Boyhood Tottenham Hotspur fan Harry Winks admits he was lost for words after scoring on his full Premier League debut in Spurs’ last-gasp 3-2 win over West Ham.
Winks, who joined the club’s academy aged 16, has had to wait four years for his first start in the league and he certainly made it count by tapping in a second-half equaliser at White Hart Lane.
After bundling the ball home from close range to make it 1-1, Winks celebrated like it was a moment he would never forget, racing to the crowd before being swamped by his overjoyed team-mates.
“That is one moment in my life I can never repeat,” Winks told Spurs TV.
“I can’t explain it, being a Spurs fan as well, scoring the equaliser against West Ham, it was brilliant.
“I could have kept running. I had a burst of energy and saw my family at the top (of the stand) as well and pointed to them. It was unbelievable.”
Also in the bundle of blue and white was Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has shown great faith in Winks, handing the 20-year-old nine appearances already this season.
After scoring, Winks ran over to Pochettino and the pair shared a warm embrace on the touchline.
“He’s given me my chance and put me into the first team,” Winks said.
“That was a ‘thank-you’ to him for everything he’s done for me.”
Winks said he first found out he would be starting the London derby in training on Friday, when Pochettino selected him for an exercise in tactics.
“It was Friday in training, we went to do a bit of shape and I couldn’t quite believe it, to be honest,” Winks said.
“It was like ‘me?’ It was a bit of a shock but I prepared how I always do for a game and I couldn’t wait to get out there and play.”
Winks had cancelled out Michail Antonio’s opener but West Ham looked on course for a surprise win when Manuel Lanzini restored the visitors’ lead with a penalty.
Harry Kane, however, rescued Tottenham with goals in the 89th and 91st minutes, the second also a spot-kick, to complete an incredible turnaround and seal Spurs’ first victory in eight matches.
“This team has showed time and again that when we go down, we keep going,” Winks said.
“It just shows what we’re about. A draw wouldn’t have been great, we wanted to win and Harry Kane epitomised that by grabbing the ball when he equalised and getting everyone ready to go and get another.”
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