Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Strolling down the Lane

Tottenham Hotspur Club Tour
Emdad Rahman
It's not everyday when you're welcomed to one of football’s most famous institutions, given a comprehensive tour and allowed to experience the view from the director's box whilst posing questions in the press conference room.
Well our group were given access to all areas on a unique tour of the home of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
White Hart Lane has been the historic home of Tottenham Hotspur since 1899. Throughout its history many famous matches have walked within its confines and some of the world's most recognisable players have graced the pitch.
On a White Hart Lane stadium tour you get the chance to see behind the scenes and view trophies and items of historic significance to the Club. Your tour will start on the High Road inside the foyer of the Club Megastore and will take you down Bill Nicholson Way and in to the famous West Stand. From here you will be able to walk in the footsteps of Spurs legends and heroes by entering the tunnel, viewing the home dressing room and seeing the unique view of the stadium from the technical area and dug-outs. In addition you will see the press auditorium, Director's Box and much, much more.
We had dual input on our tour, superbly coordinated by our tour guides Gary Belsham and Cheryl Terri - Cardew. Pairing tour guides is a good strategy and the variation in information imparted is much more enjoyable and leads to a much better quality of service for those on the tour. It is similar to Liverpool where the baton is passed to a different member of the club personnel at each leg of the tour. 
The press room is where it all begins and attendees can sit on the chair Harry uses to take centre stage at press conferences. 
With the pitch being re-laid we were given an informative perspective of the thankless and meticulous nature of the role played by ground staff. We were also able to get a view from the Directors seat and I even warmed Don Fabio Capello’s reserved seat for his next visit down to the lane. 
The changing rooms were interesting. There's no mind games at Spurs like at the Riverside, where the away changing room is “L” shaped, proving very difficult to give effective team talks. With an insight into football psychology we were reminded that “L” also stands for "Losers."
There’s no fancy Dan Emirates Feng Shui from Arsene Wenger, whereby obstacles are dotted around the dressing room to disrupt the flow of positive energy. It’s just a plain square shaped dressing room with no added frills.
Next up was the tunnel as we excitedly headed towards pitch side. I told my group about the players who'd played there - Greaves, Roberts, Hoddle, Ardiles, Villa, Waddle, Gascoigne and Mark Falco – cue blank stares.
White Hart Lane is a smashing ground with great facilities. I won't be popular with David Lammy for saying this but the club need to expand or move as a matter of urgency. With such a huge fanbase, Spurs are a club capable of filling a stadium with double the capacity. And with their minted neighbours at the Emirates, the men from White Hart Lane will need to tackle the issue of increased stadium capacity sooner rather than later. 
There's no rush at Spurs and visitors are given ample time to take as many pictures as they want. This is great for the clubs local and global image. 

To book a tour, interested parties should call 0844 844 0102 and select option two or alternatively they can email

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