Date: 10th April 2018 at 5:05pm
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Sorry guys, but I can only explain what I have to say through my personal journey. From the time I was about seven I seemed to spend all my time playing football. I would go to school early and play in the yard before school started. I would play at morning and afternoon recess, and at lunchtime. And I would stay back after school and play some more. My teachers told me I would have a heart attack one day because I was usually red-faced and sweating whenever I arrived (late) in class. But I loved playing. And I had absolutely no thoughts about trophies! I just wanted to do what I enjoyed and what made me happy.

In 1960 I went to my first Spurs game. It was awesome. I was hooked. I realised that I could enjoy watching football just as much as playing it. It had all of the emotional elements of both the agony and the ecstasy. I loved everything about match-day at the Lane. I was mesmerised by the atmosphere inside that wonderful stadium. And I was even more mesmerised by the way the Spurs team was plying its trade on the park. It was totally amazing and totally enjoyable. And I had absolutely no thoughts about trophies!

As it was Spurs in the sixties, I soon understood the idea of winning trophies because Spurs were winning them. I understood that trophies give more meaning to a clubs history and can be used as a tool to practice my developing ‘boasting skills’ on other supporters of less successful clubs. But I also realised that trophies, and boasting rights, were just the icing on the cake and it’s quite easy to enjoy the cake without the icing!

I admit that I do think about silverware a bit more often now. And when we play United in a few days time I will be having visions of our squad doing a lap of honour after the Cup Final. But, should that not happen …. it will still be an awesome match-day.

I like to think that most football supporters feel the same way as I do about their club. If they didn’t, most clubs would have no supporters. Don’t get me wrong, trophies are great to win. I love it when Spurs win one because it recognises the excellence of our football, and I take a great deal of pride in that. I’ve even managed to win some individual ones myself. But, to me. whether you play the game or watch the game, the most important trophy the game can provide is the unrecognised one for entertainment and enjoyment!


20 Replies to “The Icing On The Cake For Spurs”

  • Good article Geoff. It sounds exactly like me. Same era, same year, school playground, et al. Enjoying it under Poch’s management even better. COYS

  • Geoff, a big thumbs up! Winning isn’t everything. How you play is what it’s about. Great to win, but the state of one’s soul while doing it is more important. If you have to bore the opposition to death to win, it wasn’t worth it. A Spur said this. It’s still true today.

  • Good article Geof. THFC is finally catching up with the big money clubs in UK. We have built up from PL top 10 to top 5 to top 4. Playing football to our traditions and Bill Nick teams. In Poch we have a manager with a vision of youth players developing into a top class team, and the ability to make it happen, just like Alex Fergie at Man Utd. I just hope we can get another double of league and FA Cup within 3 years. The PL has changed since Fergie years of domance, as smaller clubs have got stronger with TV money etc. Hence the close games and relegation battles from 14th place to 20th as an example. So while we may not dominate the league and cup wins like Man Utd did we will be close enough to win 1 or 2 trophies a year. COYS

  • If the season ended today, I would look back and remember it for being another good one. Even without being FA cup winners and finishing as we are, 4th in the EPL.

    Why? Because my main thing when watching Spurs play for these past 50 or so years of supporting them is to enjoy the actual football being played throughout the course of an entire season. And, for me, this has been a very entertaining season, on the whole. Some great football, impressive results, along with some fantastic team goals and outstanding individual performances.

    So far, we have given both the CL and FA cup our best shot. And, we have proven to ourselves yet again, with this Pochettino team, that we can cut it with the big boys in the PL. And that we are not to be pushovers.

    Fact is, whatever the result is v City on the weekend and knowing that it shouldn’t really have any major impact on our PL standing, win, lose or draw. I am still excited to see how well we do and especially against this seasons best. Still up for it. Still a believer.

    It is for me, also about being contenders and hopefully, (regularly) pushing hard for cups and titles. Being the best we can, in whatever the circumstance, whichever competition. From one match to the next. And, for me personally, it’s always more about the next one. I can’t dwell too much into the past. When, just ahead, the unknown will always hold my anticipation, fascination and potential joy of yet another (stylish) victory.

    I have seen many managers and players come and go, owners and chairman too. Not one single one of them has made my support for THFC any different.

    Many or these past heroes and/or villains have often tried to test my patience and make me question my good faith in the boys from White Hart Lane. But none have ever succeeded to quash me in my dreams, my enthusiasm or my support for Spurs. Many a supporter on VS have also tried to bring me down. Killjoys! But, if George ‘Gooner’ Graham couldn’t do it, then believe me, nobody can… (And he helped us win a cup, just as Ramos did)!

    Even if in the past, the team itself hasn’t always come back fighting from defeat, I have. And for this I am the perpetual winner, always.

    And when the Spurs eventually do catch up with me and my dreams of an oh so bright, Lily-white future, then my entire Tottenham supporting past will make even more sense. Make it all worthwhile, worth the wait…

    If it’s not to be, then so be it. At least I as a supporter have shown the right mentality, the fighting spirit, the will of a winner. The never say never attitude, of a champ! But, always to be dignified in defeat, fair and square.

    Meanwhile, one day and one game at a time, sweet people.

    And the next match is always, for sure, gonna be a good one…… At least until it ain’t!

    Up the Wembley Way! Up the Spurs!

    Nb; I make no apology for my lack of stats, percentages, factual accuracy or any of my undying optimism in this post… It is what it is.

    All together now:

    We are Tottenham, super Tottenham…

  • Geof – I have played football since the age of 3, peaking in my “career” at 17 when an ACL tear put a damper on any desire to play at a high level. For the next 10 years I played in non league football, progressing up to the 6th tier of Belgian football ( 😉 ). It wasn’t great football by PL standards or by any stretch of the imagination, but competitive enough and we even got paid a little (just enough to pay for beers after the game…!). In the last few years my career has gotten in the way and my playing days are now few and far between, sadly (although it’s probably best for my ligaments and most parts of my body!). However, for as long as I can remember, I have never stepped on a football pitch without a burning desire to win every game I played in, regardless of how important or noncompetitive. Every league, cup my team ever entered, it was drilled into me that you leave everything on the pitch and you shoot for the stars. A coach told me at a young age that the only way to not have regrets is to give it your all, and do everything you can to win the game. That applied to me first, but I expected teammates to pursue the same objectives too. Fighting together to win has helped me forge some of the strongest friendships I have today, sometimes with highly competitive, and strong personalities who are otherwise difficult to get on with. Winning things as a team (I was able to win 2 leagues and 3 tournaments in the space of 15 years) remain some of the fondest memories I have on the pitch, and they eclipse any individual achievement I have ever managed. I will always value winning, not only for that winning feeling, but also for all of the intangibles it brings. I also believe that this burning desire to win, which I developed in football, has served me well in other areas, not least my career. All this to say that your are often shaped by early influences and experiences, and nobody is right or wrong. There are merits in every approach.

  • Good post, BS.
    I was similar in my approach to playing. Which is what I was alluding to in my post about my fighting spirit etc, albeit now from my perspective as a supporter.
    I still (struggle) to kick a ball about regularly but I will always do my best and my spirit is the same. To win. But I feel no shame in losing when I have given my all. And, I expect the same from my own team mates as I do from Spurs…

  • Geof, As a lad I was also never without a football at my feet (or in my arms) being a goalie and the occasional striker. And, even if there was nobody else around to play the game with; a wall, any old wall, was my friend, my team-mate and my opponent.

    As a kid, I could kick a ball, against a wall, all day! In between whole days spent on a common with a football, with my mates. Or, more competitively, in school games, London County games and for a short while with a top professional London club that I’ll not name. (We beat them away, just a couple of weeks ago, 3-1! 🙂

    As an adult I played at a good level in both a Saturday and Sunday league. For different teams. Sunday football was bloody difficult with the aches and pains leftover from Saturday and also being the morning after the night before and still half-cut. But, it was a necessary evil. I still needed my fix… I still do, in both watching and playing. And, I play with a limp and a very painful lower back. Not to mention me dodgy knees! I just can’t help myself… I also play with a smile on my face, along with a grimace and my groans… It’s a bit like when I’m watching Spurs…

  • HT …. I wholeheartedly agree with your first sentence in your first post …. it’s already been a great season. When I was eleven I lived next to Waterloo station. There was a lane at the back of the house and a huge wall that was one side of the station. I must have spent months of my life hitting a ball against that wall on my own. You an ex-goalie and me an ex-striker! We’d have got on well! lol

  • Last year I went to the park with some family members on my birthday and we played a scratch match. I pulled a hamstring. That never happened when I played. This year I went to the park with some family members and we played a scratch match. My calf muscle seized up. That never happened when I played. I said, ‘that’s it, I’m not doing this anymore’. None of them believed me! But the truth is that age caught up with me and has now overtaken me. I’m forced to admit it …. what can ya do?

    The standard of football in Australia has improved a bit over the years but, with my English background and pace, I always had an edge. One team I played for was a very poor small country town and one season we lost two games by 11-0 and 9-0. The referees made me MOTM for both games … and I was a striker. Go figure! I often got MOTM, but those two didn’t make sense to me. I did score 34 goals in the first 17 games one season which helped me take out the inaugural WA State trophy for WAs Amateur Soccer POTY. I think I’m more proud for the 2 x MOTM than the trophies I received. In the end, all that remain are memories. lol

  • Excellent article GS, bringing great responses of good memories for MM and esp’ HT, myself ditto yourself at school until I joined up at 15, played centre half, how many remember that position, for the forces team, pretty good standard, then at the end of my 15 year service, in civvy street I continued to play Saturday Prem Lge, amateur of course, and the rough n tumble local Sunday lge until my body/legs at 40 said enough is enough.

    I have been a Spurs fan 50+ years, nearer 60 now haha, I have been to many great Spurs game home and abroad over the years leaving me with some fantastic memories, but alas I have not been for 20 odd years, wife’s health being the main contributor. So now have to watch every game with glee and hope via Sky/Bt or any iffy channel available with the same desire and love of the mighty Spurs.

    Through all above and what I brought my children, 5 of them, up to believe “its about trying/playing to win but if you fail and can look me in the eye and say I tried” that’s good enough for me.

    The above is all the past and fantastic memories (I cannot keep being Jethro Tull), so for me now its the future and looking forward to the way our Spurs are travelling, excitedly. COYS

    I have asked my kids that for my birthday this year a ticket to the 1st home game of 2018/19 season at the new White Hart Lane, always will be that name for me, would be brilliant, so here’s hoping.

  • PY … Yep. That’s what it’s all about. Great story, mate. The last game I saw at the Lane (just before I left England in 68) Jimmy Greaves scored 3 goals. So many memories, but the current team is making so many more.

  • My story is similar to many. Born into a sporting family (several cousins played football, Field hockey, cricket for Trinidad). I loved football and cricket and from early days I would kick or bowl a ball against a wall or play in the Savannah with friends. Played as a right winger in school in Football and a leg break bowler and early order batsman. Excellent fieldsman. I was very fast and a decent dribbler of a football but a bit selfish! Massive ego and an absolute winner to the point of screaming at any player who wasn’t playing to win. Hate losing. My biggest gripe with players is when they look like they aren’t up for a game. I just can’t understand that. But I love my Spurs and hate people who constantly criticize (I’m talking about the constant gripers who see nothing good about the club) our club. I know there are things which can be improved but give it time and all will come good.

  • jvd … Your attitude to playing football sounds just like mine used to be. I started on the right wing, too. And more that one team-mate suggested I could be less greedy!!

  • I do like this kind of article Geofspurs…

    Its always good to read other peoples stories and get a little more understanding of where they are coming from, on a more personal level.

    It’s a pity that a few more VS posters don’t come forward with this perspective. As it makes us just that bit more real in a virtual community that can seem a little remote, in spite of it being open to the four corners of the globe and the many hundreds of thousands of Spurs supporters out there.

    It doesn’t matter how good or bad we were at playing football or, whichever sport. It doesn’t matter if we were never particularly sporty in the first place. What matters most is that we share what is our common ground and our passion for THFC and the game of football itself.

  • Does anyone else keep forgetting and press ‘submit’ before entering their email and name?

  • HT and JVD spot on lads, great attitudes, I also played cricket, was a wicket keeper and opening batsman, Rugby Union was also my forte, but whilst in the forces I had to choose between Football or Rugby, guess what I chose. Some excellent posts on here from all you yids.

  • Geofspurs says:
    April 12, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Does anyone else keep forgetting and press ‘submit’ before entering their email and name?

    everyone does, geof. everyone does.

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