Arsenal legend reveals the most hostile North London derby he played in

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

When Arsenal visited White Hart Lane on November 17th, 2001, it was like no other North London derby in history.

Just four months prior, Tottenham Hotspur’s club captain Sol Campbell had walked out on the club and joined fierce rivals Arsenal on a free transfer.

Campbell had publically assured Tottenham and their supporters that he would be signing a new contract at the club to commit his future to the Spurs cause.  However, he did the dirty and showed why the fans have since labelled him as Judas.

Fans lined up and down the High Road waiting for the Arsenal bus to arrive in N17 so they could give the turncoat a piece of their mind and even and hung an effigy of Campbell from a lamppost outside the stadium.

Inside the ground, Campbell’s reception was predictably just as hostile, with White Hart Lane adorned with abusive banners and festooned by white balloons branded “Judas”.

“When Sol Campbell went back to White Hart Lane for the first time, I’ve never seen an atmosphere like it, it was really hostile,” Ray Parlour said on Friday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT.

“As we came in on the coach down Tottenham High Road, you could see all the fans and the hatred for Sol because of his move across north London.

“In the game itself, Sol absolutely took someone out in the first five minutes with his first tackle.

“I think it might have been Teddy Sheringham!

“When he went down and I thought, ‘there’s going to be a riot, everybody’s going to run onto the pitch in a minute’.

“In the end it was a 1-1 draw – it was an unbelievable game.

“I played in so many north London derbies and there’s always so much at stake, but this wasn’t a normal north London derby.”

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