Sunday 15th April 2018
After a long lye in, dog walked, coffee made and time to sit down and write a few words.
Dear diary…this is no ordinary Sunday.
This is a Sunday sandwiched between what I can only describe as one of my favourite days as an SDS member and the Phase 7 release of Season Tickets on Monday.
At the start of this week, the following plans were made:
• Get all members, friends & associates of SDS to Wembley
• Travel by train to White Hart Lane and visit New Stadium with Chris Cowlin
• Travel to West End and enjoy some food and beers
• Travel back to Novotel and meet Spurs Legend – Keith Burkinshaw
• Meet at the Bobby Moore Statue at 6 and go pitch side for photo opportunity
• Watch Spurs v Manchester City
• Travel Home
Now back in the day there was a saying ‘no plan ever survives first contact’ – This was to be the case.
On arrival at Wembley Park station it became clear that two groups had emerged. One wanted to go to NWHL and the other straight to the West End for more beer – totally understandable as it was Cats Birthday.
So the two groups split and headed in separate directions.
There was a Third pair of reprobates that did split off as well but parental guidance would be recommended if I detailed their escapades.
On arrival at White Hart I recognised Chris and after a swift introduction we walked in the direction of the New Stadium. First impressions were how impressive the West Stand and its grand entrance looked. If the club wanted to make a bold statement, then this is surely encompassed within this area constructed of very large pieces of glass and steel. As we walked down the high road and towards the new club shop many paused for periods to try and take it all in. Others identifying where there Season Ticket seats would be located.
Regular pauses also enabled Chris to take a few of the members to one side to conduct his interviews.
First up were Neil and Ian. Neil nodding along to Ian Kent’s every word and occasionally interjecting (when Ian took a breath) to offer his views on how great the stadium was to who we should play in the first ever game. A road weeper moves into shot and we move on.
Where the West Stand projects the feel of bold, business like statement, the South Stand just says ‘Beast’. From the large tree supports to the sliding pitch trays it really is an engineering masterpiece. One can only imagine in a few months time when the glass surround has been installed. I stood on that very same corner after the Finale and what the club have achieved in that year has been astounding.
We move along to the East Stand and then on the North East Corner where the away fans will enter.
The mini external tour draws to a close and we move back to WHL station. The hour we intended to spend on site has well and truly expired. West End is put on hold and we head to the Railway Tavern, Liverpool Street, to wet our appetite for the next phase – Punjabi Spurs at the Novotel.
For some of us of a certain age – Keith Burkinshaw was a manager that brought not only success to the club but was the reason as a child they supported Spurs. So when I was provided with the opportunity to speak with the great man and have a photo op I ceased upon the moment. Happy Days!!
As six O’clock approached we moved from the Novotel to the Bobby Moore entrance of Wembley Stadium. An invite to go pitch side for a few members of the SDS team has been gratefully accepted and with Stacey as our guide, we moved through the lower areas of the Wembley concourses and on to the pitch. A fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes, sit in the managers chair and stand shoulder to shoulder with our club flag. What a fantastic moment, and like the New White Hart Lane visit earlier, very hard to take it all in. As this particular highlight drew to a close we gathered on the astro turf for a final picture before we returned to the real world. As stacey prepared to take our picture, over walks chirpy and Mrs Chirpy and joins us. I really enjoyed the picture released last week with Dele Ali photo shopped in a Beatles Sgt Pepper style with Mr Blobby and the like but the Chirpy SDS Photo Bomb is definitely one of my favourites.
I have said for time that occasionally football can get in the way of a really good day. We have been lucky enough to experience just one home defeat in the league to Chelsea and have been spoilt with some remarkable performances. Last nights performance was arguably their worst with a 1-3 defeat. Manchester City will be crowned Premier League Champions in the next game or so. Whether you appreciate their players or just believe they have bought the title doesn’t take away from the fact that Sane, Jesus etc. are a talented bunch and fair play to them – always hoping that someday it will be our turn.
When Monday morning finally comes and I sit down with two laptops, a mobile phone and a Stadium Seating Plan, it will be my opportunity to purchase my 18/19 Season Ticket. I am genuinely excited, nervous and hoping for a really good seat. Choices are set, I have my option A, B & C’s but like I said earlier – no plan ever…….