I’ve been thinking about what my membership in Tottenham Hotspur Football Club actually means in light of all of the recent discussions regarding “supporters” and “fans” and “consumers” and other identifiers that have been thrown around recently.
I’m not from London, or even the United Kingdom. I have never lived full time in London at any point in my life. Obviously, I cannot attend first team matches at White Hart Lane every weekend like I would love to. But with the growth of the Premier League into an international phenomenon and the internet and television, I’m far from alone in this situation. I even saw a Tottenham shirt in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan recently (and no, it wasn’t David Bentley looking for a loan destination). Clearly, where you live does not define you as a Tottenham member, this is now a global club.
So what does membership really mean? Is it just a plastic card and the option to try and buy tickets a few times a year at most to first team matches? I don’t think so. This is a club for all members after all, not just the 25 millionaires playing in the first team. All of us, from every corner of the world – WE are Tottenham Hotspur. More than anything the first team players do on the pitch on the weekends, what we do every day of our lives is the core of the club and what defines us.
All of us, from every corner of the world - WE are Tottenham Hotspur.
Work with your local youth football clubs and teach them to play the right way, with respect for the game and for the people involved with it. When you play in your Sunday league, play the game the right way. In the office, at home, with your family – it’s not just on Saturday afternoon at 1500 at White Hart Lane that you are supporting the club, you are leaving a lasting impression every moment of your life. Dare to do something great in your life, and if you fail – have aimed so high that your failure is tinged with glory. Those aren’t simply trite throwaway quotes, those should be how we look at everything in our lives.
And when someone asks you why you live your life the way you do, simply respond: “I am a member of the greatest club in the world”. Because you are.
Love the shirt.