Welcome to flavour country. I hope this finds you all well. The season may only just be getting off its weary feet and toeing into a good pair of slippers, but things are still all very much go in the world of the humble blogger. An epidemic of transfer hearsay is almost certainly just around the block; made doubly frantic, I’m sure, by the decent fist we made of getting into the Euro pot qualifiers this year. Nothing too bonkers just yet- aside from murmurings of us on the trail of Fabiano- but rest assured, just as there’s a whiff of anything remotely juicy, hoards of agents will be clambering over each other to get to the front of the cue. They might need to move out of whatever cave they’ve been inhabiting for the last few months, of course, if only to give their eyes a chance to adjust to the daylight. Hold onto your hats. It could get weird.
There’s a World Cup chugging toward us, too, so I’ve heard. That’ll be a hoot. As long as the tabloids don’t get too carried away with the thought of England winning it. I’m talking Photoshopping Capello’s phizog onto the side of the trophy minutes after stumbling to a 0-0 draw with the good folks from across the pond. That said, I’m awfully excited. So much so that I’ve rustled together a little section for the thing in some faraway ebb of this site.
Elsewhere, I had a chance to speak to Morris Keston yesterday; co-scribe of the terrific book Superfan: The Amazing Life of Morris Keston. As such, the man- positively bursting with great football and showbiz anecdotes- was kind enough to answer the handful of questions I’d pinged his way, via my inbox and Morris’ partner in crime, Nick Hawkins.
I’m hardly David Frost, but hey…
WFRF: Good afternoon, Morris. It’s safe to say you’ve watched a fair few Spurs game in your time. But which, of all of them, has been the most memorable?
Morris: “Tough question. When you’ve seen almost 3,000 Spurs games it’s nigh on impossible to pick just one! One of the most memorable was the match against the Polish side Gornik Zabrze in the European Cup at White Hart Lane in 1961. We were trailing 4-2 after the first leg and the atmosphere inside the stadium that night was like nothing I’d ever heard before or heard since. Cliff Jones says the same. It was the first ‘Glory, Glory Night’ and the team absolutely murdered the Poles 8-1 on the night. Cliff Jones scored three – the perfect hat-trick, one with his right foot, one with his left and one with his head. I’ll never forget that match. Likewise, I’ll never forget the match against Benfica in the semi-final. Trailing 3-1 after the first-leg (a match I also went to), we won 2-1 at the Lane, but were robbed by a Danish official, a Mr Hansen, who gave Jimmy Greaves offside in the first-half after Greavsie had scored a good goal. Jimmy still talks about that now. We’d have won the European Cup if it wasn’t for that terrible decision.’’
WFRF: Who’s the best Spurs player you’ve had the pleasure of watching?
Morris: “I can’t pick just one. Jimmy Greaves is up there as his goals won more games for Spurs than any other player. Tommy Harmer probably had the best ball control of any Spurs players that I’ve seen. Ronnie Burgess was a superb player and had the lot. Hoddle, Ardiles, Mackay, Ditchburn and Jennings were also very special. I didn’t rate John White as highly as some people. Terry Venables rates him as one of Tottenham’s greatest, but for me he drifted in and out of games a bit too much. If Paul Miller was still married to my daughter I’d rate him highly, but he’s not – so I don’t! (chuckles)”
WFRF: Heh. Fair enough. You’ve met plenty of big names over the years. Who’s the nicest guy in football?
Morris: “Bobby Moore. I mixed a lot with Bobby socially and was the chairman of his testimonial committee in 1970. Bobby always found time for fans and their kids. He’d sign endless autographs and always made sure that everyone left happy. Like many players of that era, Bobby also did a lot of unseen work for charities. Pat Jennings is an equal to Bobby in the ‘nice guy’ stakes. Pat joined me for a ‘Superfan’ book signing last weekend and it was great to see so many people turn up to see the big man. Pat is brilliant with the supporters and one lady in the queue was almost in tears after getting the opportunity to meet her idol. Pat’s Irish charm melts all hearts. A true legend.”
WFRF: What do you make of the current side?
Morris: “Harry has moulded a great team in a remarkably short space of time. We don’t really have an outstanding individual, like a Gascoigne, Hoddle or Ardiles, but they seem to have a great team spirit. Once you’ve got that in a side, you’re almost there. They
battled for everything in the final weeks of the season and it was great to watch. They are certainly capable of winning a trophy next year.”
Morris: “Yes, with the exception of the Portsmouth defeat. The FA Cup is my favourite trophy, so to lose that game hit me hard. The wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City made up for it though. I was so proud of them after those victories. Now they’ve proved they can beat the top sides, I hope they do even better next season. I want to see us win at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge! If they believe in themselves a bit more, I’m sure they could push United and Chelsea for the title in 2010/11.”
Rightio. If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of the book, then you’ve stumbled into just the right place. I’ve got one of the little suckers to give away. All you need do is answer the following question by means of an email to the usual address:
Tottenham managed 19 different scorers in the League this year- a Premiership record- can you name them all?
Best of Luck and stand-by for a bumper-sized End of Season edition in the coming days.
Aren’t I good to you?