Thursday, December 4, 2008

Waving adieu to the legend that wasn't

Portsmouth: 1990-1992
Tottenham Hotspur: 1992-2004
Birmingham City: 2004-2005
Wolerhampton: 2005-2006
Bournemouth: 2006-2008

Darren Anderton will, to me, always be remembered as a legend of the Lane. For 12 years, he donned the Lilywhite, and wore the captain's armband for many of his latter years there.

When healthy he was one of the best right wingers to play the game, called up numerous times to the England squad and holding his own on the legendary Spurs side that contained Klinssman, Gasgoine and Sheringham. At Spurs, he played in 364 matches and notched 51 goals. His career was, unfortunately, marred by injury, and a series of (poorly timed) injuries left him with the nickname Sicknote Anderton. Injuries forced him out of various seasons and at least 2 England campaigns that I can remember off the top of my head.

That said, he was fiercely loyal to Spurs, turning down a move to Manchester United in 1995 and even promised a new contract at the end of 2004, a promise that was reneged at the authority of incoming 2-month disaster manager Jacques Santini.

Unfortunately, Anderton will finally end his career in Bournemouth this coming Saturday at the age of 36. A career that, according to Harry Redknapp could be extended were he "surrounded by the right players."

Lord knows I'd love to see Anderton come back to the Lane, maybe not as a player (given the speed Spurs now plays at), but as a coach or public liason or somesuch. If nothing else, I know the Yid Army would love to see him back.

His name may not carry the same weight as some of the footballers who donned the Lilywhite before him, but as far as a loyal footballer goes - it would be tough to find a comparison. And, again, who knows where he'd be if he managed to stay healthy? C'est la vie. I just know that I still have the Darren Anderton action figure in my room from my childhood days, and he'll always be one of the first names that comes to mind whenever someone asks me my memories of Spurs in my youth.