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Today We Said Goodbye to One of Our Own……… RIP Statto

29 Jun

Today we said a sad goodbye to one of our own. Steve(n) Statto Murray. A number of us were in attendance, and we represented Statto’s Amsterdam Spurs and Spurs in the best way we could. Some words were said by us, and they are below. RIP buddy, we’ll see you in the next round of the cup. The pub is booked……

Good afternoon everyone,

We are here today, mindful of the sense of loss that is attached to this gathering.

That being said, we wanted to propose a different perspective for the day.

With us are family, colleagues and close friends, some of whom are indeed closer friends of Steve than perhaps we were, but WE might well be standing out today due to our inconspicuous attire ……..

Before I talk about Steve, we wanted to introduce ourselves:

We are John, James, Simon, Yannick, Liam, Charlotte and I, Dominic. We’re all part of what is Steve’s local football supporters club. Our purpose is to get behind our  favorite team from London, the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

I knew Steve personally for about the past five years and have spent the majority of that time with him sharing one of his favorite pastimes……….     watching Tottenham play. Steven, better known to us as Steve, was a well known member of our club, Amsterdam Spurs.

We gather regularly in Amsterdam to watch our team play, something that was important in Steve’s life. As a Spurs fan, you become familiar with hope mixed with a healthy dose of pessimism. In fact, we always hoped that when watching with Steve, he would predict a Spurs loss, as more often that not, it resulted in a Spurs win!

Either way, he spent a lot of time with us experiencing the emotional roller coaster of, “The Beautiful Game”, he truly relished every minute of it.

If you were though an unprepared member of our football watching group, you could be walking a tightrope if you turned up without wearing something representative of the club. 

From across the table he would bait you, in a friendly way you understand, with comments such as..

“Where are your colors? “

Today Steve, the last time we encounter you, at least in this half of the match, it is our sincere hope that you are satisfied by the showing of club colors, in your honor.

Oddly though, these were not always to be his club colors.

He must have told us 100 times he should have been a West Ham fan………….but considered himself too rebellious. Regardless of how his Spurs loyalty came to be, I am glad that he got to see this last year of football, as indeed it’s probably been one of the best since the early 60’s.

Steve’s connection with us goes back much further than the last couple of years, with our Club Chairman commenting that Steve was really just the third member.

He was a foundation of our group of friends here in Amsterdam.

It took a while for our team to get to the heady heights we’ve just reached. In the end we lost the match in question, but the last Spurs game that Steve got to watch, was with John, Simon and I. It was the Champions League Final.

If you’re going to go out on your shield – that’s the way to do it.

On our journey to this match, maybe just 8 weeks ago, we organized something in Amsterdam as a group. Our supporters club lined up an event in Amsterdam where we hired a theatre and had two of the old Spurs Legends, a guy called Graham Roberts and another called Clive Allen

 …. you can look them up on Google if you don’t know who they are……

 They are players of the past……..  who visited us to entertain us with a speaking event telling tales of their time at Tottenham. It was the night before the game here in Amsterdam, Spurs were going to play Ajax just a few kilometres from where we are now

When we announced our event, one of the first tickets sold, was sold to Steve. On the night itself, these two legends told stories of their past, the goals they had scored, and the rivalries that they had had. I remember glancing across and catching a view of Steve, smiling, mesmerized by the significance that this night had for him.

Having hired these old greats of the game and the venue, with the other club members, the point of the evening where we opened up the floor to questions was upon us.  At this point, Steve stood up.

He didnt have a microphone, nobody could hear him start his questions……. But a microphone was eventually delivered. There Steve was, talking to his idols.

He then proceeded to ask questions they didn’t have answers for, and playfully he argued with these guys on how many goals they had both scored in a particular season. The idols were asked a question, they looked at each other…….

They got the answer wrong. Steve of course, knew the answer without having to even think about it.

He was in his element and leading the way. His knowledge of club and game was second to none.

It was at this point we knew the nickname we had given him of Statto the statman, was a crown he fully deserved to wear.

Although we know Steve struggled recently with his demons, I know that looking back on the experiences he had with us was something that brought joy and fun, to both him and us.

Even in this facet of his life, he was an educator, as we all know of course he was a teacher in his day job. He regularly baffled us with little known and facts and trivia.

He would ask us things like, ‘what was the crowd attendance in the match of Tottenham v Arsenal in 1968’, or, ‘what was the score of Grimsby vs Preston in 1973’. He’d then offer us guesses and if he felt generous, cryptic clues, before telling us triumphantly, the match in question ended…0-0.

And………. if you ever needed someone on your pub quiz team, he wasn’t bad at that either.

We’re not going to touch on his other positive influences such as being a teacher and examiner here in Amsterdam, bringing education to young adults for many years. We’re not going to talk about the fact he had more DVDs than a video rental shop…………. or that he was passionate about listening to his music.

We can only talk about his influence on us and our club. It has been said that in a world full of Uniteds, Rovers and Cities, there is only one Hotspur.

In our world of club members, there are many Stuarts, Simons, Yannicks, Charlottes, James’, Toms, Dominics, Johns. Liams and Robs, but there was only one Statto

Fanfile – Steve (Statto)

19 Apr

Name:
Steve Murray

Year of Birth:
1956

Match in Amsterdam:
Regular visitor.

Where are you from?
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Where do you live now?
Amsterdam

How long have you been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter?
That would be about 50 years.

Why did you start supporting Tottenham Hotspur?
Difficult to answer. Just because they were the big club in the 1960s. My whole family were West Ham and maybe I just wanted to be a bit different! Tottenham Hotspur. Nice name. Jimmy Greaves, big player. So it wasn’t very logical, but there you go.

What was the first game you went to?
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, 27 March 1967. We won 2-0. Mullery and Gilzean. Attendance 46,9017.

Who is your all-time favourite player?
That’s so difficult to answer… such a difficult question. Can I give more than one player? So obviously Jimmy Greaves… but honourable mentions for Martin Chivers, Steve Perryman, Ledley King and Osvaldo Ardiles. Those would be my top five.

Who is your favourite player currently?
Harry Kane.

What was the best (live) game you went to?
Well I did see them play against Nottingham Forest, quarter-finals of the FA Cup, 13 February 1970 and we beat them 2-1. Gilzean and Chivers scored, 46,000.

What was the best goal you’ve ever seen?
That’s another difficult one. I’ve never really thought about that. Possibly Ricky Villa when he made his debut away at Nottingham Forest, 1979 and he dummied, and he beat, Shilton from about 10 yards out. Yeah, that was a great goal.

Fanfile – Alex

19 Apr

Name:
Alex Downham

Year of Birth:
1987

Match in Amsterdam:
Tottenham v Manchester City (Champions League quarter-final, first leg).

Where are you from?
Stratford-upon-Avon

Where do you live now?
Nottingham

How long have you been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter?
Thirty-one years give or take. So since birth.

Why did you start supporting Tottenham Hotspur?
My dad was a Spurs fan and he forced me to be a Spurs fan! It was either that or Villa, and I don’t want to be a Villa fan… because no one likes Villa.

What was the first game you went to?
Against Newcastle United at home. It must’ve been about ’96 or ’97; I think… we lost 2-1. Klinsmann was playing and Sheringham and Anderton. And I’ll always remember the Portuguese winger, Jose Dominguez.

Who is your all-time favourite player?
Ledley King. He was just a hard-nut, wasn’t he? You know, no training, he could just play… and the tackles he made were amazing.

Who is your favourite player currently?
I’ve got a really soft spot for Erik Lamela. I don’t know why?! So Harry Kane, consistently. But I really do like Lamela; he just likes a tackle, doesn’t he?

What was the best (live) game you went to?
Probably, but not for a good reason, when we lost 4-1 to Villa! And I just remember my dad turning around and saying “This is what it’s like being a Spurs fan.” I’ll always remember that. That would’ve been a about ’98 or ’99, I think. Darren Huckleby got a couple, I remember.

What was the best goal you’ve ever seen?
I can’t remember who scored it, but I remember in that same game one of us got like a proper good free-kick.

Final score prediction?
2-0 City (actual score: 1-0 Tottenham)

Fanfile – Nebraska Jonas

25 Feb

Name: Jonas Steele

Year of Birth: 1976

Where are you from?
Lincoln, Nebraska

Match in Amsterdam: Burnley v Tottenham – 23 February 2019

Where do you live now?
Lincoln, Nebraska

How long have you been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter?
For about 6 or 7 years probably. Since they started playing in the US.

Why did you start supporting Tottenham Hotspur?
Well, in the States they didn’t play many games, and then they starting playing a lot of matches here. So I wanted to pick a team. I saw them playing and their style of play made me like Tottenham and choose them as my team.

What was the first game you went to?
Tottenham v Leicester, 2015. Harry Kane scored a hat-trick!

Who is your all-time favourite player?
Clint Dempsey, the American

Who is your favourite player currently?
I like Harry, Harry Kane. It’s hard not to like him; he works so hard.

What was the best (live) game you went to?
It has to be the Leicester game. We had great seats. We were fourth row, right behind the goal. Really close to the action… and it was my first game at the old ground.

What was the best goal you’ve ever seen?
In that game probably. Like live? The best live goal? Well, at that match it was the best because Harry scored a penalty kick and we were so close to it, we could watch the run up and everything. It was so great, you know.

Fanfile – John

11 Feb

Name: John Towey

Year of Birth: 1966

Match in Amsterdam: Tottenham v Leicester City – 10 February 2019

Where are you from?
Portland, Oregon

Where do you live now?
Portland, Oregon

How long have you been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter?
Since 1980

Why did you start supporting Tottenham Hotspur?
I was living in England, in Cambridge, at the time because my father had a job over there. I had to pick a team to support, and I was watching Match of the Day one Saturday, and I was like, ah, I really like this team. There was Glenn Hoddle and Garth Crooks, too. So I just picked them. It turned out really well as it as the ’80/’81 season and they won the FA Cup. I was also a little bit of a Cambridge United fan, but everyone had their Division One team they also liked, so I picked Tottenham as mine and it just stuck.

What was the first game you went to?
Norwich City v Tottenham on Boxing Day, 1980 (I think we won 1-0 but maybe that’s just my imagination)!

(we checked, rose tinted glasses – it was 2-2 on the 27th!!)

Who is your all-time favourite player?
It has to be Glenn Hoddle.

Who is your favourite player currently?
Currently… that’s so hard to pick. But I’m going to say Christian Eriksen. Because of his creativity.

What was the best (live) game you went to?
I think it has to be versus Fulham at Wembley, this season. Just because of the overall atmosphere and everything. And we won! I’d never been to a Spurs ‘home’ game before, so that was also a big thing for me. I would’ve loved to have gone to White Hart Lane at some point, but never had the chance. Hopefully I’ll get to the new one someday…

What was the best goal you’ve ever seen?
If you mean live goal then it would have to be one from the Fulham match. Trippier’s free-kick.

Fanfile – Simon

10 Feb

Name: Simon Joseph

Year of Birth: 1967

Where are you from?
North London

Where do you live now?
Amsterdam

How long have you been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter?
All my life (I was born a Tottenham fan).

Why did you start supporting Tottenham Hotspur?
I didn’t really have a choice. My grandparents (and their parents before them) had a fish & chip shop on Tottenham High Road, a few metres from the old ground, and another one down White Hart Lane on the Great Cambridge Road. My mum was born above that shop and she and my dad eventually took it over. Some of the players (and managers, including Bill Nicholson) used to come in and buy their fish & chips there and talk to my granddad about horseracing: he was a tic-tac (that’s not just a tiny peppermint sweet, but also a form of sign language that’s used to communicate the betting odds of a horse). My family made a living out of the home crowds and local residents in N17. So Tottenham Hotspur doesn’t just run in the family, it runs in our blood.

What was the first game you went to?
Spurs v Derby County in 1973 (we won 1-0 and Ralph Coates scored the goal).

Who is your all-time favourite player?
Glenn Hoddle (need I say more)?!

Who is your favourite player currently?
Dele Alli, because you never quite know what he’s going to do (and I mean that in a good way)!

What was the best (live) game you went to?
There have been a few! The 1981 FA Cup final replay stands out, as does a semi-final second leg of the League Cup at home against Chelsea in 2002 (we won that one 5-2). Beating the Gooners is always great and I was at the Lane in ’83 when we beat them 5-0. I was also at Wembley when we beat Real Madrid 3-1.

What was the best goal you’ve ever seen?
Again, there are plenty to choose from. But I’ll go for Ricky Villa’s mazy run and FA Cup winning goal against Man City in ’81. Not only was it an outstanding individual goal, but the sheer magnitude of it makes it my number one. I also remember seeing Hoddle score almost identical volleys from the edge of the box against Man Utd and against Nottingham Forest in the late ’70s (’79, I think). More recently, some of Harry Kane’s goals deserve a place on the list.