Pete South explains why not all clubs are born equal, and not all clubs are born to succeed.
Whether that affects who you follow or not is up to you, but like most of us, I was born into supporting a club, and mine happened to be Tottenham Hotspur.
Why I support Tottenham Hotspur
It wasn’t because my Father placed me upon his shoulders as we watched the likes of Paul Gascoigne strut his stuff around White Hart Lane – nothing anywhere near as clichéd as that.
In fact, my Dad doesn’t even support Spurs. He is a Leyton Orient fan (much to his detriment) and I would have been quite happy to follow the trials and tribulations of a lower league side with all the kudos that comes with it for being a real fan, but I wasn’t given a chance.
I was born into the Premier League era. I was born into the proliferation of money and glamour that has now swamped football. The image of the Liverpool FA Cup side in their garish white suits remains, while the ’94 World Cup was my first real experience of the power of football both in terms of money and influence. And I wanted to be involved.
So frankly, although there was no conscious decision, Orient would have always have struggled to win my affections.
I was born into a club, but the influence came from my brother. The fire came from, somewhat peculiarly, a small, glossy, signed postcard of Erik Thorstvedt owned by him.
The over-riding memory of my childhood and football came from the fact that the man who stood in the goal on TV had signed a picture and handed it to my brother. My brother had met a famous man who was on telly and played football? That blew my mind and from then on I was intrigued, and the hand-me-down yellow Holsten Spurs kit sealed the deal. OK, so that is a bit cliché, but I was a Tottenham fan.
David Ginola. Gary Mabutt, Justin Edinburgh, Sergei Rebrov, Darren Anderton are the type of names that filled my mind as a youngster. But it was the wonderfully talented Teddy Sheringham who was the object of my affections.
Sheringham was the archetype of a fans favourite. Skilful, composed, quick of mind and feet, full of artistry and he went against the grain. We loved him and he loved us. The day he left for Man United for £3 million (a sum which still angers me today) was a sorry day for me.
The greatest thing about supporting a club like Spurs comes from the sense of pathos felt by the White Hart Lane faithful. Only a few clubs (West Ham and Newcastle spring to mind) have managed to master the art of impending doom and honour in underachieving during my formative years like Spurs.
But things have all changed at the Lane. We are successful now, even playing Champions League football now. I still moan about things which make friends who support less successful clubs furious, but I reserve the right to complain (why do we have a black away shirt like Liverpool this season? That type of thing) in what is effectively the halcyon days. It has been bred into me. It’s my club, after all.