Sunderland v Spurs - a legend's view
10 September 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Micky Hazard is almost moved to tears when he recalls the day he returned to Sunderland for the first time as a Spurs player and scored in front of his family and friends at Roker Park.
Born and bred in Sunderland and a former Sunderland Boys player, Micky made the sacrifice of leaving home to join Spurs aged just 16 back in 1976.
After signing professional forms in 1978, the playmaker started to force his way into our talented squad - including the likes of Clemence, Roberts, Hughton, Ardiles, Villa, Hoddle, Archibald, Falco and Crooks - in the 1981-82 season.
Ten games into that league campaign, Micky was back at Roker Park and not just back, playing a starring role and scoring in our 2-0 victory.
He went on to play 170 times for us in two spells, winning the FA Cup and UEFA Cup, but few matches meant as much to the midfield maestro.
“I remember it as if it was yesterday, every moment,” said Micky, now 55 and as popular as ever in his role as a matchday host at the Lane.
“It was the first time I’d been to Roker Park as a Spurs player and there was plenty going on in my head beforehand. For a start, I was never usually nervous before a game but I was for this one, I was set to play in front of my family, my friends and people who had seen me grow up but had never watched me live, so to speak.
Below: Micky in action in the 1981-82 season, in the FA Cup semi-final against Leicester
“On top of that, I had to sort out all the family requests for tickets! I have a big family, four sisters, two brothers, uncles, aunts and of course they all wanted to come.
“So I had a lot going on but once we got to Roker Park, that all disappeared. I was excited, nervous, my dad George took me everywhere when I was a schoolboy, watched every game and here I was, set to play in front of him in our home town.
“Everything went unbelievably well. We had a fantastic team in 81-82, world-class and I was just starting to break through.
“I’d set-up a goal against Forest two weeks before with a ball to the far post that Glenn cushioned into to Mark Falco, who finished and I did the same here, a 30-yard ping to Glenn, who found Steve Archibald who scored for 1-0. I was on cloud nine at that point.
“In the second half it got even better. The ball broke to me, I shaped to shoot, took it around Barry Siddall in the Sunderland goal and tapped home for 2-0. I can’t remember much after that, although I celebrated like a right wally!
“I was back home, I set-up the first goal, scored the second, was named Man of the Match and I was everyone’s hero after! Even the Sunderland supporters were saying ‘well done Micky’, although there was a bit of banter as well!
“It meant so much because I knew my mum Margaret, who had given up so much for me, who made sure I had the best of everything, would have read the headlines about me in the Sunderland Echo the next day and just to see the look on my dad’s face afterwards meant so much. I’m even getting a tear in my eye speaking about it now! It was a magical day for me.”