Sunday, December 02, 2007

Spurs 81

While we were in Perth favourite Daughter, who knows I collect pictures of personalised plates, and that I love a soccer team called Tottenham Hotspur aka Spurs, spotted this classic number plate in the rear view mirror and I was able to turn and snap the pic before the lights went green.
1981 was a very good year for Spurs fans like me. Tottenham made won the FA Cup in a classic final, the hilight of which was a wonder goal by Argentine import Ricardo Villa to win the game 3-2 against Manchester City. It was a replayed final, the first game having finished 1-1. I was in Nathalia staying with my cousin Kathy at the time of the final and the replay came on TV at about 4am Victorian time. I got up to watch it but with the rest of the house fast asleep had to keep quiet throughout which proved extremely difficult considering the intense excitement and closeness of the game.
When Villa scored the winning goal after weaving and dribbling past about 4 defenders I stood and screamed in total silence!! I was shaking all over, jumping around and carrying on, all without making a sound!

The following year, 1982, Spurs made the Cup Final again and I decided to fulfill a childhood dream and go to England to see them win the cup.
I sold my car and a caravan I owned and bought a one way ticket to London.
I was met at the airport by my pen-friend Tania, a fellow Spurs fan and on the way back to her place we stopped outside White Hart Lane, Tottenham's home ground in north London. A policeman on the gate allowed us to go in and let us walk on the "halllowed turf".

What happened next was one of the "miracles" of my life and a marker post from which many other events are measured.

The policeman said to me:
"Have you come over for the Cup Final?"


"Have you got a ticket yet?"

"No, not yet"

"Well, I've been looking for a worthy cause, here you go" as he handed me a winning ballot card in the club's cup final ticket lottery!

I'd been in England for two hours and I had a ticket to the FA Cup Final!

Tania's mouth fell open and she said" people have tried their whole lives without getting a ticket to the cup final!"

"I know" I said, "But I did come half way round the world to get it!"

Spurs went on to win the Cup again, beating Queens Park Rangers in another replay, 1-0 after a 1-1 draw. I got a ticket to the replay quite easily by lining up outside Wembley Stadium the morning after the game and buying one for about 5 pounds.

A month and a half later I was in Madrid and managed to get a ticket to the World Cup Final between Italy and West Germany. Within a six week period I'd been to the two biggest soccer games in the world!

No comments: