After reading a recent article about Jimmy Greaves’ latest visit to the Hotspur Way training ground, It made me think, that it was him who strongly influenced me into following Spurs.
Before the Second World War, my dad was playing in goal for South London School Boys, and was registered with Arsenal too. After the war, he started a family, dropped football and started work.
As a boy during the early 60’s, I spent 2 years in Singapore with my parents and siblings, and although we played football, nobody mentioned any particular teams.
On returning to the UK in 1966, we lived in Uxbridge, my school team played in Man Utd colours, and being left footed I wore number 11, at the time a certain George Best was wearing the same.
I hadn’t really decided which team to follow, until on our local green, I met a teenager called Billy Millward, who wore the full Spurs kit, and said that he was an apprentice there. amongst other skills he taught me how to head a ball, and he new his stuff, because whenever I played in the future, I was always one of the best ariel players in the various teams I played for. It was Billy who first mentioned to me the name Jimmy Greaves, and very quickly I became a huge fan of his and of course Spurs as a team.
Which brings me back to why I mentioned my dad earlier in this article, a Gooner, who use to reminisce with me, about the great Arsenal players of his youth, Alec James, Cliff Bastin etc etc. Well I explained to him about this boy Billy and so on, and how I really enjoyed watching Jimmy Greaves play, and he said “I won’t force you to support Arsenal, I’m disappointed of course, but it’s your choice”.
The following year, Spurs beat Chelsea in the 1967 FA Cup final, watching the game on tv, I turned to my dad at the final whistle and said, thanks dad, to which he replied, “ good choice, I was afraid that if I had not allowed you to support Spurs, you might have started following that George Best bloke and Man Utd, and that would have been too much for me!”
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