Friday, September 08, 2006

SPAOTP Recommends... White Hart Lane Legends Vol.1

In the first of what we hope will be a regular feature, ‘Some People Are On The Pitch’ brings you a selection of interesting extracts from football-related books that we think are worthy of a mention.

Our first piece is from the book ‘White Hart Lane Legends - Volume 1’. The book, published in August 2005, includes interviews with some huge names from Tottenham Hotspur's illustrious history, including Graham Roberts, Steve Perryman, Cliff Jones, Pat Jennings, Ron Henry, Keith Burkinshaw and many more. Every Spurs fan will love this book, it captures what the club and the fans meant to some of the biggest names in the club’s history.

In this extract, journalist Keith Palmer talks to former Spurs, Arsenal and Northern Ireland goalkeeping legend, Pat Jennings:

KP: You played in dangerous times. Did the terrace trouble ever affect your game, especially being the closest player to the action?

PJ: Not really, although over the years I’ve been hit with almost everything. At Tottenham the crowd were right on top of you, although as far as personal insults are concerned, you probably heard worse at reserve games because the sparse crowds made it easier to pick out individual comments.

I’ve been hit by door handles, snooker balls, ball-bearings, and filed down coins. I remember once being bombarded with wire staples in a home game against West Ham. But the worst incident was when I was playing at Forest one year with Arsenal, where a missile came flying out of the crowd. I didn’t see it but suddenly felt a pain surge through my upper forearm. I glanced down to see a dart sticking in me. It had penetrated all the way up to the hilt.

KP: What was your first reaction?

PJ: I remember pulling it out of my arm, then placing it in the back of the net with my other belongings. I recall a policeman rummaging around trying to take it out but I didn’t know whether he was checking the evidence or trying to hide it. The match was still in progress so I didn’t have time to dwell on it there and then.

KP: What happened then?

PJ: Don [Howe] immediately flew in to Cloughie’s office asking him what kind of place Forest was for allowing that kind of behaviour. Brian reassured us that something would be done and responded by apologising in a personal letter the following week.

[Laughs] It was addressed to ‘’the Big, soft Irishman’’ and signed, ‘’Love, Brian’’. The thrower actually got caught and served six months in jail, so Brian kept true to his word.

Taken from the book “White Hart Lane Legends – Volume 1”.
Published by Legends Publishing

ISBN: 0-9543682-5-8
Published: November 2005
Binding: Hardback
Price: £19.99

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