3rd April 2019 – A day to remember for Tottenham Hotspur

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Stadium

What a fantastic day, what a fantastic evening. And back in the top 3, as well (of course United help us out here by losing to Wolves on Tuesday).

We celebrated the official opening of our magnificent new £1bn stadium with a crucial victory over Crystal Palace to cement our place in the Premier League’s top four.

Spurs must also face Manchester City as their next fixture in their stunning new stadum with bookies offering champions league betting odds that have Pep Guardiola’s side marked as favourites.

After two dress-rehearsal games (test matches), we staged the opening ceremony before kick-off, 689 days after our last league fixture on this site against Manchester United (which we won 2-1).

But let us start at the beginning (always best). I left home at 10.30 am (what! The kick off wasn’t until 7.45. That was what Hanna also had said… but she might have used more down to earth language. But there was a method to my madness… read on).

I left early because I wanted to go to the Spurs shop (I parked at Sainsbury’s). Then I went to a new location to park my car, as I tried to find a decent parking place in a suitable area… it all takes time, you know. Anyway, after parking up, I got a train from Turkey street station to White Hart Lane (only four stops). I arrived at White Hart Lane at about 2ish (only two & half hours to opening time… “Are you mad!” yes, we’ve already gone through that one).

My first (or second) stop was Sainsbury’s for a cup of Capaccino and then a trip to the Spurs shop (yes! Again) and talked to the staff (who I knew), another look around. By then the crowds were starting to build. Took some photos and spied Terry and went over to talk to him. By this time it was 3.45. While we were chatting other friends came over to chat (doesn’t time go fast when one talks?).

Before you knew it, it was 4.45, and the doors opened. I didn’t have my Season ticket card, as it hadn’t come yet (there were a few issues with certain cards), so I was issued with an E-Ticket. My E-Ticket went in ok, and I was through, then to the next stage; bag checked and through the detectors. My bag was tagged, given a programme and then up two flights of escalators. I got some more programmes. Terry bought me a drink (as we had a bet, I said that Arsenal would be our last game at Wembley, he disagreed). I had a pint of lager, and then we found comfortable seats. Jeff followed soon after. Then Beverley joined us, and I introduced her to Terry (she had already met Jeff the following week). Eventually, Mel and Steve arrived, and we sat and chatted (photos of us were taken of his historic day).

The young premium ladies came over to have a chat with us (Latisha, Stephanie and Kristine), always nice to chat with them. Then we got our food (help yourself). Paul Miller came over and joined us.

Half an hour before kick-off we went to our seats for the 15 minutes ceremony. While in my place I got equated with my new neighbours and old friends. The entire stadium had flags on their seats, to wave at the appropriate time (or any time). The minutes ticked down, and finally, we were ready.

First up was a band and singers (with a choir) and well know songs were performed. Then both sets of players came out to loud cheers, who all stood in an orderly manner while more songs were sung (this time an Opera singer came on). Once all that finished fireworks were set off, which lighted up the sky and a magnificent bellow went up.

The players had their photos taken and then got into position. We waited in anticipation… then the whistle was blown to mark the beginning of this historic event. The crowd instantly got behind the players.

So, after a series of celebrations to mark this occasion, we overcame a nervous first 45 minutes in our new home to record our first Premier League win since 10 February when we beat Leicester City at Wembley.

Son Heung-min (“Nice one Son”) will take his place in history as the first player to score a Premier League goal here when his shot from the edge of the area deflected in off Luka Milivojevic after 55 minutes. And the win was sealed 10 minutes from time when Christian Eriksen scrambled home from close range as Harry Kane looked for a penalty after tangling with James McArthur. On the matter of Eriksen’s goal; when the ball went in there was such a mix-up that we thought it wasn’t going to be given, so our ecstatic applause was delayed for a few seconds. We looked at the scoreboard to confirm that we had actually scored, then the cheers went up. Like always, when we score, high fives and hugs.

Finally, the whistle went to end this momentous game. I must admit, the occasion did bring a tear to my eyes. We stood and applauded the players off and just stood around looking at each other, smiling like Cheshire cats. Finally, we moved away from our seats and into the lounge/ bar area. Where I met Beverley, then Terry and Colin joined us.

Free cakes and puddings were available, which we helped ourselves to. Then it was time to go. At 10.45 I made my way to the WHL station. Unfortunately, there are only two trains an hour to Cheshunt (Seven and thirty-eight minutes after the hour). At least I know now for next time. Finally, the train came (a 10-minute ride). A six-minute walk out of the station to my car. Got home at 1 am. I was so knackered that I slept until 9.30 am.

The whole event rounded off the perfect night for all of us (unless you were a Palace supporter, I suppose), in front of a crowd of 59,215, as we leapfrogged arch-rivals Arsenal to go third, a point ahead of the Gunners, who have a game in hand, and Chelsea.

Now we have a week to calm down over all the excitement and go through all the process again this Tuesday. Isn’t it great being a Spurs supporter? COYS!

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.

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