In all of our life’s we manage to procure many titles along the way. As I write this column I can recall a number of them that I have picked up during my own life. I am currently a husband, a father, an uncle, a cousin, a nephew, a friend, a spurs fan and a whole host of other titles which I play out in the daily course of my life.
Last month I lost one of those titles, a title which cannot be replaced and one that every young man cherishes, until last month I was a fathers son.
My father held the title of father with great distinction and helped guide me to the inevitable titles I would take on in my own life. His main legacy to me was sport, a passion we shared from the time I could pick up a ball. He is the reason I support spurs, the reason that Gloucester Rugby Club holds so many memories for me and the very reason that sport plays such a large part of my life.
My father excelled at all sports and as I grew older that passion he had for anything that involved a ball was passed down to me, practising cricket in the backyard with a bat and ball, kicking the football over the park, rugby trips to Kingsholm, the home of Gloucester Rugby Club and even branching out to snooker when later life took hold.
All children take a certain element of their parents traits and interests, walk towards any football ground on a Saturday afternoon and you will see sons & daughters following in the footsteps of their parents, wearing replica shirts and forming a bond that will stay with them for the rest of their life’s.
My father’s legacy to me was Tottenham, decided on a Sunday afternoon watching the Big Match on TV when I asked him who we supported, he replied Spurs and a thread of my life was formed that will stay with me until my own day comes. If he had said Arsenal(perish the thought) would I now be celebrating a 5-2 win over the local rivals last weekend. If he had said any other team my life could have taken a completely different direction. I have my father and grandfather, as it was he who started this love affair with the lilywhites to thank for all my spurs memories and although I could have cursed him many times in the last thirty five years, overall it’s a legacy that makes me feel proud.
Shankly once said that football was more important than life, only now can I appreciate the sentiment as every time I have watched spurs since I lost my title, football reminds me of my father and the inevitable debate we would have had after the game. I’ll miss his struggled pronunciation of Pavlyuchenko and his constant reference to that bloke with the big hair( Benny Assou-Ekotto) When I turn up at Everton next Saturday I’ll also have to for the first time keep my programme at home, a family tradition to send it to him to read will no longer be required.
Timing is everything in life and my father will never know if the current spurs squad will one day match the achievements of the 1961 team, he had those memories and passed them on to me not knowing that for the rest of his days and all of mine so far, Tottenham would never reach such heady heights. I promised him that if we do I’ll go tell him about it.
The last meaningful thing I did with my father was watch Tottenham on TV, apt as we spent all of my life doing just that. We won an FA cup game and we predicted a day out in May would be just what the doctor ordered………..
Losing my title as a fathers son will inevitably take a long time to adjust to, as it will for all the people who shared his life and now contemplate life without the title my father held for them, but if I can take any consolation from the passing of my father, this is it…………..
I may have lost the title last month, but if our faith is strong and we believe our elders are watching over us, then my father has just regained the same title I lost and I hope he is sat next to my granddad discussing the current spurs team and the chances of Harry staying…………. in the meantime I will try to continue to educate my son, the Tottenham way.
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