Coming Home

by The Fighting Cock

 

My love for Spurs was passed down to me from my Dad. When I started school at about 4 or 5 I got into football, like most boys that age do. Around this time my Grandad (on my Mum’s side) came round with an old West Ham kit that he’d got from a charity shop for me.

A few days later this mysteriously went missing and my old man, who was working nights at the time, came home one morning with a new Spurs kit to take it’s place.

In the next few years my obsession grew, until my first visit to the Lane with my Dad in 1993. After that we went to a couple of games a season normally, mainly because we couldn’t afford to go to more than that. By the early 2000s when I’d finished school and started working myself, we started going more regularly. Eventually we got our season tickets for the 2003/2004 season, in the Shelf Lower, Block 29, row 6. Back in those not so distant days the atmosphere in this area was still good, unlike now where it seems to be confined to the back of block 31 (but that’s another article altogether).

We were obviously more than happy to have finally become season tickets holders and soon settled into a routine that consisted of arriving at Liverpool Street, going upstairs to get a pasty from the place opposite Hamilton Hall, having a couple of pints in there, before heading down to N17 and having a few beers in the pub (usually Bootlaces or the Bell and Hare) before going to the ground. Post game we would head back up towards Northumberland Park, stopping off for a couple of beers in the Olive Branch until the crowds died down a bit then getting the train home.

[typography font=”PT Sans” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222[/linequote]I eventually did go again it was all a bit too much for me, and after I got back from the game I decided to give up the season tickets.[/typography]

This routine carried on for the next few seasons. Then after leaving the Lane for the last time at the end of the 2006/2007 season we made our way home talking about Martin Jol’s little speech after the game, about how next season we wanted to be more than just ‘the best of the rest’, speculating on who we might buy in the summer and looking forward to the next season.

Sadly my Dad never got to return to the Lane because he passed away in July 2007, aged only 57 years old.

This was obviously devastating for my family, but was also a complete shock because until he had gone into hospital in June, after feeling unwell for a couple of weeks, we had no idea he was ill.

When our season tickets arrived for the following season I had no idea whether I would be able to carry on going to White Hart Lane or not. I missed the first couple of games, then when I eventually did go again it was all a bit too much for me, and after I got back from the game I decided to give up the season tickets. If I’m honest I regret this decision now and wish I’d just loaned them out for a couple of years until I was ready to go back, but what’s done is done.

I’ve still followed every game between then and now whether it’s been on TV, down the pub, or on a stream. This season I finally decided that the withdrawal symptoms were getting too much and it was time to go back to the Lane. My first game back was the Cheltenham in the FA Cup. I went on my own and I was a bit apprehensive to be honest. I sat in the East Upper and when I was walking up past the East Stand to the entrance I was shocked by the amount of people I recognised. The game itself wasn’t the best and I was shocked by how poor the atmosphere was (although the fact that they had most of the Park Lane probably didn’t help that). But in a weird way I did feel like I’d come back home. I’ve been back several times since then this season (as well as the trip to the Valley a couple of months back) and can safely say that I’m hooked again. I’m pretty sure my Dad wouldn’t have wanted me to be away from White Hart Lane for too long anyway.

SmolikAuthor: Smolik
Twitter: @OldDirtySmolik

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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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