Thursday, 3 February 2011

The ten greatest moments of my Spurs supporting life - No. 10


The headline pretty much explains it all.

And we're going to do it one by one, starting with 10. Almost certainly ending at one.

But first, a little context.

I sort of missed the early '80s, when pitches were brown, hair was highlighted, cups came quick and easy and we really did threaten to win the title.

Back then I was more interested in playing football than going to watch it. So I wasn't at Wembley in '81 or '82, and I wasn't at White Hart Lane in '84.

In active supporting years (that's quarter of a century, mind) big wins in proper competitions have been, well, let's say scarce.

Which is maybe why our countdown starts with...

10)
Spurs 5 - Chelsea 1
League Cup Semi-Final
White Hart Lane
01/02/02
Spurs scorers: Iversen, Sherwood, Sheringham, Davies, Rebrov
Chelsea scorer: Some twat

We were 2-1 down from the first leg at Stamford Bridge. Sir Les had given us hope. Horrible, horrible hope.

Because back then, against Chelsea, it always ended badly. Fuck me, I'm sure we were 1-0 up at their place once and Dennis arsing Wise equalised with a header.

And remember that one we lost 5-4? Was it 5-4? Steve Sedgely opened the scoring, I'm sure. And in the last minute, at 4-4, we had a penalty, which Andy Gray (not that one) missed. And then they won. Possibly with a penalty? Anyway, it was awful. It was always awful.

But not this time. This time was joyous.

I was a few minutes late into the ground. My Salvation Army meeting had run late. And as I came up the stairs the ground erupted.

I dashed into fairly bouncing East stand just in time to glean that our spotty striker Stefen Iversen (currently earning a crust at Crystal Palace) had given us the lead (as I remember, Johm Terry dithered and zitto poked home)

Typical. Go on, tease us. Let us start to dream and then crush us.

But things just got better and better. We were 3-0 up at half time. I was right behind Simon Davies when he drilled the fourth into the corner. That was when we (and they) knew the game was up. Fuck me, we were so rampant even Rebrov scored.

When we left the ground I remember thinking, 'It's over. The curse is lifted'.

But it wasn't really. Next time we met in the league, Chelsea fans (and the media) would still be able to bang on about how long it was since we last beat them in the league. And indeed they did. Quite correctly. For another three years.

Plus, we went on to lose to Blackburn in the final.

So, it wasn't a perfect day. There are caveats.

But at the time we'd forgotten what it was like to beat a team that had previously been our inferiors. And it felt good to remember.

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