White Hart Lane: The Emotional Goodbye

Our time is coming to an end at our historic stadium White Hart Lane; only 2 games to go, calculating to 180 minutes, to just 10,800 seconds of football left to play in our loved and treasured home. It’s time to take a look back at some of the wonderful memories, powerful stories, emotional songs and perfect times that we have all shared together growing up at what we call our home as after all, ‘We are Tottenham, We are Tottenham, Super Tottenham, from the Lane!’

Lets start right at the beginning when the ground first opened on the 4th of September 1899. This took a year of construction and finally opened 17 years on from when  our perfect club Tottenham Hotspur was founded in 1882. This was a place that was at the beginning of a life time of memories made in a world where there is only one Hotspur. Notts County were the first team to visit White Hart Lane in front of a 5,000 supporters. Spurs got off to a great start and comfortably won 4-1 in their new ground. Years following this the Lane when under further construction to increase the capacity. This was when the famous original cockerel that we all know of was placed on the stadium! The cockerel currently on the stadium is a replica, with the original being protected in the Lilywhite house, after all it has been through a lot over the many years!

In 1910s the stadium went under more re-development when the first concrete stand was placed in the east tier replacing the old wooden one. This increased the stadium capacity to over 50,000, and soon after the famous Paxton Road and Park Lane was also, expanded. This reminds us all of the sound of the song that we love echoing round White Hart Lane to this current day, ‘We’re the Shelf Side, we’re the Shelf Side, we’re the Shelf Side, Tottenhammm’, ‘We’re the Park Lane, we’re the Park Lane, we’re the Park Lane, Tottenhammm’. Memories like this already give me goosebumps.

The crowd at the Lane continued to grow, as Tottenham became ever so more popular and it was on Saturday 5th of March 1938 when the club made some special history at White Hart Lane that still stands today. It was an FA Cup sixth round clash against Sunderland where 75,038 fans tightly squeezed into watch the game, which to this day is the biggest attendance at Lane. Despite, the immense atmosphere provided by the record crowd, Spurs unfortunately lost 1-0 to the Black Cats conceding 10 minutes from time. Sunderland went on, to only be knocked out by Huddersfield Town in the Semi-Finals. However, memories like this at White Hart Lane for Tottenham Hotspur was only the beginning of what was to come. As Bill Nicholson’s famous quote says ‘It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low’. Spurs went on to break more records in FA Cup in 1960; they recorded their biggest win at the Lane where they beat Crewe Alexandra 13-2 in the 4th round replay. But, none of this came close to what the famous Tottenham boys achieved following this in 1960-1961, it may not of all happened at Lane but I couldn’t not write about this special moment where we won many vital league and FA Cup games at Lane anyway!

It was the 11th consecutive year that Spurs were in the top flight of English football. They broke history after beating Aston Villa’s record made in 1896-1897. Yes, you guessed it… THE YEAR OF THE DOUBLE. Where can I start with this, one of the biggest moments in the clubs history, we were the first club to do the double in the 20th century too. The first stage was to win the league which was achieved at the Lane in a 2-1 victory over title contenders Sheffield Wednesday where 61,205 fans watched Bill Nicholson’s side. Once Spurs had won the league they had to focus on the big FA Cup final against Leicester and therefore had a lot of pressure in this game to complete the double. They had won many vital games at the Lane this season for the double to be possible, so all they had to do was continue this form at Wembley and then they had done it. The game started off tight at Wembley Stadium as the game was goalless at half-time, even if Spurs were unlucky as Cliff Jones had a goal wrongly disallowed in the 38th minute. However, Tottenham were determined in the second half and Terry Dyson and Bobby Smith finally scored a goal a piece to seal a 2-0 victory for Spurs and the double.

The 17 man squad all made history and these heroes will be remembered forever. The squad that played in this double were Bill Brown, Peter Baker, Ron Henry, Danny Blanchflower (C), Maurice Norman, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones, John White, Bobby Smith, Les Allen, Terry Dyson, Terry Medwin, Frank Saul, Tony Marchi, John Hollowbread, Ken Barton and John Smith. Manager: Bill Nicholson (OBE). Our thoughts are also, with the 11 men from this squad who are no longer with us, including Bill Nicholson who’s famous and loved gates still remain at White Hart Lane, RIP boys.

The year of the double is a hard period to top but there were still many more special memories made at White Hart Lane. The fans are something that make the Spurs family and without them football would be nothing. The chills that all the Tottenham players feel and have felt when ‘Come On You Spurssss’ is sung round the Lane must be a feeling like no other and it gives the players a lift when they need it most. The fans have played a major role in every football game but nothing as big a part as it did in on the 17th of May 1972 in the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of 54,303 fans at White Hart Lane. Spurs had a 2-1 lead on aggregate from the first leg and therefore had to hold on at home to win the UEFA Cup which would be the Tottenham’s second European trophy. It all looked good for the Lilywhites and their fans when after 29 minutes Alan Mullery put the home side in the lead and 3-1 up on aggregate. However, Wolves weren’t going to sit back and roll over easy and Dave Wagstaffe levelled the game to 1-1 in the 40th minute just before half-time. Spurs started to rock and the Wolves boys were fighting to get the goal to level the tie over 2 legs. The Tottenham boys really needed the support from the crowd here to keep them strong and to hold the lead. Cries of ‘Come on you Spurssss’ rung round the Lane, giving the Lilywhites an extra boost. They managed to hold on for 1-1 and won the tie 3-2 making Spurs the first British side to win a second European trophy and to lift it at their perfect home in front of their fans White Hart Lane. Moments like this make Tottenham the club they are today and the one we all love.

Ten years on from the second European Cup victory Spurs fans had the perfect day enjoying Tottenham’s biggest win over their rivals Arsenal. 43,642 fans squeezed into the Lane to watch the game where they saw the Lilywhites thrash their enemies 5-0. White Hart Lane was in heaven, especially when the Spurs boys were 3-0 up after 20 minutes! The day was made better when the home side continued to bang in the goals with the game resulting in a huge beating. One the Spurs fans, players and manager won’t forget in a flash! The year following this one of the most emotional game was played at the Lane in the UEFA Cup Final second leg against Anderlecht. It was set to be an exciting game and 46,258 all squeezed in to watch Keith Burkinshaw’s last game. Spurs came to the Lane with an equal score of 1-1 from the first leg, meaning it was all to play for at home. The game was 0-0 for the first 2 thirds until Anderlecht took a shock lead in the 60th minute. The Lilywhites now needed to score to have a chance of winning the trophy. Finally, with six minutes from time Graham Roberts stepped up to get the equaliser for Spurs from a beautiful assist by the one and only Micky Hazard! White Hart Lane was rocking! This levelled the game and took it to penalties. Graham Roberts was up first for the home side and slotted it home nicely after Anderlecht then missed theirs, Spurs were 1-0 up! Mark Falco, Gary Stevens and Steve Archibald all followed Roberts scoring their penalties, Anderlecht did the same to stay in it. There was 1 penalty left each and it was 4-3 to Spurs! Danny Thomas stepped up first for Spurs in front of 46,258 fans but missed! The crowd was in disbelief hoping we didn’t lose it now! Tony Parks was in goal against Arnor Gudjohnsen, if he saved it the trophy was ours! Of course Tony saved it with an inspiring save, us Spurs fans, players and manager never had any doubt of course! We had won the UEFA Cup Final; a perfect win and a perfect send off for Keith Burkinshaw!

The 28 man squad that were apart of this famous cup run and victory for the Tottenham Boys and who will be legends forever were Ray Clemence, Tony Parks, Mark Bowen, Ian Culverhouse, Chris Hughton, Gary Mabbutt, Paul Miller, Timothy O’Shea, Graham Roberts, Gary Stevens, Danny Thomas, Simon Webster, Osvaldo Ardiles, Gary Brooke, Ian Crook, Ally Dick, Tony Galvin, Micky Hazard, Gleen Hoddle, Gary O’Reilly, Steve Perryman, Steve Archibald, Robert Brace, Alan Brazil, Allan Cockram, Richard Cooke, Garth Crooks and Mark Falco!

After thousands of memories were made at the Lane in the 20th century; many against Arsenal of which I must say! There were many more to come in the 21st century. New team, new managers but still a perfect club. This first came in 2010 in Tottenham’s first season in the Champions League. It wasn’t looking good in the first game away from home when Spurs were 4-0 down to Inter Milan after 35 minutes. But, their young developing player Gareth Bale stepped up to the plate and pulled the game back to 4-3 getting two goals in injury time! This had given Tottenham a life line in the group. However, a masterclass from the Spurs boys, when they played Inter Milan at home in a must win game, meant they were 2-0 up after 61 minutes with goals from Van Der Vaart and Peter Crouch! Inter Milan managed to pull on back in the 80th minute but in the 89th minute substitute Pavlyuchenko scored with a beautiful assist from the man in-from Bale to secure the victory and to put Tottenham through the group stages! This was one glorious night that will never be forgotten at the Lane.

A far more recent amazing moment achieved by players from the current squad was a 2-1 victory over Arsenal on the 7th of February 2015. Arsenal took the lead in the 12th minute to Mesut Ozil, but in the 56th minute finally Spurs and Harry Kane found the net making the game 1-1. Tottenham were all over their rivals at this point and were trying to find the winner. In the 87th minute the perfect moment came were the English man Harry Kane leaped into the air to head home the winner for Tottenham! The crowd went mad and so did I! It was unbelievable and the best feeling. Cries of ‘HARRY KANE HE’S ONE OF OUR OWN’ rung round White Hart Lane giving me and everyone else chills! Couldn’t imagine what Harry felt like! Manager Mauricio Pochettino has started to create something special in this place, his own style and this is just the beginning of what I believe is it to come. It was an awesome moment and a game that will stay in my mind for a long time and memories like this is what makes our home White Hart Lane so special and a place that will be treasured and missed forever.

However, the time is coming where we are going to have to say goodbye to our wonderful home, White Hart Lane. So many memories have been made and I couldn’t possibly cover them all! Including so many special players and managers that couldn’t all be mentioned either but will remain heroes and legends forever. But, it’s time to enjoy our last moments at White Hart Lane and sing our hearts out as usual as I’m sure the new place is going to have many more memories made just like this one and it’s something we should all be excited for. After all we are one big Spurs Family. ‘YID ARMY!’

Thank you White Hart Lane and Thank you Yids! COYS!

Here are a few Tottenham Legends who I may not have mentioned but deserve a mention and a thank you…

Current Squad:

  • Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Pau Lopez, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin Wimmer, Cameron Carter-Vickerss, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies, Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Mousa Dembele, Harry Winks, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Joshua Onomah, Heung-Min Son, Erik Lamela, N’Koudou, Vincent Janssen and Harry Kane.

Majority of Spurs Players who were once in the First Team:

  • Ledley King, Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe, Micky Hazard, Bill Nicholson, Steffen Freund, David Ginola, Jurgen Klinsmann, Ray Clemence, Martin Peters, Roberto Soldado, Steve Perryman, Martin Chivers, Darren Anderton, Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne and Ryan Mason (Get Well Soon Boys), Paul Allen, Clive Allen, Chris Waddle, Tony Parks, Graham Roberts, Garth Crooks, Steve Archibald, Ossie Ardiles, Ricardo Villa, Glenn Hoddle, Nacer Chadli, Nabil Bentableb, Brad Friedel, Gary Mabbutt, Paulinho, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Emmanuel Adebayor, Scott Parker, Sandro, Rafeal Van Der Vaart, Bassong, Wilson Palacios, Peter Crouch, Andros Townsend, Heurelho Gomes, David Bentley, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar, Jonathon Woodgate, Alan Hutton, Younes Kaboul, Gareth Bale, Darren Bent, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Didier Zokora, Pascal Chimbonda, Dimitar Berbatov, Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson, Jermaine Jenas, Tom Huddlestone, Lee Young-Pyo, Teemu Tainio, Mido, Paul Robinson, Michael Carrick, Frederic Kanoute, Jamie Redknapp, Kasey Keller, Tom Carroll, Yedlin, Chrstian Ziege, Gus Poyet, Anthony Gardner, Simon Davies, Sergei Rebrov, Gary Doherty, Neil Sillivan, Mauricio Taricco, Tim Sherwood, Chris Perry, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Les Ferdinand, Stephen Clemence, Steffen Iversen, Allan Nielsen, Andy Sinton, Chris Armstrong, Ruel Fox, Ronnie Rosenthal, Stephen Carr, Colin Calderwood, Teddy Sheringham, Dean Austin, Nicky Barmby, Ian Walker, Gordon Dune, Justin Edinburgh, Steve Sedgley, Nayim, Pat Van Den Heuwe, David Howells, Erik Thorstvedt, Guoni Bergsson, Terry Fenwick, Paul Walsh, Paul Stewart, Vinny Samways, Mitchell Thomas, Steve Hodge, Nico Claesen, Richard Gough, John Chiedozie, Danny Thomas, Gary Stevens, Paul Price, Chris Hughton, Paul Miller, Tony Galvin, Mark Falco, Terry Yorath, John Lacy, Jimmy Holmes, Peter Taylor, Gerry Armstrong, Don McAllister, Chris Jones, Keith Osgood, John Duncan, Barry Daines, Ralph Coates, Terry Naylor, Jimmy Neighbour, Joh Pratt, Ray Evans, Jimmy Pearce, Peter Collins, Bill Brown, Peter Baker, Ron Henry, Danny Blanchflower, Maurice Norman, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones, John White, Bobby Smith, Les Allen, Terry Dyson, Terry Medwin, Frank Saul, Tony Marchi, John Hollowbread, Ken Barton, John Smith, Joe Klinnear, Mike England, Terry Venables, Pat Jannings, Cyril Knowles, Alan Gilzean, Alan Mullery, Jimmy Robertson, Phil Beal, Jimmy Greaves, Frank Saul, Eddie Clayton, Johnny Brooks, Mel Hopkins, George Robb, Tommy Harmer, Tony Marchi, Harry Clarke, Alf Ramsey, Charlie Withers, Sonny Walters, Len Duquemin, Eddie Baily, Ernie Jones, Ted Ditchburn, Arther Willis, Les Bennett, Sid Tickridge, Ron Burgess, Les Medley, Freddie Cox, Ralph Ward, Vic Buckingham, Fred Sargent, Percy Hooper, Andy Duncan, Fred Channell, Jimmy McCormick, Johnny Morrison, Bill Whatley, Willie Hall, Arthur Rowe, Willie Evans, Les Howe, George Hunt, Walter Alsford, Willie Davies, Tom Evans, Tommy Meads, Joe Nicholls, Taffy O’Callaghan, Cyril Spiers, Harry Skitt, Frank Osbourne, Cecil Poynton, Jack Elkes, Bert Smith, Andy Thompson, Matt Forster, Charlie Handley, Jimmy Seed, Bob McDonald, Alex Lindsay, Jimmy Dimmock, Charlie Walters, Jimmy Archibald, Thomas Clay, Bill Jaques, Fanny Walden, Arthur Grimsdell, Jimmy Cantrell, Bert Bliss, Findlay Weir, Charlie Rance, Tom Collins, Walter Tull, Billy Minter, Bert Middlemiss, Jabez Darnell, Bobby Steel, Danny Steel, Charlie O’Hagan, John Brearley, Vivian Woodward, Sandy Brown, Tom Morris, Jack Kirwan, Ted Hughes, John Cameron, Jack L. Jones, Charles Ambler, Jack Jull and last but not least Bobby Buckle!

Thank you Yids, You’ll be remembered forever! COYS!

By Sophie England, 18 Year Old Spurs Fan.

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