This years competition is now up and running. As we start to collect memories of this competition lets look back at some of the thoughts, by and of, Tottenham players at previous tournaments. From the bliss of goal scoring moments to the 'delights' of being a pampered star of the 1950’s. Along the way we will hear the recollections of amongst others Jermain Defoe, Clint Dempsey, Alf Ramsey, Paul Gascoigne, Terry Medwin and Robbie Keane. This image Paulinho the first Tottenham player in action, wonder what his memories will be ?
Jermain Defoe - talking about his experiences in South Africa. “My goal for England against Slovenia(1). That was great, and it was a great World Cup because it was in South Africa. It’s a special country. I’ve always loved Nelsen Mandela, so when I got picked to go to that World Cup in South Africa, it was special for me and my family. Even when I went, I didn’t really expect to play straight away because leading up to the World Cup I was in and out of the team. I managed to get into the team, played and scored. It’s great. The feeling’s just amazing. It’s something I want for my young kid and I want that feeling again. There’s been many players that I’ve looked up to, great forwards that have played in the Premier League, who never really got a chance to go to a World Cup. I realize how special it is and you can’t really take anything for granted because one day when I look back, I can say that I’ve been to two World Cups., (He also traveled to Germany in 2006, but did not play). I remember the last World Cup, the altitude was a factor. But beforehand, I remember I got one of those altitude tents and slept in it, in my house, for four months before the World Cup.”
Alf Ramsey recalled the England training camp was at St. John d’el Rey Mining company and the fifteen and a half mile journey down to the city in 1950. “Never will the footballers who made the journey to the camp forget the nightmare experience of being driven around 167 hairpin bends on a road which seemed to cling to the side of the mountains. The driver to give him his due was almost completely at ease. He was possibly the only fellow on board that coach who did not give an anxious thought to the possibility that the coach might hurtle hundreds of feet into the valley far below. Every time a car passed us a nasty red dust would come hurtling into the coach and we were all holding handkerchiefs to our faces long before we reached the little town on Nova Lima through which we had to pass on our way to the camp(2).
Robson also wrote in his autobiography about Gascoigne’s performance V Czechoslovakia prior to the finals.
“This performance persuaded me he was ready to graduate to the world cup, he was sensible and disciplined he laid on two goals and scored the fourth, he was in his element.”
Gascoigne - on the moment he received hi second yellow card and would miss the final if England won. “It took a few seconds and then it hit me, I wasn’t going to play in the world cup final, ….l looked at the crowd, I looked at Lineker and I couldn’t hold it back at that moment I just wanted to be left alone, I didn’t want to talk to anyone or see anyone.”(3,4)
Terry Medwin - the first Tottenham player to scorce at the world Cup finals, for wales in 1958(5). “It was a long time ago, and it was only the one time we got to the World Cup finals, but you'll never forget it, It was a great experience playing for Wales when I first got my cap but even better when we qualified for the World Cup."
Robbie Keane - Recalls 2002 , “We conceded in the first 15 minutes or something like that (Miroslav Klose in the 18th minute), and everyone thought, this is it. Germany is going to run over us. Then in the 88th minute, something like that, we scored a great goal. I think it was a long ball from someone and Niall Quinn flicked on, one of the players I kind of looked up to for a long time, and as a person as well, to have someone like him actually assisting on the goal was, for me, was great. I was lucky, the keeper got a little bit of a hand on the ball, it hit the post and went in. And I was just ecstatic. Right in front of the home fans as well. It was certainly a special moment.”(6)
Notes -1- Flying Down to Rio, Flight 32. 2 - More thoughts on this competition in Flight 3. 3- Gazza
4 - Flight 19. 5 - Flight 5, 6 - Flight 28.
Thanks - THFC, Alf Ramsey - Talking Football, BBC, Top Image - THFC,
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Keith Harrison, 192
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