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Sites & Languages

Fri 08 November 2019, 10:30|Tottenham Hotspur

‘A little poacher’s goal’ was the start of something big on the evening of 2 September, 1992.

It’s not a date that will necessarily resonate, but here are two Spurs pub quiz questions – with the same answer - to point you in the right direction.

1 – Against which team did we secure our first win in the all-new Premier League era, or the FA Carling Premiership (as it was then)?

2 – Against which team did Teddy Sheringham score his first goal in a Spurs shirt?

The answer is Sheffield United on both counts as Teddy and Gordon Durie got us of the mark in the new dawn of the Premier League. It was a much-needed victory as well as we’d started the season without a win in our first five league games and had been thumped 5-0 by reigning champions Leeds United a week earlier.

One of the modern greats, Teddy had actually joined us five games into the season, making his debut in the 1-1 draw at Ipswich on Saturday 30 August after signing from Forest two days earlier. This was his home debut and a first goal for us that not only led him to the Golden Boot that season, but the first of 124 goals in 277 appearances in all competitions in two spells, 1992-1997 and then 2001-2003. He’s still number 10 in our list of all-time top goalscorers.

And it all started against Sheffield United that September night in 1992, under the lights at the Lane. Teddy’s moment arrived two minutes before half-time after good work from Jason Cundy, Paul Allen and Steve Sedgley. Durie struck in the second half to secure the three points against Dave Bassett’s men.

Speaking to us this week, Teddy remembered it all clearly. “It was my first home game,” he said. “I was delighted to get off the mark. I think it was ‘Sedge’ who cut the ball back from the byline and I just stabbed it home.

“I was delighted, a little poacher’s goal, in the right place at the right time and stuck it in, a great start for me at the Lane.

“It was an important goal for me because it can weigh heavily on you if you don’t get a good start. You go two, three, four games and people start asking questions, like whether or not you’re good enough for that level. I scored that first goal early and got up and running. That was the first step. It was great to get up and running at a new club in my first home game.”

It wasn't all plain sailing from there though. Teddy scored five goals in 21 games in the league up to January, plus another couple in the League Cup. Goals followed in the FA Cup but then he went into overdrive – 16 goals in his last 17 league games (there were 21 teams and 42 matches in 1992/93) helped us up to eighth in the table and clinched the Golden Boot with 22 goals, including an early strike for Forest that season.

I was delighted, a little poacher’s goal, in the right place at the right time and stuck it in, a great start for me at the Lane

Teddy Sheringham

To this day, Teddy remembers a little ‘word in the ear’ from his brother (Jimmy) after a game at the Lane in that first season.

“In the first half of the season, I did okay, but I always remember my brother went to a game, watched from behind the goal and he asked me ‘how do you think you are doing?’ and I said, ‘yep, I’m doing okay’ and he said ‘just so you know, the fans are a little disgruntled with you at the moment’.

“It was almost him saying ‘yeah, you’re doing okay, but doing okay isn’t good enough, you’ve got to be better than that’. I went on a good run after Christmas and went on to win the Golden Boot. I wasn’t coasting or anything like that, but maybe it was the jolt I needed.”

It was a jolt along the way to 124 goals for Spurs, a big chapter of a career that spanned 25 years, over 350 goals, three Premier League titles and the Champions League at United, the PFA/Football Writers award double in 2001 and 11 goals in 51 caps for England, including appearances at Euro 96 and the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

And he still remembers that 'little poacher's goal' at the Lane, 27 years ago.

Teddy at Spurs

- Joined us from Forest on 28 August, 1992
- 21 goals for us in his first season, 22 in total to win the Golden Boot
- Left for United in 1997, returned under Glenn Hoddle in 2001
- Scored his 300th career goal against Sunderland on 8 February, 2003
- Final game for us against Blackburn on 11 May, 2003
- Scored 124 goals in 277 appearances for us
- Played until end of 2007/08 - final season was at Colchester, aged 42
- Remains 10th on our all-time goalscoring list
- One of only 17 players to score 100+ goals for the Club