Life Lessons from a Spurs fan
This is a very special moment for me, I am currently en route to Madrid to watch my team Tottenham Hotspur play Liverpool in the Champions League Final, the show piece of European if not world club football. A historic moment for the Spurs, reaching the Champions League / European Cup final for the first time in it’s a 136 year history. I know that won’t mean much to everybody and I won’t inflict too much brainless football chat. I simply wanted to express the incredible lessons and experiences that I have taken from a lifetime of following my team and in particular the resilience that has grown on the journey to Madrid.
I once heard someone say there’s only one thing that I have done for longer than support spurs… breathing. Which pretty much sums me up.
Meeting my hero Chris Waddle
My connection with the club is deep, it has to be I guess to keep coming back and getting over the setbacks, the defeats, the loss of form at crucial moments, managers coming with promise and being sacked after a season, losing a player or two to Real Madrid… But it’s the essence and philosophy of the club that strikes a chord with me by living and breathing the 5 simple words of the clubs motto “To Dare Is To Do”.
My first game at White Hart Lane in February 1996 a disappointing 1-0 defeat to West Ham, Dani scored after 5 minutes and was pretty much how things were - our manager at the time Gerry Francis led spurs to 8th in the premier league that season, the best for a while to come and for the next several seasons with many different managers we hovered between 14th, 10th, 12th, 9th.
Dreams of emulating Gazza
It all changed in 2001 when Daniel Levy became chairman, a man for who I have so much admiration, a genuine hero of mine - he stands up and takes on the difficult and unthinkable challenges, whilst often receiving much unfair criticism - but he is relentless and under his leadership Spurs have dared to dream to becoming one of the biggest clubs in Europe and to have one of the finest facilities in the world. Right now both are true - and with the opening of the remarkable 62,000 (I know its officially 62,062) seater stadium in April helping to continue to steady regeneration to the area and making such a positive impact on so many lives after the devastating riots in 2011, which brought Tottenham to its knees.
Our magnificent new stadium that opened in April 2019
This season has been the most amazing route to the final. Down but not out on several occasions, each time the team have risen to overcome the odds. With each comeback strengthening the groups resilience - there’s no doubts that this breeds confidence when faced with similar circumstances.
Firstly overcoming the group stage and with just 1 point after the first round of 3 matches, we somehow scored 3 late goals against PSV, Inter and Barcelona to drag ourselves out and qualify for a relatively easy 4-0 defeat over 2 legs against Dortmund in the round of the last 16.
The subsequent rounds have been nothing but drama - that late late Raheem Sterling goal rules out in stoppage time after a VAR (Video assistant referee) review to hold out for the quarter final win against Man City and I’ll never forget that night in Amsterdam, written off at half time and 3-0 down in the tie, needing an apparent miracle, and within 45 (+5 mins) turning disappointment into ecstasy and capped off with the drama of Lucas Moura completing his hat-trick with the last kick of the match. I never tire of watching this....
An incredible lesson to show us to NEVER GIVE UP! Great things can only be achieved by great resilient people that keep pushing, not suffering with the lows and keeping a single focus on achievement.
This isn’t an overnight success. Spurs have been on the steady rise since our first venture into the Champions League 10 years ago in the 2010 /11 season, and now we find ourselves ahead of Europe's elite in the showpiece of European club football, daring to dream, daring to try, daring to risk. TO DARE IS TO DO
Our old home - White Hart Lane