A change at the top Down Under
Meet our Official Supporters' Clubs - OzSpurs
Mon 29 June 2020, 16:37|Tottenham Hotspur
It’s all change at the top at one of our biggest Official Supporters’ Clubs - OzSpurs.
In many ways, it’s an end of an era as Mark Lawson, 14 years a committee member, five years as President, has stepped down and handed the presidential reins to Paul Fellowes, another member of many years’ standing.
Formed back in 2001, Australia Spurs now boasts over 600 members with major ‘chapters’ of supporters in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney.
Mark has overseen two first team tours of Australia during his tenure as President – Sydney in 2015, Melbourne in 2016. Indeed, it’s just over five years since we were greeted by OzSpurs and their huge ‘G’day’ flag at Sydney Airport.
We spoke recently to Mark and Paul about the change and what’s next for OzSpurs...
First of all to Mark, what prompted the decision to step down?
Mark: “I looked at my time with OzSpurs and thought I’ve really done everything I’ve ever dreamed of. I’ve also got three young kids and I’ve got to the point where I could probably enjoy having a little more spare time in my life. For those reasons, it felt right. If you are a Spurs fan living in Australia, the highest accolade you can have is being President of the supporters’ club. I’m just lucky enough that one of my best mates, Paul, was keen to take it on and everyone else was in favour of that as well.”
How does it feel to take over, Paul?
Paul: “These are big boots to fill. Mark has done a hell of a lot over the last five years, so to achieve half of that would be fantastic. I’m looking forward to whatever it brings. There are Spurs fans all over the country and our mission is to reach as many of them as we can, and to bring them together. We have smaller chapters appearing - Darwin is one of the most remote, and we have a couple of there, and we also have a group in Bathurst. One of the biggest things we’ve always done is our National, trying to get fans from all over the country into one place, and the more fans we can reach, the more fun those events are.”
What will you miss, Mark?
Mark: “I’ll miss the ownership of it. Outside of family and work, it’s been my passion, the thing I’m always doing. My wife has asked me what I’m going to think about now because I’m always thinking about something to do with OzSpurs - a new t-shirt, a new chapter. There will be a big hole for a little while where I won’t have that to do. I guess the more you do something, the more you immerse yourself in it, the more it becomes part of you. So, yes, I’m going to miss it.”
And Paul, what are you looking forward to? What’s the future for OzSpurs?
Paul: “I’ve been on the committee several times and done different jobs, so I understand a lot of how the club functions. What Mark has done has been fantastic, he’s really dragged us to where we are now, and I want to be able to take that further, take the next step. We’re in a digital world now, we’ve got to function well, and we need to give our members - particularly as we’re so wide apart here – the ability to communicate properly digitally. That’s one of the main focuses we have this year. We know we’re going to be limited in terms of gatherings, so we need to get a proper community happening in any way we can, and that’s what I want to drive towards. If we can get that happening, then we’ve taken a step further.”