Martin Chivers, Bob Wilson, Ian Wright and Gary Mabbutt – plus others – recall great days at the Lane, Highbury and Wembley
I was doing national service in St John's Wood when Bill Nicholson told me to be at Highbury for 1.30pm for my debut. I travelled by tube, arrived at the marbled halls, and they would not let me in. I said: "I've just signed for Spurs for £35,000," but the doorman replied: "I've heard that before, son." Bill Nicholson had to be sent for. He said: "That's him," shook my hand, and added: "By the way, you're late." I hadn't even trained with my team mates.
It was my first home game after signing from Southampton. The atmosphere was incredible but the pitch was sand and mud. Afterwards Jimmy Greaves asked: "How did you enjoy that, big fella?" "Great," I said, "but I'm not sure I can play on that." Suddenly he bellows across the dressing room: "Bill, Chivs just told me he can't play on that pitch." To which Bill's reply was: "You better to get used to it son, you'll be playing on it every other bloody week."
The first part of the Double was the greatest moment of my career, even ahead of the FA Cup final. There were 50,000 at White Hart Lane, with at least that many locked out, and we had to draw 0-0 or win to take the title. It was goalless until the 88th minute when Ray Kennedy scored. The last few minutes were chaotic. Alan Mullery kicked me in the head. But we held on.
There are not many north London derbies with five goals in 12 minutes but this had that and more. Nigel Winterburn scored a lovely left-footer after Tony Adams went on a rampaging run. I headed in at the back post. And Gazza scored his first goal for Spurs with his sock before kicking down some advertising hoardings.
It has to be the FA Cup semi-final of 1991. Arsenal were going for the Double and we were mid-table. But we had Gazza. Everyone remembers his wonderful free-kick but we also overran Arsenal that day. It was the first ever semi-final at Wembley and that got us bragging rights in north London for a while.
Any win over Spurs was always special – but for pure excitement, Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp scoring two absolute beauties in the final two minutes of Arsène Wenger's first north London derby is hard to beat.