‘I was really upset’: the Spurs fan who for eight hours thought they were out

first_img ‘Rebellion and spirit’: Pochettino, by those who know him best Topics Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling celebrates the late goal against Tottenham that was ruled out after a VAR review. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters Champions League Quick guide Tottenham player guide Show Read more Hugo Lloris Goalkeeper  Season apps  43 He’s captained France in more matches than any other, leading his country in 85 of 110 caps.Kieran Trippier Right-back Apps 37 Goals 1Although his family are Manchester United fans, he joined Manchester City aged nine, signing a professional contract in 2007. Toby Alderweireld Centre-back Apps 49 Goals 0Played for Atlético Madrid in the 2014 final, which they lost to Real. He has represented Belgium at every level from Under-15s upwards.Jan Vertonghen Centre-back  Apps 33 Goals 2Belgium’s most-capped player with 112 appearances. He has represented them at the Olympics, Euros and World Cup.Danny Rose Left-back Apps 36. Goals 0Scored a wonder goal on his Premier League debut against Arsenal as a 19-year-old.Ben Davies Left-back Apps 40 Goals 0He is fluent in Welsh. He was part of Viborg’s academy while his family lived in Denmark for three years.Eric Dier Midfielder Apps 27 Goals 3His family moved to Portugal when he was seven. In 2011, he spent six months at Everton, but did not play for their first team. Moussa Sissoko Midfielder Apps 43 Goals 0Signed for £30m from Newcastle and has been a revelation this season. Joined his local academy, Espérance Aulnay, aged six.Victor Wanyama Midfielder Apps 22 Goals 1He made his international debut aged 15, and became the first Kenyan to score in the Champions League when Celtic beat Barcelona. Christian Eriksen Midfielder Apps 50 Goals 10He has scored the most direct free-kicks in the Premier League since joining the club. He started his career in the Middelfart academy.Dele Alli Midfielder Apps 37 Goals 7Lived in Nigeria for two years from the age of nine. He grew up supporting Liverpool. Huge Fortnite fan. Érik Lamela Midfielder Apps 33 Goals 6He scored 120 goals in one season when playing for River Plate’s youth side. Barcelona tried to sign him, offering his parents jobs and a house.Son Heung-min Forward Apps 47 Goals 20His £22m move from Bayer Leverkusen made him the most expensive Asian footballer. Joined Hamburg’s academy aged 16 and recently said he will not get married until retiring.Lucas Moura Forward Apps 48 Goals 15Won an Olympic silver medal at London 2012. His hat-trick against Ajax was the first by a Brazilian in a Champions League semi-final.Harry Kane Forward Apps 39 Goals 24Played for Arsenal and Watford before joining Tottenham. Has two Labrador retrievers, named after his NFL heroes, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. Fernando Llorente Forward Apps 34 Goals 8He was a member of Spain’s victorious 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros squads.Harry Vavasour “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat,” he says. “I watched a couple of films, but my mind wasn’t really on them. I knew there were two more minutes of injury time still to go and I’m thinking: ‘Can they get another goal?’ But really you say to yourself: ‘Sod this, they’ve blown it again.’ I was really upset.“My wife is saying: ‘What’s the big deal? It’s only a game.’ She’s not into football. She’s a football widow, who has to put up with my bad moods at weekends and now this.” Hide Share on Twitter Pinterest Share on Messenger Swaggering close to glory only to bash their heads against the podium features On the field, Spurs’ players were crushed. “When Sterling scored, I just put my head down,” Lucas Moura says. “I was so sad.” Christian Eriksen had been the player who gave the ball away. “They went through and ended up scoring,” he says. “It felt like a disaster. I thought we were out. Gone.”Everybody knows what happened next. The goal was disallowed after a VAR review for an offside in the buildup and Spurs squeaked through on away goals. For the players, the seconds had stretched like hours leading up to the reprieve. Yet Sharpe would be in the dark for the duration of his eight-and-a-half-hour flight to Gatwick. Thank you for your feedback. Read more Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Share via Email Gerard Sharpe is a 58-year-old Tottenham lifer who thought his team had run out of ways to torment him. He was wrong. His story comes from the night of the Champions League quarter-final, second leg at Manchester City and, in so many respects, it encapsulates the dramatic extremes that have propelled the club to the final against Liverpool in Madrid on Saturday.Sharpe was heading home to Epping from Miami, after a cruise holiday with his wife, and it was a battle to keep the connection on his phone to the text updates from the Etihad. On the runway, with the flight about to take off, he finally lost it – just after Raheem Sterling scored what appeared to be the winning goal for City in the second minute of added time. And so began Sharpe’s purgatory. Was this helpful? Tottenham Hotspur Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Facebook Share on Pinterest Twitter Sharpe is conflicted, not least because fate has dealt him another lucky card. When Spurs beat Ajax, he did not have the required loyalty points for a ticket to the final only for the club to then lower the threshold, allowing him and a friend to get a pair. “It was miraculous,” he says. They had the tickets but they had missed out on flights and so they decided to drive, via Folkstone and Calais, with an overnight stop in Bilbao on Friday.“I’d like to think our name is on the cup but Spurs fans are very pessimistic,” Sharpe says. “Until the final whistle goes and we’re lifting that cup, I won’t believe it. Liverpool are favourites but something is also saying to me that there could be divine intervention going on.“I’ve now got a four-day trip, and we’re going all over France and Spain to see this game. So somehow it keeps pushing me. But I’m thinking: ‘Keep going, we’re going to get there and we’re going to win it.’” Mauricio Pochettino’s team scored late goals in each of their final three group phase ties to keep themselves alive – against PSV Eindhoven, Internazionale and Barcelona – and Lucas’s winner six minutes into added time in the semi-final, second leg at Ajax sparked the wildest of scenes. Sharpe, though, will never forget the moment that he turned on his phone at Gatwick.“The first thing I looked at was the Sky Sports website and it says Spurs are through to the semi‑finals,” Sharpe says. “What? I thought Spurs had to have scored again and it wasn’t until I looked through it all and saw about the VAR that I realised. I couldn’t believe it.”It has felt, on more than one occasion, as though destiny has been at work, drawing Spurs to Madrid, although Eriksen does not buy it. “I don’t know if it’s destiny – I think we’ve just been lucky,” he says with a smile.last_img

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