What are we all but a collection of memories and experiences? We all go on different journeys, we all see the world through our own eyes and make sense of it in our own way – shaped by previous experiences and the emotions we felt at those times. And supporting a football team is no different. As a collective we’re shaped by the same narrative, but the relationship we have with our football clubs is deeply personal. Certain moments – like Gazza’s free kick, Ricky Villa’s dribble or, more recently, the Lucas Moura winner at Ajax – those moments are etched into the fabric of the club, cemented into Tottenham folklore. Those moments will live with all of us. But it’s the less significant memories – those that happen both on and off the football field – good and bad, that are perhaps more integral to giving us that deep-rooted love for our club. The first time we went to a Spurs game for example – the epiphany we experienced in stepping out from the concourse at the old White Hart Lane to catch first sight of the glistening bright green turf. I think we all had that experience but at different times across different eras, when we attended our first match. There are moments in my Spurs supporting life that seem as vivid to me now as they did when they first happened. As vivid as that bright green turf. I remember screaming at the Spurs defence to pick up Emmanuel Petit as he strode through what seemed like acres of space through the centre of our defence to score in 1999. I think I saw him a good 10 seconds before any of our defenders did and, alas, my screams from the Paxton upper were to no avail. I remember phoning a few of my uni mates at half time, asking them to come and join me in The White Hart pub in Bristol as we were battering Manchester City 3-0 and they were down to 10 men. They obliged. 45 minutes later, to their amusement, I was storming out of the emergency exit of the pub as we somehow contrived to lose 4-3. I remember watching Didier Drogba score the penalty that won Chelsea a scarcely deserved European Cup in 2012 to steal our top 4 place in the Champions League. I turned the telly off as the ball hit the net, went to get some fresh air and slumped to the floor in my garden, absolutely desolate, only to hear the sound of jubilant Chelsea fans beeping their car horns. Funnily enough, I find that the majority of my most vivid memories are of moments of despair. But there are good moments as well. I remember my visit to Chigwell Lodge in the late 90s and meeting my idols face to face – David Ginola being a particular highlight. Ramon Vega less so. I remember my sister and I face painting each other before going to Selhurst Park to watch the semi final second leg of the Worthington Cup (now the Carabao Cup) against Wimbledon in 1999. I remember that, following the melee of over-exuberant celebrations at Wembley, I somehow found myself 3 rows back from my seat after Dele had made it 2-2 against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi final in 2017. And there’s the mundane routines that all have done significance. Having a half time coffee from the thermos flask my dad used to bring to every game when I was growing up, along with a biscuit each. On special occasions we might get a bag of chips from the chippy just by White Hart Lane station on the way home. And more recently, going for a pint in the Beehive on my way down to the ground from Seven Sisters. Or, for those evening games where I’m heading to the ground straight from work, getting a McDonalds at Liverpool Street station and eating it in First Class on the train to Northumberland Park. You will note that none of these memories are really about the games themselves – they’re more about me – what I did or how I reacted at the time. This is my journey. We all have our own one. We might all consume our football in different ways – some attend games home and away, some watch on TV at home, some watch in pubs, bars and the supporters clubs across the globe with their mates. But we’re all Tottenham Hotspur. And we all have chosen to go on our own rollercoaster journey with them. And that brings me to the game tomorrow night. The European Cup final. The European Cup final that our Spurs are unbelievably, somehow competing in. For many of us, tomorrow night feels like a culmination of all of those memories and experiences throughout our lives. Hopefully the apotheosis of it all. Of course life will go on, win or lose, and we will continue to support Tottenham next season through the ups and downs. But something about tomorrow night feels seminal. Supporting Spurs over the last 25 or so years has felt like an unintentional form of self harm. Perennial underachievers. Countless false dawns and disappointments. Some more brutal than others. But maybe that was just the journey we all had to go on. Every dog has their day and maybe tomorrow will be ours. Our outlook is shaped by the mindset that something will always go wrong, no matter how many goals ahead we are and how few minutes are left on the clock. The eternal pessimists. But in a funny way the opposite must also be true. Inside all of us there is an optimist. For every devil on one shoulder casting doubt, there is an angel on the other telling us “but what if…?” If there wasn’t, then we would have given up on Tottenham years ago. It’s the hope that kills you. But it’s also the hope that makes it all worthwhile. That galvanises us at the start of each season. That keeps us going through the darkest days. If it doesn’t work out the way we all want it to tomorrow night then it won’t change my relationship with this wonderful football club. Either way this is just another step of my journey. But if ever there was a time to cast the doubts aside, now is that time. Now is the time for our angels to rise up. For us to beam with pride as the Champions League music booms out tomorrow night. To believe. And to dream of the “what ifs”. Come. On. You. Spurs!!!