I’ve collected together a second collection of ‘Tottenham Tattoo’s ‘for your delight for your summer entertainment after the first collection certainly proved a winner with the readers.
Another item that proved a big success was the various ‘Superstitions’ that appeared in Talking Tottenham across the ages. I have gathered them together for the first time for your pleasure, well there isn’t too much you can say about tattoo’s is there.
There will be some more ‘Talking’ specials during the summer break. Don’t worry footie will be back shortly.
One of the side effects of writing Talking Tottenham was that people send you in various odd photos and items. After the success of the first set of tattoo’s various pics have turned up in the in-box ( often without any details!) and a couple I stumbled over myself. A big thank you goes out to the contributors, as well as the models and artists. Feel free to say ‘that’s me’.
As for the Superstitions, footballers over the years have picked up various strange rituals. We have all seen the player who comes out last, in front of the goalie, behind the goalie, jumps over the white line or step on the the pitch with his right leg, crosses himself as goes over the line or has to touch the turf. Some must put the left foot boot on first etc.
Where possible I’ve tried checking watching old DVD’s etc to check people’s places in the line. I have omitted a couple I was given where the evidence doesn’t support the idea. Here are the Tottenham ones I have, do let me know if you have heard of any others. There are some non-Spurs ones like banging your head on the changing room door (that’s from West Ham) or David James who use to spit at the urinals in the dressing room, but that’s just silly. The following is brought to you in good faith.
Both Jermain Defoe and Gary Lineker have been credited with not changing their shirt at half time if they have scored but changing if they haven’t. Former Fullback Steve Carr use to wear long sleeves in the first half but change to short for the second. (I must remember to check that when watching old footage).
Jermain Defoe (again) once explained his hair style “I have to get a short hair cut before a game. I only ever seem to get injured when I have longer hair.”
Talking of full-backs Pat Van Der Howe would only wear short sleeve shirts no matter the weather.
One that was told on a stadium tour a few years back, so it must be true! Tom Huddlestone would lay out two Jelly Babies before the match and bites their heads off one and has the other half at half-time!
Lots of footballers get tattoo's but Toby Alderweireldl has one of the Cathedral of Antwerp! see below
We had a lad called Andy Booth who only played a few games for us, he said that when he was a lad Alan Shearer had said he always had chicken and beans before a game. Andy’s mum then gave him the same before his next game and he scored, after that he always had chicken and beans throughout his career, he also said that he had never had that meal since he stopped playing.
Some players have their own pre-match rituals and always have the same pre-match meal.
While Steve Perrymen it’s said has always worn the same tie on match day. Other players search the crowd knowing they won't play well unless they can spot a certain loved one.
Whilst Goalies are a funny breed at the best of times, Heurelho Gomes has his own jumping and touching the crossbar ritual pattern that must be performed before each half commences.
Ray Clemence always had to arrive at the ground first before the other players, sometimes hours before kick off. Other players whose rituals occurred before reaching the ground include David Howells would have the same music on in the car on match day, until they lost and then it would be changed.
While Paul Miller inserted on a big fry up meal. He also slip his boots on at the last possible minute.
Dave Mackay admitted in his first autobiography he was superstitions in his younger days and would appear in the line to match his shirt number. So if he was left half he was sixth and right half fourth etc.
His Scottish team mate John White did not mind where he was in the line but according to his good friend Cliff Jones he liked him behind him. Bill Brown meanwhile always came out behind Danny Blanchflower and Maurice Norman liked to be at the back of the line.
Other goalies, in the same vein as shirt swapping strikers, will want to keep their lucky gloves if they do well. It may just be me, but I’m sure Pat Jennings use to bounce the ball three times before drop-kicking the ball downfield. To such an extent we use to copy him in the playground.
Steve Hodge just before the whistle would like to do three jump ups with his knees touching his chest. While Darren Anderton its claimed use to drop back to the edge of the penalty box and retie his laces.
Now I love Erik Dier, but not that much!
Note to self, don't be in the room when this chap Erik's moving to another club.
Meanwhile back in the dressing room, Gary Mabbutt its said use to rotate his shin pads several times before putting them on.
Gary talking about the 1991 FA Cup Final recalled on the way to the stadium in the coach that Ossie Ardiles, Ray Clemence, Tony Galvin and himself sat in the seats at the front of the coach in the same positions that they had in each round leading up to the final.
I read somewhere Graham Roberts is another one of the players who likes to be last in line coming out. While Adebayor is also credited with wanting to be last, video footage shows he wasn’t always at the end, but always near it, maybe several players took turns!
While Mark Falco when asked about the subject replied 'He thought it was bad luck to talk about it.’ While Roger Morgan used to spit out his chewing gum as he crossed the white line before kick off and kick it. The further it flew the better game he would have, Roger that leaves you open to some silly comments.
Talking of scoring, during the pre-match warm up Clive Allen did not use to shoot into the net. While Gary Lineker (again) also didn’t like to score in the warm up as he might use up his goals before the game.
Talking in 2014/15, Harry Kane was quoted talking about his run of three goals in three games he said - "I have not had a shave since my first goal. I could end up an upside down Huddlestone if I keep scoring! Until I stop scoring, I don't think the beard will come off. If I score in the next three, that will mean keeping it until next season."
I also found an article where Harry said, he did not have any pre-match rituals but I always put things on left first, for example, left shin pad left boot etc.
When we spoke to Star Trek’s Marina Siritis she said she had read that footballers always put their left foot on first so she started putting her shoes on the same way.
Our recent interview with Harry Winks revealed he doesn’t have any rituals or superstitions.
It’s not just the players, a few years ago I know one group that stopped one of their casual friends from standing with them because whenever he did so we lost. I confess I still tend to pull the same replica shirt on just before kick off and wear the same one if we win for the next match.
Anyway if you have any more tattoos(I have a few more), superstitions or even superstitious tattoos do let me have them and I pass them on at some point.
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A Long Dark Shadow
By Royal Appointment
School Report: An Insight into the Younger Eric Dier
All Change At Spurs
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Passage to India: Rohan Rickets
Thanks For The Memories
Our Tommy Carroll
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You The Jury
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Connection - Argentina
Creating a Reputation
Flying Down To Rio