Jesse Glover puts some beautiful words together to describe why that no matter how far you are from north London, we all fell in-love with this football club, and we're all Tottenham
In the early hours of a Sunday morning, as the sun poked its shining head above the eastern horizon, our own shining Son picked up a hopeful forward ball from Dele Alli, flashed past a hapless Jorginho, burnt a lunging David Luiz and fired the ball into the bottom corner. As he ran to the corner flag, arms outstretched, Spurs devotees from Lagos, to Seoul, to Los Angeles, to Buenos Aires, and to a small rural town near Melbourne, where it was not yet 6 a.m., joined those at Wembley in jumping to their feet to celebrate our beloved South Korean.
An hour later, the final whistle blown, whether you were arm-in-arm with fellow fans singing songs under the Wembley arch, staggering to the next bar, getting ready for work, or lying in bed attempting to subdue the adrenaline generated by last 90 minutes in order to find sleep as I was, we were unified in the rapturous aftermath. We shared the special satisfaction of being the wall into which a hitherto dominant Chelsea smashed. We bonded over pride felt for the 13 players and the manager that had represented the Club, represented us, with such distinction. We were united in our love of Tottenham Hotspur.
The experience of a foreign football fan is often characterised by dodgy streams, exorbitant T.V. subscription packages, and the dreaded buffering ring. Like local fans suffering through ever increasing season ticket prices and the cost of flights to follow the team across the continent, we are not untouched by the avaricious nature of the modern game. But we cannot be too resentful because without it, we would not have experienced the pleasure of having Tottenham in our lives.
Our boozers are message boards, forums, and social media. Instead of Spurs-inspired discussions with friends and family over a pint, we debate and discuss with often faceless avatars from different backgrounds, all of us with a ravenous hunger to talk anything Spurs. Our Tottenham High Road is our internet service provider, the thoroughfare that transports us from the everyday to those moments when we are consumed by the Club, and the Club by us. In person, many of us have never seen the Lane, new or old. For some, a single visit was the culmination of a lifetime of support. The songs we sing, we sing alone, but they mean just as much as if we were standing in the Shelf or Park Lane, arms aloft, one voice part of a deafening chorus.
We weren’t there in person for the moments, good and bad, that define the Club’s existence, but we devour the words and stories of those who were. Through them we vicariously lose our minds as we knock Woolwich out of the cup. Through them we marvel at Bale’s explosive emergence at the San Siro. Through them we’re seduced by Ricky Villa as he runs rings around Manchester City. And through the lucky few that experienced it, we’re transported to the halcyon days of Bill Nicholson. Our memories are provided by grainy YouTube videos. “That is schoolboy’s own stuff,” as Paul Gascoigne thunders a free kick off the underside of the bar is a refrain we know as well as our own name. These moments of glory echo down the years and across time zones.
We are Tottenham’s foster children. We may not be from Enfield or Chingford, born into lilywhite bloodlines with the Lane as our family home. But our support is worth no more or no less than those who were, it’s just different. We came to this voluntarily, adopted and welcomed into the Tottenham family, with the same capacity to love Spurs, and be loved by Spurs, as those who have been here from birth.