Story by Chris Harris –
It was May 6th 1961. I will always remember that day, as that was when it all started, my love affair with football, and in particular, Tottenham Hotspur.
I was playing around, as eight year olds do, when my Dad said that he was going to watch the Cup Final. I heard him go into the other room and switch on the tv, waiting for it to warm up as was the case back in those days. When finally I heard a sound, it was of singing, knowing now that it must have been “Abide With Me”.
A few minutes later, I joined him just as the teams, Leicester City and Spurs, were being introduced. When the game got underway, my Dad was passing comments and to be honest my attention was not fully focused on the game, until Spurs scored in the second half. Once Bobby Smith had scored, well now this was fun, and then to see Terry Dyson score the second and secure the victory for Spurs to become the first team in that century to win the “Double”, my love affair was underway. It’s not easy to describe that feeling to those who don’t love the game, but I was now truly hooked.
I kept on and on to my Dad to take me to see Spurs, and this was arranged for March 1962, which seemed an eternity away after watching the Cup Final. We were going together with a friend and his Dad who were both Spurs fans. Unfortunately my Dad was unable to go, so the three of us, my friend, his Dad and me went to watch the game, Spurs at home to Everton on March 24th 1962.
The excitement, I couldn’t sleep the night before, was incredible, and carried on all through the train journey up to London from Sherborne in Dorset, then crossing London and finally there it was: WHITE HART LANE!
We queued outside the East Stand, and once the turnstiles opened, I just couldn’t wait to get inside. Up the steps and out into the stand: Magic, absolute magic, a huge smile on my face and the feeling, well it went right through my body, this was it! Seeing the pitch and hearing the crowd, and of course watching the game, which Spurs won, Bill Brown saving a penalty from Roy Vernon, and seeing my heroes, it had such a long lasting effect that still lingers some 57 years later.
My Dad arranged for another game for November 1962, and this time he made it. It was against Leicester City, who had the great Gordon Banks in goal, but Spurs put them to the sword winning 4-0 with Jimmy Greaves bagging a couple of goals.
Thanks to my Dad, and I am so glad that he was able to make the second game, I was well and truly hooked on the beautiful game, and we started to go regularly to see Yeovil Town who were then in the Southern League, and were just five miles away from where I was living.
My first game there with him was just a month after we had seen Spurs beat Leicester, in fact it was Boxing Day, and the first flurry of snow was falling for what was to be the beginning of the big winter freeze of 1962/63. What a contrast though, from the best team in the First Division to the Southern League, but thanks to my Dad’s love of football, he was a Plymouth Argyle supporter, football was the only thing I was interested in, and this was just the beginning, as there was much more to come, both with my Dad, and indeed my own two sons.