The Interviews – Richard ‘ Crackers’ Cracknell

Last year at one of South Dorset Spurs Legends Evenings I had the honour to meet the great Osvaldo Ardiles & Ricardo Villa. Two of my all time Spurs heroes and many of the reasons why I and many starting supporting the club as a child.
Hosting the evening was a Gentleman who many of us follow via Social Media. His quick wit and one liners posted on Twitter have brought a smile to many a fan and firmly cemented his position as a legend in his own right.
We welcome – Mr Richard ‘Crackers’ Cracknell
The Warm Up
I’m Richard Cracknell aka Crackers
I’m 49 and retired
I went to my first Spurs game in 1976, so I’ve seen some ups and downs.  Literally the downs,  as my first season was the relegation year!!
I,  along with Kayv Ant Costa and Adam Smith host the monthly podcast ‘ohh when the Spurs’ which is anything but monthly!!!
I also host football Q&A evenings around the UK and Ireland. These are great fun to do and I’ve got to meet and become friends with many retired footballers.
As a youngster, who was your Spurs hero?
Glenn Hoddle and Graham Roberts
Glenn could do things with a football that literally defied physics. If he was in his pomp today,  he would be a £150m + player (just trying to relate his ability to today’s football world)
Graham Roberts was absolute nails. But he was so much more than that and was a very clever cultured defender that could play too.  Always loved players that went out and would literally spill blood for the team.
Who is your favorite player from the current Squad?
Spurs in modern times,  have always been a team with a sprinkling of one or two great players amongst a team of good to ok players. This current squad is very different. The collective spirit makes us what we are,  and no one player makes us. So I’m gonna go a little off piste here and pick Mauricio Pochettino as my star man of this team.  He is the absolute glue that makes us. These are great times at Spurs, cherish them.
From World football, who would you most like to see in a Spurs shirt?
He’s not been too long retired so I’m gonna sneak him in and say Ronaldinho. Knowing how we’ve always been suckers for one of those players that get you off your seat ala Paul Gascoigne, David Ginola then Ronaldinho would have been an absolute icon at Spurs.
What is your favorite piece of Spurs memorabilia? 
I’m really not one for memorabilia.  I do have some bits and pieces that I’ve given to my two sons for their bedrooms. My memories of meeting and interviews with some of Spurs greatest players are the things I cherish.

Where in the world have you watched Spurs live other than UK? 
Germany Italy Spain Belgium Portugal France Holland
..  Probably some more that I’ve forgotten!!
Which former player would you love to see in the current squad? 
Glenn Hoddle every day of the week and twice on a Sunday.
Most memorable Spurs moment? 
Wow…  That’s so tough to pick. Watching football is so much more than just going to watching football.  The last day of the Lane and walking down the High Road and going through the turnstiles with my Dad one last time was pretty special,  bringing 40 years of going to White Hart Lane together,  to an end.  I came out the lane afterwards in floods of tears and my dad being my dad said “glad to see the back of it,  seen some right old shit in there down the years” Lol lol lol
Also loved the night we beat Inter Milan at the lane when Bale wasn’t just great,  he was terrifying. The atmosphere just before kick off could have powered a city for a month.
Who was your most disappointing Spurs signing?
 I’ve never answered this when asked, and not changing that now. I don’t think any player ever sets out to be terrible or not try. Sometimes we buy square peg players that are asked to play round hole roles,  or they just don’t settle at the club
Which Spurs players (3) would you chose to join you if you were on ‘Come Dine With Me?
I’ve been massively privileged to sit and have dinner with loads of Spurs players from our past,  so I’ll go with three who I think would be good company.
Peter Crouch,  as I’d imagine he’d be a good laugh
Mauricio Pochettino,  he seems to be cut from a different cloth to the usual football man
Jermaine Jenas..again, he seems to have something about him as a person that would be good company at dinner.
Who would be in you all time Spurs XI (4,4,2 formation)?
Not massively balanced but hey, they’re not gonna actually play!!!
Jennings GK
Perryman RB
Knowles LB
King and Roberts CB
Hoddle Gascoigne Blanchflower Ardiles MF
Greaves and Kane FW
Sorry Rasiak…  You’ve only made the bench!!!!!

The Interviews – Javad Movahedi

Hello everyone and welcome to the latest installment of ‘The Interviews’. It’s been a while since I have done one of these so I thought i’d start the year off with an exclusive from outside of South Dorset Spurs – Mr Javad Movahedi – known to many Spurs fans for the fantastic Tottenham Hotspur Family Podcast.

The Warm Up

Javad Movahedi is an avid football fan.  Born in 1980, he lives and works in London. His day job involves working in the broadcast technology industry where he counts his one of his biggest achievements as being part of the team that launched London Live TV channel.  He is passionate about all things London, having being born, brought up and spent all his life there.  He is a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan and season ticket holder. Javad hosts a regular weekly Spurs podcast, The Tottenham Hotspur Family podcast which he started in November 2014.  Different guests join him each week from different locations around the UK and also fans as far away as the USA, South Africa and Brazil, discussing all things Spurs. He has visited Tottenham’s training ground, Hotspur Way on a number of occasions including interviewing players from the Spurs ladies team for his podcast.

When not spending his spare time at Spurs games, he likes to eat out in and critic London’s myriad restaurants.  He also likes working out in the gym and taking part in 10K runs.  He has done voluntary work for Cancer Research as well raising money through Charity Runs. He has been lucky enough to meet and have his photo taken with a number of famous people from politicians, to actors, TV personalities and footballers. Javad likes to set himself daring challenges, these have included flying a plane, paragliding and ski diving.

As a youngster, who was your Spurs hero? 

So many to choose. My first were Gazza & Lineker when I was 10 years old and started supporting Spurs. Later on in my teens Klinsmann and then Ginola.

Who is your favorite player from the current Squad? 

Toby and Kane.

From World football, who would you most like to see in a Spurs shirt?

Bale once again….otherwise Messi.

What is your favorite piece of Spurs memorabilia? 

I have a signed Harry Kane shirt from the 2017-18 season I think from when we played Newcastle away, which is framed.

Where in the world have you watched Spurs live other than UK? 

San Siro Milan, September 2018.

Which former player would you love to see in the current squad? 


Most memorable Spurs moment? 

So many games to choose from. Winning at the Etihad, Feb 14th 2016.

Red Star Belgrade game 27 November 2014 for the atmosphere and this wonderful Harry Kane chant which I wish we would see more off –

That same evening I was lucky enough to meet Flav and T from the Fighting Cock Podcast, they just happened to be in the same part of the ground as me. Real honour to meet them.

Who was your most disappointing Spurs signing? 

In recent times Soldado, Janssen, Llorente. Further back Postiga, Rebrov. Notice a pattern? 😉

Which Spurs players (3) would you chose to join you if you were on ‘Come Dine With Me?

Current or ex?

Current: Mauricio (I know he’s not a player but..), Kane, and Son

Ex: Harry Redknapp (again not a player I know), Ginola and Crouch

Who would be in you all time Spurs XI (4,4,2 formation)?

Before anyone complains I’m going to exclude players before my time that I’ve seen little of – Jennings, Blanchflower et al would no doubt be in any all time Spurs XI. To do this justice however I will do a modern XI over the last 29 years since 1990, in the time I’ve been supporting Spurs.


Walker, Alderweireld, King, Vertonghen

      Bale, Gazza, Modric, Ginola

         Kane, Klinsmann

Apart from Klinsmann I’ve been fortunate enough to see all these players live, albeit saw Gazza for England in a friendly against Portugal in 96 and not in a spurs shirt. Just to explain to accommodate Jan I’ve got him playing at LB which we know he can do very well. Ginola and Bale would interchange on the flanks. Yes there is no ball winner in the middle of the park, but this team would be great on the eye and would keep the ball well anyway.

IMG_2651 (1)

Click on the following link to listen to: Tottenham Hotspur Family Podcast

Match Summary: Spurs V Man. City 29/10/18

All the punditry and mainstream/social media will be all about Manchester City and their rise back to the top of the premier league in this two horse race with Liverpool.

To be fair and honest last nights performance against Spurs at times felt like they had extra players on the pitch.

The interchange of players and the pace and pressure put upon us was excellent and a little frightening. I felt like they could strike at any moment, but they didn’t!

Through the whole game my nervousness around the goal area was more about my faith in the defence than it was concern for their attacking intent.

Trippier made a clanger , head it boot it get rid of it. Please don’t glance it back towards our own goal. Sterling made the most of it did a little shimmy and bang one nil. Mahrez goes unnoticed by Davies and finishes the move off.

The commentators talk all then moved to the fact that Mahrez is ex Leicester City and how fitting it was for him to score knowing the chairman of his old club was so tragically killed just a couple of days ago.

Tragic yes it is and the football community comes together. But fitting, really? Martin Tyler hang your head for this blatant load of bollocks.

Lets be honest Mahrez didn’t score for the Leicester city chairman he scored for Manchester city its not fitting at all.

So after making the best start to a premier league season playing not very well the performances have started to improve. PSV was a disappointing result more so because in my view we played some of our best football. To come away with a draw. After that felt like a loss.

Last night we went a step further, we definitely played our best football of the season but this time we did lose. There was very little expectation from this game, most social media warriors had us getting thrashed by around 6-nil, the pitch excuses were being readied

And as the team was announced you could feel the excitement  build with the inclusion of Moussa Sissoko, tweets of despair at the ready.

Ultimately however it was in fact Sissoko who had the last laugh being named by many as their man of the match! It would appear that his confidence is on the up, he was prepared to mix it up get in the way and run at people. He also decided this was the game that he was going to

Start putting in crosses to the box and playing forward passes in good areas. Who would have thunk it?

He did of course have a couple of brain farts which does keep the haters happy but overall this was by fair his best game in the Lilywhite shirt.

Dembele continued to look strong and nimble and up for a fight. Penalised a number of times unfairly for me the officials did not have a great game. Far too many soft fouls given and extra protection to City. Not however for Diers tackle which sent shivers down my spine.

Apart from that Dier again had a far better game than he has previously this season again his passing was far better and a lot more like his old self.

Kane taking an early shot was a joy to see as this has been something he has not been doing much of and all but a final dip on the ball could have brought us back level. Kane still seems to be running a bit deeper, but he still had plenty of the ball linking play up well. Moura and Lamela

Continue to look very lively Moura gave Walker a real rough time, Walker had a poor game maybe trying too hard as well as being harassed by Moura. At one point having quite a nibble at poor Lucas who was unlucky not to get the benefit due to being just off side.

The team worked hard during the game trying to carve out that one opportunity, yes it did come great work by the subs with Dele putting it on a plate for Lamela to sky it over the bar. As it fell for him given his form this season you would have expected more, sadly it wasn’t to be.

Some other positives were to be seen from this loss however.  Dele coming back and looking sharp, Erickson starting to pull strings and also Harry Winks looking very commanding in the middle. Pulling off some Scott Parker 360 turns effortlessly.

Once again left with the disappointment of not getting the result we want, but seeing signs of team getting back their form and their togetherness , ultimately one mistake the difference between the two teams.

So as always up the Spurs!

Credit: The Dorset Spur


Catch Up: International Break, Spammers and PSV away day

Its been a busy few weeks since I last wrote a few words on the SDS Blog. The international break came and went with what I can only describe as the most mundane match I have ever had to endure in the form of Croatia v England. Closely followed by one of the most creative International performances with a victory against Spain. Spurs lads, including Dier and Kane, taking a leading role. That tackle by Dier on Ramos was something special – old school awesome!!

With Premiership weekend finally returning we faced our annoying neighbours from the East of London, West Ham United. During the lead up to what is essentially their cup final. Their Captain, Mark Noble, declared that both teams had compatible starts to the season and were effectively on an even keel. However, any sane football fan would easily agree that this statement was utter bo&*(Ks!! We were sitting two points from the summit, with the Spammers drifting somewhere close to the relegation zone having lost their opening four games. Anyway we went on to beat them 0-1 with a goal from the Erik. Hugo the hero with multiple match winning saves. We’ll come back to him in a moment.

Away days are rare for me due to insufficient points on my ST so when the opportunity to go away and watch Spurs against PSV Eindhoven came along I grabbed it full on by the cahooners. Fortunately I have a brother who lives in Holland and has multiple contacts at PSV so ticketing wouldn’t be a problem.  I’d pinned my hopes on Corporate Hospitality, similar to what we experienced in 2008 during our UEFA Cup campaign. On this occasion though we were to sit in the PSV family section up in the gods. On arrival at Eindhoven it became clear that this was to be a high Category game and judging by the amount of police on every street corner the constabulary were taking no chances. I think the entire Dutch Police Force had their leave cancelled just for this game.

Away fans gathered in the Markt area as a DJ blasted out Techno and dance tunes. The duty Irish Bar was transformed into a Spurs Pub with flags adorned on every possible location. Still the atmosphere was good and surprisingly friendly. The air was filled with more than a hint of wacky backy and could be attributed to keeping everyone chilled and passive non-aggressive.

Around six we headed for the Phillips Stadium. Not alone though. Behind us were the PSV Ultras. Boxed in by police, loud, passionate and intimidating. Flares lit and lighting the way towards the match. Very impressive display but you wouldn’t want to get too close. We moved on, past the half/half scarf sellers and into the Stadium.

Away fans located far away to the right in what I can only describe as a cage and below us the PSV Ultras section. Great seats and surrounded by some friendly, English speaking PSV fans. They didn’t mind us being in their territory and we openly discussed all things football. Great company. Prior to the game, the build up was impressive, with a light show and loud music. Everything appears to be supported by a Techno track with Zombie Nation a particular favorite. The Ultras in full voice, orchestrated by a man in a green jacket and red hat. He spent the entire game looking in the opposite direction of the match. Raising the tempo of singing and sending the Ultras into an intimidating frenzy. Next to the conductor was a drummer. Something we’ve missed at the old WHL and totally bombed at Wembley.  The shear ability to sustain the level of noise and fervor for the entire 90 minutes made our own efforts at Wembley somewhat timid and dare I say it embarrassing.

The game itself was entertaining and during the first half we played some of our best football of the season. PSV took the lead and then Lucas equalized. When Kane headed home we once again sat back. An annoying trait of recent times and always new that at some point PSV would take advantage. Remember the heroics of Hugo earlier? Well this was his moment to mess things up in a way not too dissimilar to the Barca match. Only this time his rush of blood to the head resulted in a red card. He took out the attacker and was on his way for an early bath. PSV responded quickly and we were lucky to finish the match at 2-2. Our Champions League campaign in tatters.

The mid week also brought some bad news in the form of more stadium delays. All remaining matches for 2018 to be held at Wembley. So that means 2019 will be the year we finally get the keys and move in. I have received my ST pack for a seat I can’t sit on, in a Stadium I can’t access. I won’t attempt to go down the rabbit hole and complaining about refunds, Levy, Mace, Enic and anything else connected with the shambles that is our New Stadium Build but I will say this. Lay off those that inform us (Chris Cowlin) and those that support us (Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust). Some of the things i have read on Social Media over the last few days are just vile and extremely disconcerting.

Lets get behind the team.

Next up  – Manchester City


*Get well Glenn Hoddle – you will always be my football hero and the reason a lot of us support Spurs. All our thoughts are with you and your family.

Stay Away Day: Spurs v Cardiff City

A lot has been made of Tottenham’s attendance level at Wembley against Cardiff 43,268.

The comments all around social media stretched across the negative spectrum all the way to “disgraceful and embarrassing “. Having been at the game I have to say it didn’t look very good. There were plenty of seats around for fans to change seats and the top section was practically empty. However what needs to be reminded is that Wembley is a 90 thousand seater stadium! Not hard to look empty really.

The attendance on the day is approximately 6k more than the capacity of White Hart Lane and actually the third highest attendance in the premier league over the weekend with only Manchester United and Liverpool being higher.

Fulham vs Arsenal 25,401

Burnley vs Huddersfield 20,533

Palace vs Wolves 25,715

Leicester vs Everton 32,007

Watford vs Bournemouth 20,139

Man Utd vs Newcastle 74,519

Southampton vs Chelsea ???

Liverpool vs Man City 53,285

This game came 2 days after an 83k attendance playing Barcelona in the champions league.

To have this level of attendance you need to pull in supporters further afield than just N17.

Be honest how many Tottenham fans still live in or around the stadium?

Personally I now live in sunny Dorset, I travel up with the guys from South Dorset Spurs. We come to every home game but with varying levels of travellers.

There are numerous reasons for this. Work commitments, financial constraints, family reasons and so on.

Travelling to London from Dorset can be costly, trains are very expensive as is petrol on your own. So a group minibus is the most cost effective but twice in a week is still a significant outlay.

For the Wednesday match most of us had to take 2days off of work. Leaving at 1300 and arriving back home around 0130.

This then requires you to have leave available. If you’re self employed the ability to make up the pay up on other days.

Added to this is food and drink during the day plus ticket price for the match.

But this is not a moan about cost, this is just an opinion on why it is difficult to fill Wembley twice in one week.

Remember this is a game against Cardiff bottom of the league had this been Arsenal Chelsea or West Ham I’m sure people would have made extra effort to get over any difficulty but it wasn’t.

Even so this game was a restricted attendance as Wembley only allows a certain amount of top attendance levels. This game was capped at 50k and the club confirmed all these tickets were sold. Somewhere along the way 7k bought their ticket but didn’t come along, only they know the reason why?

Given the performance maybe they made the right call, but 3 points is 3 points and as we say…….

Up the Spurs!

Credit: The Dorset Spur

Match Day 8: Spurs v Cardiff City – Wembley Stadium

Pre-match Build Up

Relaxing watching Monday Night Football with Bournemouth v Palace on the tele and New Stadium Webcam on the tablet. Before you all shout ‘get a life’ loudly in ones direction there is of course one reason to study the multiple views at the moment. Our sacred turf is about to be installed. Quite why they doing it by tractor headlight and foreman’s torchlight is beyond me. Perfectly good flood lights available but what do I know.

Lined up to the left of my view appears to be a convoy of tractors, centre of the pitch is dominated by workers kitted out head to toe in hi-vis and a tractor is going round and round in circles. It’s like watching some pitch laying cult are having a get together.

Tomorrow morning I fully expect to wake up to a sea of green with pretty stripes and some goal posts. But then again all this torch lit shenanigans probably means they are just finishing the ground works with the critical bit going in over the coming days.

21:05 Hrs – sprinklers on

So the coming days are important ones for the club. Not only will a pitch laying milestone be ticked off the list but our team will be gracing the Wembley turf against non other than FC Barcelona and Mister L Messi. Excited – V Much!!!

I couldn’t get the time off work so with a beer close to hand, comfy seat in my living room, I sat back to enjoy the spectacle unfold. Slightly jel that my SDS family were experiencing this live amongst the ~82k. But as we all know, there will hopefully be more matches like this when we finally get into our new pad.

And what a spectacle it was. Had I been a neutral (which I’m not of course) this would have been a fantastic match that would live long in the memory. After less than 2 minutes we were already behind. Crack pot goal keeping by Hugo allowing former Liverpool Midfielder Harry Potter Coutinho to smash the ball in the back of the net. Oh and that Messi bloke is quite something isn’t he? Two down and ‘FFS Spurs get a grip’ became ever louder. We were in for a drubbing. What a blinding goal – two feet off the floor wow!!!

Whatever Poch said at half time must have sparked some sort of reaction as resulting tempo increase reflected a more do or die attitude. Fine work by the impressive Lamela finished off by our ‘arry. 1-2

Can we do this? Nah! More beautiful football and sublime passing and boom 1-3. Game suddenly opened right up and Messi decided to zero his shots onto our goal post. Only a matter of time before zeroing would become goal. Though not before our Erik would score and make things very exciting. 2-3 what a match!

Could we get to 3-3?

It was clear that Barca were rattled. But we always new that a substitution involving Sissoko entering the park would end in either absolute scenes or abject failure. He lost the ball on the right of the park, some quick passing, a dummy and …..Messi scores. 2-4!!

I have to take my hat off to Barca and of course Messi. But credit to Lamela, Winks & Moura for their tireless, selfless commitment that so cruelly ended in a defeat. We go on to Saturday and Cardiff at home.

This weeks Stadium update

– After 3 days of hard work pitch has been installed

– World first pitch integrated Grow Light System in action

– Seats installed in North and East Stands

– Block paving continues along High Road at all access/egress points

– Trees planted outside Tottenham Experience

– Vail installation re-starts on High Road and NW corner

Very busy times – surely announcement regarding Test Events coming soon

My prediction based on current scale of works – Chelsea 24th November

More likely – Burnley 15th December

The Line Up

Opted for the SDS minibus option for this match which always means an early start and drinks flowing just a few miles out of town. What was evident straight away was it was going to be a wet miserable day. Just last week enjoying 20 degrees and now fully kitted our in warm weather gear.

Arrived at Wembley in good time and onwards to Novotel to meet up with friends. No Punjabi event this week so opted for the room at the back of the bar. Managed to blag a table to support the almost constant of flow of Pitchers.

Great seats inside the ground and would recommend Block 128. An area that accommodates the old boys from the shelf and we can stand all game which is always a bonus. What was clear today; the crowd was non- existent. Upper tiers almost completely empty. Something I’ve not witnessed since we’ve switched venues and definitely not for an EPL match. 82k for Barca and lucky if it was 40k for this match.

With so many first team players missing this always had potential for a banana skin. We started positive enough and an early goal by Dier calmed the frugal crowds nerves. However we just seamed to meander through the game with an air of negativity that I’ve not seen for a while. Early passes and exchanges frequently went a stray or to the opposition players. Hugely frustrating to watch. The constant need to back pass or pass side words greeted with Consternation and dispair. Forward! Forward! F&*6ing Fooooorward!

At the final whistle the place really was empty. But we had 3 points in the bag. The match really was ‘as dull as dishwater’. We are just one point from the summit. However,we are not playing our best football and other teams with more pedigree will find us out. Based on today’s atmosphere, attendance (or lack of) and performance the quicker we go home the better.

Fingers crossed we are just a successful fire alarm test away from that!


Look Forward

International break

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Twitter: @southdorsetspur


Match Day 7: Huddersfield Town v Spurs

Pre-match build up

Friday 23:16 hrs and I’ve just realised I haven’t written a word this week about my beloved Spurs. So here goes…

The week started with some very touching tributes to Chas Hodges. This continued into our mid-week game home/away/home tie at Stadium MK v Watford. Fitting obituary in the match day program and songs played to remind us of the great man.

As the game wasn’t televised I opted for the radio option rather than a dodgy stream. For a League Cup tie this was for once quite exciting. Plenty of goals for either side, moments of defensive madness and a penalty shoot out to top it off. Erik once again showing his class and hometown boy Dele (Captain for the night) scoring the winning penalty. Gazzaniga quickly developing into a cult hero.

Onwards to the next round when the predictable ‘where will be we play if it’s a home tie?’ roulette will start once again.

The Ars*nal are known for being ‘The Nomads’ but we are quickly assuming that crown. Still, when the grounds complete, it will be one of if not the finest in the world. Which brings me into this weeks Stadium update via the webcams.

I must confess I have the webcams on all the time on my work desktop and even invited a few colleagues around the screen to show them the splendour of our Super Arena. Although boasting about having a seat in there has little to no koudos when you’ve paid 1200 notes for a seat that isn’t even installed in a stadium that’s not finished. Anyway….

– Block paving continues along High Road and around SW corner

– NE crane dismantled and now down to just two

– Pitch retracted 1/4 way in and split

– Pitch possibly to be laid next week (commencing 01/10/18>)

– Seats installation continues apace in the North Stand and hopefully includes yours truly

– Safe standing areas installed and revealed

Now I don’t wish to jinx it but…remember I booked a hotel for the 14th September. Well…..I’ve taken a punt on the home tie against Burnley on this occasion  – 14th December all booked. Fully flexible option selected just in case TV scheduling moves it or if it’s (god forbid) still at Wembley Stadium. We will see.

The Line Up

With Eriksen (abdominal) and Dele (hamstring) missing through injury there would under normal circumstances be a degree of panic. Although many would argue that Eriksen’s been missing in a few games and not yet reached the high standards of previous seasons. Dele would always be a missed due to his shear tenacity to create something out of nothing and wind up even the most reserved of opposition player by casually executing an almost continuous stream of nut megs and cheeky gestures.

As it turns out – no need to panic. Our placing of second last on MOTD suggests this wasn’t an exciting encounter. However who cares when 3 points are at stake and a must win, no matter how tedious, had the be the priority.

What I have gleaned from those limited highlights is that Kane appears to be sparkling again. Producing incisive runs and most importantly scoring. Numbers 144 and 145 in a Spurs shirt via header and penalty. All completed in the first half and we looked, despite our missing duo, comfortable.

Second half we rode our luck and some fine saves from our Gazza prevented the Terriers from gaining a foothold back in the match. Crossbar rattled and a couple of moments towards the closing stages but other than that – job done!

The evenings League Cup draw proceeded the clash between Chelsea and Liverpool. A tasty encounter v West Ham away to look forward too. And for once we don’t have to worry about where it will be played.


Look forward

Spurs v Barcelona – Wembley Stadium

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Twitter: @southdorsetspur


The good, the bad, the good, the ugly and the sublime – A Tottenham double header Part 1 – by Tony Baylis

5.30am, Saturday morning – the alarm sounds – Liverpool matchday Riiiiiiiiiiiise and Shiiiiiiiiiiiine!!!!

Not quite with that ‘Vietnam’ enthusiasm due to the Autumnal darkness but breakfast, shave and shower, South Dorset Spurs polo shirt on, kiss the ‘chicken’ badge and off of to the local bus stop to meet my fellow travellers.

We all get there just before the bus arrives at 6.30am – with the exception of the Admiral, who staggered up the road with his dodgy knee (we know it is a war wound but he won’t let on!) he still makes it on time – so no club fine. It is light by now, making it easy to spot the rest of our crew on the deserted streets of Weymouth. Remarkably, everyone is early today, even Billy was stood in the correct place with his newspapers, sarnies and enough cider to sink one of the Admiral’s battleships. We enter the edge of the ‘Moor – Lower Beirut as it is known – to collect Ralphie and we leave Weymouth behind. The ‘no drinking before the Ridgeway’ rule is broken already. We used to have a ‘no drinking before Littlemoor traffic lights’ rule – 2 miles into our journey but when the Council put a roundabout there we extended the boundaries for health reasons.

We hear that bus number 2 is well on its way and is picking up in Dorchester so we can all relax. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes at SDS HQ to order tickets and transport but the logistics always come together – even allowing for big human allowance of over sleeping. We are on the outskirts of Poole before you could say Paolo Tramezzani and the last 3 climb aboard the fun bus and we are Wembley bound.

Our two buses catch up with each other on the M27 with lots of waves and other hand gestures a plenty as the buses continually overtake each other in a ‘Wacky Races’ style and around 8am we arrive at Fleet Services for a much need Pee stop and a quick snack. We then gathered round one of the picnic benches to celebrate Alan G’s impending 40th birthday. A high-quality bottle of Portuguese’s finest Port (probably endorsed by Hélder Postiga himself), is poured into plastic shot glasses and candles on two birthday cakes (there were 25 of us) flicker in the early Surrey breeze. Like the candles, Alan is blown away. Birthday celebrations and Port finished, we take the remains of the cake to the buses and speed off towards the home of English football – well it was supposed to be White Hart Lane version 2 – but the less said the better. Music blaring out of Bob’s quality sound system we settled down for a sing along and copious amounts of alcohol. We had a video call from Jason who was outside WHL and it was great but with a heavy heart to see our future home.

The Wembley arch appears on the horizon and in quicker time that Vedran Corluka could ever muster, we arrived in convoy at The Torch, parked our bus and disposed of the bulging dustbin bag full of empties – we always do our best to help Brent Council’s recycling figures. We pop in for a swift pint or two and catch up properly with those on Bus 2. We also see our fellow Travellers Kernow Spurs who left their Cornish homeland at 3am! Hopefully with Brexit the Devon-Cornwall immigration rules will be lifted and they can all drive straight in and leave home later.

The troops are mustered and we wander down Wembley Way to the Novotel to meet and spend time Punjabi Spurs before kick-off. It is always good to catch up with them and especially Chairman Josh who has become one of our firm friends. Paul, the Yorkshire Spurs chair is there with his northern entourage and also the familiar Devon and Somerset clubs. We are introduced to our SDS ‘neighbours’ Guernsey Spurs who have flown over and a chap from Singapore Spurs. A couple of Pitchers later and a fleeting visit from the ever-popular Chris Cowlin, the swollen contingent of nearly 50 SDS members slowly drift off into the September sunshine for what should have been the main event of the day – ‘Liverpool’. Well, that is enough about that match!

We return to our mini-buses, a quick pint for some and polish of the last of the birthday cake before heading towards North West London on our way back home. We always have a livelier journey on the way back to Dorset when we lose – no point dwelling on a bad game and definitely no points today! Progress is steady as we take the back roads to avoid the Wembley traffic. Just after South Ruislip Tube station, bus No.1, our bus, grinds to a halt – battery warning light on and shredded fan-belt on the road. This is our 3rd breakdown – having had 2 last year but a different vehicle. Tim, our driver, calls the AA, whilst the rest of us, including bus no.2 plundered the very convenient convenience store where we had stopped and alcohol supplies were topped up just in case of a long delay.

Mr AA turns up within 45 minutes, looks at the fan belt on the floor and comically said that he thought he knew what problem was. Unfortunately, it was a bit more technical than he thought. A replacement minibus is hastily despatched from our home town, 3+ hours away. DJ Bob is due to fly off on holiday later that evening, so, as the transfer window is still open in the Ruislip area, we ‘sell’ him to bus no.2 and take young Jake in return – top marks to him for giving up his seat which meant he would now get home 3 hours later than planned – but he did get time to spend it with us – so all was worth it. Bus no.2 sets off, complete with the sound system. We then asked a passer-by for directions to the closest pub – no point is wasting time!

Although the football and transport gods (insert other mystical beings or simple bad luck if you like) were not on our side, the god of beer smiled upon us and low and behold, the Middlesex Arms was only a few minutes away! This turned out to be a decent boozer, although when we walked in there were a few Chelsea fans, probably thinking what the hell are 16 Yids doing our manor. It actually turned out to be a QPR stronghold – so that was fine. We all sat round a large table, ironically number 13, and settled down for the evening. We were all in good spirits, entertainment, apart from the pub grub and great choice of real ales, was the Watford game on the various tv’s dotted around the establishment and our pantomime booing of a solitary Gooner every time he passed us to use the toilets.

The beer flowed like Ruel Fox running down the wing, occasional efforts to get news of our rescue bus were not fruitful. Eventually and 8.30pm – 5 ½ hours after our match finished, the transport arrived, just as another round had been bought. By this time, we looked at each other – all thinking the same – hey, we are quite comfortable here – he can wait. Reality hit, the Landlord supplied us with plastic pint glasses to decant our ‘medicine’ and we climbed aboard.

Although DJ Bob, now safely home and winging his way to the airport, had taken his beat box, and our relief driver not seemingly knowing how to tune a radio, we started some boisterous singing, led be young Jake who knew more words than us ‘oldies’ – he even gave us a word perfect rendition of ‘Park life’ – which was quite apt as things where a bit ‘Blur’ry having had over half a day’s drinking behind us.

It was a nightmare of a journey home due to the erratic driving of our relief driver who at one stage also told us off for disrespecting his 13-year-old clapped out mini bus by banging the side of it to provide the ‘drumming’ accompaniment to our glorious singing – although he King of Rock and Roll would have probably agreed whilst turning in his Graceland’s grave if he could here 16 Elvis impersonators singing ‘Glory Glory’.

Eventually, we arrived at Fleet Services, for a much-needed comfort stop. The West bound side was burnt down a couple of years ago but the replacement building must have just opened – a relief in more ways than one as the toilets are no longer a ‘yomp’ away. The design of the new establishment appeared to be excellent, although signs saying warning – strobe lighting and bright colours should be put at the entrance as every thing was to bright and the floor appeared to have hallucinogenic appearances. This of course may be due to coming in from the darkness of the night and being alcohol induced. Back on the bus, I move nearer the back as the dodgy driving is making me frustrated but at the rear of the bus you could still feel the occasional swerve and the noise of rumble strips.

The mood on the way back was muted by the driver playing his Mumford and sons CD continuously until we got home – not even the Lion Man track made an appearance but that was his fault – not mine!

We jettison Jake in the New forest and he zig zags to his awaiting lift. Then onto Poole and 3 more disembark and onto deepest darkest Broadmayne, a few miles from the arse end of Dorchester to drop Al, our now 40-year-old, off into the darkened village, just in time to avoid the locals running up the road with pitchforks and burning effigies. We survive the cart tracks and then back over the Ridgeway with the shining lights of Weymouth and the moon kissed sea in the distance.

Before we had tine for a couple of choruses of ‘my name is Nicola Berti’ we were back at the bus stop that the left 18 hours earlier. At half past midnight I staggered into my house. A good day out, a bad footy game and an ugly journey home but our second Tottenham game of the weekend was only hours away. Surely things could only get better – or was this just a D. Ream ????

It Must Be Love

When you start to support a football team you are effectively signing up for a lifetime. This is not a marriage where if it goes wrong you can walk away.

This is not like children who will grow up and leave you to fester in your own piss.

This is not a career that eventually says thanks but no thanks.

This is a commitment that will never be broken.

We as football fans care about our club more than anyone else in the business.

The owners do not share your passion.

The players will move on.

Sky and BT will move the games to suit their needs

The governing bodies are only interested in the product they can sell.

So when all the money has gone from the game, and TV don’t want to show it anymore and the foreign oil people move to the next big thing, we will still support our team.

Now is not a great time at our club. Our new stadium is delayed, the season ticket process are too high, the board are not spending millions on new players and we have lost 3 games in a row!!

But this love is not going to diminish, as much as you try to fight your commitment to be at the next game will win.

Abusing ex players who work as ambassadors for the club is not going to make things better. These guys are bound to support what is going on they are ambassadors. They should be given a level

Of respect. These are the people who pose for pictures with you, support your charities and turn up for the legends nights.

Social media is not a great place following a defeat that’s for sure, and to be honest its getting rather embarrassing.

This is all about opinions! Not everyone will agree with you. Some will say this player is shit others will say he had a decent game, it happens.

Happy clapper Levy lover, negative moaner, go support someone else. Its all there.

Fact remains you have signed up for life we all have and we will all support the club through thick and thin.

It doesn’t matter to the board or the club what we think or what we want. They will do what they feel is the best for their business/product/project.

Like it or not we will be there supporting them.

Up the Spurs!

Credit: The Dorset Spur

Match Day 6: B & HA v Spurs – Amex

Pre-match build up

During the heady days of our long hot summer and England’s journey along the World Cup trail, those with a social media addiction were subjected to almost constant barrage of ‘its coming home’. Some of the most memorable memes clogging our Twitter feeds included clips from classics including Only Fools and Horses and how could we forget the late great Whitney Houston mouthing those special words. Strange as it seams, It had a great many of us believing it might just happen.

Of course now we know… it didn’t!

With that distraction out the way, it was time for Spurs fans to get excited. We had our shiney new stadium to look forward too. It’s coming home switched to ‘we’re going home’. Instead of memes we were bombarded with glossy pamphlets, notices regarding match day road closures and that now infamous bill board campaign – ‘the only place to watch Champions League Football in London’.  The keys to the front door would be issued on Saturday 15th September at 12:30hrs. Come early for the opening ceremony and make sure you make lots of noise and wave your flag.

Of course now we know…we didn’t!

That day has now passed and I’m almost relieved. Had the performance on Saturday against Liverpool at Wembley been replicated on our opening match there would have been 59,000 fans throwing their flags in the direction of Eriksen and co. or worse wishing to stick them somewhere unpleasant. The singing would have turned nasty with a hint of venom. Not a great start to our ‘new era’.

The disappointment, false dawns and missed opportunities just seams to continue. This is often reflected by the frequent early migration towards the exit. I’ve never been one to leave early and regularly scowled at those who lept from their seats at 75 minutes and headed for the door. Who in their right mind pays that kind of money to leave early or what kind of fan are they? But they do; in their droves. On Saturday my eldest said at 90 minutes let’s go, I’ve had enough. I relented and missed a peach by Erik and what would have been the equivalent of Hatton Gardens famous robbery if Son’s calls for a penalty had been acknowledged by the ref.

However; Tucked away in this pit of misery, a true fan will always have a little bit of optimism and faith. After all that’s what makes us tick and why we keep going back for more. Saturday was exceptionally rubbish but we have Inter Milan on Tuesday and as I break into a smile, I utter those fateful words ‘no other London team has that’.

Tuesday 18th September – UCL Match 1

Inter Milan 2 Spurs 1

First time under Poch – 3 loses in a row 🙃

The first half wasn’t great but as soon as the second started we had the upper hand. We should have built on the lead Eriksen gave us. But we didn’t!

Defensive frailties in the closing stages of the match and we were on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat. Sad times!

New Stadium Update (from THFC Webcam)

– Grow lights switched on and tested

– Extensive testing of screens and electronic advertising boards continues

– Block paving along High Road and the South West bend

– Pitch loading/storage area boards removed to make way for turf (ITK’s believe Oct 1st>)

– Installation of seats in North, West & East Stands (mines still not in 🙁)

– Promise of Season Ticket Membership packs to be released this week/next week (thinking what’s the point?!?)


B & HA v Spurs

The Line Up

Just a few hardy soles in the Royal Oak this week for the evening kick off against the Seagulls. Pre-match talk all about the introduction of Gazzaniga as Goal Keeper; with much maligned Vorm not even worthy of a spot on the bench.

First half was a frustrating, laboured affair offering little in the way of chances. As the game meandered towards a dull stalemate the tempo of play thankfully improved. Strong run by Kane towards the penalty area. Foul with free-kick awarded. Trippier strikes and ball contacts raised arm. Penalty Spurs. Kane strikes with accuracy and power. 0-1 Spurs.

Half time arrives and Brighton show their class by playing Chas & Dave. Applauded by all fans as one. Beautiful and touching moment. A great tribute to Chas Hodges who tragically.

Brighton reacted well to going one down and proceeded to increase the pressure; driving forward with intensity. Rousing the rain soaked crowd and making the Spurs fans very nervous. After recent results we really needed to kill this game off. At 68 minutes, Manager made his decision and prepares Lamela for action. The introduction of arguably our most creative and exciting player at the moment (Lucas aside) paid off at 78 minutes. Tireless work down the left by Rose, excellent pass to Erik and a sublime finish. 0-2 Spurs.

The closing stages of recent matches has taught us that we need to keep our heads until the final whistle. This game would be no exception as the Seagulls pressed again. Their hard work paying off in injury time with a quality strike. 1-2 Spurs.

Important win for the Spurs and confidence/pride restored. Mini slump (according to the sports hacks) over.

RIP Chas Hodges that win was for you


Look forward

Spurs v Watford – League Cup – Stadium MK

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