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Steve McQueen - Oscar winner, Spurs fan

Fri 21 March 2014, 09:10|Tottenham Hotspur

Director Steve McQueen may have worked alongside and rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the film industry, but he could barely contain his excitement as he walked down the White Hart Lane players' tunnel last weekend.

He can consider some of Hollywood’s finest as friends and colleagues and has received top honours at Buckingham Palace but, bumping into Spurs players past and present in the inner sanctum at the Lane was something that will stay with McQueen forever.

“I feel like a kid, I’ve just met Clive Allen,” explained the lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan, as Spurs TV interviewed him at the side of the pitch ahead of last Sunday’s North London derby against Arsenal. “That’s crazy. Forget George Clooney and Brad Pitt, that’s fantastic!”

The London born film director hit the headlines at last month Oscars when his 2013 film ‘12 Years A Slave’ scooped the Academy Award for Best Picture, having already won a BAFTA for Best Film and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. The 44-year-old became the first black filmmaker to win the Best Picture at the Oscars.

But his accolades have been coming for some time. For his artwork, McQueen has received the Turner Prize, the highest award given to a British visual artist and, for services to the visual arts, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011, having previously been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002.

Steve clearly has a passion for the arts but he is equally as enthusiastic about his love of football. In his younger days he was a frequent visitor to the Lane and recalls with some fondness the atmosphere at the stadium and the players that graced the turf back then.

“We used to try to bunk in, those were the days when you could do that,” he reminisced. “I came here at the beginning of the 1980s and the atmosphere was great. We had the likes of Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa, Glenn Hoddle, Garth Crooks and Stevie Archibald. That was my era.

“We used to stand over there,” he added, pointing to The Shelf, “and the atmosphere and camaraderie was wonderful.

“I used to really enjoy watching Steve and Garth but Glenn was such a beautiful player. That’s why you wanted to play football. It wasn’t just about winning, it was about doing it in style. The style wasn’t fussy, it was necessary. He was a magnificent player.”

This is an extract from an interview in Sunday's matchday programme for the Premier League clash against Southampton at the Lane...

Pick up a programme from our usual outlets at the Lane or you can purchase online here...