My league debut for Tottenham was in a match against Wimbledon back in November 1988 against the crazy gang, which had the likes of Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu playing for them.
I arrived at White Hart Lane and it was a strange feeling for me, because I didn’t feel comfortable sitting alongside the first-team lads in the changing room.
The likes of Gary Mabbut, Chris Waddle and Paul Gascoigne were in the team and it didn’t feel right being around them, so I hung around outside the changing room and spoke to the stewards instead, who I knew well.
Then I heard the Wimbledon players arrive and I did what every brave big centre-half does and hid in the boot room! I hid in there until they had gone.
Then I came out and their manager Bobby Gould acknowledged everyone and when he got to me, he said, “watch your teeth!” I then went into the dressing room and told one of the lads, who then blurted it out to the rest of the squad.
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I was a sub that day and I think the score was 1-1 when Vinnie Jones did an infamous tackle on Gary Stevens. I was told to warm up and Gary Stevens was lying there on the stretcher. I had a lot of time to think about coming on.
It was about five minutes before half-time and I entered the pitch. Even though I had only played for a few minutes, I came in at the break drenched in sweat because the game was so fast and I wasn’t used to the pace.
Then in the second half we had a corner and I spun round at the near post, got myself into a good position and headed the ball down, which went in off the post. I tried to find my mum and dad in the crowd to celebrate with them, but just saw a load of arms and legs going everywhere.
Then we scored again straight from the kick-off and went 3-1 up, before they got a goal late on to make the final score 3-2 to us.
I always remember that the Wimbledon striker Terry Gibson came up to me afterwards and said, “well done, but don’t tell anyone I said that!”
I got home and my dad gave me £20 to treat myself to a few drinks. I went round the pub, but I didn’t have to pay for a single drink, so that was a great experience.
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