Earning our Spurs

How can the simple action of turning hands on a clock face twice a year cause such utter confusion?

The conversation in our house went something like this:

“Don’t forget the clocks go back tonight.”

“Does that mean we lose an hour in bed?”

“No, we gain an hour.”

“That can’t be right because we’ll be waking up at six rather than seven.”

“No, just because the clocks go back doesn’t mean you have to go back with them.”

“But surely you gain an hour when they go forward because you’re getting up at eight rather than seven?”

“No it…oh forget it.”

In the event it didn’t make a jot of difference as I left my house near Tottenham at half seven (or was it half six?) on Sunday morning to get three tubes to Shepherd’s Bush, in order to walk back to Tottenham.

Crazy? Most definitely. But it was all in a good cause as I joined up with the 30-strong contingent at Loftus Road preparing to tramp across London raising money for QPR’s Tiger Cubs team for children with Down’s syndrome.  

“One of our number, who shall remain nameless,  preferred talking the talk to walking the walk.”

I did try to persuade my fellow walkers that it might be easier if I jumped on a number 41 and met them for lunch at the top of the Seven Sisters Road, but sadly my plea fell on deaf ears.

This is the third walk we’ve done – the other two resulted in 2-0 wins at Palace and Watford – and after the euphoria of Chelsea, the mood in the camp was quietly confident about securing an unlikely hat-trick.

Oh well, two out of three aint bad.

Hats off to human sat-nav Ian Stenning as he assumed the role of Pied Piper, leading us confidently into the rats’ lair – via a series of beauty spots to make the journey’s end a little more palatable.

There’s no place in the world than can hold a torch to Hampstead Heath in the glorious autumn, while Highgate leaves you dreaming of what might have been had you been a little more successful in your career.

Even the housing estates round here make The Bronx look like The Hamptons- you won’t find a Jasmine Allen around these parts, Bill fans.

Naturally the scenic route involved a lot of hills as we scoured the highest peaks of this fair city, although one of our number, who shall remain nameless,  preferred talking the talk to walking the walk.

Spurs here we come...

As we finally reached the summit of Ally Pally, he was heard to loudly mutter: “We came all the way up this ****** hill to look down at a load of ****** tower blocks?!”

I’m sure he provided the inspiration for Chas ‘n’ Dave’s biggest hit – actually two of their biggest hits, come to think of it.

Inevitably the closer we got to my neck of the woods, the faster the landscape fell away. At one point, following a brief stop for some liquid refreshment, a couple of us pleaded with some random Spurs fans to direct us to a toilet.

“You can go anywhere round here, you can’t make it any worse!” came the cackled reply. I wonder how many White Hart Lane regulars still actually live in the area?

Finally, after 13 long miles, we reached our destination, but it was to be White Hart Pain for the travelling faithful as, like Fulham, a perfectly pleasant day was spoiled when a football match broke out.

Not that we could have too many complaints. Spurs were as magnificent as Rangers were poor in the first half, with last season’s boy wonder Adel Taarabt spraying balls around with all the accuracy of an over-excited tom cat.

The only triumph was the noise generated by the away fans throughout, with our Spurs counterparts seemingly happy to accept their stadium was indeed a library.

At least Rangers had a go after the break and when the lively Jay Bothroyd pulled one back the comeback was on – only to be cruelly snuffed out by a peach from Gareth Bale.

Like the Barnsley fans in ’97 when Trevor Sinclair scored that goal, I found myself numbly applauding Bale’s effort. Sometimes you just have to take it on the chin.

Incidentally, we interviewed Tricky Trev for the Open All R’s podcast the following day and he was a little perturbed that the only thing he’s remembered for in a glittering career was that moment of magic.

Sinclair revealed that his then-girlfriend was watching in the stands when he pulled off the greatest overhead kick of all time (Rooney’s was a lucky bounce off his shin) and not surprisingly she agreed to be his wife soon after.

Hell, I was ready to marry him after that.

If you want to know more about how to donate to the Tiger Cubs and to find out more about the brilliant work the QPR Community team, led by Andy Evans and Fiona Hodgson, do, click here. 


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