Vertigo by John Crace Competition Winners

by The Fighting Cock


In episode 9 of the podcast we announced a competition to win 3 copies of John Crace’s excellent book ‘Vertigo: One Football Fan’s Fear of Success’.

To enter, we asked you to post your most depressing moment as a Spurs fan on the forum. We had some great entries but could only pick out 3, so congratulations to Northern Spur, MadsnTHFC, & Stevie Stiffler – we hope a free book goes some way towards relieving your pain.

Check the “winning” stories below…

[toggle title_open=”Close” title_closed=”Northern Spur – click to show” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no[/linequote]I was living in Dundee, NE Scotland, in 1987. I managed to get hold of an FA Cup final ticket that year and my plan was to take the overnight coach on the Friday evening and return by coach on the Saturday evening following the game.

I finished work on the Friday and thought I’d relax for a short while before heading off to catch the bus at 10 o’clock in the town centre. When I decided it was time to go, I was horrified to find that I’d misread the 24 hour clock and the coach had left at 8 o’clock without me on it.

I rushed down to the railway station but the price of tickets was more than I wanted to pay. Hitch-hiking was my only other option, so I got a taxi to the edge of town and started waving my thumb. By now it was 10.30pm.

My first lift came surprisingly quickly. The driver was a member of an evangelic religious group and I feared I was going to be a captive audience for him as we headed towards Glasgow, an hour or so away. Thankfully, he turned out to be quite normal and my intial reseravations about hitch-hiking started to subside.

Around midnight I got my second lift. This time, the driver bore an uncanny resemblance to John Sillett, the manager of Coventry City, whose team we were due to meet in the big match in a matter of hours. For a short while I was puzzling why he was driving down the M74 when he should be tucked up with his Coventry boys in a five star hotel in leafy Surrey, but then the lift took a more sinister turn. “You must be tired”, he said. “Why not get a bit of shut eye between here and Carlisle”, which is where we’d agreed he’d drop me off. I was dog-tired at this point, but I pretended I was fine as there was no way I was going to go to sleep in the car of a stranger, especially a creepy John Sillet look-alike . “Go on”, he repeated, “get some shut eye”, and despite my protestations he flicked the switch to release the back of the seat to a horizontal position. There I was, sitting bolt-upright (due to the aforementioned absence of back support) and pretending not to be absolutely cream-crackered as we sped through the Scottish lowlands. Fear and agony in equal measure! Eventually, I did lie back, but I remained determined to keep my eyes open at all times and so lay there looking up at the roof of the car, but with my peripheral vision keeping half an eye on the driver to my right.

He woke me when we reached the motorway transport cafe just outside Carlisle, and bid me a cheery farewell. My relief at escaping molestation and almost certain death on the eve of the cup final soon dissapated as I hung around searching out my next lift. It took a couple of hours this time, but eventually a lorry driver took pity on me a drove me to Lancaster, an hour or so further down the M6.

I arrived at Lancaster railway station at 4.30am on Saturday morning. I could not bear the thought of hitching any more lifts, even if it now meant buying a not much less expensive rail ticket for the rest of the journey. I waited and waited and waited for a good two hours – it seemed a lot longer than that – for the first local train to Preston, from where I would switch for the direct train service to London town. At this point, my sprits were so low the only thing I could do was slug the entire contents of the whisky flask I’d brought along with me as company for the weekend away.

The rest of the trip was quite uneventful in comparison, although the train was packed and offered very little opportunity to catch up on my lost sleep. As a consequence, I approached Wembley in quite a zombified state and could barely keep my eyes open as my beloved team slipped to defeat. We’d just lost our first FA Cup final against a bunch of nobodies, but I just too exhausted to care at that particular moment.

After the match I had to wait around the rather unsavoury Kings Cross area until 11pm to catch the coach back to Dundee. I walked through the door of my flat at 10.30am on Sunday morning, approximately 36 hours after I’d left it. I’d had virtually no sleep, I’d endured hitch-hiker hell, I’d spent money I couldn’t afford on a stupid rail ticket, I couldn’t understand the 24-hour clock (b*st*rd), AND we’d lost the cup final.

If that isn’t the epitome of a football-following depression, then I don’t know what is. COYS !!![/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Close” title_closed=”madsnTHFC – click to show” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no[/linequote]Me and one of my friends (A.C Milan fan) decided we would go to San Siro for the round of 16 match. We booked the tickets for the match and the plane tickets. We got plane tickets from Copenhagen – RIga, Riga – Milano Linate, with expected departure at 8.05 and arrival 13.40 in Milano. Good, ready to go.

So, we arrive in the airport 2 hours before departure since that’s required by AirBaltic. We wait about an hour and we get the information that our plane is delayed – but they don’t know for how long. We talk to the help desk, and they assure us, we will make the transfer flight in Riga so no worries. Well that’s what we thought.

The plane keeps getting delayed, and they decide to rebook us for for a flight via Paris to Milano Linate, assuring us we will make the match on time. Great, the plane leaves at 14.30 from Copenhagen, so we sit back, relax and just try to make time pass by as quick as possible, and letting each other know we are going to make the match on time.

Plane leaves on time this time, only to get delayed in the air over France due to heavy traffic on the runway. We get down about half an hour later than supposed, so we are rushing trough this big ass airport trying to get to our connecting flight, rushing trough security via the back as we told them our names was being yelled out in the speakers (they actually were). We got into the plane ready to go to Milano. Guess what? Delayed due to a “mysterious suitcase”. We kind of almost gave up here, it was just getting to the point where it was too much for us.

Finally we arrived to the airport in Milano 6.5 hours delayed. Time didn’t look good. We rushed out of the airport, got into some kind private taxi with 2 other yids on the same plane, whatever, we just needed to get to the stadium as fast as possible. Our driver knew we were late so he gave it some pedal – for me he is a true legend. We arrived at the stadium about 5 mins before kick-off, got our tickets, wen’t into the stadium and the rest is history.

The day was disasters followed by disasters. The night was magic. Win in San Siro. Yid train back to the city centre and crashing McDonalds with the fellow yids. Let’s just say my night was better than my mates, who thought everything sucked. Lost my iPod during the flight back home, but fuck it. We won and it all turned out to an amazing trip I would do any day. What I was close to believing would be the most depressing thing ever happened to me, actually turned out to be a great night.

If it doesn’t fit in the competition specifics, so be it. Hope you had a good time reading. COYS.[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Close” title_closed=”Stevie Stiffler – click to show” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no[/linequote]It was Wednesday January 31st 2007. Semi Final 2nd Leg.

I was in a relationship and living with a girl, at her parents’ house, I had been with since I was 14 (I was 24 at the time). I had a really good relationship with the rest of the family, who are a really nicey, nicey kind of people that don’t even swear! and a real strong bond with her father, who is a staunch a***nal fan. He has 2 daughters and a homosexual son, so to him I was the ‘son’ he could banter with about football. I had planned to meet the lads at a nearby pub at 6ish for the game so I had an hour to kill before I left.
My GF was feeling frisky so we went upstairs and got at it, I was wearing my Spurs shirt ready for the pub and she agreed to put it on it as I doggy’d her.

A Couple of minutes later her Dad walks straight in on us and he goes fucking bezerk! Like I say, this family are so innocent I would doubt that they even thought we were EVER at it. – So…..not sure if it was just that she was wearing my Spurs shirt that made him go nuts to be honest!

Anyway, I quickly get dressed and make my exit to the pub, We lose 3-1. Cunts. Naturally I decided to stay in the pub all night and get cunted and what with the vision of me smashing his daughters back doors in whilst she wears my Spurs shirt firmly lodged in my GF dad’s mind, I thought it would be a good idea to steer clear.

I stumble back to the house around 1am battered, and I genuinely have no excuses for what happens next…

I sneak upstairs to our bedroom and lift the lid of the washing basket and start pissing in it!! I look down and see that I am urinating on a a***nal shirt! I slowly come round to what I am doing and jump back……right on the toes of my GF’s Dad (who’s bedroom I was really in). He kicks me out and I have to walk 2 miles to my parents house.

We broke up about 3 months later. It was depressing because 1. We lost in a semi final to them cunts 2. It was ultimately what led to our break up after 10 years and 3. Because I never got the chance to abuse that gooner cunt for having a gay son! [/toggle]


All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.


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