spurs."
Below: Wycombe's 1975 FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough - Alan commentated that day
How did you become a director at Wycombe?
Alan: "It was a strange coincidence. I wouldn’t have been able to point on a map to where High Wycombe was 30, 40 years ago but I was working for BBC Radio and Wycombe played Middlesbrough in the FA Cup (1975). At the time, Middlesbrough were top of the old First Division, Jackie Charlton was manager and Graeme Souness was playing for them. BBC sent me to cover the game at Wycombe’s old stadium (Loakes Park) in the town centre. Shortly after that I moved into the area and started training with them on a Thursday night. When I started going regularly, someone suggested joining the board of directors. It was something I’d never even thought about but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was on the board for about 20 years."
Below: Wycombe celebrate their famous FA Cup qurter-final win at Leicester City in 2001
You've been in the game for so long as a commentator, how much have you enjoyed coming to White Hart Lane over the years?
Alan: "Absolutely, it’s one of the great clubs and I’ve been there many, many times, back in the old days prior to Premier League, for cup ties, European games. It’s a great atmosphere, fans close to the pitch. It’s always a ground you look forward to going to because of that."
Below: Wycombe striker Ade Akinfenwa
Do you have a favourite Spurs moment you've commentated on?
Alan: "I can’t particularly remember the game itself, but if you remember the great Glenn Hoddle goal against Watford (1983) where he turned and then chipped it over the goalkeeper, I was privileged to commentate on that. I played against Glenn for a commentators team that used to play charity matches and we played at Spurs’ old training ground at Cheshunt, Glenn played, I thought ‘what am I doing on the same pitch as this guy?’ A good friend of mine is John Gorman, who was with Glenn at Spurs. There are a lot of connections there down the years. I’ve always enjoyed going to Tottenham, it’s a ‘proper’ football club and I’ll be there again on Saturday, this time with the fans."