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#Legends #Interview

The day Paul Robinson signed for Spurs – and met his hero!

Fri 22 May 2020, 15:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Football fate smiled on Paul Robinson on his first day as a Spurs player 16 years ago.

The popular goalkeeper - 175 appearances in all competitions between 2004-08 - joined us from Leeds United in May, 2004.

Prompted by digging into our photographic archives and finding the photoshoot to accompany his arrival, Paul, who turned 40 last year and is now a pundit on Sky Sports and beIN Sports, told the story of how he met his football idol, Neville Southall, at White Hart Lane that day!

Southall was at Everton for 17 years, 1981-1998 and won two titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup during his time at Goodison. He was also capped 92 times by Wales.

Speaking to us via a special video call, Robbo recalled: “Sixteen years ago? That’s frightening! It was a big day for me, a young lad who had lived in Yorkshire all his life moving to the ‘Big Smoke’ for the first time!

“I went to the training ground (Spurs Lodge in Chigwell, Essex) and White Hart Lane and it was strange... one of my goalkeeping heroes of all-time is Neville Southall, my idol as a kid, and he was at White Hart Lane on a tour with some kids he was working with at the time!

“So, I went down there for my photoshoot and Neville Southall was there! One of the shirts I used in the photoshoot, the blue one, I got Neville to sign for me and I’ve still got it, to this day! It was meant to be!”

It was the best move I could have made, career-wise. On the pitch, off the pitch, everything was great

Paul Robinson

Just 24 when he signed from Leeds, ‘Robbo’ quickly established himself as number one and within a couple of months, his performances elevated him to first-choice England goalkeeper. He went on to earn 33 of his 37 caps at Spurs.

“It all seemed to fall into place pretty quickly for me,” he added. “It was a big move, a big step and I don’t think I came in as a guaranteed number one because I was only young at the time, 24, and Kasey (Keller) was still there.

“I had a good pre-season, things went well, I started the season as number one and things snowballed from there for me. In hindsight, it was the best move I could have made, career-wise. On the pitch, off the pitch, everything was great.”

Look out for more from Robbo - coming soon...

Spurs TV special - a catch up with Robbo