Already this summer some 12 players great and small have bid farewell to Tottenham’s dreaming spires, but where do the Spurs march when they have marched in at White Hart Lane for the final time?
Fear not Heurelho Gomes, Gylfi Siggurdsson Lawrence Vigouroux, Cameron Lancaster, Jonathan Miles, Kevin Stewart, Roman Michael-Percil, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Laste Dombaxe, Darren McQueen, Liam Priestly and Kane Vincent-Young, the future is an open highway.
Just ask these Lilywhite expats…
Vinny Samways – Las Palmas
A 193-league-game stalwart during the late 80s and early 1990s, Samways never settled again in England when his eight year spell at the lane ended, instead moving, like any sensible man with a bit of disposable income would, to Mallorca.
Not known for his roughhousing in north London, it took him just 88 games to rack up ten red cards for his new employers as he carved out a reputation as a hardman, but he remained an integral part of the team, gained perspective and was, in many ways, a trailblazer for future La Liga Lilywhites like Gareth Bale.
Asked ‘who’s your most difficult opponent?’ by The Guardian (link here) back in 2003, Samways replied “That’s a tough question. Zidane really gave me the run around at the Bernabéu last year”
Rohan Ricketts – PTT Rayong
Yoinked from Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup-winning side of 2000 and 2001, Ricketts was making waves at Spurs under Glenn Hoddle and a name for himself in (Sven-Goran Eriksson assistant) Tord Grip’s notebook come 2003/04.
The former Monaco mullet’s axing was all it took to for Ricketts to be booted into the long grass at the club, kick-starting an endless globe-trotting that would leave even the most intolerable gap-year know-it-all shame-faced.
Here it is in full:
Coventry, Wolves, QPR, Barnsley, Toronto FC (Canada), Diósgyőri VTK (Hungary), Dacia Chisinau (Moldova), SV Wilhelmshaven (Germany), Shamrock Rovers (Ireland), Exeter City, Dempo (Goa), Quevedo (Ecuador), PTT Rayong (Thailand).
Jurgen Klinsmann aka ‘Jay Goppingen’ – Orange County Blue Star
Technically ‘the Klinsibread man’ brought the curtain down on his professional career in 1998 after allaying Spurs’ relegation fears with nine goals in 15 games during his second stint at the club.
However, five years later the by-that-time Californian had begun playing a few semi-pro games for local side Blue Star.
In order to avoid media intrusion a club official cunningly registered him under the incognito mentioned, a homage to the German’s birthplace.
Mido – Barnsley
What a player the former winner of Belgium’s most racistly-titled football award (the Ebony Shoe) could have been had he possessed a little more fire in his belly.
Nonetheless he chipped in with a very useful 19 goals in 48 league games for Spurs between 2005 and 2007.
After parting company with the club he spent the next six years shuttling between Zamalek (his first club back in his native Egypt) and various European sides.
But what possessed him to pass up hanging up his boots back at his African alma mater in favour of the ignominy of a single goalless runout for the Tykes?
Pat Van Den Hauwe – Wynberg St Johns (South Africa)
Present throughout Everton’s mid-eighties glory years, the Belgium-born Welshman’s reputation as a hellraiser – which led Andy Gray to describe him as ‘evil’ in his autobiography – was insufficient to stop Terry Venables signing him up for Spurs, with whom he lifted the 1991 FA Cup.
Millwall were his first post-Tottenham port of call, but the tabloid attention his continued alcohol and drug-fuelled off-field antics garnered meant he fled Britain for the ‘Rainbow Nation’, where he did the last of his defending for, in his own words:
“Wynberg St Johns, who were in the Second Division at the time, to help pay the mortage.”
and how could we forget…
Nayim – Real Zaragoza
After 144 appearances for Spurs the Spaniard refused a fat cheque from Juventus to play for Zaragoza, popping up 45 yards from goal to lob Arsenal’s David Seaman in the dying minutes of the 1995 Cup Winners Cup Final.
There’s even a street the tiny village of Trasmoz called Calle Gol de Nayim.